Two Aggies Overcome Adversity to Graduate

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Out of the 3600 students that will be receiving degrees this weekend, and are invited to attend the Commander-in Chief's speech, are two Aggie students that have overcome some incredible odds, to make it graduation day.

"I really wanted to prove it to myself that I could do this," Gina Lane said.

"My high school counselors told my parents I wasn't college material," Ryan Brown said.

Two different people, with two very different paths to Texas A&M.

"There's a military tradition in my family and I was very proud of serving my country," Brown said.

After being told by teachers he wouldn't cut it in college, Ryan Brown says serving in the navy was a natural choice.

"I served on the U.S.S Nimitz two times; one time in the Persian Gulf in 1993, right after the first Gulf War, and again in 1996," Brown said.

But there was still something missing, so Brown decided to try out the world of academia.

"I didn't know if I would be able to get this done, it's taken me almost ten years," Brown said.

"This was our last family picture together. This was taken for Christmas time in October 2002," Gina Lane said while looking at a family photograph.

Gina Lane, and her two kids have had to overcome a lot in the last five years.

"This was his second tour of duty over there, and he was scheduled to come back fairly soon after the accident," Lane said.

Her husband Mitch, was killed in duty while serving his second tour in Afghanistan. Lane found herself a widow.

"When something like this happens it puts you in a tailspin, and after a while you need to get yourself back on a positive track," Lane said.

So she decided to head back to A&M and get her masters degree, proving to herself and her two young girls you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

"I wanted them to see no matter what life throws at you, you can pick up the pieces," Lane said.

Both Lane, and Brown have overcome the odds to land at the top of their respective fields. Friday morning, they'll be addressed by the man at the top of his, the President of the United States.

"It's just amazing to think the President, the actual sitting President of the United States is going to be speaking to our graduating class," Lane said.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and I would just like to hear what he has to say as he finishes up his second term," Brown said.

After graduating Saturday, Gina Lane hopes to pursue a doctorate at A&M next year.

Ryan Brown will be graduating with a 3.9 GPR Friday afternoon, and has already accepted a job near Dallas.

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