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Colvin Family Continues an Incredible UST Legacy to Extend Four Generations Back

Joseph F. Colvin, Jr. ’08 has a family tree as intertwined in UST history as any family could be — four generations of Colvins. And the fourth, his daughter Julia Colvin, will continue the legacy when she starts as a freshman this fall.

Joseph W. Colvin '59 and wife Harriet J. Colvin '60 (grandparents to Joseph F. Colvin, Jr. '08)Roots Began in the Mid-1950s

To understand the deep connection for this Catholic family, you would start with Joseph Jr.’s grandfather Joseph W. Colvin ’59 and grandmother Harriet (Brueggeman) Colvin ’60 who met at UST.

Joseph’s father, Joseph F. Colvin, Sr. ’84, is another proud Celt who met his wife Robin (McNally) Colvin through his roommate John McNally ’84.

And that’s not even counting those outside of the immediate family.

“The number of family members who are UST alumni is quite long,” Joseph smiled. “We’re talking about a list that includes great aunts and aunts, great uncles and uncles, my brother, and several cousins, not to mention those that married into the family.”

Each Has Special Memories

His father, Joseph F. Colvin, Sr., recounted special memories of his time at St. Thomas. “My favorite recollections revolve around friends, faith and the future; but especially memories of my sister Jane because the best years of our brother/sister relationship were at UST.”

Joseph Sr.’s son had heard the stories, but the young man who grew up in Midland, Texas, selected the school for its philosophy program.   

Joseph F. Colvin, Jr. '08 and wife Mary Colvin '07 plus their seven childrenJoseph Jr. said, “When I decided to be an attorney, I wanted to take philosophy, and St. Thomas was all I considered for that path.”

He remembers wanting to read the “Big Books” and understand their ideas. At UST, he was in the honors program where students grappled with many of the big questions in western thought. Their capstone topic was transhumanism. During that class he explored the effect of technology on the human condition. One question they considered was, “If a human person was technologically enhanced by say an implant or prosthetic, is there a point at which they would cease to be a human person?”

“At UST, I entered a new world, going from a small town to a big city,” Joseph Jr. recalled. “More fundamental was the fact that I was walking into the intellectual tradition of the West, but also Catholic western thought. And it wasn’t just a casual passing but an immersion. After class, my friends and I weren’t just talking about going to the beach on Sunday, we were arguing about Aristotle. We were stimulated by the topics and had great conversations.”

The Right Preparation for Becoming an Adult

The civil litigation lawyer said he enjoyed engaging with important adult ideas of the world.

Future Celt Julia Colvin“It prepared me to be an adult — made me realize what’s important and what’s not. It’s about what we should be doing and why we should do certain things.”

He met his wife Mary M. (Caro) Colvin ’07 at UST. The Celt couple is pleased that Julia Colvin, the oldest of their seven children, will receive a UST Catholic liberal arts education starting in the fall.

Her father said, “I’m not certain, but I believe Julia may be the first fourth-generation person to go to UST.”

And the Colvin family legacy at UST thrives.