We are family

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Kristie King ’14 with a drawing she made of her great-grandmother, Isabelle Smock Henson ’28.

Family matters

When I was applying to college, I rebelled against going to Denison because 14 of my family members had come here. I wanted to do something different. But when visiting other schools, I kept comparing everything to Denison, so I figured that was a sign that I should come to the Hill.

I have loved being at the same college that so many of my relatives went to. It has been great to see what they have left behind and to share many of the same experiences.

My grandparents met here and got married while they were still in school. Both my parents went here too, and they met on the second floor of Crawford. My dad actually started the Hilltoppers, which is really cool because I am a member of the all-female a cappella group, Ladies’ Night Out. My mom helped to start the rugby team, and she was the captain.

One of my roommates is on the rugby team, and it’s been great to watch her play knowing that mom was a part of starting something many of my friends love. Overall, I’ve loved my experience at Denison and sharing that love with my family!

— Taylor Frame ’14

It turns out that 108 members of the great Class of 2014 have a family member who also graduated from Denison. Some have just one family connection, and one soon-to-be alumna, Alexandra Painter ’14 from Concord, Mass., has as many as 21. But on the whole, these members of 2014 are related to 248 Denisonians who have gone before.

The Denison lineage of Kristina King from Tarrytown, N.Y., for example, dates back to 1863, the year that her great-great-great grandfather, Henry Brumback, graduated. Kristina’s great-great grandmother, Grace Brumback Henson, graduated in 1899. And then came Isabelle Smock Henson, Class of 1928, and Henry Brumback Henson, Class of 1929. Another fun fact about Kristina’s Denison ancestry: Her great-great-great-great grandfather (readers: you still with us?) owned the land and the home south of Newark that is now Dawes Arboretum.

Many of those family connections are making the trip to Granville to see the newest generation of Denison alumni walk across the stage this weekend. The grandfather of Riley Tight ’14, for example, is on his way. As a life trustee, Ted Tight ’48 knows Denison well, but seeing his grandson from Woodside, Calif., in cap and gown on Saturday (like he did with his children before) might prove to be one of his best memories of his Fair College on the Hill.

For those keeping score at home: Riley Tight comes in at No. 2 (behind Painter) for the most DU relatives, with connections to 15 graduates. Third place goes to Taylor Frame ’14 from Granville, with 14 family connections. And there’s at least one more graduating senior who can claim four generations of DU heritage: Andrew Palmquist from Englewood, Colo.

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Dexter “Ted” Tight ’48 and his grandson Riley Tight ’14.

Clearly, Denison has been an important institution in the lives of many families. If it’s something of a tradition in yours — whether you’re part of the Class of 2014 or not — let us know in the comment section below.

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