Written by: Libby Reilly
When a new student comes to Columbia Southern University, they join a family for life. The CSU family is one that supports, encourages, and genuinely cares about what is going on in your life, even long after you receive your diploma.
For Walter and William DeCastro, however, the CSU family hits a little bit closer to home.
William DeCastro, an EMT in the Birmingham, Alabama area, decided to finish his bachelor’s degree after meeting a CSU representative in 2010. He was looking for a stable career that would use his EMT certificate knowledge, and soon began his studies in Occupational Safety and Health. William completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 2014.
Meanwhile, his father, Walter, also in Birmingham, was running a small business after a 15-year career with BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. and researching schools to further his education in a way that fit his schedule and lifestyle. Witnessing the success his son was experiencing at CSU, he decided it was the best decision for him, too.
“Since both of my previous master’s degree were awarded in the traditional setting, I really did not know what to expect. Now that I am completing my comprehensive exams, I can truthfully say that the school courses have been both challenging and rewarding,” said Walter.
Currently, William is a CSU alumnus and his father, Walter, is completing his Doctor of Business Administration* with Columbia Southern University. Walter and William are proud to share their Alma Mater in common, even with graduation dates so close to one another.
“It is a team effort to support each other when challenged to complete assignments that require extensive research, writing, and discipline. We all understand what it takes to balance academics and family commitments; it is a marriage of sorts,” said Walter.
In the summer of 2014, Walter and William DeCastro drove three hours to an event held by the CSU Student and Alumni Engagement department. The father/son duo attended an alumni reception and baseball game, making friends with the CSU representatives and making an impression.
“The DeCastros are so full of energy and enthusiasm,” said Coordinator of Alumni Relations, Andie Bills. “It feels good just to be around them; you know they love life and love CSU and would do anything they could to support us.”
Since the CSU Student and Alumni Engagement department was founded at the end of 2013 and began conducting Student and Alumni networking socials in various cities, the DeCastros have attended seven events in more than three cities.
“I thoroughly enjoy participating in events,” said William, “I enjoy making great friends with staff members, faculty, and students. They are wonderful people and I always look forward to seeing them again.”
Throughout their time at CSU and becoming involved in the Student and Alumni events, the DeCastros have created quite a reputation for themselves: a reputation as the father and son who support each other’s education, enthusiastically support their Alma Mater, and are valued members of the CSU family.