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Published: September 05, 2017 | Categories: Alumni

The Shannon Family Makes Being a Golden Bear a Tradition


Move-in Day on August 25 was not only a family affair for the Shannons, but also a Homecoming of sorts: Timothy Shannon '92/G'99 and Tammy Shannon '93/G'99, proud parents of first-year student Rebecca Shannon, first met one another as Engineering students on campus. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Legacy families are certainly nothing new to this University. In the Class of 2021, 39 students had a parent who graduated from Western New England; 11 have a sibling who is an alumnus; six have a grandparent alum; and 58 had an aunt, uncle, or cousin who earned their degrees from our institution.

But Rebecca Shannon didn’t choose Western New England University just because her parents are alumni. Rebecca points to the small class sizes, sense of community, and the “hands-on first-year Engineering program,” all of which informed her college decision.  

Class size was also key for her parents in choosing their college back in the 1990s. “We could sit and have lunch with faculty members and they know your name,” said Timothy. “You’re not just a number. At Western New England, undergraduate education is the focus, and it shows in the exceptional lab facilities that are available even to freshmen.”

Nearly 25 years since they graduated with their undergraduate degrees, Timothy and Tammy noticed some things never change on campus, including “the small community, and the family-oriented feel,” said Tammy. “We also were pleased to see Assistant Dean Richard Grabiec and some other familiar faces among the faculty.” But there are, obviously, differences. “The technology and facilities have changed dramatically since the early ’90s, of course,” said Tammy.

Another change was the institution’s change from a college to a university. Although Tammy was sporting a “Western New England University Mom” t-shirt on move-in day, she gave her daughter a throwback gift. “We packed her a WNEC sweatshirt from our days on campus,” she said with a smile.

Does your family have strong ties to Western New England University? Email to share your story.