Twins' graduation creates unique challenge for family

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 16 at 2:24 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS - Most families are anxious to see their loved ones walk across the stage and receive their college diploma. But it's safe to say none were more anxious at Xavier's commencement ceremony Saturday than the Gaddises.

"Xavier's my Alma Matter. I love my school," said father Stan Gaddis. "It was wonderful, but I kept thinking, Dr. [Loren] Blanchard, would you hurry? We've got to go!" Blanchard is Xavier's senior vice president for academic affairs.

The Gaddises had another graduation to catch across town at the exact same time.

That's because, as Kaitlyn Gaddis sat inside UNO's Lakefront Arena for her Xavier University commencement, her twin sister, Alexie was inside the Superdome gearing up to graduate from Loyola.

"At first we thought we were going to have to divide ourselves up," said Lucinda Gaddis, the twins' mother.

"I was about to not participate in my commencement at all because I did not want my family to be split for our graduations I wanted us to be together," said Kaitlyn Gaddis.

Instead, the twins came up with a plan. Both universities agreed to bend the rules, going out of alphabetical order, so Kaitlyn would walk first in her class, Alexie, the last.

And so, as soon Kaitlyn Gaddis walked across the stage, she and her family bolted out the door.

"We ran out, we ran down the ramps, my mom with her knees, like running down the stairs and we're like, 'Wheres the car?" laughed Kaitlyn.

Their cousins even arranged a police escort.

"When we were zooming through the streets, we wondered whether we were going to make it," said Lucinda Gaddis.

But, the Gaddis family made it to the Superdome just minutes before Alexie walked across the stage.

"It's amazing to know that that many people love you, to make your graduation what you want it to be. It's a good feeling," said Alexie.

"She always tells me how much she's proud of me. I always tell her how much I look up to her, and it's very special," said Kaitlyn.
 
And as the two sisters celebrated their achievement, they said the best part was doing so together.

"I don't think there's ever been a big moment in either of our lives where the other one wasn't there," said Alexie. "And so to graduate from college and not have each other there, it just wasn't going to happen, we weren't going to let it happen, and so, we did it!"

Both girls graduated with honors. They plan to follow in their parents' footsteps and have already accepted jobs as teachers.

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