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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Chouinard: A fourth generation Marquette family

Charlie and his father, Paul, in the band section at a Marquette basketball game in Feb. 2022.

Charlie Chouinard’s blood ran blue and gold from the moment he was born. While he may not have known that until he stepped onto Marquette’s campus during his junior year of high school for his tour of the university, he knew right then that it was true.

“I felt at home and I kind of knew that that’s where I wanted to be for the next four, or in my case six years,” Charlie, a first-year in the College of Health Sciences, said.

Charlie is a 4th-generation student on his father’s side, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, Richard Panlener — a 1934 Marquette graduate and eventual engineering professor at the university — his grandmother and both of his parents, Paul and Amy Chouinard.

Paul (Class of 1996) and Amy (Class of 1997) became acquainted as members of the Marquette band when Paul, a junior at the time, stood behind his future wife in the pep band section during Marquette basketball games.

“She (Amy) got to put up with me blasting my trumpet in her ear for three years,” Paul said.

A trumpet player and flute player, respectfully, it wasn’t until the two shared a car ride back to the Twin Cities for winter break that their friendship started on its collision course to become something more.

“And I guess after that,” Amy Chouinard said, “the rest is history.”

Now a trumpet player in the Marquette pep band himself, Charlie said he is working to pave his own way at Marquette. And while he has done just that by creating plenty of new memories like playing in the pep band during the National Marquette Day basketball games, he has been able to include his parents in his new memories as well as both have come back to Marquette to play in the band alongside their son on different occasions.

“I’d never played in a pep band really,” Charlie said of the time during his senior year of high school when he and Paul played in the pep band during the Feb. 2, 2022 men’s basketball game versus Villanova. “And with my dad, I was like, ‘I’ve been in band all throughout high school. It’s my senior year, surely I’m gonna be able to play better than my dad.’ But, he still has it.”

From playing together to talking about the local spots on campus, Paul said that he is ready to stay tuned to his son’s adventures at Marquette.

“It’s great to see Charlie you know making his way and finding his way, and the fact that we can relate to it just makes it even cooler … it’s fun and it’s exciting,” Paul said.

In regard to the legacy and familial love that Charlie carries with him for Marquette, Amy said that Charlie’s grandmother Joan (Panlener) Chouinard, a 1959 graduate of Marquette, is extremely proud of him.

“We’re all very proud. But I mean she never said anything and she never would’ve pushed Charlie to go there (Marquette), but in her Christmas letter she went on and on about this, so I know it means a lot to her,” Amy said.

Charlie may not be the end of the legacy, as he is only the first of his siblings that has entered college.

“(I’m) glad to be able to experience it,” Charlie said.

But no matter which school they choose, their family’s legacy and love for Marquette is sure to remain.

This story was written by Kimberly Cook. She can be reached at [email protected].

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    Emily (Singler) KarlenFeb 14, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    How fun! I went to MU with Amy and Paul, and my daughter is a junior at MU. It’s great to see to MU values and spirit carry on!