Featured Family: Three generations of Saints
Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Luz Luna made a decision at age 51 that changed the course of three generations. She enrolled at Our Lady of the Lake University.
Luz, Lauren and Jorge Luna - three generations
of OLLU Saints.
Twenty two years later, Luna is enjoying retirement from a career in social work and beaming with pride. Her son, Jorge Luna, followed her to OLLU, earned two degrees and became a social worker. Her granddaughter, Lauren, is majoring in communication disorders at OLLU and finishing her first semester with a 4.0 grade point average.
“I was excited when my son went to the Lake,” says Luz (BA Social Work 1996). “I’m more excited that my granddaughter is there. I love Our Lady of the Lake.”
Luz turned to The Lake at a critical time. She was newly divorced, Jorge was married and her youngest child, a daughter, had moved out of the house. Luz had a good job at USAA -- where Jorge also worked -- but felt alone and a bit lost. “I need something to do,” she kept telling herself. “But what?”
Jorge suggested college. After all, Luz already had nine hours of credit, and she had always wanted to go back to school. Luz took her son’s advice and enrolled at OLLU as a religious studies major. “I wanted to talk to people about God,” she says.
A remarkable occurrence followed. Shortly after Luz started at OLLU, Jorge decided to pursue a degree there as well. USAA had offered to pay his tuition if he majored in business and Jorge took advantage through the school’s Weekend College program. “My mother was my inspiration,” he says.
After two years, Luz changed her major to social work. After earning a bachelor’s degree in management, Jorge pursued a master’s in social work. “We were both working at USAA at the same time,” says Jorge, 47. “And there was a time we were both taking classes together at The Lake.”
At age 55, Luz graduated from OLLU and became a supervisor in a dental clinic, eventually run by Methodist Healthcare Ministries. She loved her work and told Jorge all about it. Her son felt a tug. In time, Jorge (BA Management 2001, MSW 2004) left a business-related job to become a social worker at Methodist Healthcare Ministries.
“I worked in mortgage services at USAA for a while but it wasn’t my true passion,” Jorge says. “When I went into social work, it was a career that is a calling.”
The Luna family.
Jorge’s daughter, Lauren, grew up hearing stories about The Lake. While attending Incarnate Word High School, she developed an interest in a field not far removed from her father and grandmother. Lauren shadowed a speech pathologist at Alamo Heights High School for a while and began looking for a private university to study communication disorders.
“My dad and grandma played a big role in my decision to come to The Lake,” says Lauren, 18. “I want to work with children. I could see myself being a speech therapist.”
Lauren is a member of the Delta Xi Nu multicultural sorority and serves as an Accelerated Apprentice for Higher Achievement through Leadership Opportunities (HALO). She is involved with campus ministry and the Student Support Services program. Her father could not be more pleased. “I’m very proud to know my daughter is getting a great education,” Jorge says, “and that’s she’s doing exceptionally well.”