Fam­ily of schol­ars to a great de­gree

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

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.

Photo: GARY HEWLETT

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.

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