Peter and Geetha Fernandes P'14, P'18 wanted their daughters to attend a university that emphasized the family's Catholic values.
"We looked at Catholic schools and others that were not," Geetha Fernandes said, "and we found that Catholic universities have a good spiritual foundation, and for me that was very important."
Their eldest daughter, Annamarie '14, had looked at colleges outside New Jersey before they visited Seton Hall.
"They sat us down with someone who turned out to be a real blessing. He was so spiritual, and I was very impressed with everything he had to say," Geetha Fernandes said. "The way he helped us through the process made me think it was all part of God's plan."
She continued: "We walked out of Seton Hall that day, and although Annamarie had already applied to four universities, she said, 'I think this is number one for me now.'
"I was very happy to hear that because the thought of her coming here made me feel secure."
By all accounts, Annamarie made the most of her Seton Hall experience. She participated in campus organizations and service trips and conducted research with immunology and microbiology professors on her way to graduating magna cum laude.
Though the couple is pleased with their daughter's education, they joined the Parents Leadership Council because of Seton Hall's influence on other students.
"I started meeting Annamarie's friends, and I noticed that some of them came from homes where they weren't exposed to any sort of spirituality. And those kids have now made a commitment to becoming Catholic," Geetha Fernandes said.
"I was very impressed that they—on their own—had taken that step, so I thought that this is a place I'd like to get involved in."
The Fernandeses said they hope their membership on the Parents Leadership Council will benefit their daughter Angeli, who also is enrolled at Seton Hall.
"If you are involved at the University and your child needs assistance, you know where and how you can help. But if you have no connection, you may not know where to start," Geetha Fernandes said.
Angeli was not sold on Seton Hall until she met Joyce Strawser, dean of the Stillman School of Business, and Michael Reuter, director of Stillman's Center for Leadership Development. "They are an incredible team together."
"Only one second after I met him, I realized that Mike is a gem of a guy," Peter Fernandes said. "He's so absolutely genuine that just after meeting him he treated me as if he knew me for ages."
Now that Angeli is in the business leadership program with Mike, she is absolutely thrilled—and so am I," Geetha Fernandes said. "We're already looking forward to the next four years."
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