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February 27, 2009

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

Local Family Learns Together at UT Tyler

Shipman family Ashley, Amanda and Lucas with their two cousins

Ashley Shipman Davis (center) has her brother, sister (top right and left) and cousins gather for a group photo. The Lindale natives all attend UT Tyler and enjoy their "home away from home."

A family who sticks together learns together. That statement can be true for Lucas Shipman of Lindale, a sophomore at The University of Texas at Tyler.

The 20-year-old transferred to the university from an area junior college and is following the family tradition – and his sisters and two cousins – in making UT Tyler his home away from home.

“We see each other quite a bit on campus,” said Lucas with a grin. “We’re a pretty close family.”

Junior Amanda Shipman also transferred to the university. She, like her brother Lucas, will graduate with a biology degree.

“We love to hang out with each other when we get a chance,” Amanda, 23, said. “We’re all pretty busy, with either school or work.”

Ashley Shipman Davis, Amanda’s and Lucas’ big sister, was the first to find UT Tyler, after attending many other colleges.

“This is my fourth school and my favorite by far,” the 25-year-old health and kinesiology major said. “It’s a school that has a lot of offer without being overpriced and overcrowded.”

The trio’s father, Monte Shipman, who works for Lindale Independent School District as an alternative education teacher and assistant soccer coach, received his secondary school teacher education certification at UT Tyler.

“Dad came here to the university about eight years ago,” Ashley explained. “We pretty much knew about UT Tyler from him, so I guess you can say Dad started it! He’s a big advocate for education. He’s always said, ‘Do whatever it takes. It doesn’t matter how old you are, just finish your education.’ And UT Tyler seemed like a perfect opportunity for each of us.”

“I like UT Tyler because of the degree plans and opportunities here,” Amanda added. “We like the close proximity to home and things around Tyler too.” 

UT Tyler is all in the family for the Shipmans, indeed. Two cousins also have found UT Tyler.

Charity Shipman, 18, lives on campus and is a member of the women’s soccer team. Her older brother, Noah Shipman, 21, is majoring in the health care field.

After graduating, Lucas plans to continue his education and attend medical school to become a dentist. Amanda hopes to become a pharmacist. Ashley, who will graduate in December 2009, plans to receive a master’s degree.

Their hobbies include family barbecue cookouts and sports.   

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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