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Like mother, like daughter

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Commencement gives Everhart family two reasons to celebrate

Frannie and Megan Everhart on The Green

​Frannie Everhart (left) earned her bachelor's degree in music this May, the same time her mother, Megan Everhart, earned a master's degree in strategic communication.

Megan and Frannie Everhart are a mother and daughter who each received a UD degree on May 28. Megan, a communications specialist with the College of Arts and Sciences, began working for the School of Music in 2009 and has now earned a master of arts in strategic communication, a program that launched in fall 2019. Frannie started at UD in 2018 and earned her bachelor of arts in music with a concentration in music management. They aren’t the only Blue Hens in the family, as dad Jeff earned an MBA in 2018 and brother Ben is a rising junior English education major.

Here they talk a bit about their time at UD.

Frannie: Hey, Mom – why did you decide to go to school again?

Megan: Well, you know, your grandma started at seminary when I was a senior in high school, so I’ve always had that example that it’s never too late to start something new, and I always wanted an advance degree, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study. Then you kids were born, and it just wasn’t an option for a while. In spring 2019 I took a graduate communication course just to see how it felt to be back in a classroom, and my professor, James Angelini, told me UD was launching the strat comm program that fall. I knew immediately it was the right time and the right program for me.

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Frannie and Megan Everhart at convocation

​Frannie and Megan Everhart were among the 1,825 new College of Arts and Sciences graduates recognized at the college's convocation ceremony on May 27.

Megan: My turn – why did you choose UD?

Frannie: I mean, honestly, I almost didn’t. I basically grew up on campus, so I really wanted to go far away for college. But when I looked at all the options, I realized UD was the best place for me. And now I appreciate that I grew up in Amy du Pont and the CFA [Roselle Center for the Arts]. I remember rolling down the CFA lobby when I was just 9 or 10. I know those buildings better than most people. And, Aimee Pearsall was an undergrad intern when I sang in the Community Music School Children’s Choir, and now she’s on the faculty and conducted me in University Singers, and that’s really cool.

Frannie: What was the hardest part of being back in school?

Megan: I’ve taken a lot of classes over the years, so it wasn’t too hard to adjust to being a student again, but Communication Theory with Dr. [Danna] Young almost killed me. The workload was unreal for a seven-week course. I also loved it, though, because succeeding was so gratifying. And when it was done, I knew I could survive the rest of the program.

Megan: What was your hardest part?

Frannie: Music theory. I took music theory freshman year of high school, but I didn’t take AP music theory, so I had to work hard to keep up. But I’d rather work hard at something I really love learning than just have it easy. And I know I am so lucky to be able to study something I really love, because not everyone gets that chance.

Megan: I know! You went from not being sure you wanted to be so close to home to changing your major so that all your classes were in my building!

Frannie: I also wanted you to buy me lunch more often.

Megan: What was the best part of your four years at UD?

Frannie: My first semester was amazing. Doing World Scholars and going to New Zealand was unforgettable. I loved my Māori class – learning about their culture while living in the country was the best experience. And German 105 with Frau Busch was super fun. She took an eclectic group of students and made the class so engaging. And this led to my Winter Session in Leipzig, which I loved, too.

Frannie: What was your best part?

Megan: The first cohort of strat comm students included a lot of UD employees, and we were really supportive of each other. Also, as everything was happening for the first time, we were asked to give a lot of feedback about the classes and the program. It felt like we were helping build it for future students.

Megan: What’s next for you, Frannie?

Frannie: Next, I’m working at Bonnaroo in Tennessee. It’s gonna take a while to break into music event management, but I’ve already made connections from working at Firefly and Okeechobee, and I’m going to keep finding gigs and work my way up.

Frannie: What will you do now?

Megan: I’m still finding ways to apply what I learned in the program to my real-world work, and I enjoy that process. One of my last classes was Communication and Leadership, and I was not very excited going into it. Don’t tell anyone, but I didn’t see how it would apply to academia, and I took it just to get the credits. By the end I liked it a lot, especially looking at how communications fits into the organizational structure of higher education and aligning communications goals with organizational goals.

Frannie: You sound like a textbook.

Megan: That’s because I’m a master now.

Frannie: What does it mean to you that we finished at the same time?

Megan: In a lot of ways, it’s just a fun story. I was supposed to walk at Commencement last year, but I was a class behind after quarantine, so it’s a happy accident that I walked this year. If you want me to get sentimental about it, I love that UD is part of our family. Living in Newark, working here, being a UD parent and then a student myself, it all just makes UD part of our story. It’s home, and home is the most important thing.

Megan: What does it mean to you?

Frannie: It felt a bit extra at first, but I came around. I was really stressed for Convocation on Friday with the rain and the delays, but Saturday was amazing. It was fun to wake up early and get seats in the front row to watch Biden speak. What could be better than saying hi to the president, graduating from college and having my mom right there to celebrate with me.

Article by Megan Everhart and Frannie Everhart; photos by Matthew Cohen and Andre L. Smith

Published May 31, 2022

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News Story Supporting Images and Text
Used in the Home Page News Listing and for the News Rollup Page
Frannie Everhart and her mother, Megan, share their thoughts about earning UD degrees at the same time. Both participated in the College of Arts and Sciences convocation and in UD's Commencement.
5/30/2022
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Like mother, like daughter