STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Commencement for one Penn State senior will mean much more than just receiving her degree. She’s one of a four-generation legacy carried on by a familiar name.
"I knew this is the place I was supposed to be," Lauren Sredenschek remarked.
Lauren fell in love with Penn State University the first time touring campus.
"I just loved how big the campus was. I knew I wanted a big school and I did not want to be in a city. This was absolutely perfect," Lauren explained.
Lauren applied to five schools. Penn State was at the top of her list and the last school to send her a letter of acceptance. She remembers that day clearly.
"I got a letter from Penn State January 31st. I will never forget it. I almost started crying," she remarked.
Lauren immediately told her parents the good news.
"We knew that this is going to be her spot," Tom Sredenschek said.
Lauren is FOX 29’s Sports Director Tom Sredenschek’s daughter. He, too, went to Penn State.
"I graduated in 1985. I can still see the ceremony at Rec Hall," Sredenschek commented.
Tom was elated with Lauren’s decision to go to Penn State.
"It was my happy place and it is still emotional every time we come back here. The fact that she is going to be part of that here, too…is unbelievable," Sredenschek explained.
What’s really unbelievable – Lauren will be the fourth generation of Sredenscheks graduating from the university. Alan and Norene, Tom’s parents, met on campus and graduated, back in 1954. Tom’s grandfather, William A. Sredenschek, graduated in the class of 1921.
"My brother was the one that said, ‘You know that our grandfather was class of 1921?’ and I said, ‘Wait a second, she is going to be 2021!’" Sredenschek exclaimed.
"It is so special. It is something that doesn’t happen all the time. To graduate 100 years after my great-grandfather – how crazy is that? 1921 and 2021!" Lauren exclaimed.
Lauren found out about her great-grandfather’s graduation year midway through her freshman year, adding to the pressure of graduating on time.
"It is still about her graduating and it is still about watching your little girl grow up. Being a Penn State graduate and the 100 years? It is the icing on the top of the cake," Sredenschek remarked.
Lauren will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in economics, but also with a stronger father-daughter bond.
"If something happens on campus and I was here doing xyz, no one else in my family knows what that means except for him, so we get to share that little moment together. It is like we know what is going on, but no one else does. That is really fun," Lauren described.
"There will be a lot of memories that will pass through and I think the 100 years will hit a little more that day. But, just the fact that your little girl is not a little girl anymore and she is part of something special," Sredenschek added.
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