Commencement will be a Wilton family affair
With college graduations around the corner, this weekend will provide a memorable experience for many families. For one family in particular, it will represent a unique moment.
On Sunday, May 19, Western Connecticut State University will hold its 121st commencement. Among the approximately 1,250 degree recipients will be Carole and Chauncey Allers, a mother and son from Wilton.
Carole said her decision to attend WCSU came, in part, from her son already being there. However, a tough moment in life pushed her to go back to college and complete her degree.
“My husband battled kidney cancer,” she said. “He survived, but it made me realize I should have a backup plan.”
Carole majored in psychology while at WCSU. She initially was interested in sports psychology due to her role with U.S. Soccer, where she officiated games up to the collegiate level. As she took more courses across her major, she turned to community-based psychology.
“Even though it’s still in psychology, it’s more community health based,” she said.
Chauncey, 23, said his journey to WCSU originally started with sports.
“The old soccer coach had reached out to me,” the Wilton High School graduate said. “He asked me to help him turn the program around.”
With the school providing an easy commute, he found the choice easy and started the fall of 2015. Along the way, he would become captain of both the men’s soccer and men’s tennis teams. He would go on to become the record holder for goals in a season with 24, goals in a career with 59 and tied the school record for most goals in a single game with four.
An elective class in criminology set Chauncey on a course to pursue a degree in justice and law administration.
“I was hooked to learning about law and everything that it entails,” he recalled.
Carole’s son Harrison also attended WCSU. While the family members attended the same campus at the same time, they rarely saw each other. Every now and then they would grab a bite in the campus’ cafeteria. The few times they saw each other around campus it was always lovely, Carole said.
“It’s funny, most of the time people think I’m their sister,” she said. “When we see each other it’s a hug and a kiss. They’re not embarassed by me by any means.”
The next step for Chauncey and Carole is graduate school. Both have been accepted into the new master’s program, addiction studies at WCSU. This time around Chauncey said it’s likely they will be in every class together. As mother and son begin their next chapter, Chauncey said he is beyond excited and ready for the future.
“My mom and I have a great relationship,” Chauncey said. “This experience has truly only brought us closer.”