Published: Aug. 19, 2016
Michelle Maloy Dillon helps her son Cooper move into the same residence hall she lived in 30 years ago.

Cooper Dillon may have inherited his mother’s passion for the Rockies, but little did he know he would also inherit one of her most treasured college experiences: her residence hall.

Michelle Maloy Dillon attended CU Boulder in the mid 1980s, moving from New York to live in Baker Hall, where she established lifelong friendships over pizza and textbooks. And now, 30 years later, Cooper Dillon can say he may have a closer experience to his mom’s time at CU Boulder than he would have ever thought possible. Earlier this year the Dillons discovered that Cooper would call Baker Hall "home" for his first year at CU, too.

"We may even have the same room! It’s really funny," Cooper laughs. "It’s going to be cool to see what differences my mom notices around the hall when she helps me during student move-in."

As for Michelle, who is a Forever Buff, the news of Cooper’s residence hall assignment immediately brought back memories. “It was a complete flashback! I suddenly remembered my move-in day, standing in line to pick up my dorm key and the person standing in line ahead of me—it was a girl that I am still friends with to this day. It makes me excited to see what memories Cooper will create while at Baker Hall.”

Living in Colorado is a family passion. For Michelle, it was her dream as a little girl to move from the East Coast to Colorado in order to explore what the Rockies had to offer. After choosing CU Boulder as her new home, she quickly realized the importance of the dorm experience. It was here that she was able to connect and cultivate friendships that lasted beyond her years at CU. "I loved the unity and sense of togetherness. As students, we were in it together—helping each other learn how to grow independently and as adults."

Cooper, on the other hand, is a Colorado native that can’t seem to get enough of what our state has to offer. From the outdoor adventures (Cooper is an ardent snowboarder!) to the creative culture and entrepreneurial spirit of Boulder, Cooper knew CU would match well with his lifestyle and character.

And it is this creative and entrepreneurial culture that Michelle hopes Cooper can truly absorb, just as she did as a freshman. "I hope his first year is open exploration—where he can learn what he is drawn to and clue into his passions. I want him to have that freedom to explore what is interesting."

Cooper seems to share the same enthusiasm about what the next few years at CU Boulder will bring: "It’ll be really good to figure out what I’m most passionate about, and to meet new people, of course."