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Redbird legacy: ‘Our home is definitely an ISU house’

Froelich family poses for photo

Eight family members with a tie to Illinois State include, front row from left, Andy Froelich, Jill Johannes, Amy Froelich and Jackie Froelich. Back row from left are, Greg Johannes, Jeff Froelich, Kevin Lacke and Trevor Towns.

Jackie (Lacke) Froelich transferred to campus in 1986, never envisioning how many Redbirds would eventually fill her family’s tree. A physical education graduate, she was the first of three siblings to attend. Three spouses in the family are also graduates, including Jackie’s husband, Jeff ’87.

Although also an education major, Jeff and Jackie did not meet on campus. He was focused on industrial technology. Both are at Dwight High School, where Jeff teaches and Jackie works as a guidance counselor. They have two children, both of whom attend Illinois State.

Amy Froelich works at Pub II and is entering her last year as an elementary education major. She chose Illinois State in part for the Professional Development School experience. Her brother, Andy, just completed his freshman year in agribusiness. Both like the distance from home and knew their parents had enjoyed Illinois State.

The stories about campus came from beyond their parents, as Jackie’s sister is a 1996 graduate. Jill (Lacke) Johannes majored in education. She works at Christ the King school in Springfield. Jill met Greg ’96 while at ISU. A marketing major, he is in sales with Abbvie Pharmaceutical. They have three children and reside in Springfield.

Kevin Lacke, brother to Jackie and Jill, completed a marketing major in 2000. He is employed by Motorola and lives in Gilberts with his wife, Nicole, and their three children.

Another sister, Sue, also married a Redbird. Trevor Towns ’88 studied applied geography. He works with North American Hoganas. The two reside in Windber, Pennsylvania, with their two sons.

From remembering special moments that include Homecoming events to just enjoying the Quad, Jackie notes that family members appreciate sharing an alma mater.

“Our home is definitely an ISU house. It’s great fun to have such a strong campus connection,” Jackie said, reflecting on how many memories are shared because so many family members are Redbirds.

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