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Mother of Uvalde shooting victim graduates college with honors: "Lexi would be proud"

A photo of Lexi Rubio sat in the stands as her mother walked the stage to receive her degree in history.

SAN ANTONIO — More than six months after losing her daughter in the Robb Elementary mass shooting, Kimberly Rubio graduated with honors from St. Mary's University in San Antonio.

On Saturday, the university held its fall commencement at the Bill Greehey Arena on campus. According to University President Thomas Mengler, 256 students received their diplomas during the ceremony.

Rubio was the last one to walk the stage for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

"I got emotional. I started crying. When we have these big events, it's very obvious she is not with us," said Rubio.

Her daughter Alexandria "Lexi" Rubio died during the shooting rampage on May 24. Following her death, Rubio considered taking the semester off out of grief.

"I didn't think I would finish but I talked it over with my husband and we just knew I wanted to do it honor of Lexi," she said.

Rubio received a degree in history. As she accepted the diploma on stage, her family cheered her on from the stands. A photo of Lexi occupied a chair next to Rubio's husband Felix.

The mother also wore a necklace with her daughter's initial on it.

Mengler praised Rubio for her dedication to her education during unspeakable tragedy. He also spoke to the community's efforts to endow a scholarship in Lexi's memory.

The young girl wanted to attend St. Mary's.

"Her daughter Lexi wanted to become a lawyer when she grew up. This endowment will allow an opportunity for men and women like Lexi," said Mengler.

While Rubio was proud of her accomplishment, grief was apparent.

"It just makes me sad. I had this idea that all of my kids would be with me today. This is just not how I wanted to do this," she said.

Rubio shared the family's plans to move out of Uvalde after graduation. Now that her daughter is buried in the local cemetery, her plans have changed. 

"We're readjusting and trying to figure out what's next. For now, I'm really tired so I'm going to take a break and consider returning for my masters," said

Her advocacy work will also continue. Like other victim families, she is calling on an assault weapons ban.

"I want to save lives. I want moms and dads to have their children. I want them to be able to send them to school and return."

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