Not many people are lucky enough to go to the same college as their siblings and graduate together.
That special happenstance will occur at this year’s December commencement for Grant and Connor Schneebeli, brothers and peers.
Connor and Grant both came to West Virginia University to major in civil engineering, in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Both brothers, at one point or another, changed their major. Connor will graduate with a degree in energy land management, and Grant will graduate with a degree in environmental and energy resources management.
“I’m older than Grant by 21 months,” Connor said. “I’m graduating a little late because of when I decided to switch my major and he's graduating a little early. It kind of just ended up that we’re graduating together."
“We celebrated many of our accomplishments along the way together, so this seems only fitting,” Grant said.
The brothers are from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and have different ideas about where they’ll go from here. Grant plans to continue his education at WVU in the safety management master’s program and complete a graduate certificate in geographic information systems. Connor is already interviewing for jobs in his field.
Regardless of when they part ways to pursue their respective careers, their time in Morgantown helped solidify a kinship that very few people get to have.
What has been your most meaningful experience at WVU?
Grant: There is not one specific instance I would consider my most meaningful experience. I enjoyed my time in the classroom with professors, long stretches at the library with classmates, and making a connection with so many people who I am looking forward to considering lifelong friends. Each of these experiences, along with so many others, made my time meaningful here at West Virginia University.
Connor: My most meaningful experience had to be Dr. Jack Byrd’s Intro to Engineering class during my freshman year. He taught me how to think about things differently as well as a few tips and tricks that I have used throughout college.
Most difficult or most unexpected?
Grant: I initially underestimated the challenges of adapting to college life. I struggled with certain classes as a freshman. West Virginia University offered the support I needed to get back on track. I was able to learn an efficient way to balance schoolwork and a social life.
Connor: The adjustment to life in the pandemic after being in college for three years previously was the hardest.
What is one thing you would have done differently during college?
Grant: I wish that I had joined more student organizations. I feel as though it would have gotten me more involved and introduced me to more people within my major.
Connor: Join more student organizations.
What advice do you have for future students?
Grant: You are always told that college will be the quickest four years of your life, and it’s true. Enjoy every moment and be involved with the school and all the opportunities they offer.
Connor: Enjoy the moment. You will be surprised how fast college blows by when it’s all over.