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Following in Her Father’s Footsteps at UT Tyler Longview University Center

September 20, 2013

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

On Aug. 21, U.S. Navy Lt. Antony Hopson, Sr. had a brief homecoming as he accompanied his daughter to an orientation session for new students entering the bachelor of science in nursing program at The University of Texas at Tyler Longview University Center.

Seven years earlier, Antony himself graduated from the same program. It was with a sense of pride that he watched his daughter, Antonia, take her first steps to becoming a registered nurse.

“Before she started classes, I told my daughter that if I could persevere and complete the program during challenging circumstances, she can too,” Antony said.

Prior to attending nursing school, Antony was enlisted in the U.S. Navy for six years and decided to complete an undergraduate degree back home in Longview.

“During that time, I also pursued my goal of becoming a naval officer, more specifically a Navy nurse,” he said. “As a father working full time, with two teenagers and a newborn arriving between my second and third semesters, nursing school was very challenging.”

He graduated from UT Tyler in December 2006 and received his commission as an officer in the Navy while on stage. At the time, Antony was stationed at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Calif. as a new nurse on a medical-surgical unit taking care of wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“My mother and father have been wonderful role models in my life, and following in their footsteps came very easy to me,” Antonia said, when asked her thoughts about following her father into the nursing field. “Growing up, I thought my dad knew everything, as if he was the smartest man on earth. He knows so much about illnesses, disease and basic care. I wanted to have the same knowledge.

“When I started taking nursing classes, I called to tell him what I had learned or to ask him questions. I want to be as great a nurse as my dad. I appreciate him so much, and I don’t think I will ever be able to thank him enough for all he has done for me.”

Antony is currently assigned to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, where he instructs enlisted Navy, Air Force and Army medical technicians and hospital corpsmen on basic medical skills. 

“I would like to commend all my instructors, mentors and the staff at the UT Tyler Longview University Center for their dedication and wisdom,” Antony said. “I could not have made a better decision than to attend the UT Tyler Longview University Center and am proud to be a Patriot alumnus.”

Story by Dr. Van Patterson, UT Tyler Longview University Center director.

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