Father-Daughter Graduates Receive Degrees at Holy Family University Class of 2022 Commencement 

Crystal Torres '21, Joel Torres '22, and Stephany Torres '22
A family of Holy Family University graduates: father Joel Torres ’22 (center) and daughters Crystal Torres ’21 (left) and Stephany Torres ’22 (right). Joel and Stephany will graduate together on May 21.

Joel Torres ’22 will graduate alongside daughter Stephany Torres ’22

When Joel Torres ’22 walks across the stage at Holy Family University’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 21 to accept his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice, he will be accompanied by another graduate—his daughter, Stephany Torres ’22, who will also be graduating from Holy Family with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Pre-Physical Therapy.

Joel, a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, decided to go back to school several years ago to advance his career. “I had graduated with my associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from a community college,” says Joel. “When I was weighing my options for completing my bachelor’s degree, Holy Family offered me a very good financial package and accelerated courses that were convenient for me. Many of my professors were supervisors in the police department or retired law enforcement.”

Joel is also the father of Crystal Torres ’21, a graduate of Holy Family University’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences. “My oldest daughter graduated from Holy Family last year with a degree in Nursing and she now works at UPenn,” says Joel. “When she was about to graduate high school, she had gotten accepted to other universities but I pushed for Holy Family. The program for nursing has a very good reputation and I had confidence in the University.”

When it was time for Stephany to decide on where to go to college, she followed in the footsteps of her father and older sister. “I wanted a school that was going to give me the best education that was also affordable,” recalls Stephany. “Another one of the main reasons was I wanted to go to a University that would help me grow in whatever career I was pursuing but also help me grow as a person as well. Holy Family has helped me grow, improve, and mold me into the person that I am today.”

Before she has even graduated, Stephany started a job as a physical therapy aide at Penn Hospital University City, and she has the intention of applying for graduate schools to become a physical therapist. She says that she wants to follow her father’s example of dedication and hard work which is exemplified by his completion of a bachelor’s degree.

“My father worked two or three jobs to provide for us, and there were times that he was teaching me how to drive and I would drive him to Holy Family for a night class and I would drive him back home,” remembers Stephany. “He was not only being a good father, but he was committing to his goal. I have never been so proud of him, and how many people can say that they will graduate on the same day as their dad? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am so blessed to share this moment with him.”

Joel also feels blessed to be able to share his Commencement ceremony with Stephany. “As a father, it’s an honor,” he says proudly. “You always try to do the right thing. When I was younger I couldn’t finish school, so I wanted to set an example of persevering for my daughters so that they know that it is never too late. If they work hard, they can accomplish anything that they want in life.


All ceremonies will be held outdoors under a tent at the Newtown campus location and all in-person ceremonies will be livestreamed. Details are as follows:

When: Saturday, May 21

9:30 a.m.
Graduate Ceremony
(Link to livestream)


12:30 p.m.
Undergraduate Ceremony
(Link to livestream)


Where: Outside of Holy Family University Newtown Campus
1 Campus Drive, Newtown, PA 18940