Madelyn Papa '24 is a legacy student. In fact, she's next in line for one of the great legacies in College history. 

Madelyn was pretty certain she would attend the University of South Florida. The Tampa, Florida campus isn't too far from her home in Orlando. Plus, the amenities are tough to beat (there's a Publix grocery store on campus). However, on a summer of 2019 trip to upstate New York for a family wedding, Madelyn's dad, John Papa '95 (a principal cloud advocate for Microsoft with more than 100K Twitter followers), suggested they walk around his alma mater. Madelyn rolled her eyes and said, "Fine."

Once on campus, John pointed out the pool in the MAC where Maddie took swim lessons as kid (she lived in the Capital Region when she was a few years old). Next, they spoke to one of John's former professors, and over the course of a three-hour conversation, Madelyn began to fall in love with the campus and the software development program. All of a sudden, South Florida had competition. For the next eight months, Madelyn vacillated between Siena and South Florida. On April 30, one day before the deposit deadline, she made a pros and cons list in her bedroom (with her family waiting in the living room). She emerged from her room, walked downstairs, and announced Siena as her college choice. Madelyn cried happy tears. Her dad hugged her. And that's that story of how the "Ultimate Siena Family" sent its 39th member to Siena. 

"My family did a drumroll when I walked down the stairs. I just started crying, overwhelmed by it all. But that's how I knew I made the right decision. I got so many responses from my family on Facebook. They all started sharing their Siena graduation year and telling me that I'm the next one." 

Papa family feature in Siena News Siena Hall steps
The Papa family feature in Siena News Magazine, 2009

In 2009, the Papas were crowned Siena's Ultimate Family in the College's alumni magazine, Siena News. At the time, the Papa clan had 31 Saints. Of course the number has grown in more than a decade since the photoshoot. Madelyn's cousin, James Ely '22, is a current senior on campus (#38). 

Madelyn and her younger siblings wore Siena onesies as babies, but since Madelyn grew up primarily in Florida (she was actually born in North Carolina and lived for a few years in Seattle), she was a longshot to continue the family tradition. However, the campus felt right, and the pros/cons list confirmed that Siena's academic program was the perfect fit. Plus:

"There were so many Siena employees in Admissions who reached out to me many times. Other colleges had automated messages, but I got personal Zoom calls and one-on-one conversations. They genuinely wanted me to see campus through their eyes and to experience Siena at its full potential. Without the personal connection they made while I was deciding, I might not have made the decision I did."

Two royal Siena families united when Deb (Papa) Bouchard '80, Madelyn's aunt, married Terry Bouchard

Deb (John Papa's sister) is in many ways the family historian, and she confirmed Madelyn's rank as the 39th Saint from the Papa family tree. As for the Bouchards, Terry was an All-American football player for Siena and his father was in the College's second graduating class. Terry's brother and nephew also attended Siena. In fact, Terry, as the "fanimal," led 1,000 people into the Greensboro Coliseum before Siena's 1989 NCAA basketball tournament upset win over Stanford.  

"We love that Maddie is continuing the Papa family legacy at Siena - a very special community of caring, committed and compassionate people who graduate and utilize their talents to make the world a better place. Use your powers to effect good is an underlying philosophy. Siena’s focus on spirituality, philanthropy and kindness, tolerance, inclusion and respect for all is exemplary - and a quintessential example of what an institute of higher learning can and should be."

Deb (Papa) Bouchard '80

Members of the Papa family are responsible for multiple endowed scholarships at Siena.