Moms make way for daughters' journey to RU


Freshmen Danielle Pompa and Sammie Warnecki, front, with parents Lisa '86 and Russell Pompa and Cindy Warnecki '88

The story behind freshmen Sammie Warnecki and Danielle Pompa's friendship can be traced back to the days when their mothers called Radford University home.

In 1984, Pompa's mom, Lisa Pompa '86, was an outgoing, athletic RU junior, who spent a lot of her time outside the classroom on the ball field. While umpiring an intramural game, Pompa noticed the talents of an equally-athletic freshman named Cindy Warnecki '88.

"I realized Cindy was pretty good, so I stole her for our team," Pompa said.

"And we've been friends ever since," Warnecki added.

Thirty years later, daughters Danielle Pompa and Sammie Warnecki are continuing their mothers legacy and forging one of their own.

The second-generation Muse Hall roommates, both 17, started classes Monday with the more than 2,000-strong Class of 2018.

Just weeks apart in age – they were born on each other's September due dates – the freshmen have been friends their entire lives, thanks in part to a friendship their mothers' sustained throughout the years.

Two grade levels ahead of Cindy Warnecki, Lisa Pompa graduated RU first, with a degree in biology. After leaving Radford, she lived with Cindy Warnecki's parents in Northern Virginia, where she slept in her childhood bedroom and befriended her childhood friends.

Pompa's $250 rent went toward Warnecki's wedding fund.

When Warnecki graduated with a journalism and public relations degree in 1988, the pair became roommates again for a short period while living in Washington D.C.  Their careers and personal lives later pulled them in different directions, but they eventually moved back to Virginia – Warnecki to Potomoc Falls, and Pompa to Chesapeake. Soon they gave birth to their daughters, who now have a unique story to share with their new classmates.

Danielle Pompa said her decision to enroll at RU wasn't difficult.

"I always thought it would be so cool to go here," Pompa said. "It feels like I’m keeping the family tradition going."

Pompa's father, Russell, is also an RU alumnus, and she has visited campus numerous times with her parents to attend alumni events.

The hunt for a roommate wasn't hard either.

Upon touring campus, Sammie Warnecki said RU was "a perfect fit for me."

Both mothers said they are proud of their daughters for making such "grown-up" decisions on their own. They're even prouder, they said, of the efforts the young women made to get a head start on their studies.

Warnecki and Pompa participated this summer in RU Accelerate, a program that prepares freshmen for research and study at the collegiate level.

The students start this semester with three credit hours already under their belts.

Still tied at the hip – often finishing each other's' sentences, Lisa Pompa and Cindy Warnecki aren't surprised at their daughters' joint success.

"A lot of times, they don't miss a beat," Cindy Warnecki said. "They are very well-suited for one another."

Aug 26, 2014