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Fourth-generation University of Michigan student set to graduate this weekend

Amanda Balogh is a four-year member of the Michigan Marching Band.
Amanda Balogh is a four-year member of the Michigan Marching Band. (University of Michigan)

ANN ARBOR – One University of Michigan senior is about to continue her family’s long legacy when she receives her diploma this weekend during Spring Commencement.

Amanda Balogh is following in the footsteps of her family members -- 13 of them to be exact -- who attended the school, including her grandfather, Richard Balogh, in the 1950s.

The proud grandfather will be tuning in to watch Amanda’s graduation ceremony online alongside his wife, Mary Balogh, whom he met at the university 66 years ago.

“We are so, very proud of Amanda. She’s an outstanding young lady and we are sure she will have a beautiful future,” Richard Balogh said in a statement.

Similar to their own story, all three of their sons met their wives on U-M’s campus when they were undergraduate students. Six of their other grandchildren have graduated from U-M.

Amanda’s great grandmother, Helen Cortade, started the family tradition when she attended earned her master’s degree in education at the Ann Arbor school in the 1920s.

“Different generations of our family have gone to the university and they’ve all done very very well in their careers,” Grandma Mary said in a statement. “We could not be more proud of any of them.”

Fourteen members of the same family have attended U-M over the years. (Balogh Family)

Amanda said family gatherings over the years have always included discussions about being a Wolverine.

“You could definitely tell that the university has changed over the many years,” she said in a statement. “It is so interesting to hear my grandparents’ stories back then. The Hill was all girls’ dorms. The other dorms, like East and South Quad, were all men. I also learned from them that the women had a curfew back in the day.”

Michigan football is another important part of the family’s traditions, with decades of tailgates and games under their belts.

Amanda will be graduating this weekend with a major in environmental science and a minor in physics. Throughout her undergraduate experience, she conducted research on post traumatic stress disorder in veterans, volunteered with sustainability efforts and traveled on alternative trips during spring breaks.

Amanda was also a member of the Michigan Marching Band for four years, and her leadership with the Flags earned her two scholarships.

“I just really like spinning flags in the marching band,” she said in a statement. “It has been a formative part of my college experience, allowing me to travel with the band to rival schools and make many friends with other people in the band.”

An intern with the Environmental Protection Agency, Amanda, who participated in U-M’s Camp Davis in western Wyoming, hopes to pursue research in the field.

Her parents, third-generation U-M students Jerry Balogh and Lynn Halton celebrated two recent U-M graduations with their oldest children.

“I always wanted to attend Michigan and was proud to join both of my brothers on campus when I started there in fall 1981,” Jerry said in a statement. “Since I always knew I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps to become an engineer, I studied mechanical engineering, and so did our son.”

Although graduation is virtual again this year, the graduating class will have the option to watch the event on big screens at Michigan Stadium while socially distanced from one another.

Lynn said she and her husband will be volunteering at the event to help students check in, but this year will be different than others.

“I’m very excited about Amanda’s graduation, however, it is bittersweet,” Lynn said in a statement. “I’ve been a proud Michigan parent for 10 years. It has been a joy to see our kids find their passions and interests while at the University of Michigan. I am so thrilled that they are joining us as alumni from our alma mater.”


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.