In the summer of 1990 Maureen Budak (’90) a Waterloo native, started the Nativity Childcare Center in Dubuque. Twenty-seven years later, “Reenie” (as she is affectionately known) Vulich is the new Loras College Regional Admission Representative for the Chicagoland area. In the years after graduation, Vulich transitioned from a young professional from Iowa with a degree in Early Childhood Education to a mother of four girls living in Willow Springs, Illinois. During the nearly three decades since she gave the senior remarks at her Loras commencement ceremony, Reenie has worked in both the education and sales fields, and she has been active in her community.
Despite the relocation, marriage, name change, birth of her daughters, and professional twists and turns, there has been one glaring consistency—she has always dreamed of working for her alma mater. In April, her dream came true. Looking to revamp recruiting efforts in the Chicagoland area, Kyle Klapatauskas, Admission Director for Recruitment and Retention, reached out to the Alumni Office to see if there was an alum who would be an ideal regional representative. Without hesitation, they gave him Reenie’s name and Kyle called the next day. “At first I thought it was someone calling and asking me to donate, and I was impressed because he called me Reenie. He did his homework,” recalls Reenie. “And then when Kyle brought up the regional rep position, I thought he was joking. I thought it was a dream.”
After several discussions about the expectations and logistics of working remotely in Willow Springs, Maureen officially said “yes” to her dream job and joined the admission team on June 1st. Her sales experience, her experience as a mother with two children already in college and two more in high school will serve her well in this new role, but Klapatauskas sees something beyond her skills and experiences that make her an incredible addition to the team. “Her passion for Loras and her desire for the team and the community to be successful is contagious. She’s the perfect complement to an already stellar team.”
Since June, Maureen’s been back to campus on three occasions, with plans to return to Loras at least once a month. While many aspects of the campus have changed since 1990, the supportive community has not. Walking across campus triggers countless memories from years past, but it has also provided Maureen with opportunities to reconnect with familiar faces who remain in or near Dubuque. This isn’t just a homecoming though. It’s her dream job and she’s already begun reaching out to prospective students, high school counselors, and Loras alums.
When asked whether she prefers Reenie or Maureen, her answer is immediate, “Both.” While that might lead to some potential confusion with email signatures, it is clear Maureen is dedicated to having a positive impact on the place that has always been a second home.