Luther College Chips

Sibling legacy persists with class of 2022

Katy Roets ('18) and Helen Roets ('21) followed both of their parents to Luther.

Katy Roets ('18) and Helen Roets ('21) followed both of their parents to Luther.

Linh Do ('21) | Chips

Linh Do ('21) | Chips

Katy Roets ('18) and Helen Roets ('21) followed both of their parents to Luther.

Linh Do, Staff Writer

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Luther has a history of attracting legacy students to campus, as children follow in their parents’ footsteps and younger siblings follow in the footsteps of their older siblings. This year, 40 out of 575 incoming first year students are following an older sibling to Luther, which makes up about 7 percent of the class of 2022.

According to Associate Vice President and Director of Admissions Derek Hartl, the number of legacy students is slightly lower this year than in the past, which Hartl attributes to the first-year class being smaller.

“Typically, it’s somewhere closer to 10 percent of our incoming class that are siblings of current students,” Hartl said. “It is slightly lower this year but that number usually stays pretty consistent over the years.”

Hartl believes Luther provides experiences for older siblings that attract younger siblings to the college. One of the occasions that offers opportunities to experience what Luther has to offer is when younger siblings visit their older siblings at school.

Assistant Director of Admissions Madeline Jungbauer’s (‘11) brother Henry Jungbauer (‘15) came to visit and saw the track and field team for the first time, which drew him to Luther.

Linh Do (’21) | Chips
[From left to right] Lukas Phillips (’18), Trevor Phillips (’20) and Jacob Phillips (’22) enjoy the comfort of having their siblings nearby at Luther.

“When he came on his visit, [my best friends] put on a really great visit for him,” Madeline Jungbauer said. “He had such a good experience. He would be like ‘This track thing is awesome. I need to reconsider where I am going to school.’ So track and field ended up being one of the major deciding factors for him.”

Katy Roets (‘18) and Helen Roets (‘21) experienced a similar situation when Katy decided to make the journey to Luther from Ellington, Connecticut, following in both of their parents’ footsteps.

“Katy and I are both third generation legacy students,” Helen Roets said. “Our papa went here and all of his kids and so did our mom and all of her siblings. And Katy always knew she wanted to come Luther but I didn’t know I wanted to until I visited her and saw her in her element.”

Not all siblings immediately knew whether attending the same college as their sibling was the right choice. Similarly to Katy Roets and Helen Roets, twin sisters Marya Haugland (‘20) and Sophia Haugland (‘20) did not originally plan to attend the same college.

“When we were deciding on colleges, I decided on Luther right away just because I loved the feel of it,”  Sophia Haugland said. “But I decided to come here before Marya did. She was actually looking at a different college for a long time but when she finally decided on Luther, I was really happy.”

Students who follow their siblings to campus enjoy the comfort of knowing they have family members nearby. Jarod Phillips (‘22), the youngest brother of Lukas Phillips (‘18) and Trevor Phillips (‘20), feels at home attending the same school as his siblings.

“I just feel like I belong here,” Jarod Phillips said. “I learned from their experiences as well and hearing all the things they have done made me want to go to Luther even more. Knowing that Lukas and Trevor were here made it more comfortable I guess. But then also I want to expand my horizons.”

Students who followed their sibling to Luther attest to the benefits of having family on campus. Siblings are able to exchange support and build better relationships with their siblings and their siblings’ friends.

“I appreciate who she is as a person, not just as a sister,” Helen Roets said. “I wouldn’t have come here without her and I couldn’t have made it through so much last year. She has been a rock for me with this transition, because it was really difficult to come so far. I definitely appreciate her a lot more than I did when we were living at home together.”

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