November 07, 2017

Giving back reflects being ‘given so much’

Chris (CJ) Hessenius ’09 and Andrea Hessenius ’09
Chris (CJ) Hessenius ’09 and Andrea Hessenius ’09

For Andrea and Chris (CJ) Hessenius, both members of the Class of 2009, it was love at first sight — love for Providence College, that is.

“PC has such a wonderful community,” said Andrea, who was drawn to the College from Brownsville, Texas, by its Catholic identity, liberal arts curriculum, manageable size, and strong science programs. “We both felt that way at the beginning, and we still feel it today.”

Andrea and Chris, who met at a Campus Ministry retreat when they were first-year students, began dating as seniors and were married at St. Dominic Chapel in 2013.

Their service to PC is uncommon for alumni couples at any stage of life, but particularly for the busy Boston residents who welcomed a son, Christopher III, in August.

Andrea is the secretary of the National Alumni Association Council and works with the Young Alumni Leadership Council. Chris, who served on the YALC, and she also have worked with FOLD (Friars of the Last Decade) and Career Education’s shadowing programs, while helping to plan alumni events such as A Night in Black and White and the Friar 5K in 2012.

Not only that, but they have provided philanthropic support at the St. Dominic Society level every year since they graduated to many causes, including the PC Fund, the Angel Fund, and the Liberal Arts Honors Program.

“We give back because we were given so much,” said Chris, an Honors Program graduate from Brookfield, Conn., who noted that Andrea and he benefited from scholarship support. “We want to help others have the same experience we had.”