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Polar Bear Family: Part 2

For our legacy students, being a Polar Bear is a family affair. These students have at least one close family member who is an alumni of Ohio Northern. Our legacy families affirm that ONU offers a distinctive educational experience that spans generations. In part two of a three part series, meet four of our legacy families.

The Trimpey family is an ONU Legacy.

Trimpey family pose for ONU LegacyHailey Trimpey’s parents always raved to her about ONU when she was growing up. She never totally understood the hype until she began telling friends and family that she was going to be attending ONU and saw their reactions. “That’s when I realized how prestigious of a university ONU is,” she says.

A senior political science major, Hailey has participated in the Institute for Civics and Public Policy (ICAPP) and trained dogs with Polar Paws. (Her latest trainee, Sport, is pictured in this family photo). Her favorite spot on campus is the second floor of Hill Building, where, she says, “I’ve definitely fallen asleep on the couch in there more times than I’d like to admit!”

Her parents, who were both ONU student-athletes, have fond memories of King-Horn Sports Center where they spent a lot of time with teammates. They also enjoyed (and still do) the beautiful tulips that pop up across campus in the springtime.

Dr. Randy Trimpey, BS ’96, is a family physician in Bowling Green, Ohio, and Chris (Linn) Trimpey, BA ’96, is a gifted intervention specialist at Lake Local Schools in Millbury, Ohio. Dr. Trimpey says: “I feel confident that Ohio Northern will prepare my daughter for the next stage of her life.”

The Avello family is an ONU Legacy.

Avello family pose for ONU LegacyThe peaceful and scholarly atmosphere is what attracted Miguel Avello, BSME ’95, to Ohio Northern University. Twenty-five years later, these same qualities also appeal to his son, Diego Avello, a third-year pharmacy student.

“My dad always told me that education is freedom,” says Diego. “He picked ONU because he knew he would get a high-quality engineering education. For me, attending the same school as my dad makes me feel connected to him. When he was not much older than I am now, my old man was walking down the very same paths I take on a day-to-day basis. Although I’m far from home, I always feel like that distance is not far because of this connection.”

Miguel, who was a young father when he attended ONU in the 1990s, fondly recalls taking his then two-year-old daughter to feed the ducks in the pond at ONU. Diego’s favorite spot on campus, however, is the King Horn Sports Center where he goes to burn off stress.

The Avello family is from St. Joseph, Michigan. Miguel is the global director of product development for Whirlpool Corporation. He is thrilled that Diego fell in love with ONU, just like he did. “It’s very special to know that one of my five children could walk where I once walked, confronting the challenges that lead us to fulfill our dreams, studying, learning and striving to become better.” 

The Le family is an ONU Legacy.

Siblings Triet and Uyen pose in front of Mathile CenterSiblings Triet and Uyen Le grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in a close-knit family. Their father was the inspiration for both of them to pursue a career in healthcare. Triet is a fifth-year pharmacy student and Uyen is a first-year nursing student at ONU.

“My dad is a surgeon and I got to see him save lives my entire life. Thus, healthcare was ingrained deeply in my identity,” says Triet. “Knowing that ONU has one of the best pharmacy programs in the country, picking my major was a no-brainer.”

Uyen says her brother introduced her to ONU's "amazing nursing program.” She also chose healthcare because of her family. “Seeing how much my dad cares for his patients and how devoted he is to his job, along with being nurtured by two role models: my mom and my grandma, inspired me to work in healthcare," she says.

At ONU, the siblings have found a “kind and supportive” community that has welcomed them wholeheartedly. “I think what makes ONU unique is the accessibility of world-class professors,” says Triet. “The doors are usually opened and I can just peak my head in to ask a question or have a quick chat with them.”

Uyen and Triet admit to sometimes feeling homesick, however. “Being far away from home does have some challenges,” says Triet. “I miss my family, the ‘home’ atmosphere, the food and the holidays, especially the Lunar New Year, when I am homesick the most.”

But this academic year, the siblings have each other on campus. “It is pretty cool to have my sister here,” says Triet. “Since I left home pretty young, we never had the time to hang out and bond with each other. It’s nice that we have the opportunity to do that now.”

The Rhodes Family is an ONU Legacy

Rhodes family pose for ONU LegacyA personable education and friendly campus environment is what the Rhodes family loves the most about Ohio Northern.

Siblings Logan and Lauren Rhodes are both following in the footsteps of their dad, Brion Rhodes, BSCE ’95, at Northern. Brion is the Allen County Engineer, administering all aspects of design, construction and repair of local roads, bridges and culverts in Allen County, Ohio. Logan is a senior majoring in finance and accounting and Lauren is a sophomore majoring in nursing.

In his student days, Brion commuted to campus, so one of his favorite spots to hang out was the Heterick Memorial Library where he could quietly study. Lauren says the library is also her favorite spot. “I spend most of my time there, just like my dad said I should!” she says. The library has changed since Brion’s days, with lots of comfortable spaces and furniture for collaborating, lounging and studying. “Who would have ever guessed there would be a coffee shop in the library!” Brion notes.

Growing up, Lauren says she heard lots of great things about ONU from family and friends. She also learned that ONU was a place that wanted you to succeed. “I think the small class sizes is another factor that really drew us all to ONU,” she says. Brion adds: “I know they (Logan and Lauren) are receiving a quality education with personal connections to both students and staff. At ONU, you’re not just a number, and it’s also affordable.”