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Dodd family legacy runs deep at Doane

Dodd family legacy runs deep at Doane

Dodd family on McKenna's senior night

Oftentimes, Doane University is described as a ‘family-like’ atmosphere. For the Dodd family, that statement holds a literal meaning.

Over the last six decades-plus, 11 Dodd’s have attended Doane.

Lowell Dodd ’52.

Constance Dodd (Thorpe) ’53.

Sidney Muncy (Pistner) ’65.

Cynthia Dark (Dodd).

Larry Engleman.

Camie Dodd (Linos) ’80.

Marc Linos ’80.

Thad Dodd ’91.

Kelly Dodd ’06.

McKenna Dodd ’18.

Maddie Dodd ’20.

The Dodd family legacy at Doane runs very deep and is very special not just to their own family, but to others in the Doane community.

It all started with Lowell Dodd, who graduated from Doane in 1952. Following graduation, Lowell joined the Air Force and was stationed at Parks Air Force Base in California, where he spent four years as a drill instructor. After his time serving, Lowell became a teacher, which became his true passion.

After his first stop teaching in South Sioux City, he came to Doane in 1962, becoming an elementary education professor, while also serving as the director of the media center. In an interview with Doane in 1992, Lowell admitted his time in the Air Force played a large impact in his teaching style, saying “I never really got rid of that drill sergeant mentality.”

Lowell was a professor for over three decades at Doane, leaving an impact that is still felt to this day.

Thad Dodd, the son of Lowell, graduated from Doane in 1991 and is now an admission counselor at the school. Even though Lowell passed away nearly 20 years ago, Thad says, “I have so many people that have come up to me and said, ‘Your dad changed my life.’”

Thad had the unique opportunity of attending the same college his father was a professor at, which as he jokes, forced him to steer his career in a different direction.

“I wanted to become a teacher, but when I told that to my dad, his words were ‘You better find another major because you will not be able to handle my classes.’”

That drill sergeant mentality also applied in an instance during Thad’s freshman year, at the end of his first semester. Although Thad and his family grew up just a few blocks away from Doane, Thad wanted to live on campus his freshman year. Lowell said that would be OK, with one stipulation that Thad had to meet a certain GPA requirement.

“It wasn’t even an hour after my grades had been submitted first semester of freshman year, my dad shows up at my dorm and says, ‘You’re coming home.’”

Despite receiving the tough love from his dad, Thad did, however, take an interterm class from Lowell, a media class. Although Thad never became a teacher, as oftentimes life does, it eventually turned full circle for him, where he has found a passion for working with current and prospective students at his alma mater.

“I’ve never been happier,” Thad says. “When you come to a job that doesn’t seem like a job, it’s a pretty cool thing.”

Working at Doane has also allowed Thad the ability to see two daughters often, McKenna and Maddie, who are current student-athletes at Doane. McKenna, a senior physical education major, just wrapped up her basketball career with the Tigers on Saturday. She started all 28 games for Doane this season, finishing with a team-high 15.5 points per game.

Maddie, a sophomore track and field athlete, is an elementary education major and will be the 11th Dodd to graduate from Doane when she receives her degree in 2020.

Both McKenna and Maddie say although their family has such a deep connection to Doane, they were never pressured by their parents to come to Doane, and that they are both extremely thankful they made the decision to do so.

“This is the place I call home and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Maddie says. “Seeing my dad and sister often is just an added bonus. That makes my experience here even more special.”

“My time at Doane has been very, very special,” McKenna adds. “I have made so many good friends here that I would consider family. It’s been an incredible experience and I’m so glad that I came here.”

Both McKenna and Maddie do acknowledge that their papa (grandpa)’s impact in education had some influence in their decision to pursue a career in teaching.

“I think our family is a teaching family,” McKenna says. “Everyone that knew my grandpa has had incredible things to say about him and how much he impacted their lives.”

“It’s cool to know that he still has a presence here,” Maddie said. “I’m very proud to be a Dodd.”