Lives of Meaning and Purpose
Pride, Gratitude Define Legacy Students in Class of 2012
EDITOR’S NOTE: The College’s series of profiles on members of the graduating Class of 2012 draws to a close today with a focus on three graduates who are “legacy” students — the children of PC alumni. Their contribution reflects the Strategic Plan value of “Building Lifelong Relationships.”
As a child, Hannah J. Hughes ’12 (Fairfield, Conn.) recalls hearing plenty of stories from her parents, James M. Hughes, Esq. ’73 and Christine M. Hughes ’75, about their undergraduate days at Providence College.
Her parents told her how they met at PC, how her father proposed to her mother in Aquinas Hall, and how her mother had her bridal shower in Aquinas.
As she got older and it was becoming more likely that she would attend PC, Hannah Hughes said her parents kept telling her that she would make her own experiences and find her own friends at PC.
As parents often are, James and Christine Hughes were right.
When Hannah accepts her diploma at the College’s Ninety-Fourth Commencement Exercises on May 20, she will do so with her own unique story to tell and one with a proud footnote: She is one of 80 members of the Class of 2012 who have at least one parent who graduated from PC and is just one of 19 class members who can say both their parents have PC degrees.
Family legacy ties run deep in the Hughes family. In addition to her parents, who both played tennis for the Friars, Hannah has four other family members who are PC alumni. The others are siblings Margaret S. Hughes ’09 and Patrick J. Hughes ’07; a maternal aunt, Debra Mahoney Wohlberg ’80; and a paternal uncle, Gerald J. Hughes ’68.
Like her parents said, Hannah indeed has forged her own path at PC. She majored in history and undertook a minor in art history. She also performed with the Providence College Dance Club all four years. One of her undergraduate career highlights was being a member of the first class of students to take part in the new “Maymester” course last year, she said.
Sponsored by the Department of History, the Center for International Studies, and the School of Continuing Education, Maymester is a short-term study abroad option in which students spend one week studying on campus and two weeks touring the countries they’ve addressed in class. Last year, Hannah and her classmates traveled to Berlin, Germany; Gdansk, Poland; and Budapest, Hungary.
“One of my main reasons for coming here was the comfort factor and how it had been a home-away-from-home for me. It is a decision I have never regretted,” said Hannah.
Legacy, leadership in Borkoski’s blood
Another student in the Class of 2012 with multiple legacy ties is Jenna M. Borkoski ’12 (Barrington, R.I.). Her father, Charles M. “Chuck” Borkoski, graduated in 1971, and her maternal grandfather, the late Joseph A. Baggott, was a member of the Class of 1927.
Like her father, an extremely active alumnus who has held leadership positions within the National Alumni Association, Jenna Borkoski has developed a deep passion for PC. She has served with the Student Alumni Association its first two years of existence, including as president this academic year.
She recalled that when it was time to look at colleges, “part of me wanted to blaze my own trail outside Rhode Island,” said Jenna. But, by the time she mailed her applications, PC was her top choice, and on the day her acceptance packet arrived, her mother let her know by calling and chanting “Let’s go, Friars!” into her cell phone.
Despite her family ties to PC, “The path I’ve taken as a student is entirely my own,” said Jenna, who majored in political science and who was a member of the College Republicans on campus.
She said the College has changed a lot since the late 1960s, when her father attended. Still, as a legacy student, “I have felt an incredible sense of comfort” other students might not have, she said.
Camuso ’12SCE to wear Friar pride
Commencement Day will be a particularly sentimental occasion for Lisa M. Camuso ’12SCE (Franklin, Mass.), who concentrated in liberal arts while studying through the School of Continuing Education. Her father, Anthony L. Camuso ’52, died last October, but before he did, he made it clear how proud he was that Lisa had chosen to attend PC.
In addition to wearing her cap, gown, and medallion as a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society for Adults in Continuing Education, Lisa will honor her father’s memory and love for his family by wearing his class ring and a locket he gave to his mother when he was a student at PC.
Pointing out that this would have been her father’s 60th class reunion year and that her parents were married for almost the same amount of time, Lisa said the ring and locket have great sentimental value. Several times, beginning when he served with the U.S. Army in El Paso, Texas, her father had to pawn his class ring so that his wife and he had enough money on which to live.
“Once he received his pay, he purchased his ring back,” she said.
Mr. Camuso, who served in the Army for 37 years and retired with the rank of brigadier general, had purchased the locket at the campus store shortly after his first date with Lisa’s mother. He told a friend, “She is the woman I am going to marry.” Shaped like a book, the locket has the PC emblem on the cover. Lisa’s mother wore the locket at her father’s graduation from PC and recently gave it to her.
So, it is with enormous sentiment — and two cherished mementoes — that Lisa Camuso will walk across the dais at the Dunkin Donuts Center on May 20 and receive her bachelor’s degree.
“I am truly blessed and forever grateful to Providence College,” she exclaimed.
— Charles C. Joyce
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