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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Father and son; academic peers

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Photo by Photo by Jenny Hollowell
University studies senior Jeff Anderle and his son Josh Anderle both attend school in the B-CS area.

Jeff and Josh Anderle are taking father-son bonding to a whole new level.
Father and long-established Aggie Jeff Anderle is working to complete the degree he began at Texas A&M 28 years ago alongside his son Josh, who is a first-semester student at Blinn College.
Jeff is an original member of the Class of 1991 and will graduate from the College of Liberal Arts in 2017, while Josh plans to graduate from A&M in 2021. Although in different stages of their lives, the pair is able to share their love of learning and of A&M.
The Anderle family returned to Bryan-College Station in December of 2015 to start a church in the area, after 17 years of living in Tennessee.
“We felt led to come back here and start a church in College Station. When we first decided to do that, we checked if I could finish my degree. That was the first thing I wanted to do,” Jeff said. “I bleed maroon. I love A&M. Not finishing bothered me, so when I had the opportunity I came back and now I’m finishing it up.”
Jeff has been involved in ministry for 27 years, beginning when he first joined Young Life in College Station, a Christian ministry focused on high school students, and became the youth pastor at A&M United Methodist Church during his early years of college.
“I was a little bit more invested in doing ministry than I was in school. So the last semester of my junior year, I ended up going on academic probation,” Jeff said. “I transferred to a little Methodist college up in Shreveport, Louisiana my senior year to get a certification in youth ministry, and had left this degree undone.”
Josh graduated high school a year early and is almost finished with his first semester at Blinn. He said he enjoys having his family nearby during his endeavors in higher education.
“It feels normal to me — the difference is I don’t have to pay rent. I was homeschooled all the way up to high school. When I started going to high school, my mom started teaching there and my dad started substituting there,” Josh said. “My last semester in high school, I was actually in Chattanooga and they were here. So I got a taste of what it’s like to be away from family, and I didn’t like it.”
Despite being interested in separate topics, both Jeff and Josh have enjoyed the classes they’ve taken at A&M and at Blinn.
“I’ve always imagined going to A&M,” Josh said. “They’ve got the third best animation program for a public school, and that’s pretty amazing. I love art and animation, and it’s what I’m interested in. My favorite memory so far would probably be getting photoshopped for my digital art class for the first time.”
Jeff is similarly passionate about what he has had the opportunity to learn.
“’I’m taking ‘Special Topics in an Author’ on J.R. Tolkien with Robert Boenig, and he’s brilliant. It’s just wonderful, I come out of that class just walking on air,” Jeff said. “I’m taking the ‘Philosophy of C.S. Lewis’ by Robert Garcia, and it’s the same way.”
Wife to Jeff and mother of Josh, Kellie Anderle graduated from A&M in 1991. Jeff and Kellie fell in love while they were both in school here. Kellie  said she is supportive of her husband and son’s educations.
“Jeff is really enjoying it. It’s a lot of the same of what we’ve done always. Even with Jeff pastoring, he was always studying and writing. He has to be at class at certain times, but it’s just like in the past when he had to be at meetings, and Josh of course has always been in school,” Kellie said. “It’s been fun; we all love learning. We have a lot of good memories here.”
Jeff said he has a unique perspective as a student because of his nontraditional path and understands college to be an exceptional experience.
“College is a privilege,” Jeff said. “It’s very easy to lose your focus. This is a very special time where you get to focus in on learning. Just learning for the sake of learning is an amazing thing.”

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