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Fulfilling a dream


News 8 Austin (08/05/2003)
By Natasha Allen

In 1963, Georgia Cheatham was one of the first blacks to walk the campus of Southwest Texas State University.

“ I was born and raised in San Marcos, always wanted to go to school in San Marcos, and after the lawsuit was filed and we were accepted, we were glad to start to school here,” Cheatham said.Dana Smith filed the lawsuit, paving the way for her to attend. At the time, her mother was extremely proud.

“ She instilled in us that education was very important if we wanted to get ahead in life,” Cheatham said.

Now, 40 years later, it’s Georgia’s turn to be the proud mom.

“ I don my gown, the same as Kim. My gown is my thankfulness to the Almighty for this opportunity to see her graduate and my cap is my pride in her and my tassel is a smile all the way across my face,” she said.

Cheatham’s 26-year-old daughter, Kim Fuller, will graduate this weekend with a degree in Criminal Justice.

“ For everybody that went through the struggle for all of us, I’m just grateful and I’m grateful to know that my own mother has done it as well,” Fuller said. “I’m proud of her because she has worked hard all of our lives and supported all of us, and anything we decided to do. If I hadn’t gone to school, she still would have been proud of me for just being me.”

Cheatham never finished school, instead she got married and went to work.

Kim, too, took a break, got married and had a child, but she went back, and her mom says that makes this day that much more special.

There will be three commencement ceremonies this weekend. More than 1,400 students are expected to graduate.