Tonawanda News

Local News

May 12, 2013

Saturday's Niagara University graduation a family affair


Tonawanda News — Kathy, meanwhile, has no interest in finding a new career path. An NU employee since 2001, she says that it was Dr. Nancy McGlen, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Kathy’s boss, who talked her into going back to school.

“Dr. McGlen was instrumental in getting me to commit to earning my bachelor’s degree,” said Kathy, whose younger son, Stephen, is a junior at Syracuse University. “My family’s been so supportive, but I owe a lot to Nancy.”

Saturday’s commencement took on greater significance since it will be the last for Dr. McGlen, who is retiring after 33 years at Niagara University. Dr. McGlen would be bestowed the title of dean and professor emeritus, as approved by the Board of Trustees.

“It’s especially exciting because it’s her last graduation,” Kathy admitted.

Kathy and Aaron attest that attending the same college at the same time has brought them closer. Kathy says that it was nice having her son drop by her office just to chat or to go to lunch with.

“Or when I’m a little poor and come in to ask for money,” Aaron joked.

Having your mother work in the Dean’s Office is also (usually) advantageous in that it offers another set of eyes and ears on campus.

“It definitely helped that my mom was able to fill me in on different opportunities or events that I might not have seen, being a commuter student,” Aaron said. “I will admit that my attendance is probably a little better than it would’ve been, too.”

Kathy and Aaron never took a class together at NU, although they nearly registered for the same 300-level course this past semester. They talked about it. Aaron wanted to, Kathy didn’t.

Why not?

“I think she was embarrassed because I was going to do better than her,” Aaron cracked.

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