September 17, 2015 8:15AM
Lauren Abbott’s Gorilla roots run deep. Abbott, a Pittsburg State University freshman from Galena can count more than 36 close relatives who are Pitt State alumni, including her parents, Marshall and Angela.
It wasn’t Lauren’s extensive network of alumni relatives that caused judges to select Lauren’s nomination of her family for the 2015 PSU Honorary Family award, however. Instead, it was the story she told of an extended family that has supported and encouraged her all along her educational journey.
“My family has greatly invested in my future from the time I was a little girl,” Lauren wrote in her nomination letter. “They have always made it a priority for me to be very involved, well educated, and most importantly, have a strong faith.”
Marshall and Angela Abbott, Lauren and younger brother, Nick, will be recognized at Saturday’s Family Day football game vs. Washburn.
Lauren wrote that she was following in a longstanding family tradition by being active in her school and her community. That includes numerous community service projects and being involved in the Student Council and National Honor Society in school, where she was also the senior class president and student council representative.
Lauren said the family talk around the table was never about “if” she would go to college.
“I can’t tell you how many times our immediate family, extended family and their close family friends sat around the dinner table and reminisced about the good times they had in college,” Lauren wrote. “I know that (my parents’) time at Pitt State helped shape the happy and successful adults they are today.”
Now a freshman at PSU, Lauren wrote that she feels as if she’s following in the footsteps of parents, grandparents and other family members who have preceded her at Pitt State.
“I happen to be the 14th family member to join a greek organization at Pittsburg State,” Lauren wrote (she’s a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority). In fact, Lauren’s grandmother, Phyllis Abbott, a past president of the sorority, pinned Lauren at a special ceremony marking her induction. And Lauren’s mother, Angela Abbott, the 1992 Homecoming Queen, hosts Cherokee County Gorilla Gatherings at their home.
“Our family has fully embraced all that it means to truly be a Pitt State Gorilla,” Lauren said.