Article by Garrett Carroll

For the Benavidez family, pursuing their education at Adams State University was a foregone conclusion. Michael and Mary Benavidez and their son Oliver all received their bachelor degrees this May.

It is Michael’s second bachelor’s degree from Adams State. He earned his first in psychology in 2002, this year he, and Oliver, received their Bachelor of Arts in art. Mary accepted her diploma for a bachelor’s in psychology during the commencement ceremony, where she also delivered the Class of 2022 message.

Adams State has been a part of Oliver’s life since birth. Eugene Schilling, professor of art, and Margaret Doell, associate vice president of academic affairs, and former art department chair watched Oliver grow up. “Since I was raised on campus, it felt like a homecoming for me,” said Oliver. “When I attended Freshman Orientation and walked back into the Art Building, I immediately felt at home.”

Michael appreciated returning to Adams State to finish an art degree. “I knew I was in the right place when Professor Margaret Doell smiled brightly when I entered her photography class.”

Mary Benavidez, Michael Benavidez, Oliver Benavidez
Mary, Michael, and Oliver

The Benavidez Family believes the Adams State’s faculty is  top notch. “The small class size, the outstanding faculty and staff, and more opportunities to engage in individualized learning were all factors that led us to Adams State as a family,” Mary said.

Large studio spaces are available for upperclassmen majoring in art. “I look forward to taking the next step in my career and utilizing the skills I obtained at ASU to become a professional artist,” Oliver said.

Living on-campus provided additional bonding for the family. “It is wonderful to be able to live on campus in family housing,” said Mary. “We appreciate the beautiful campus and it is easy to navigate.”

Mary and Michael first enrolled at Adams State, in 1997. Although Michael finished his degree, Mary chose to stay home and concentrate on their domestic life with the arrival of Oliver. Returning to the campus after 15 years, was a positive experience for Mary. “I have embraced my education in a way I never did before and have taken advantage of every opportunity.”

Mary and Michael are starting their post-graduate work in the Counselor Education Department this fall. “Our goals are to become licensed professional counselors,” Mary added.