Alumni and friends of Hiram College are familiar with the names “Frohring,” “Garfield” and “Henry.” These, along with many others, are the names of families who have had strong ties with the College since its inception. That cross-generational bond continues today with modern-day legacy families.
Currently at Hiram, there are more than 90 legacy students, defined as those who have had other family members precede them on the Hill. Lauren Hibian ’16 and Adam Scher ’16, were among the 39 students in this year’s graduating class who are carrying on their families’ legacies at Hiram.
The Hibian Family
For Lauren Hibian, her father Jon, an alumnus of the Class of 1982, was the very reason she did not consider Hiram – at first.
Lauren’s father suggested she consider Hiram, but she thought it was too small. “I was more interested in the social aspect of going to college,” said Lauren. Therefore Hiram wasn’t even a consideration.
As a high school senior, she looked at about 20 different colleges and universities before deciding to attend the University of Cincinnati. The nursing program, along with the allure of urban life, drew her to enroll there. But after a year-and-a-half, Lauren had a change of heart. Although she loved the atmosphere, she sought a different kind of nursing program. When she went home for winter break that year, her father showed her a copy of Hiram Magazine that featured an article about the College’s relatively new nursing program. She had already looked at several other nursing programs in Northeast Ohio before choosing Hiram.
Her father was pleasantly surprised by this decision. As he remembers it, Hiram was in its third year of offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and was actively seeking potential students.
“Lauren was very interested in Hiram’s program and was pleased with the change,” Jon recalls.
One of the compelling differences between nursing programs was that at UC, students performed all clinicals at the same hospital. Hiram’s program has allowed Lauren to explore a wide range of disciplines at facilities such as Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General Medical Center, North Coast Behavioral Healthcare and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.
It was only a few years prior to Lauren’s transfer that Jon reconnected with the College. A four-year letterman and two-time all-conference offensive lineman in football, he heard from his former teammate, Mike Moore ’83, that a mutual friend was being inducted into Hiram’s William H. Hollinger Athletics Hall of Fame. In the process of reconnecting with him, Jon brought Lauren onto campus for football games, where she met the coaching staff. Eventually, that relationship led to an on-campus job opportunity for Lauren, working with the football team.
With more than 30 years spanning their legacy, this father and daughter both recognize the value of a Hiram education and its personal significance in their lives.
“I know my daughter is getting a quality education in a quaint setting,” Jon says. “And she’ll remember Hiram no matter where she goes.”
Lauren echoed those sentiments.
“Education is the most important thing in your life,” she shares. “My dad influenced me in that way. As I grew up a little, I realized that my decision had to be based on academics and not a social aspect.”
The Thompson/Scher Family
Hiram senior Adam Scher’s family ties with Hiram College run deep. They can be traced back to his great-great uncle, Donald Ryder ’28. Following in the footsteps of his parents, Jim ’88 and Karen (Thompson) Scher ’89, grandparents Rod Thompson ’63 and Nancy (Carver) Adams ’65, and great uncle Fred ’65 and great aunt Diane (Opdyke) Thompson ’66, Adam is the fourth generation of his family to attend Hiram.
Adam readily admits that it was the strong family connection that solidified his interest in Hiram. His exposure to Hiram started when he was younger. He would tag along with his father, Jim, to watch Terrier football games. As a high school senior, he had also looked at The Ohio State University before deciding on Hiram.
His mom, Karen, remembers Hiram being a harder sell for Adam because it was close to home and he had grown up spending time on campus. But like her, once he had looked at other places, Hiram just felt right.
“It was natural for me to come here,” Adam says. “I played football in high school, and Hiram offered that. I liked the coaching staff and the family atmosphere. As soon as I started digging around in the academics, it piqued my interest. I definitely made the right choice.”
In addition to being an athlete, Adam has continued another family tradition as a letterman in football. Jim played football all four years and was an All-American. Additionally, Adam’s great uncle, Fred Thompson, and great-great uncle Donald Ryder lettered in football.
As a student-athlete, Adam has found time to be involved with a variety of student organizations. He currently serves as vice president of finance for both the Student Senate and the Terrier Activities Board (formerly KCPB, the Kennedy Center Programming Board). That practical experience will prove to be helpful when he graduates with a degree in accounting and financial management. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in accounting after graduation.
Hiram College represents common, impactful thread woven through the Thompson-Scher generations.
“Hiram is the kind of place that allows every student to make it their own,” Karen says. “Adam has turned his interest in the money side of organizations into a career choice. And, it sounds like a cliche?, but Hiram really did have a lot to do with how I ended up as a person, how Jim ended up as a person. And I’m sure it has done the same thing for Adam.”
“We have ridden through a lot of the changes at Hiram … it remains very much a part of who we are and what we do today,” Jim adds. “Hiram makes you find who you are.”
Adam couldn’t agree more, adding, “Other people I’ve met through football and other activities feel that Hiram changes you into someone you want to be. That has a lot to do with the people you meet here. The faculty and staff genuinely care about you. At Hiram, you get the opportunity to find yourself. You wouldn’t get that at a bigger school.”