Mother and daughter celebrate English degrees 30 years apart

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Class of 2022 English graduate, Ellie (right) is joined by her mother, Jo (left), also an English graduate, to celebrate

When Jo Marlow graduated from the University with a BA (Hons) in English in 1992, she wouldn’t have believed she would attend her daughter’s graduation, from the same department, 30 years later.

In July this year, Ellie Marlow donned her cap and gown to receive her BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature with her mother by her side to celebrate.

We spoke to Ellie and Jo about what it meant to them to share this experience.

Ellie said: “I felt privileged to graduate from the same department as my mum. She has been my biggest supporter throughout my university career, and through my life generally, it was such an important day for us both.”

Jo on her graduation day in 1992

For Jo, their shared experience has made her proud, she said: “It's been wonderful going back to Liverpool to visit Ellie during her time at the University - and seeing her graduate was a very proud moment for me, not just because it was the culmination of all her hard work but because it really has been 3 years well spent in so many ways. I've always felt extremely grateful to Liverpool - the city and the university - for the amazing memories and opportunities it has given me - and I'm so happy that Ellie has loved it every bit as much as I did.”

The Liverpool experience

Despite graduating 30 years apart, they’ve shared a similar experience of the University and the city. Ellie said: “I have met friends for life. From our first conversations in our tiny first year flat to today - still living together four years later.
I have spent so many lovely times with my mum here, too. Eating on Bold Street, walking round the docks and even going out in Concert Square! We both love Liverpool and have fond memories there spent together and separately. The place means a lot to us both!”

Whilst Jo recounts her time studying in the early 1990s, she said: “I can still vividly remember lectures in the Rendell Building, gigs at the Guild, and a very happy first year living at Carnatic Halls - including the time one of my friends threw someone's else flat keys in the pond during an argument! Luckily, everyone laughed about it afterwards.”

Following in her mum’s footsteps

When Jo graduated in 1992 she recalls that she “signed on at the dole office as graduate opportunities were much scarcer back then.” Since then, she has pursued a successful career as a regional journalist and more recently as a communications officer. She said: “I now have two comms jobs, dividing my time between a local multi academy educational trust and a large energy company.”

Ellie’s taken inspiration from her mum’s journey, she said: “Looking at where she is now, all that she has achieved in her career and otherwise, I can only hope to achieve in my own life. I have just returned from 3 weeks travelling around Europe and am now applying for marketing jobs in Liverpool.”

We love to hear about alumni success stories that run through generations of Liverpool graduates, and wish Ellie the very best of luck with her career! Are you an alum with a story to tell? Get in touch: