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Great Basin College
1500 College Parkway
Elko, Nevada 8980

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Sibling Duo Makes History as Great Basin College's Youngest Ever Graduates

The Murphree family standing in caps and gowns at GBC's Ely Center graduation.(ELY, NEV.) GBC Professor and Mathematics Department Chair Daniel Murphree is no stranger to speaking in front of large crowds. As the 2024 Ely Center Commencement Ceremony MC, Daniel had the distinction of honoring all the graduates throughout the ceremony.

This year was different. Very different.

With a father’s pride, he welcomed his daughter Rebecca and son Thomas to the stage to receive their respective certificates and degrees. Later in the ceremony when the graduates were asked to move their tassels from one side to the other, conferring their degrees, Rebecca and Thomas became the youngest ever graduates in Great Basin College history.

"I am immensely proud of both Rebecca and Thomas and all that they have accomplished,” said Daniel with a wide smile. "I'm proud of how they have worked to achieve their goals and excited to see them grow as they pursue the goals they have for the future."

Talk about one dynamic duo. If Thomas had not skipped a grade, Rebecca would have been GBC’s youngest graduate ever.

Fourteen-year-old Thomas graduated with an Associate of Science degree and a Certificate of Achievement in General Studies while a sophomore at White Pine County High School. Thomas aspires for a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He has been studying computer programming independently and would like to become a programmer for a gaming company.

Not to be outdone by her younger brother, Rebecca, fifteen, received her Associate of Arts in English degree and a Certificate in Achievement in General Studies. A sophomore at White Pine County High School, her goal is to graduate from high school in 2026 with both her diploma and a Bachelor of Arts in English degree. She is an aspiring author.

Both students make time to be active in extracurriculars as well and participate in their high school choir, swim team, NAQT, and local children's community theatres. The two super siblings completed their college pursuits through GBC's dual enrollment program, which has served nearly 1000 high school students state-wide in the 2023-2024 school year.

"A huge round of applause for the youngest graduates of Great Basin College! Your commitment to excellence has led you to this moment, with certificates and degrees in hand. Here's to your next adventure," Associate Vice President for Faculty Success Amber Donnelli said proudly.

GBC is committed to providing opportunities for all students to excel and offers flexible solutions to ensure your education goals can fit into your lifestyle.

Great Basin College, “The Gold Standard in the Silver State,” celebrates students while offering associate and bachelor’s degrees in academic, career, and technical education areas. GBC serves students enrolled online from across the country and on campuses and centers across 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties. Branch campuses also serve the communities of Battle Mountain, Ely, Pahrump, and Winnemucca. Satellite centers are located in nearly 20 communities across rural Nevada. We border Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and California.

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Great Basin College
1500 College Parkway
Elko, Nevada 89801

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Why Great Basin College

Great Basin College, "The Gold Standard in the Silver State", offers associate and baccalaureate level education in academic, career and technical fields. Welcoming over 4,000 students annually from all corners of the country, both online and at our various campuses and centers, GBC's presence extends across two time zones and spans more than 86,000 square miles throughout Nevada. A leader in rural higher education, GBC takes pride in developing students who are well-prepared to meet the demands of industry and who contribute to the success and prosperity of the local economy.

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