Members of the Leverentz family who are part of the
Shippensburg legacy are pictured in a family photo. Seated, from left, are Laura
Fix, Shirley Leverentz, Deb Leverentz and Katie Leverentz. Standing, from left,
are John Fix, John Leverentz, Amy Ginder and Nathan Ginder.
Ship tradition connects generations of Leverentz family
Katie Leverentz of Elizabethtown walks through commencement May 11 at Shippensburg University,
she will continue a 60-plus year family tradition.
the third generation when it comes to family members who’ve attended
Shippensburg, and we’ll probably get another one from this generation coming
here in a few years,” Katie said.
grandmother and late grandfather, her aunts and uncles, her cousins and her
sister all attended Shippensburg. The connection the family shares dates from
the late 1940s when Katie’s grandmother and grandfather met at Shippensburg.
“My mom and
dad met at Shippensburg University, and got married the day after graduating,”
says Deb Leverentz , a 1975 ship graduate and Katie’s aunt.
her father “would share a lot of funny stories about his time there. He was a
GI, and had just returned from war when he attended Shippensburg. Dad said the
GI’s were always up to hijinks. The university tried to impose a curfew, and
they knew these guys were through major battle, so they weren’t really strict
Leverentz Sr. ’50 and Shirley (Cooper) Leverentz ’50 attended Shippensburg,
dinner was a formal affair. Shirts and ties were a must, as each student sat
down at their table for eight.
and waitresses came out and served them,” Deb said. “My dad said the guys
always wanted to have more girls at their table because they knew they would
get more food.”
is an interdisciplinary arts major, knew about Shippensburg from the time she
was a little girl. “Since I was little, my family has talked about Ship. My
grandma actually sang the alma mater before my sister and I went to bed. It’s
always just been a family thing.”
sister Amy, who married a Ship alum whose parents also went to Ship, was able
to pass along some advice. “My strong family connection definitely helped
me in my decision to come here,” said Katie.
another family connection: athletics. Katie was a forward on the soccer team
which played at Robb Sports Complex—David See Field, the same site where her grandfather,
who died in 1999, represented Ship. “My grandfather ran track, and played
football on the site. I always thought it was interesting that we kind of
played on the same field,” she said.
the Shippensburg family spirit is also part of their family. “I think it feels
like family. Since my dad has passed I think of him when I go up there. It’s
just a familiar and comforting place. I always felt like it was home.”
the Leverentz-Shippensburg tradition to her mother who, as Katie noted, “sang
that alma mater to me, to my nieces. I think it just stuck with us.”
tradition may continue for yet another family member. According to Katie, her
cousin may come to Shippensburg in two years.