I was in my mid-40's when I started at Neumann. I was a mediocre student in high school and very uncertain about how I would fare in college. I wanted to do well, but did not know whether I was capable of college level work. In fact, I remember quite clearly, crying in the parking lot trying to decide if I wanted to do this. When my first couple of classes netted me 'A's, I chalked it up to easy instructors. By the time I reached my fourth A grade, my husband commented that I was the only person he knew looking for excuses for good grades. I continued to do well and when I was notified I had been awarded the Tau Award, I was floored. Neumann was an excellent experience for me and probably the only experience that could have convinced me that I had the intelligence to succeed in an academic environment.
- Mary Legner, Class of 2007
There are so many memorable moments for me at Neumann. College was, for me, a wish I never thought could happen. Until I walked into the office at Neumann. From the first person I met, I felt valued and nurtured. I absorbed and integrated the Franciscan tradition in ways I'm not even aware of. My life and the lives of my family have definitely been enriched for it. And I'm so very grateful.
This University is a place where we learn about ourselves and find our place in the world. Education and self-fulfillment are powerful combinations, one that can improve our communities. And it makes Neumann a special place. I'm just happy to have found it.- Virginia Smith, Alumnus and Instructor
Having been out of school for several years; I was apprehensive when I returned to the classroom and wondered if I would be successful. During my first semester, I was learning MLA documentation and creating my first ELP when the teacher pulled me aside and told me that I was doing a fantastic job. I ended up with an A in that class and every class thereafter. As graduation approached, the dean informed that I would graduate “Summa Cum Laude”. She gave me a big hug, congratulated me and told me to make sure my wife and kids were at graduation. My “special moment” was walking away from that conversation knowing that I was part of a family that took an interest, celebrated success, and helped students realize dreams. That sense of accomplishment, coupled with the encouragement I received from each teacher has helped form a foundation of belief that I can achieve anything. I have been promoted 3 times since May 2005 and I am on my way to completing an MBA.
- Jim Mullen, Class of 2005
My memories were all positive, but the “icing on the cake” for me was at graduation. My 80-year-old mother was in attendance, sitting next to another proud parent. The father of a graduate sitting next to my mom, exclaimed to my mom when his daughter received her diploma; "That’s my daughter and she is graduating cum laude."
When I crossed the stage, my mother exclaimed back to the same proud father, "That’s my son, and he is graduating summa cum laude, and he is 50!" My brother, who was sitting next to my mom, tells this story often. You have to know my mother!
- David E. Tirella, Alumnus
My "ah-ha" moment came when two of my brothers-in-law questioned what I'd do with a Liberal Studies degree. Less than a year later I retired from law enforcement and took a job making three-times my police salary. I tell everyone, if you're thinking about a degree, don't think, just do it! Its worth the experience and gains in academic knowledge.
- Phil Herbert Class of ‘05
My favorite moments of teaching have always been when I listened to how the students paths brought them to Neumann. Before asking them for their reflections, I always share with them how special Neumann has been to me. I am a graduate of Neumann, my daughter attends Neumann, I am currently attending a master’s Level program (Spiritual Direction) at Neumann. I regularly both attend and lead spirituality workshops at the Franciscan Spirituality Center, and, of course, I teach at Neumann.
With this Neumann blood flowing through my veins, it is very easy for me to encourage the adult students to really open their eyes to all that Neumann and Franciscan Spirituality has to offer them.
- Kevin Barr, Alumnus and Instructor
I experience a great moment each semester. As part of the ELP project, the students in my course present “virtually” live in the online classroom. In the weeks prior, I receive many emails and calls regarding the apprehension they feel. I walk each of them through my inspirational speech that includes the benefits of presenting online such as: “No one can see that you are sweating excessively and are the color of an apple. As long as your voice does not crack, no one will know and they will think you did a great job!” The student always gets a laugh and seems to calm down.
The night of the presentation arrives and 99% of the time the students have no issues and things run smoothly and we come together as a class community and share the projects that have been worked on all semester. I always get emails from the students that made those prior calls to me telling me how wonderful the experience was, how they really enjoyed listening to their class mates, and most importantly that if it not been for the option to have online learning, they would not be getting their degree. That never gets old to me and always puts a smile on my face!
Jason Fitzpatrick, Instructor