Family has 12th member graduate from the same college

Family has 12th member graduate from the same college

The Chionchio family will have more than six decades worth tradition at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn when Jonathon Gallo graduates Sunday.

The family’s attendance at the college -- a dozen family members so far -- dates back to the 1950s, to Frances Chionchio who graduated from the school in 1955.

Over the years, Chionchio has seen five of her children attend SJC, as well as four of her grandchildren, her sister and a daughter-in-law, all of whom pursued careers in medicine, education or law.

Chionchio was quoted in an article on the school's website saying there was an "aura' on the campus when she went there.

“I wanted my children to experience it," she said in the article. "The principles of the school — they sort of get under your skin and into your heart. And as my children and grandchildren attended St. Joseph’s, I saw the change in them.”

Among Chionchio's children to attend St. Joseph's is Jonathon's mother, Lisa, who graduated in 1981.

The most recent family member before Jonathon to graduate from SJC, Ginette Illuzzi, got her degree in 2014. She said she and her grandmother like to compare their experiences at the school.

“Our family has seen the school transform from what it was to what it is now,” Illuzzi told ABC News. “St. Joseph's really helped shape me into the woman I am today and I think I can say the same for my grandmother.”

Illuzzi was the valedictorian of her graduating class at SJC and will graduate from New York College of Podiatric Medicine next week.

She said while her family did not pressure her to go to SJC, they did recommend it.

“I knew I wanted to pursue something in the medical field, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was,” Illuzzi said. “My mom encouraged me to choose an undergraduate [college] that would help me find my passion.”

Illuzzi said that SJC provided her with a sense of community and she admired the school’s traditional values. She believes this is why so many of her family members attended the school.

“It’s a tribute to the quality of education,” Donald Boomgaarden, president of SJC told ABC News. “It shows that if someone comes to your college and then send their own child to your school that they trust the education that they received.”

Boomgaarden, who started as the school’s president last July, has not met Frances Chionchio, but said he’s excited to meet her and the other Chionchio graduates at commencement.