Mother-and-son duo Andre Hanania and Maha Nassar Hanania will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees, respectively, at Merrimack College's 73rd Commencement.
When Andre Hanania ’23 attended a Merrimack College Admitted Student Day in 2019 he knew the College was his mom’s top choice for him.
“It is really close to home, so that was one of the reasons she liked it, but at the Admitted Student Day I got to campus and I just got a good feeling,” Hanania explained.
Little did he or his mother, Maha Nassar Hanania M’23, know, she too would ultimately enroll at Merrimack.
“When I decided to pursue my master’s degree, I was first looking for an online program but realized in person was a better option,” said Nassar Hanania, who is in the higher education program. “I knew (Merrimack) was a good college because of my son. And I fell in love with the program. I really appreciate the support I received from Merrimack College, everyone here made me feel that I belong. I felt like a family support and empowerment.”
Now, after being students together for the past two years, Hanania and Nassar Hanania will graduate together on Friday, May 19, at Merrimack College’s Baccalaureate Mass and Conferral of Degrees, as part of the 73rd Commencement.
“My husband is probably the most excited,” Nassar noted. “My other son, Andre’s brother, is currently at UMass Lowell and my husband likes to tell people he has three kids in college.”
Because of their different schedules, Hanania and Nassar Hanania said they didn’t see each other much on campus. “There would be times when we would run into each other by chance or I would have something to give her or she would have something to give me,” said Hanania, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Girard School of Business. “She’d also send me messages to see if I knew about certain events happening on campus.”
In addition to her studies, Nassar Hanania worked in the Graduate Student Center and helped plan this past December’s Graduate Student Senate Christmas party. And when she needed help moving some supplies for the party, she knew just who to call.
“I’m so happy that I was able to introduce Andre to some of the staff I worked with, but I also love that this experience helped me to learn more about my sons and I now feel I better understand what they are going through,” she said.
Nassar Hanania and Hanania plan to attend their respective school-based degree recognition ceremonies on Saturday, May 20. Both said they will take a lot of good memories and experiences from their time at Merrimack.
“Not only the friendships and connections I made but also the academic knowledge and information that I have learned and will bring to the workforce,” Hanania said.