As a high school teacher, I knew that my son, Patrick ('19) and daughter, Maggie ('21) should start their college search process early. My son was in 10th grade at the time, and my daughter was two years behind him. St. Bonaventure University was our first official college visit.
It was a brisk, sunny day in Olean, N.Y., a day that will remain in our minds and hearts forever. Almost immediately, I noticed the incredibly high sense of school spirit Bona’s had. While this was our first college visit, I still knew there was something unique about the Bona spirit.
Our tour guides didn’t just love Bona’s themselves, they wanted others to be a part of their community so they, too, could experience Bona’s for themselves. The campus was absolutely gorgeous, and everyone was so welcoming. When the president of the university at that time, Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., stopped and ate lunch with us to see how our day was going, we knew this was the place for our children.
Our daughter, who hadn’t even reached high school yet, was ready to submit her application. The feeling was electric and contagious. We left that open house with a sense of what college life should be like for our children, and the bar had been set high.
Fast-forward two years, Patrick met with recruiter Chris Scheppner, on Chris’ first recruitment to high schools in our area. I can’t begin to tell you about his sense of pride in his university. He spent lots of time with Patrick, answering all his questions, and made himself available to all of us as questions arose throughout our college search process.
Although he is no longer a recruiter for our area, Chris still knows our names when we arrive on campus, and has followed Maggie’s journey as well and asks what he can do to help. I challenge you to find that kind of commitment and caring from any other university.
Now, it is college decision time, and after visiting several colleges, he thinks he is ready to decide. After a long period of contemplation, my son made his decision, and initially, it was not Bonaventure. However, he will tell you that there was just “something” about Bonaventure that he could not explain, and he quickly changed his mind. He will forever say it is the best decision he ever made.
He is involved in numerous activities the university has to offer such as intramural golf, Management Club, Accounting Club, the Pacioli Honors Program, as a sacristan, induction into Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, as well as tutoring. The opportunities for students are endless!
Now to my daughter Maggie’s senior year. We had done many college visits, but she knew that no college she visited would ever come close to the way she felt at Bona's. This was extremely clear to us, and to everyone my daughter talked to about her college plans. Bona's has everything we could ever ask for as parents: a high quality education, a safe and caring environment, and a feeling of family and spirit unsurpassed by any other universities we considered. It truly is a place where “everyone knows your name.”
Lastly, if you are reading this and thinking that you can’t afford a private education for your child, THINK AGAIN! St. Bonaventure has one of the nation’s largest alumni bases and a very generous endowment fund. The scholarships that were offered to my children were unsurpassed by ALL other universities they applied to, and, in most cases, beat the overall cost of a state school.
At the beginning of the fall semester, we sent both our kids to Bonaventure. While we will miss them, we know they are going to a school that cares about them just as much as my husband and I do. As parents, we find comfort in sending our kids to Bonaventure because they will continue to grow in a diverse community, and a place where each person, faculty member or student, takes pride in Bonaventure just as much as they take pride in themselves.
At Bonaventure, you don’t just earn a degree, it becomes a part of your life forever, and we are a proud Bona Family! We hope you visit St. Bonaventure and see for yourself what it means to be a Bonnie.
John and Mary Cole
Proud Bona Parents X 2
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