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Family filled with Ram alumni

October 5, 2009
By Paul Miller

There's no better way to celebrate Ram pride than joining a family that boasts 26 Colorado State University alumni.

Runyan clan and CSU go back a long way

Jean Runyan leafs through a 1935 CSU Silver Spruce yearbook that includes her husband's grandfather.

Jean Runyan, administrative assistant in the Department of Clinical Sciences, met her future husband, Andy Runyan, on campus and married two years after he received his diploma in 1988. And that introduced her to a devoted clan of Colorado State graduates.

The alumni in Andy's family are from his mother’s side, and they date back to Andy’s grandfather, Clarence Tyler, who graduated in 1935 with a degree in Civil and Irrigational Engineering.

Alumni legend starts

In fact, Clarence Tyler met his future wife, Eileene Anderson, at CSU. She was a first-year student when they met. The same year Tyler graduated, his brother, Curtis Tyler, was a sophomore here.

Some time later, Clarence and Eileene’s daughter, Lorene Tyler, started her academic career during the first year the University was called CSU. That was in 1957, during the William Morgan presidency.

And so it goes, through cousins, sisters, brothers, daughters, and sons.

More than serendipity

“If not for CSU, a bunch of us might never have met,” Jean says. “It’s neat to think of all the history and alumni we’ve had in the family over the years.”

Jean and Andy’s son, Case, a freshman in electrical engineering (photo at right), will be the 26th alumni when he graduates. But that won’t be the end of the story – son Connor, who’s 15 years old, has his sights set on attending the veterinary program at CSU. And 9-year-old daughter Haeley may not have her academic career figured out yet, but she’s a big CSU fan, her mother reports.

“She loves all things green and gold,” Jean says. “She really enjoys CSU volleyball games and wants to catch a football game some time.”

Grand total

So let’s make that 28 alumni in the Runyan family, counting (unofficially) Connor and Haeley. No, wait – change that to 29, including Jean. She attended school here for several years and, although she didn’t graduate, she says: “I love CSU. I’m proud to work here and be a part of this great campus.” No problem making her an alumna.

Twenty-nine and counting. Is there anybody out there who can beat that record?