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Redbird legacy: Duewer family is 5 for 5

A family of five holding signs with their graduation years on the signs.

The Duewer family: Kevin (left), Valerie, Katy, Joe, and Claire.

Valerie (Quevillon) Duewer ’84 arrived at Illinois State wondering if she would enjoy attending with her older brother, Pat ’83. Decades later, she is grateful they were on campus together. She is also thrilled to have her entire immediate family as alums.

Valerie’s legacy grew with her marriage to Kevin Duewer ’84. They met as residents of Hamilton-Whitten. He studied agriculture, while Valerie majored in finance. The two settled in Waverly, where Kevin’s family farmed. The couple still live on the Duewer homestead and run their business, Waverly Cabinet Company.

Valerie and Kevin welcomed three children: Katy, Joe, and Claire. They all visited ISU while growing up, with frequent stops at Avanti’s and the Quad during road trips.

Katy’s decision to attend ISU was made during a campus visit. Molly Arnold ’83, M.S. ’86, then the director of Admissions, spoke to the prospective students. Seeing Molly, who was a friend of the family, made Katy feel at home as she studied interior design. She lives in Chicago and is employed in residential design with Michael Abrams, Limited.

Joe decided as a youngster that he would be a Redbird. He spent time at ISU sport camps, and was eager to enroll. A marketing major, he joined a business fraternity and completed internships before graduating. He works for Otis Elevators and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

It appeared Claire would break the Redbird lineage. She attended Augustana College, in part to play volleyball. Claire changed directions and transferred to ISU with the same majors in math and secondary education. A Golden Apple Scholar, she plans to teach in Illinois and coach volleyball following graduation this spring.

Valerie is excited for Claire’s commencement, as it will be the third time she has stood when alums are recognized during the ceremony.
“I get emotional,” she said. “Illinois State University was home to me, and it still is. I never imagined that my kids would go there, but it means the world to me” to have that special Redbird bond. “The Duewers are five for five!”

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