UHV graduates celebrate milestone (w/video)
Video: First Four Years
Orchestral music boomed from the auditorium speakers as Vanessa Plasencia, a newly minted University of Houston-Victoria graduate, waved to her family and friends sitting in the elevated rows.
Plasencia is one of seven spring graduates who is part of the university's first freshman class - when UHV first opened its doors to underclassmen in fall 2010.
Of the original 218, 72 percent of the university's first freshmen left before earning their degrees as UHV Jaguars.
Plasencia hugged her older brother Pablo Plasencia, 27, who graduated from the University of Texas A&M.
"I'm glad she accomplished her goal of finishing within four years," he said. "It took me longer to graduate because I didn't have anyone to look up to - I wanted to be that person for my sister."
Her mother, Mireya Plasencia, held her iPad mini as still as possible as she recorded her daughter exiting Faith Family Church with other UHV School of Business Administration and School of Nursing graduates Saturday afternoon.
"I'm very content and proud of her," her father, Daniel Plasencia, 56, said in Spanish. "Whatever she decides to do next, it's up to her."