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DU is a family affair for the Von Strohs

When the Von Stroh family sits down for a holiday dinner, they can hold their own University of Denver alumni meeting — or an academic conference.

Since patriarch Gordon Von Stroh joined the University as a professor of administration in 1967, his wife, Patrice, and their three children have earned multiple DU graduate degrees. The Von Strohs added their 10th graduate degree to the family at the summer 2010 Commencement ceremony, as Jonathan Von Stroh accepted his mathematics doctorate.

“Education has always been important to us,” says Gordon Von Stroh, who leads DU’s Commencement committee, preparing each year to usher new graduates across the stage and into the DU alumni community. He also is a professor of management and director of the MBA-customized program and the master’s of management program in the Daniels College of Business.

In his Commencement planning role, Gordon has taken part in graduation ceremonies that included everyone in his family. Patrice Von Stroh earned a master’s in counseling psychology in 1991 and her doctorate in counseling psychology in 1998. Daughter Christina Von Stroh earned a bachelor’s in psychology in 2001, followed by a master’s in digital media and an MBA, both in 2003. Son Jonathan Von Stroh also earned a master’s in mathematics and an MBA in 2005; and son Justin Von Stroh earned his law degree in 2008 and a master’s in management in 2009.

“Education to our family was not just formal education, but travel, family discussions, new experiences, volunteer efforts,” Gordon says. “Learning was not just for the children, but the total family. Education can provide more perspectives and opportunities for people, not just employment.”

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