Left to right: Jess ?19, Pat ?17, Mike ?16 and Alyssa ?18 Bolger

A Family Affair

By Beste Humphrey
Spring 2016 Issue

They each chose Susquehanna for different reasons. The small-school atmosphere, an academic track with close guidance for undeclared students, an AACSB-accredited business program in the top 5 percent worldwide, and a Division III school with a gorgeous campus and a great soccer program. It was just an added bonus that by selecting Susquehanna, the four Bolger siblings from Hopatcong, N.J., would spend their college years together.

Left to right: Megan, the youngest of the five Bolger siblings, Alyssa, parents John and Karen, Mike and Jess on campus last fall. Pat was studying in Barcelona, Spain, at the time.

“I had visited about seven other colleges and universities,” says Mike Bolger, a senior information systems major and the oldest of the four Bolger children. “The small atmosphere, beautiful campus and a program with my desired major convinced me that Susquehanna was the right place for me.”

Mike’s siblings followed, each finding at Susquehanna what they were searching for in a college experience. Pat, who entered undeclared, found his passion with the help of faculty mentors and is double-majoring in international studies and economics.

“Dr. Kesgin has been my official advisor for about a year, but he has been guiding me since Day One,” says Pat. “I’m not sure I’d be in the fields I am studying now without his help.”

Alyssa, a sophomore, is a biology major who dreams of becoming a pediatric orthopedist. In addition to playing soccer, receiving a scholarship to study in a science field played a big role in her choice, and she’s pleased with the decision. “I feel like the biology courses are preparing me very well for the MCAT (medical school entry exam).”

Jess, a first-year student, is majoring in accounting and is finding her way with the help of her professors, newfound friends, and, of course, her siblings. A younger sister, Megan, is still at home, and while there is no pressure for her to attend Susquehanna, the Bolgers agree it will be fun if she carries on the tradition.

“SU is teaching the skills they need to succeed in life. All four have different career paths, and all will be well prepared to enter the workforce or continue their schooling. SU is a small school that offers something for everyone,” says their mother, Karen Bolger.

Because their children have always been in school together, Karen and her husband, John, don’t think too much about having four in college at the same time. But when people learn that they’re all at Susquehanna, “they really get incredulous … for us, it’s just the next step of their lives.”

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