Twenty-nine-year-old Shriver, an exercise science and physical education major, recalls how difficult it has been this past year to get his children out the door in the morning and arrive at class on time. But now he feels like he's gotten to the top of the mountain.
"This is something that I've always dreamed of doing, graduating college and pursuing higher education," he said.
Shriver and his wife, Jen, were both in the military, but decided years ago that it was time for them to try something new by going to McDaniel College.
"We both decided to move back here close to my family and go to school full-time," he said.
One of the biggest reasons Shriver, a Francis Scott Key High School graduate, returned to Westminster after eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps was the post-9/11 GI Bill, which made it possible for him and his wife to raise their children and attend school.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after Sept. 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.
Jen graduated last year and went to Alaska to pursue her master's degree while Ron finished up his last year at McDaniel. He has achieved a 3.5 grade point average and departmental honors, he said.
Shriver said he's made a lot of sacrifices to take care of his children, 5-year-old Miles and 6-year-old Aurora, while also attending classes, participating on the cross country team and both the indoor and outdoor track teams. He also completed a senior capstone project about barefoot running.
His young children don't understand how difficult it's been, Shriver said, but he believes the couple has set a great example for their son and daughter.
"For my wife and me, it was more about setting a standard for our kids to follow," he said. "In the future, they'll look back and say, well, if Mom and Dad could do this and make it work, we can do it, too."
Now Shriver is preparing to move his children to Juneau, Alaska, so the family can be reunited.
"I'm excited to see my wife," he said. "We're starting the next chapter in our lives."