Joseph Hallquist '07 knew he was coming to St. Ambrose during his first walk around campus in the winter of 2003.
Although still in elementary school at the time, Shane Hallquist '13 decided he would be coming to SAU while on that very same walk.
Earlier this month, Shane became the fifth child of Daniel and Dona Hallquist of Roselle, Ill., to walk across the stage at St. Ambrose commencement ceremonies.
Joseph was followed to SAU by sisters Coleen '08 and Danielle '09. Brother Jonathan, who participated in commencement ceremonies a year ago but is finishing work toward a degree in sociology, preceded Shane. And the family actually includes another SAU grad. Joseph married the former Stephanie Ebener '05 in 2010.
One of eight close-knit siblings herself, Dona Hallquist said togetherness has been a lifelong habit for her children—who still work, work out, and occasionally step out on a Friday night as a group.
"In a way, it's good and in a way it's bad," Dona said. "You don't really care if you have friends because you have so many brothers and sisters you can be with and do stuff with."
Coleen almost upset the family balance by considering the University of Kentucky as a high school senior. Joseph convinced her to try SAU instead, and that made up Danielle's mind as well.
The lone White Sox fan in a die-hard Cubs clan, Jonathan really was the wunderlusting wildcard, Coleen said. "I'm surprised he came here, instead of Australia or Germany or somewhere out of the ordinary," Coleen said.
Shane's graduation does not end the Hallquists' association with the Quad Cities. Coleen teaches sixth grade at Frank L. Smart Elementary School in Davenport, and Joseph's in-laws live in the area.
Still, Dona Hallquist can't imagine not having a child enrolled at St. Ambrose. "It was just such a good fit for our family, and it was like home," she said. "I never did feel like a number, and I don't think our kids did, either."