New Whitworth freshmen carry on the family tradition

SPOKANE, Wash. — Saturday was move-in day at Whitworth University.

While there are now tons of new faces here moving into campus, there are also some returning faces helping their children move in. Attending this university is a tradition for some families.

On Saturday’s move-in day, in particular, two families share a somewhat similar story, of falling in love here, and their children keeping up the tradition of attending Whitworth.

Robb LeRoy met his wife, Rebecca, while attending school at Whitworth. Now, they’re moving their son Noah into his dorm at the University.

“[We are] 4th generation, and so yeah you look at that and think about all the different people in our family that have done this same thing — having moved in, having gone through these experiences who have felt these things — made really good friendships that have lasted for years and years…it’s a great feeling,” Robb said.

Being a pirate runs in the family, both of Rebecca’s grandparents and parents met at the university too.

“I never considered going anywhere else,” Rebecca said. “It just felt like the right place to go. It wasn’t necessarily like I felt I had to come here. In fact, my parents joked that they’d get us a new car if we went to community college instead because it’s more affordable. But they’re thrilled that we came here instead.”

Their son, Noah, said he was set on coming here. He almost didn’t get in due to his GPA, but with a lot of hard work during his senior year, he got in, carrying on his family’s legacy.

“I’m one of the few people in my family who’s going to college, and it’s the college that everyone in my family has gone to. So it’s a lot of stress on me to try to do well but I think I will do fine,” Noah said.

The LeRoy’s weren’t the only fourth-generation Whitworth family moving in on Saturday either, so were the Neale’s.

Brian Neale also comes from a line of Whitworth alums. His grandfather and father both attended the university, and similar to the LeRoy family, it’s also where he met his wife.

“I grew up in my house with paintings and different pictures and commemorative things from Whitworth so when I came here to the Campanile that’s on campus, I have a painting of that on my wall at home,” Neale said. “When I was growing up  I knew what it was and it seemed familiar because of that legacy of grandfather, father,son, it just carries down.”

Now Neale is moving his son into the same dorm he lived in as a freshman.

“It’s kind of cool to follow in their footsteps and see the same trees they did when they were attending here,” said Neale’s son Caleb.

As these two freshmen begin their college careers, they have generations of family support to encourage them on their college journeys.

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