The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

May 10, 2013

A family of Ravens

Four in family graduating today from Anderson University

ANDERSON, Ind. — Shelly Weston works daily for Anderson University.

But today, she’s looking at the college in much different shoes.

She’s one of the university’s 645 graduates. And she’s one of four in her family.

Shelly is the assessment, data and technology manager for the School of Education. Her daughter Erin Weston, brother Justin Price and cousin Kasi Gale are all graduating from various programs.

Gale said they’ve always been good friends but that the experience has “made us closer.”

When she was hired at AU five years ago, Shelly said she wanted to try and finish what she had started years ago. She attended college for a bit after high school but dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart, Rob.

“For me, obtaining my degree has always been a personal goal; a personal journey really,” she said. “It has been more about proving to myself that I could do it.”

The bachelor’s degree she’s receiving in Organizational Leadership seemed to be the best pick as it will allow her to do more with her current job. While she has an office in the School of Education, Shelly attended her classes at the Flagship Center on Anderson’s southwest side, unlike Gale and Erin.

The biggest factors in Erin’s decision to attend AU was that her mom worked there. She thought the university would be the best fit for her interests.

While she didn’t live at home during her time at AU, Erin said, it was nice to be able to visit her mother’s office on campus whenever she wanted.

Graduating with a bachelor’s in biology, she plans to move to Grand Rapids, Mich., to attend graduate school at the Van Andel Institute, a cancer and neurodegenerative disease research facility, to earn a Ph.D. in molecular genetics of human diseases.

“These last four years were some of the best years of my life, as cliche as that may sound,” she said. “I can honestly say that I have never once regretted going to AU. I have grown spiritually and intellectually. I have formed so many close friendships that I cherish, and have learned so much from professors that are dedicated to teaching the subjects they love.”

Those factors  make graduating “bittersweet” as she’ll miss everyone.

Gale, who graduated with Erin from Highland High School in 2009, would occasionally run into Erin on campus and attend Chapel with her. She chose AU because she’d heard about how “incredible the School of Music was.” Gale enjoyed being in a musical ensemble all four years and performing during AU’s annual “Candles and Carols.”

She said being close to her family and knowing the faculty cared about each student kept her going. She plans to go into music event planning.

“The best thing (about AU) is knowing I’m not who I was when I came in,” Gale said. ”I’m a much stronger person now.”

Price received his bachelors from Indiana Wesleyan and decided upon AU for his Masters of Business Administration since the university has a top-ranked business schools, he said.

He didn’t attend school on Anderson’s campus, however. He works at Community Health in Indianapolis and went to the Lawrence Central school location so it was “easier to get off work and go to classes.”

Price said he has learned from his classmates’ experiences and professors, and is thankful for the support of his wife, Meghan, whom he married in September.

Shelly said her husband, Rob, was her “biggest cheerleader.”

The other three said they’re proud of Shelly for staying on task while not only working a fulltime job, but having three kids and a husband.

Price said they were all sitting together one day, talking about when they’d graduate, when they figured out they’d be doing so at the same time if they kept on track.

“No one wanted to be the one who didn’t quite make it to graduation (Saturday),” he said. “It’s given me an extra step of accountability just knowing they were going to be graduating, too.”

The AU Weston lineage won’t end with Shelly and Erin. Shelly’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth, will begin AU in the fall as an elementary education major.

Elizabeth said she’s been inspired by the hard work of her family and that AU has always been a big part of her life. Not only does her mother work there, but her grandmother, Dianna Conrad, as well. Conrad has worked at AU for more than 25 years and serves as the assistant director of the physical plant.

Elizabeth spent time on campus with Erin and “fell in love” with the offerings and Christian environment, and is “looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life.”

Shelly’s proud of her daughters and hopeful she may finish her master’s in time to graduate with Elizabeth. Erin’s biggest advice to her younger sister is to get involved and have fun.

“College is an experience, not just an education,” she said.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0528 - IREAD - JC 1.jpg Anderson IREAD-3 test results show improvement

    Two Anderson elementary schools posted double-digit increases in the percentage of third-graders who passed the IREAD-3 test last month, according to preliminary results released by school officials.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0418 - Susan Brooks Educators, agribusiness leaders discuss careers Citing approximately 55,000 new jobs being created annually in agribusiness, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks brought educators and business leaders together to encourage students to consider it as a career path.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman to be sentenced again for intimidation An Anderson woman’s sentence for robbery and battery was upheld but she will be sentenced again for an intimidation charge, following a ruling Thursday by The Indiana Court of Appeals.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local Briefs: April 18 A compilation of news items of local and statewide interest as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS - HB0408 - Crash Sperrys 2 Family, friends bid farewell to Jesse Sperry

    The fussing of 10-day-old Autumn Marie Sperry seemed to coincide with the beginning of the funeral service for her father, Jesse Sperry, whose body rested just a few feet away. More than 200 friends and family members gathered at Edgewood Baptist Church this afternoon to pay their respects to Jesse, who was killed April 6 in a traffic accident on Indiana 32.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Students to England to raise funds at luncheon, auction On Saturday, the Students to England 2015 group will be sponsoring a luncheon and auction in the Lapel High School cafeteria/commons area.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local Briefs: April 17 A compilation of news items of local and statewide interest as published in the Thursday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 17, 2014

  • Anderson collects nearly $67,000 in bad debt

    The city of Anderson collected almost $67,000 in bad debts owed to the four utility departments in March.

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS - HB0417 - election forum - 15 Candidates meet in Alexandria

    Several Madison County candidates running for a variety of offices met at Alexandria-Monroe High School Wednesday night to introduce themselves to voters and talk about some issues.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dog owners invited to Easter egg hunt McCulloch Park will be going to the dogs on Saturday. Residents are invited to join in for the Easter egg hunt specifically for canines and their human companions.

    April 16, 2014

March Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook