WINSLOW — Makenzie Carlow was in the third grade in May 2007 when she was quoted in the newspaper as saying that she wanted to graduate from Thomas College in Waterville, just as her father and her big brother were doing that year.

On Saturday, Carlow, 20, will do just that, graduating magna cum laude from Thomas with a degree in business management.

Commencement will be held at 1 p.m. in the Alfond Athletic Center. After the commencement ceremony, a reception will be held on the Ayotte Auditorium Lawn under a tent.

Makenzie Carlow, of Winslow, poses for a portrait Thursday at her parents’ home in Winslow. Carlow will graduate Saturday from Thomas College, as she predicted in third grade she would do. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

The story in 2007 was that her father, Walter Carlow, then 46, and her brother, Christopher Carlow, then 22, were graduating together. Her mother, Kristi, also was enrolled at Thomas, taking evening courses in business administration.

It was a family affair.

Makenzie, then a third-grader at Winslow Elementary School, told the reporter in 2007 that she wanted to go to Thomas College someday too.

“It’s very ironic,” Carlow said Thursday at her parents home in Winslow. “I think at the time of this article, it was kind of funny to just want to go there because of family — seeing my brother and my dad go there — but not really, at that age, of course, ever knowing really what Thomas was or anything. So I think it’s very ironic that now, here we are, coming to my graduation, and that it did actually come true is kind of funny.”

Carlow, who was captain of the Winslow High School soccer team and played soccer each year for Thomas, said she earned her degree in three years, loading up on the course work in the Kiest Morgan Program for an early graduation.

Makenzie Carlow, left, settles into her dormitory room on Aug. 26, 2016, with her roommates, Taylor Peno, center, and Ashlyn Parker at Thomas College in Waterville. Carlow will graduate magna cum laude Saturday after completing her studies in three years. Morning Sentinel file photo by Michael G. Seamans

She has been working at Kennebec Savings Bank in the deposit operations department. Carlow said she wants to return to Thomas to work on her master’s degree, with an eye later on of getting a management position somewhere.

She’s got the pedigree.

Her father, now 58, received his master’s degree in business administration in 2007, graduating at the same time as his son, Christopher, now 34, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. Both went on to good jobs in their fields. Walter Carlow is now employed with Maine Revenue Services and Christopher works as a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Border Patrol in upstate New York.

Makenzie’s mother, Kristi, 41, a former deputy treasurer for the state of Maine, now works for a company tracking unclaimed property. Her other brother, Derek, 29, joined the U.S. Air Force right out of high school.

As for the newspaper clipping from 2007 when she was just 8 years old, Makenzie Carlow said it was folded up and stuck away by her grandmother, Brenda Theriault, of Waterville. It’s a little dog-eared and tattered along the edges, but it’s a clear testament to the belief in hard work and, above all else, education.

She said the path to success is paved through education, as her family has illustrated and as her father told a reporter in 2007.

“Education, in my mind, is one of the opportunities in life that we as Americans can attain,” Walter Carlow said at the time. “I’m glad to see that my son, myself and my wife are able to pursue it, that it’s out there for us to do it.

“There’s a lot of people in the world that don’t have the opportunity to get an education so I consider us fortunate.”

Now it’s Makenzie’s turn.


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