Fifth-generation student making mark at CU


By Brendan Rowland - Cedarville University



Submitted photo Hannah Dow is a fifth-generation Cedarville University student.

Submitted photo Hannah Dow is a fifth-generation Cedarville University student.


Submitted photo Hannah Dow and her parents, Brandon and Becky.


Photo courtesy Cedarville University Archives The Collins family circa 1925, including Andrew Collins (seated, middle), Hannah Dow’s great-great-great-grandfather.


CEDARVILLE — It’s not uncommon for Cedarville University students to be second- or third-generation students. But for Hannah Dow, a freshman exercise science major, her family’s legacy at Cedarville spans five generations of students.

Dow remarked that often the first question she is asked is whether she felt pressured to attend Cedarville based on the rich family history.

“My family was very supportive and didn’t pressure me to go to Cedarville,” she said.

She opted for Cedarville based on its own merit: Its continuing steadfastness in Gospel care, generation to generation.

“They are truly invested in caring for you as a person,” Dow said. “I chose Cedarville because I wanted the personal relationship with Christ that my parents have, and I’m finally understanding how central Cedarville was in the development of that relationship, as well as with their lasting circle of friends.”

“My family legacy wouldn’t have continued so long if Cedarville wasn’t home,” added Dow, with a tear in her eye. “Cedarville University is the one place I’ve always had — a hometown and a family. This is home.”

Growing up in a military family, Dow never had a hometown. Coming to Cedarville felt like returning to her roots.

“The hardest part is making my own path,” she said, remarking that her Bible professor also taught her parents and knows her through them.

“I came in with the mindset ‘don’t hide in their shadows, stand on their shoulders,’ knowing I have their example to avoid their mistakes and to follow their successes,” Dow said.

She is grateful for her family’s example, which has pushed her toward certain student organizations, course electives, and even her residence hall – Printy Hall.

“We all have very similar personalities, so their advice has answered my questions before I even knew what they were,” Dow said.

Not only does Dow’s heritage boast five generations of Cedarville graduates, but when considering family members who did not attend Cedarville but worked at the university, the family tree stretches seven generations. John Calvin Stormont (the uncle of Dow’s great-great-great-grandfather) served on the board of trustees from 1892-1911, starting just five years after the college’s founding.

Additionally, Dow’s great-great-great-grandfather, J. Harry Stormont, served as Cedarville’s first vice president from 1912-1916. At his death, both Cedarville College and Cedarville High School closed to honor his involvement as board member.

Cedarville’s former Collins Hall was named in honor of Andrew Collins, Dow’s great-great-great-grandfather (Andrew’s granddaughter Charlotte married into the Stormont line). He vocally advocated for Cedarville’s high school to be built across North Main Street instead of the proposed site next to the university’s Founders Hall. This decision has enabled Cedarville University to expand to where it is today.

It is evident that Dow’s family heritage runs deep throughout the history of Cedarville. For her that can mean one thing: Cedarville has firmly stood on the word of God in the midst of an ever-changing culture.

Submitted photo Hannah Dow is a fifth-generation Cedarville University student.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/10/web1_Hannah-Dow-A-.jpgSubmitted photo Hannah Dow is a fifth-generation Cedarville University student.

Submitted photo Hannah Dow and her parents, Brandon and Becky.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/10/web1_2223-032-5th-Generation-Student-Photo-C-2-.jpgSubmitted photo Hannah Dow and her parents, Brandon and Becky.

Photo courtesy Cedarville University Archives The Collins family circa 1925, including Andrew Collins (seated, middle), Hannah Dow’s great-great-great-grandfather.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/10/web1_2223-032-5th-Generation-Student-Photo-B-2-.jpgPhoto courtesy Cedarville University Archives The Collins family circa 1925, including Andrew Collins (seated, middle), Hannah Dow’s great-great-great-grandfather.

By Brendan Rowland

Cedarville University