CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–December 7, 2015. Christina Bruenning and her 21-year-old son, Nick, will share a milestone experience when they graduate together, both receiving bachelor’s degrees in Hospitality and Tourism Management, on Friday, Dec. 11 from Roosevelt University.
Christina Bruenning will walk across the stage of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University first, and will be immediately followed in the graduation line by her son, Nick.
“I know I’ll be a wreck. It will be an emotional moment for me,” said Christine Bruenning, who has been taking hospitality management courses with her son at Roosevelt since 2013.
The Bruennings are from McHenry, Ill. “I wish I could go first for my diploma, so I could graduate first,” joked Nick Bruenning, who began taking hospitality, culinary and pastry classes together with his mother during his spring semester of high school at the College of Lake County.
Besides their many classes together, Christina and Nick Bruenning also have been interns together in Roosevelt’s new Conference Services Department, which rents University space, including housing and conference rooms, and handles event logistics for outside groups and organizations.
“I remember Nick coming to my office with his resume,” said Jodi Daily, director of Conference Services at Roosevelt. “He wanted experience and we mutually agreed to go forward.”
A month later, the younger Bruenning told Daily that he knew of someone else who wanted the experience of handling meetings and conventions too, and Daily agreed to a meeting, not knowing the candidate was Nick’s mother.
At the meeting it became clear to Daily that the two were family members, and she had a good feeling about them.
“Bringing on this mother and son team was the best decision I could have made,” said Daily, who credits the Bruennings with understanding and anticipating better than most how to work together and really get things done.
With the Bruennings’ help, Roosevelt’s Conference Services Department has doubled the number of its outside University summer events in just over a year’s time. Repeat events also have increased significantly between fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, revenues from the initiative have more than tripled during that period.
Christina Bruenning did so well at the internship, in fact, that she recently landed a job managing scholarships for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which has held its annual summer leadership institute for veterans at Roosevelt for the last three years.
In summer 2016, the foundation will be holding the event for a fourth year at Roosevelt, and Christina Bruenning will be helping the foundation’s event organizers. “This is opening new doors for me, and I have Roosevelt and its Conference and Events Department to thank for this opportunity,” she said.
Meanwhile Nick Bruenning, who has been a student ambassador, orientation leader and office assistant in the residence life office at Roosevelt, is currently working part-time as a pastry chef at Roosevelt’s Dining Center.
“Nick has done a superb job in creating all of our pastries, including our signature cupcakes, and I hope he will be able to join us full time after the graduation,” said Bill Reich, manager of the Roosevelt Dining Center.
On graduation day as they walk across the stage together, Christina and Nick Bruenning will be cheered on by family members including Nick’s father, sister, grandmother, aunts and uncles. And as they do, both will be striking out into new endeavors on their own.
“We have done a lot together and it’s great to be able to finish out this way,” said Nick Bruenning. “We do work well together,” added Christina Bruenning, “And who knows? Maybe down the road there will be other opportunities.”