Four Brothers from Ghana Make Frostburg State University a Tradition

Apr 28, 2020 12:20 PM

By Sherry White

Commencement is a joyful time full of tradition and celebration. For the Azenadaga family, that tradition has included three trips from their home country of Ghana in West Africa to watch three of four brothers graduate from Frostburg State University. Brother number four is in his first year at FSU, so another trip may be coming up in a few years.

As international students attending Frostburg State, the four brothers now share a common experience. Three brothers, Raymond, Raphael and Reagan, are now alumni ‒ Reagan graduated in December 2019. The youngest is Richmond.

Frostburg State first became part of the Azenadaga family when the eldest son, Raymond, chose to attend in 2010. Recommended by an uncle who worked in the University System of Maryland, Raymond majored in electrical engineering and minored in physics and mathematics.

“When my oldest brother, Raymond, started to do research about schools, he came here and realized that Frostburg is a very quiet place,” explained Reagan. “And in Ghana, when you want to study, when you want to learn, you want an environment that is very enabling; you want an environment that is quiet, and Frostburg seemed like the best environment for that.”

Majoring in information technology, Raphael, the second son to attend Frostburg, from 2013 to 2017, made it into a tradition.

“And why I came here is because my brothers told me this is a really great school,” said new alumnus Reagan, the third son who graduated with a bachelor’s in engineering, electrical engineering concentration.

Richmond, the fourth and final son, is a first-year computer science major with an interest in software engineering.

“I didn’t even apply to any other schools because I knew this is where I wanted to go,” said Richmond. “There was no question. It just had to be Frostburg because that’s what we do.”

The Center for International Education was an instrumental part of the four brothers’ ability to attend, assisting them through the processes and paperwork to attend a university in the United States.

“They played a very huge role, a very huge role,” said Reagan about CIE. “From the start, they tell you what the rules are so you don’t make any mistakes, because there are a lot of rules for international students. And when you go there for help, they are very ready to help and that was a great thing.”

CIE helped each brother acclimate to the area and the campus, providing such support as international student orientation and employment authorizations.

“The Center for International Education made sure I got to campus in time to go to orientation, get my keys and find my dorm,” said Richmond. “They helped me learn all the buildings and even introduced me to programs so I could get to know people.”

After graduation, the three eldest Azenadagas have stayed in the United States with employment authorizations. Raymond, the eldest, is a pharmacist in the U.S. Army. Raphael is a cloud engineer for Cvent in Tyson’s Corner, Va. Reagan graduated with an employment offer from Disney.

“I met some really great people. I made so many friends, from professors to people who worked in the cafe. I would do it again, over and over again if I had the chance,” said Reagan.