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O’Dowd Legacy Families Celebrated

The uniqueness of three generations of her family attending the same high school isn’t lost on Colleen Cushing ’19.

Colleen’s grandmother, Sheila Moyles Cushing ’57, and her father, Brian Cushing ’84, are both O’Dowd graduates. Her younger brother, Bob, is a member of the Class of 2021. “It’s really incredible,” she said of the family’s legacy status at O’Dowd.

The Cushings and other O’Dowd legacy families were celebrated at a reception held on April 26 in the Center for Environmental Studies. More than 50 alumni (parents and grandparents) with current and incoming students gathered for a fun evening of food, games, trivia and sharing of their O’Dowd experiences.

“It’s a continuation of where it all began,” Sheila Cushing said of her son and grandchildren attending the same high school.

“As much as O’Dowd has changed over the years we have this common shared experience,” Brian Cushing said. “I think it’s awesome.”

Heide Aguirre Happoldt ’62 couldn’t be more thrilled that her grandchildren Connor ’20 and Diego ’22 Whitehill are attending O’Dowd.

O’Dowd was always on Heide’s horizon, as she attended St. Louis Bertrand School, which provided facilities for O’Dowd students until construction of the campus was completed in 1952. Her sister, Irene Aguirre Marchello ’59, led the way.

Heide would never have imagined that her grandchildren would follow suit. “It’s just wonderful,” she said. “And I know they are getting the best education.”

Heide and Diego took advantage of the opportunity to participate in Dragon Stories, an oral history project launched by Brian Cushing to help celebrate O’Dowd’s 75th anniversary coming up in 2026. Diego interviewed Heide using a digital recorder to capture her memories of her O’Dowd experience.

Meanwhile, Jalyn Davis ’19 enjoys hearing her mom, Lisa Brue ’85, tell stories about her time at O’Dowd. “Being in the same environment that she was when she was my age, I can picture where these things were happening. I think that is really cool,” she said.


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