DUBUQUE, Iowa – Bedtime stories, evening walks and pizza nights make for great traditions. Lily Horst’s family, however, takes it a step further. Horst, a first-year student at Loras College, is the newest and fifth of her brothers and sisters to choose Loras. Her parents, Gerald and Marcy, both 1986 graduates, also attended Loras.
“I have always loved the school and couldn’t wait for my turn to become a Duhawk,” she said.
Being a fifth Duhawk is significant this year as Loras celebrates the fifth anniversary of Duhawk Day on Thursday, May 18. The 24-hour event pays tribute to the College’s address, 1450 Alta Vista St., which Duhawks have called their “home away from home” for more than 175 years. Appropriately, this year’s goal is once again 1,450 donors.
Besides family ties, Horst chose Loras for its burgeoning science and pre-medicine programs. It was her first formal visit that cemented her decision to carry on the Duhawk tradition.
“I watched my siblings come out of Loras with all the tools they needed to accomplish their goals and I just knew Loras was the place to help me accomplish my own personal aspirations,” she said. “I never felt forced to go to Loras by my parents or siblings, but their positive experiences definitely played a role in my decision.”
Being part of a Duhawk flock has its perks. Lily’s sisters, Erin, 2009 Loras graduate; Clare, 2011 graduate; Megan, 2014 graduate; and Emma 2016 graduate; helped her navigate her first year.
“It amazed me how each of my family members were able to have such a personalized experience even though they attended the same school,” she said.
Horst’s brother, Patrick, is a graduate of University of Northern Iowa while her fifth sister, Grace, is a sophomore at Vinton-Shellsburg High School.
Not surprisingly, Horst feels at home at Loras.
“I have made so many great friends and memories,” she said. “It’s been a blast getting the chance to come to Loras after my family members, but do it my way with my own experiences and stories to share!”
Hundreds of Loras alumni will share their own stories during Duhawk Day, the annual, worldwide celebration to welcome the newest group of alumni, unite Duhawks around the world and to share spirit, pride and support for Loras. Last year, alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of Loras College surpassed the 1,450-donor goal by achieving 1,465 donors in 24 hours. The effort’s success included donations from 265 students and gifts from 41 states.
In addition, Loras is celebrating with 17 events across the country. On campus, breakfast and coffee will be served at Einstein Bros. Bagels from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m., lunch in the Pub, a Mass held in Christ the King Chapel at noon and a Duhawk Day Social will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Loras College Pub in the Alumni Campus Center. Updates will be posted throughout the day on the Loras College Alumni Facebook Page.
ABOUT LORAS COLLEGE
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.