David Long is a junior criminal justice major here at Gannon, which is a long way from home. His hometown is just outside of Chicago in a place called Dekalb, Illinois.

David is a familiar face on campus, being that he serves many roles such as incoming SGA President, brother of Pi Kappa Alpha, a resident assistant and a great friend and mentor to many of his peers. David recognizes his mother as one of the strongest influences on the man he is today.

“While she’s not my biological mother, she has filled every role a mother should fill in my life,” David said. “From a young age, there was nothing but support and care from her. I’ve always been able to depend on her. Learn from her. And so much more.”

David’s inclination to serve his community undoubtedly a value he has developed as a result of his mother’s influence.

“When I think about what I admire the most about her, is the willpower and determination to serve others,” he said. “My mother is a proud and engaged mother of four very different children, 3 of whom are in college. When she’s not at home giving all her energy and attention to us kids – she’s giving it to someone else’s kid. My mother has taught for nearly 20 years and wakes up each day with a smile and does it with care.”

Our community not only has her to thank for David’s leadership and desire to improve our community, but also for getting him to Gannon in general.

David’s mother spent countless hours helping David and his sister search for the best university for their higher education. She landed upon Gannon, and David knew this was the right place for him.

Though his mother has made these huge impacts on David, it is the simple moments that he cherishes most.

“Perhaps my most favorite [memory] would be going to Target and messing around in the stores or being a goofball,” he said.

David tries his best to show his mom how much he appreciates her by calling her as often as he can. He believes that it is important to show the women in our lives how much we appreciate them.