Family of scholars to a great degree
For most families, having a child graduate from university is a proud achievement.
But for Pt Chevalier’s Cervin family, it’s something of a tradition.
All six children have graduated from Auckland University in the past 17 years.
The oldest, Carmel, began university in 1991 and youngest Siobhan graduated last month.
To top it off, parents Anne Marie and Maurice can boast various degrees from universities around the world.
“We feel relief and a sense of pride that they were all able to go through and complete their studies,” she says.
“We were so keen for them to do it because we enjoyed our studies so much and we had an underlying expectation that it would be something they would do.”
Carmel, 35, has a conjoint bachelor of arts and commerce from Auckland University and a doctor of philosophy in social policy from Massey University.
Naomi, 33, has a conjoint bachelor of arts and law with honours while Liam, 32, has a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of commerce.
Seamus Cervin, 29, holds a bachelor of chemical engineering and brother Brendan, 26, has a bachelor of software engineering.
Finally Siobhan, 24, has just graduated with a conjoint bachelor of law and arts.
Mother Anne Marie has a bachelor of arts from Waikato University.
But it’s father Maurice who has the most –a licentiate of philosophy and licentiate of theology from the Urban University in Rome, a master of arts from the University College in Dublin, a master of public policy from Victoria University and a diploma in counselling from Massey University.
Mrs Cervin says having all the children at university has been a fun experience.
“They have mostly lived at home while students and with up to four at university at the same time, so home has been a place of much lively discussion and debate,” she says.
She does not rule out any of the children doing future study.
“My husband is hopeful that at least one more of them might go on to do a PhD,” she says.
Mr Cervin says he encouraged his children to study at university to open up options for them. “I used to say to our children that going to university was both a lot of fun and also a normal part of growing up,” he says.
“It was up to them to choose what to study, but I thought that a conjoint arts and vocational degree offered the flexibility of studying a variety of arts subjects combined with possible vocational options.”
Auckland University spokesman Bill Williams says while keeping records of families attending the university is difficult, having six graduates from one family is highly unusual.
Academic bunch: All six children in the Cervin family have graduated from Auckland University, from left: Lim, Naomi, Carmel, parents Anne Marie and Maurice, Siobhan, Brendan and Seamus.