Becoming A Bear: A Family Affair
August 12, 2019
Returning to campus after 25 years, alumnus Rob Thorne was pleasantly surprised.
“I graduated in ’92; was here for the 'Turner Burner.' Tuner’s eight floor caught fire and I was on the ninth, so that was fun,” Rob recalls. “It looks totally different from when I was here. The campus is still beautiful. They’ve kept it going, which is great.”
Rob has many fond memories from his time at UNC. Everything from singing in concert choir under the direction of Dr. Howard Skinner and playing for the men’s tennis team, to hanging out with his buddies at the State Armory.
Now Rob has a special reason to get reacquainted with campus this fall, as his daughter Hannah Grace begins her first semester as a Bear.
“When I was thinking about Hannah Grace and where she wanted to go to college, knowing what she wanted to do, I knew UNC would be a good fit,” Rob says. “I knew she would be safe here. As a parent, you want to make sure that your child is going to grow and be safe, and Greeley is an awesome place to do that.”
Hannah Grace couldn’t agree more. After discovering her passion for athletic training in high school, she was not only on the hunt for a great place to call home, but one where she could take her skills to the next level.
“My sophomore year in high school I did the work-based learning program with the athletic trainer at our school and it was super cool. I was at all the sporting events, worked on the sidelines, taped ankles and wrists, all the works,” Hannah Grace says. “I started looking at the schools in Colorado and we looked at UCCS and they had a pretty good athletic training program, but it’s a division two school and they don’t have football. Their program also wasn’t accredited yet, which was a big factor. Then I looked at UNC. I knew my dad had graduated from here, so I knew that it was a good school and that they would be able to take care of me.”
The rest is history. Now in just a few short days Hannah Grace will follow in her father’s footsteps and make the move to Greeley.
“I’m so excited for UNC sporting events and getting to work with the teams. I’ve always worked with high school athletes and working with division one college athletes is just the next step up. I’m looking forward to actually being an asset to the program too,” Hannah Grace says. “With college athletics it’s serious. This is game time. You’re on scholarship to do this, so it feels even more important. Even though preventing sprained ankles in high school is important, college is just the next level and I’m super excited about that.”
“As a parent I’m excited to see her grow and do those different things that she wants to do and I’m just excited that she’s doing that where I went to school too. There’s a lot of pride that comes with taking her around campus and showing her where dad walked the hallowed grounds,” Rob says. “It’s kind of fun because I get to show her all the stuff and let her know what it was like before. It makes it more relatable from that perspective. So, when she comes home and tells me about whatever happened on campus, I can relate.”
Move-in for the fall 2019 semester officially begins on Thursday, August 22 at 8:00 a.m. If you’re returning to campus this fall with a new student, check out these resources to help make your visit extra special: https://www.unco.edu/alumni/resources/visit.aspx
Reconnect with your Roots
Even if you don’t have an opportunity to return to campus with a new student this fall, save the date and make plans to reconnect with your alma mater at Homecoming on Saturday, October 19th.