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Eight and Counting: The Hanson Family Touts Eight Alumni-- So Far

Hannah Kershex (bottom middle), the mother of six George Mason alumni, poses in from of the Johnson Center with her family, which includes a total of eight alumni. Top row, right to left: Charles Kershes, BA '73; David Hanson, BA '86; Bottom row, Theresa Kershes Naylar, BA '81; Lisa Kershes, BA '88; Hannah Kershes; Michele Kershes Hanson, BS '69; Hannah Kershes Marter, BA '86.

By Carie Secondo
Michele Kershes Hanson, B.S. '69, was the first in her family to graduate from George Mason. Her son, Michael Hanson, B.A. '00, is the most recent. Between the two, there are six other graduates in the Kershes family, and it's safe to bet there will be more.

George Mason's proximity to Michele's family home was one reason six of her nine siblings went to the school. "With a large family, it was much more affordable for us to go to Mason--we all lived at home," Michele says.

Michele's mother, Hannah Kershes, a resident of Springfield, is thankful for opportunities the close proximity provides. Looking back, Kershes wonders how she would have paid college expenses for her children otherwise. "Being so close enabled my children to go to college, live at home, and work to pay for some of the costs of their education," she says.

Her children agree. "Some people don't think it's a good school because it is right in their backyard," Michele says. "But we are all very happy with our education and we are all very school spirited."

Hannah Kershes also enjoys the university atmosphere. "It is a fine university. Someday it will be the best in the state, and I'm glad to be living near it," says Kershes. "Living so close, we can go to shows and plays at the Center for the Arts and can go to lectures on campus," she says.

Michele met her husband David Hanson, B.S. '70, in chemistry class back when George Mason was a four-building campus. Together they have four children, a Virginia Tech graduate, a sophomore and senior in high school, and Michael, who graduated from George Mason this year with a degree in Anthropology.

After high school, Michael went to James Madison University, but transferred to George Mason his sophomore year.

"When he said he wanted to stay at home and go to Mason, I was surprised because it seems as though so many kids want to go away to college, but I was delighted at the same time," says Michele, who works for George Mason's Department of Public and International Affairs.

When asked where her high school senior plans to attend college next year, Michele answered, "I don't know, but he did apply to Mason."


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