Most students here can attest to the fact that their parents influenced their college decisions, but few have a family legacy like that of junior Amanda Felli. Beginning with her great-grandmother in 1938, Felli is the third generation of women in her family who has attended Geneseo. “My first thought was Geneseo because my family went here,” Felli said. “They really encouraged me to apply.” Her father––the only one in four generations who didn’t attend Geneseo––had encouraged her to go to his alma mater of Alfred University. Felli, however, ended up choosing Geneseo due to her desire to pursue a communication major.
“My passion [is] really more with media and writing,” Felli said. She has returned to school after receiving an associate’s degree in new media from Finger Lakes Community College.
Felli’s field of study also sets her apart from her grandmother, grandfather and great-grandmother, who all majored in education. Her great-grandmother Eve Saxton and grandmother Mary Jane Lloyd majored in elementary education, while her grandfather Gary Lloyd received a masters in education after getting his B.A. in biology from Syracuse University.
Felli explained that she was aware that her descendants had attended college here, but did not receive tangible proof until she was already enrolled. She ended up going to Doty Hall, where a secretary assisted her in finding the 1938 yearbook that depicted her great-grandmother. Felli noted that seeing her great-grandmother’s picture moved her to tears.
“My great-grandmother passed away … when I was 15, so she was really influential to me and inspiring,” Felli said. “I feel like she’s kind of with me here.”
Felli––who commutes all the way from Corning, New York––maintained that she chose to come to Geneseo due to its communication program but acknowledged that her great-grandmother did play a role in her decision.
“We were really, really close,” Felli said. “So when I saw the opportunity for Geneseo, I don’t know what drew me here, but [I feel like] she drew me here. I wanted to come here basically for her.”
Saxton actually wrote for The Lamron during her time here, foreshadowing Felli’s eventual communication major with a concentration in media and journalism. Saxton graduated to become the principal of a New York public school. Likewise, Felli’s grandparents both became high school teachers after graduating.
Felli explained that her grandmother even came with her to orientation weekend and reminisced about the campus while she looked around. Felli added that Lloyd had flashbacks seeing older buildings and expressed excitement over the brand new Integrated Science Center building. “She said she remembered the squirrels,” Felli said. According to Lloyd, the campus has not changed much since her time here.
Felli noted that her family history affects the way she approaches her academics at Geneseo, as she is profoundly inspired by her grandparents and great-grandmother.
“I was really shocked by my great-grandmother because not many women went to college in 1938,” Felli said. “I think it drives me a lot just because knowing my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my grandfather all went here … I feel like I have to make them proud––it’s their alma mater.”