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Paul Cooney

Father of Luke and Drew Cooney

What’s special about an Asbury education? For parent Paul Cooney, it’s that sweet combination of academic excellence, spiritual vitality and one-of-a-kind community that sets Asbury apart from other universities. His son Luke ’17 graduated in 2017 alongside his now wife, Lynette Cagle ’17 Cooney, while his son Drew ’19 is a senior studying secondary education.

“Academically, there’s no doubt,” Cooney said. “My son Drew is going to graduate next year with Education, which has such a strong history with Asbury. A lot of school systems want Asbury graduates because of the [strong] Education department. Then, my other son graduated with Media Communication and, once again, they have such a strong academic program that he and his wife both have jobs right out of school in their field of study.”

It’s also in the family. Cooney, his wife, brother and father all received their college educations here. But it was Asbury’s wide liberal arts course offerings and strong Christian tradition that ultimately drew Cooney’s sons to following the family tradition.

“The thing my son liked about Asbury is that he felt like his professors were interested in his development, not only as a student and a person but as a Christian,” Cooney said.

It’s this deep faith interest from the faculty and staff that fosters an environment for spiritual growth in the student body. Cooney has found that his sons’ faith has been strengthened through their time at Asbury.

“I wanted my children somewhere where they were going to be rooted in Christian values and [somewhere that would] have an interest in them progressing and developing as Christians so that’s really why I wanted them to go to Asbury,” Cooney said. “I think Asbury continues to build on the things that we’ve taught them in our home. Both of my children and myself were prepared well at Asbury.”

At the end of the day, there was simply nowhere else that Cooney wanted his sons to attend.

“I personally think Asbury is the best school in the country but I’m very biased towards it,” Cooney said. “I just love Asbury. I love the tradition of it. I love the academics of it and the component of spirituality that’s involved with every aspect of being at Asbury whether it’s residence life, your professors or Chapel.”

Some students might worry that attending a smaller university will be detrimental to their social lives, but in Cooney’s experience, it’s quite the opposite. Asbury’s cozy class sizes enable students to build connections and foster deeper relationships.

“I think, from a social standpoint, a smaller college is always better,” Cooney said. “You get to know more people. I just like the atmosphere and the environment of a small school. I encourage all people that talk to me to take a look at Asbury and to consider going there.”