Macy Pagurko ’14 arrived on campus in 2010 with the usual trappings of a college freshman. But she also came with something that couldn’t be stuffed in a suitcase —the legacy of being the third generation in her family to study at Saint Joseph’s College. Her grandmother, Nancy Giroux Pagurko ’56, and her aunt, Susan Pagurko Gervais ’79, are both alumnae.
“I’m ecstatic that my daughter and granddaughter chose to attend Saint Joseph’s,” said Nancy Pagurko, who earned her degree in elementary education. “When I was a student, the college was one building in Portland, Maine, on the grounds of the motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy. The school was called The College of Our Lady of Mercy at that time and only girls were admitted. It moved to Standish the fall after I graduated.”
Pagurko described her whole experience as “memorable. The professors were incredibly helpful. I got a lot of support. I was married right after graduation and became the first person to teach in Portland without three years of experience. I think I was lucky enough to get a job because of where I had gone to school.”
An active and proud alumna, Pagurko and her husband, Bernard, “try to go to anything connected with reunions.”
Like her mother, Susan Pagurko Gervais earned her degree in elementary education. “I knew the school had an excellent teaching program, so I followed in mom’s footsteps. I never considered any other college,” she said.
Gervais, a resident adviser for three years, also enjoyed the small classes and personal attention. One of her favorite campus haunts was The Chalet, where she could be with friends and get a bite to eat. “Most of us didn’t have vehicles, so we’d stay on campus. I remember using a pay phone to call home,” noted Gervais, who met her husband George, a business student, on campus.
She knows her niece will get an excellent education. “Macy is on a good path. The nursing program was outstanding when I was a student,” Gervais said. “There are more majors and extracurricular activities for students now.”
Macy Pagurko will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2014. “My grandmother and aunt were really excited when they heard I was coming here,” she said. “Both of them advised me to focus on school, have fun, and try not to get stressed out.”
Macy likes St. Joe’s. “The first year was tough, especially with schoolwork. I played lacrosse last spring and ran cross country this fall, so I’m really busy,” she says.
Between classes, she goes to The Chalet with her friends to hang out and get food, just like her aunt did. They have another thing in common. Both stayed in Saint Joseph’s Hall as freshmen.
Added Pagurko, “It’s nice knowing that I’m making my grandmother and aunt happy by being here. They are excited to see me going through the same things they did.”
She added, “I have some cousins who are still in high school. When the time comes, I hope they’ll at least check out Saint Joseph’s.”