Cassandra Blackwell, Topeka, and her family, have been named the 2012 Washburn University Family of the Year. The family will be honored during the halftime Family Day celebration at the Washburn University football game on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Cassandra Blackwell, a Washburn senior, nominated her family for this award. Cassandra’s parents are Jacqueline and Chris Routh, Topeka, Kan. Jacqueline, attended Washburn, and encouraged Cassandra to pursue higher education since she was four years old. Cassandra recollects roaming the Washburn campus with her family even before starting kindergarten and knowing she wanted to be an Ichabod, because her mommy was one. When it came time to pick a college, Cassandra even turned down a full-ride scholarship to Kansas State University to attend Washburn, because it felt like home.
“I learned how much the Washburn professors really cared about what they do and I wanted to be Cassandra Blackwell and not just number 150 in a class of 200 people,” said Cassandra.
Cassandra nominated her family for the 2012 Family of the Year because they have instilled in her a drive for success and a deep sense of commitment to her goals. She will graduate in May with a bachelor of arts and sciences in history, and without any student loans. She says her parents instilled in her financial responsibility and the spirit to fight for what she wants. As Jacqueline always told her daughter, “where there is a will, there is a way.”
Cassandra’s college journey has not always been an easy one. During her sophomore year, she was in a car accident three weeks before finals, which she sustained injuries to her face and head, and suffered a grade two concussion. Many times that semester she was advised to withdraw from classes due to her injury, but with the support of her mother, she set her mind to completing the semester and was on the dean’s honor roll.
“I feel so fortunate to have parents that recognize the importance of my studies and support me in all that I do,” said Cassandra. “I have a deep love for history and higher education that comes from the countless family intellectual conversations that we have had over the years ranging from religion and history to science and economics.”
Cassandra is involved in the Washburn Alumni Association, Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and she is as vice president of Phi Alpha Theta history honorary society. Cassandra and her family can often be seen at Washburn sporting events cheering their Ichabods to victory.
The family received tickets to the Family Day picnic and football game. They also received a $200 gift certificate for the Washburn Bookstore, a plaque and a framed picture from the Family Day festivities. For more information regarding the Family of the Year program, contact the Washburn student life office at (785) 670-2100.
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Student life office, 785-670-2100
Amanda Hughes, university relations, 785-670-2153