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AU’s Kingston Connection

Kingston family

From left, Alexander, Christian, Nicholas, and Mrs. Kingston.

For Alexander Kingston, American University was always the logical next step after high school.

“It just feels natural to come here,” he says. “I’ve known this place for a really long time now, five years before I even started coming here as a student. I already know everything about this school. I feel comfortable here.”

The Kogod School of Business freshman has followed a path that dates back to 1978, when the first Kingston – his mother – set foot on the AU campus and laid the foundation for a family legacy that endures today, decades later.

Mrs. Kingston spent just one year at AU studying business before she relocated with her family to Chicago, but her time at AU undoubtedly left an impression.

 “Certainly, I have a soft spot for AU,” she says. “I enjoyed my time there and made many friends, which I kept after leaving. The internationalism of the university, its location at the hub of government coupled to us living within commuting made it a clear choice.”

It’s this idea of AU as a clear choice that Mrs. Kingston, now living in the DC area once again, has passed onto not only Alexander but also Nicholas and Christian, her two other sons who both graduated from AU.

“Each of us had a different reason for choosing to attend AU,” Christian explains. “For me, it was the opportunity to grow as more than just a student and be part of the growth American University and Kogod is going through as a whole. I looked for the opportunity to grow beyond that of an academic education and make a real difference.”

Christian spent his undergraduate studies in Kogod, earning distinction for his dedication to business education, and he continues there today in pursuit of a master’s degree in real estate. The eldest of the three brothers, Nicholas, graduated with an MBA from Kogod in 2011.

“I am very proud that my sons followed in my steps,” Mrs. Kingston says of all her boys studying business at AU. “It is important to have a legacy and feel connected to the university that played such an important role in your life.”

Christian agrees with his mother, noting how – as the Kingston family has grown and developed – they have watched AU evolve into the institution that it is today.

“It is unique for a family to have such a background in the same school, and for all of us to be part of its story,” he says. “We have all seen the university through different eyes and different stages of its development, and we have grown as much as the university has. It is a point of pride to have attended the school, and I believe we all look to continue our development as much as AU will in the future.”

When considering what makes AU such a special place for her and her family, one thing in particular comes to mind for Mrs. Kingston – something she just missed when attending the university in 1978.

“They are very lucky to have a Kogod School of Business. This did not exist, and I wish I had had that advantage,” she says. “I think that having so many people in one building together to meet all your academic needs is very important. The community feel is the same, the international exposure continues. To be honest, I feel a bit nostalgic…”

Though a first-semester freshman and the youngest of the Kingston clan, Alexander already has thoughts on continuing his family’s distinct legacy at AU through his future children.

“Hopefully they can see why AU is an amazing institution, and they can take that into consideration when making their decision,” he says.

Christian agrees wholeheartedly as he chimes in, “I will make sure to do as my mother did and put in a good word, or fifty!”