When heading off to college, the scariest part for most is leaving the comfort and familiarity of home for the strange unknown. But for several students at Hillsdale College, they were able to bring a bit of home with them.
Just a few of the sibling legacies at Hillsdale include the Andrews, the DeLapps, and the Kookogey sisters.
The Andrews’ family legacy began with the parents, who went to and met each other at Hillsdale in the 1990s. Since then three of their children have graduated Hillsdale and two are currently attending, senior Molly Kate Andrews and freshman Calvin Andrews.
Calvin was already familiar with Hillsdale growing up and decided to attend after taking a gap year working construction. Growing up homeschooled, the siblings are very close-knit. For him, seeing how his siblings helped each other through the ups and downs of college life made a difference.
“The sibling thing kind of hit a little bit more when I was here this last spring,” Calvin said. “I could see Aaron and Molly relying on each other, helping each other out when they were in a tough spot. It sealed the deal for me, having a sibling here.”
Soon after arriving on campus, Calvin found himself being identified as an Andrews.
“Dr. Lindley had all of my siblings,” Calvin Andrews said. “He came up to me after Dr. Arnn’s ice cream social and he said, ‘Calvin I know that you probably aren’t going to be an English major but I’d like the set. Will you come take one of my classes so I can have the set?’”
Assistant Professor of Religion Don Westblade also taught four of the Andrews children — Ian, Megan, Aaron, and Calvin — in addition to their parents. Westblade describes the family as a group of “movers and shakers.”
“Missy’s favorite line to me was, ‘I’m not buyin’ that,’ and I think I’ve gotten that back from one or two of their kids,” Westblade said. “Eventually I sold it to them anyways.”
Molly Kate describes the Hillsdale campus as having a sort of its own magic for the Andrews family.
“For me, this is where everything happens. This is where you go for your mind to come alive,” she said. “It’s like the land of legend and lore for the Andrews. We come because we’re just so curious.”
She said this is in large part due to their mother, Missy Andrews.
“It’s where her mind came alive and she found out who she wanted to be,” Molly Kate said. “It colored the way that she talked about everything.”
The DeLapp family legacy has been intertwined with Hillsdale for over 100 years. Senior Sarah DeLapp and sophomore Anthony DeLapp are part of the fourth generation of Hillsdale students from the family. The DeLapp’s great-grandfather, Albert DeLapp, graduated in 1914 and instituted homecoming in 1916. Albert DeLapp was an Alpha Tau Omega, Dennis DeLapp helped found Sigma Chi in 1980, and many of the DeLapp women have been Kappa Kappa Gammas. The DeLapp family is also related to the Viviano family, another legacy on campus. Anthony and Sarah DeLapp’s mother was a Viviano, and also a graduate of Hillsdale College.
When choosing what to be involved in on campus, such as fraternity life, Anthony DeLapp said he chose what he preferred, regardless of the legacy behind him.
“I didn’t feel any pressure to follow the path,” Anthony DeLapp said. “I just decided to go where I liked. There is no pressure to do anything.”
Sarah DeLapp has nothing but positive things to say about having siblings at college with her, including the legacy.
“I would not want to do it any other way,” Sarah DeLapp said. “I feel like you grow closer with your siblings when you go to school with them. You share similar experiences.”
Senior Chloe Kookogey is the first Kookogey to attend Hillsdale College. A trailblazer of sorts, Chloe felt that after two years at Hillsdale she was ready to share the Hillsdale experience with her sister, Carmel.
“There are a lot of changes that happen in those first two years, so coming back junior year I felt like I had arrived at a stasis of sorts,” Chloe said. “It was so fun to get to bring my sister back.”
Now a sophomore, Carmel Kookogey explains that she was originally not interested in Hillsdale because her older sister went there, but after discovering the politics program, decided to attend.
“My fear of being considered a duplicate of my sister was not worth not going,” Carmel Kookogey said. “That turned out to be a good thing.”
Despite different major choices and interests — Chloe is an English major, Carmel is a politics major and Rachel is considering the chemistry major — Carmel says having sisters at college can be a benefit.
“I like that I get to have a piece of home at school with me,” Carmel Kookogey said. “The three of us are very different so I don’t feel like I’m competing with them in any way. We all have very different interests but we also get along really well so I love having them here with me.”
Having that piece of home may mean going to church together and getting brunch on Sundays, or simply running into each other on campus.
“Carmel and I have this uncanny knack for running into each other all the time,” Chloe Kookogey said. “I’d always run into her and find her and we’d have a brief conversation and catch up.”
Just these small moments changed Chloe Kookogey’s time at Hillsdale.
“It’s special getting to then show them all of the things I’ve discovered and get to share the college experience,” Chloe Kookogey said. “How many people get to say they go to college with two of their sisters at the same time?”