Syracuse University Magazine

Orange Legacy

All in the Family

Kwasnowski family

The Kwasnowski family came together during Commencement Weekend to celebrate the graduation of Nicole, the fourth of Dave and Linda Kwasnowski’s children to earn an SU degree. The family includes (left to right) Lauren, David ’02, Linda, Andrew ’05, Nicole ’10, Dave, Lisa ’00, and Liz ’13.

Lisa Kwasnowski-Farb ’00 had no idea when she stumbled upon Syracuse University on the way back from visiting SUNY Oswego in 1996 that she was starting a Kwasnowski family tradition. But since her enrollment at SU, four siblings have followed. In fact, two of Lisa’s sisters were on campus together this year: Nicole graduated in May, and Liz, the fifth to attend, just completed her first year. “We’ve had the same SU sticker on our car for 14 years now,” Liz says. 

No one from the Kwasnowski family imagined so many of them would attend the same school, but they all found SU satisfied their differing academic interests. Lisa majored in finance and marketing, while David ’02 studied biology, and Andrew ’05 majored in civil engineering. Nicole studied psychology and child and family studies, and Liz is a sport management major. “Even though we all went to Syracuse, we managed to find diversity within the University,” Andrew says.

Although they pursued different majors, the five have shared similar experiences on campus. A family of Orange fans, they frequented football and basketball games. David and Andrew even traveled to New Orleans in 2003 to see the Orange win the NCAA basketball championship, while Nicole journeyed to Memphis in 2009 to watch Syracuse play in the Sweet 16. The four oldest all worked at Faegan’s Pub, and Liz expects to do the same. Lisa, Andrew, Nicole, and Liz participated in Greek life, with Nicole and Liz both members of the Delta Gamma sorority. Overall, the five have found Syracuse to offer a good balance of work and fun, and feel that campus, a three-hour drive from their home in Kingston, New York, is just far away enough to give them independence.

Lisa recently married Jon Farb ’00, adding to the family’s Orange glow. The family has also collected other SU fans along the way. Steve Latour ’80 married father Dave Kwasnowski’s sister, Meg, while David and Andrew were in school. “Jon and I now consider ourselves the branches to the SU/Kwasnowski family tree,” Latour says. And that tree could be branching out even more: Several cousins, now in high school, have SU on their radar. There is also the matter of the youngest Kwasnowski, Lauren, a high school junior who will begin her college search this fall. Perhaps this SU connection isn’t a coincidence after all. “We promote the school to family members, teammates of my children, everyone,” says Linda Kwasnowski, mother of the six. “SU has been like a home away from home for all of my children. They’ve all been so happy there.”

Parents Dave and Linda Kwasnowski have been happy with SU, too. When Linda first visited the University with Lisa, she remembers feeling an immediate connection. “I fell in love with Syracuse the minute I walked on the campus,” she says. Like their kids, the Kwasnowskis were attracted to Syracuse’s sports, academic, and study abroad programs as well as the overall campus appeal. While covering college costs for five children through more than a decade hasn’t been the easiest task, Linda, a school nurse, and Dave, a schoolteacher, are glad their kids have thrived during their time on the Hill. Although they chose to forgo a few personal luxuries, Dave and Linda are thankful the five have earned scholarships and grants to augment the SU financial aid packages. Overall, Dave and Linda agree it has all been worth it. “Financially, it has been a sacrifice for my wife and me,” Dave says, “but the returns on our investment are priceless.”

—Kelsey Bennett

Photo by John Dowling