Mother Does 'Happy Dance' Over Daughter's College Pick

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Growing up in the small town of Baraboo, the oldest of four children born to parents who hadn’t had the chance to go to college, Quinn Hause ’98 always had her eyes on higher education.

“I’ve always been fairly driven,” she said. “I wanted to go to a small university. I just thought that was important. But I also wanted to live somewhere that was larger than Baraboo.”

Caitlin and Quinn Hause
Caitlin and Quinn Hause

Quinn doesn’t remember how she heard about Viterbo University, but after visiting the campus and learning what the university was all about, she was sold. It’s a choice she’s never regretted.

“I absolutely loved everything about Viterbo, the small class sizes, professors who knew who you were,” she said. “You weren’t just a number. They actually wanted to see you succeed.”

When she started at Viterbo, Quinn’s plan was to go to law school. Her undergraduate degree wasn’t necessarily important for that goal, so she took an exploratory approach. At first, she was working on an English major, but then she took some sociology classes, went on a service trip to Nebraska where she worked in a soup kitchen, and took a class where she experienced a night of what it’s like to be homeless.

Her major switched from English to sociology, and the service trip and homelessness experience had a lot to do with that change of course.

“Those things really stick with you,” she said. “Some of that is why I’m more empathetic and why I became a social worker.”

She’s been a social worker for 20 years in Sauk County, deciding that a chance to help people who needed it most had a lot more allure than becoming a lawyer.

Quinn’s daughter, Caitlin, graduated in May from Baraboo High School, where she was a standout midfielder for the Thunderhawks soccer team. She strongly considered going to the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, but the more she thought about it, the more appealing a small school was.

“I wasn’t big into the idea of going to a super huge school where your classes are huge and you’re just another face in the crowd,” Caitlin said.

Like her own parents, Quinn wanted to give her two daughters the chance to pick their own path, so she didn’t push hard for Caitlin to choose Viterbo. When Quinn took Caitlin, her eldest, to visit Viterbo she was very impressed, with the lab facilities in particular. She knew at that point she wanted to major in biochemistry on her way to becoming a pediatrician, so good labs are important.

After the Viterbo tour, Caitlin had made up her mind: this fall, she would become a V-Hawk.

“She said, ‘I love the campus. I want to go here,’” Quinn said. “Of course, I did a little happy dance. I was really excited about it. I know what kind of experience Viterbo offers.”