Mother proud of her five KSU graduates over last six years

Sept. 30, 2015 – Not one or two. Not even three or four. But five! That is the number of children a very proud Jeanne Day has seen receive their degrees from Kennesaw State University since 2010.

five grads one familyWidowed in May 1993, Day had four kids with Staff Sgt. Brian D. Haney, who was killed in active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 32. Haney was involved in a crash involving one of the presidential fleet helicopters, a VH-60N Blackhawk, that went down in a heavily wooded area near the Potomac River, about 35 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Four Marines lost their lives.

“The children had educational benefits from the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) and I never let them think that not going to college was an option,” Day said. “It wasn’t if you go to college, it was when you do go to college, what do you want to do? We never talked about not going.”

When Haney passed, Day had just a high school education and four young kids, ages 6 months, 2, 4 and 6. The children were raised knowing they were expected to attend college, and they all wound up at Kennesaw State.

“I think when they saw me going to school and studying when raising them, and how hard that was after you have kids, they saw it was possible but could be easier,” Day said. “They inspired me and I inspired them, I think.”

Day began attending KSU in the late 1990s but never earned a degree from the university. She recently got her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Georgia Highlands College while taking part in its Paramedic-RN Career Mobility Program. Currently, she works as a paramedic at MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service and is a labor and delivery nurse with Tanner Health System.

“I actually graduated May 16 and my youngest (Kristina) graduated from KSU May 13,” Day said. “My goal was to get my nursing degree before she finished high school but life happens and I didn’t get it done. So, my youngest and I both graduated from college the same week.”

Some may ask, how did all of Day’s children, plus stepson Justin from her marriage seven years ago, all end up at Kennesaw State?

“When I met my new husband (Robert Day), some of my kids were in college and I think they kind of inspired Justin,” Day said.

Day went on to say that all of the kids chose KSU because of its environment and commuted to Kennesaw from their Paulding County home.

“All the kids so far have said that they loved the college atmosphere,” Day said. “They all loved the atmosphere at KSU and talked about it.”

Jamie Haney, Day’s oldest daughter, was the first in the family to graduate from Kennesaw State. After being the valedictorian at Praise Academy in Powder Springs, Jamie earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science and information systems from KSU in 2010. “She is a senior IT client consultant at AT&T and doing real well,” Day said.

In 2013, Day saw three of her children pick up their degrees at Kennesaw State.

Anthony Haney started at Chattahoochee Technical College before receiving his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from KSU in 2013. He recently earned a Master of Science in anesthesia from Nova Southeastern University and will soon begin working at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. “He had clinicals all over the United States and got an offer from Northside in January, so I’m real proud of him,” Day said.

Another 2013 graduate of Kennesaw State is Deanna Haney, who obtained a B.S. in nursing. Presently, Deanna is a registered nurse at Northside Hospital, where she works with orthopedics and will soon be joined by Anthony. “She went through the nursing program at KSU in four years and is doing great,” Day said.

Graduating the same day as Deanna, during summer commencements, was Justin Day. He acquired a bachelor’s degree in communication from KSU and currently works for BKV Inc., a direct marketing company in Atlanta. “Just a few weeks ago, he got a promotion and he’s doing great,” his stepmother said. “He also works at the Nature’s Corner Market that his mom owns. He always worked full time while going to school full time.”

Lastly, Kristina Haney walked across the stage at Kennesaw State accepting her B.S. in biology with honors just a few months ago. She ranked third in her graduating class at Hiram High School. “She did the pre-vet track as part of the biology program and right now is applying to vet schools,” her mom said.

When her husband was killed in the line of duty, Day stated that she and her family could have moved anywhere, but the Ohio native decided to stay in Georgia.

“I was being pulled into like three different states, and I chose here because of the educational opportunities and the HOPE scholarship,” the proud mother said. “All five of the kids had the HOPE scholarship.

“KSU’s atmosphere, in general, when you walked on campus reminded me of when I lived on base all the time. It’s so secure and everything you needed was there.

As most people can probably tell, Jeanne Day is certainly proud of her five Kennesaw State graduates and the education they received while attending the university in recent years.

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