Several seniors are following in the footsteps of their mothers and grandmothers
By graduating Saturday, 24 Saint Mary's graduates will continue the legacies of their Alumnae mothers and in some instances, their grandmothers as well.
One third-generation graduate, Shaun Russell, will carry on an impressive legacy. Russell's grandmother graduated from Saint Mary's in 1946, the same year her husband graduated from Notre Dame. All eight of their children also earned degrees from either Notre Dame or Saint Mary's.
Russell will become one of 10 grandchildren to have graduated from either of the two schools. Additionally, six of Russell's cousins are currently enrolled, and one more cousin will be starting next spring.
"My grandparents are ecstatic, because they're the root of the legacy, and they stay so young because of it," Russell said. "My grandmother knows more about football than most sportscasters."
Their family get-togethers are quite the Irish extravaganza, and they gather near the Loftus Center to tailgate every home football game.
"We're so lucky, because our family's so big, that we have a place like this to get together," Russell said. "And I wouldn't have it any other way. If I hadn't gone to Saint Mary's, I'd feel so out of the loop."
Bridget Horne is also a third-generation graduate. Her grandmother graduated from Saint Mary's in 1953 and her mother graduated in 1980.
The legacy began by her grandmother and mother, and the life-long friends that they made, greatly influenced Horne's decision to apply to Saint Mary's. She especially admires her mother's lasting relationships with her roommates. They still meet once a year.
"I was looking for somewhere I would leave with great girlfriends," she said. "And after seeing how my mother still keeps in touch with her friends, I knew that Saint Mary's was where I would find that."
Most daughters of alumnae tell similar stories, but the memoirs of some legacies include a very pivotal time in both Saint Mary's and Notre Dame's histories — the near merging of the two schools in 1971.
Saint Mary's senior Meganne Hoffman continues the legacy of her mother who has a degree from Notre Dame but is an alumna of Saint Mary's. Her mother came to Saint Mary's in 1969 and declared her major in modern languages as the unification of the two schools moved forward. Fully anticipating the merger, Saint Mary's and Notre Dame began to consolidate administrations and academic departments and divided majors among the schools.
But after the merger was called off, the students who enrolled in major programs at Notre Dame finished the departmental requirements and graduated with degrees from Notre Dame. Consequently, even though Hoffman's mother applied to Saint Mary's, she graduated with a degree in modern languages from Notre Dame.
But her mother is considered a Saint Mary's alumna, and she even served as President of the Saint Mary's Indianapolis Alumna Club.
Hoffman feels that the experiences that she and her mother have shared have strengthened the bond between them.
"My mother understands a lot about my college experience because she lived it," said Hoffman. "And she can relate to the philosophy of Saint Mary's College and the spirit here. That still hasn't changed in 30 years."
All News Stories for Friday, July 11, 2003