CORVALLIS - Among the proud parents at this year's commencement will be one wearing a cap and gown and walking at the side of his graduating son.
Dan Sheahan and his son Tanner, both of Lebanon, will graduate on Sunday, June 12, from Oregon State University, walking side-by-side in the commencement ceremony at Reser Stadium.
Dan, who will receive a degree in psychology from the College of Liberal Arts, will walk with Tanner, who will receive a degree in crop science, and the two will sit among other newly-minted graduates of the College of Agricultural Sciences.
"It wasn't until last fall that we realized we'd be graduating together," said Dan, who returned to college after losing his job in the electronics industry.
"It's a funny thing," he said. "I didn't plan to get laid off, it just happened." But when he got the layoff notice from the company, Sheahan decided to make the most of the opportunity to do something different with his life. Now he plans to become a counselor.
"Of my three boys, two attend OSU," said Dan, whose son Luke is a junior in political science. "So as you might imagine, this has been one of the coolest times of my life."
The Sheahans got together often for lunch or to share a beer after class.
"Tanner helped me with a geology class I was taking as part of my (baccalaureate) core," Dan said. "It was a section on soils, and I thought, hey, I know an expert!"
"It has been really great going to school with my dad," Tanner said. "We have become close friends through everything that has happened in our personal lives in the last six years and all that has led us to this point."