BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A Massachusetts man and his three sons are celebrating their third graduation together, this time walking away with Master in Business Administration degrees.

Sixty-nine-year-old Thomas Demakes and his sons on Saturday received their degrees from Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School.

“The way it would work was the three of them would sit on one side of the class and I’d be on the other end. They didn’t want anything to do with me,” said Demakes.

His eldest son, 34-year-old Elias Demakes, says his father was a driving force behind the family push to get MBAs.

“A few of us went kicking and screaming but the old man kept us in line and made sure we showed up to every class. Unlike [undergraduate] college,” Elias said with a grin on his face.

Thomas and Elias were joined on the stage by Timothy, 32, and Andrew, 31.

The four men hardly need business degrees though; they’ve run the family’s meat-manufacturing business for decades. The Old Neighborhood Foods in Lynn employs more than 375 people.

The patriarch’s mandate to take classes had a not-so-hidden agenda. The busy business owner says he didn’t have a lot of time to spend with his sons when they were younger, so for the past 10 years he’s tried to keep them engaged in education.

“It accomplished exactly what I wanted to do; to get to know them a little bit and for them to get to know me,” said Demakes.

Always afraid one son would drop out, Demakes insisted they take their classes together and now hopes they will continue to go to school together.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

“He is talking about doing law school but there’s no way in hell that’s going to happen,” remarked Timothy.

They previously graduated together from a two-year real estate appraiser’s license program at North Shore Community College and a three-year commercial real estate program from Boston University.

WBZ-TV’s Bree Sison contributed to this report.

You can follow Bree on Twitter @BreeSison.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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