Even After 50 Years, Former Residence Hall Connects “East Dormers”

A member of the Class of 1969 organized a reunion within a reunion.

David Brosch (’69), of University Park, Maryland, gathered with former classmates and members of their families at Homecoming for the Class of 1969’s 50th reunion. He was also among the dozen or so Duhawks from 1967-71 who came back for a second reunion of East Dormers.

“The big thing was seeing people I hadn’t seen in years. It was great to reconnect,” Brosch said of the East Dorm reunion. “I had been good friends with many of them when we lived on campus.”

He lived his first three years at Loras in East Dormitory, which was established in 1958 on the second floor of the former St. Francis Hall. The building is now part of the Alumni Campus Center.

“Coming to Loras was a great experience. For many of us, it was the first time we’d ever been away from home,” Brosch said. “I made really good friends and enjoyed my years there. I’ve never regretted going to Loras.”

Brosch, who grew up in Chicago, graduated from Loras with a degree in history and then moved to the East Coast. He eventually earned a degree in fine arts and a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture. He is retired from the Department of Housing in Baltimore, Maryland, and still works as an artist.

“My friends and I all went our separate ways after Loras and we ended up in different parts of the country,” he said. “It can be hard to stay in contact with everyone, but our experiences at Loras helped to keep our group in close contact through the years.”

That core group of friends is where Brosch began when he organized the first reunion of the East Dormers five years ago. He had a list of names, email addresses and phone numbers. Other Duhawks and the Loras alumni office provided Brosch additional email addresses and phone numbers he didn’t have.

About 25 people attended the first reunion. They met for lunch on a Saturday at what was then the Loras College President’s House and toured the campus. They had dinner that evening at a restaurant in downtown Dubuque and then met for breakfast the next morning at Timmerman’s Supper Club in East Dubuque, Illinois.

“Since graduation, I had only been back to Loras a few times through the years with a few friends. I also hadn’t been to a reunion,” Brosch said. “I started thinking it would be nice to get together with the people I had spent so much time within college.”

So he organized the reunion and others in the group are glad he did.

“I hadn’t seen any of them since I was 20 years old. It was fun to see them again and to reminisce about our great times at Loras,” said Fred Steinbach (’71), a retired teacher who is now an ordained Episcopal priest in Chariton, Iowa. He was a student at Loras for two years.

Kent Scheuerell (’69), of Platteville, Wisconsin, is a good friend to have in the group when it comes to reminiscing. He tells stories about shaving-cream wars in East Dorm and of the banner they put on the side of the building in 1967 to welcome Monsignor Justin Driscoll (’42) as the new Loras president. The sign featured a stork holding a bib with the new president. It said: “He came Justin time.”

Scheuerell taught elementary school for 38 years and saw his four children graduate as Duhawks, including Dr. Scott Scheuerell (’95), a professor of education at Loras.

“I mostly stayed out of trouble, but I couldn’t resist on one day,” Scheuerell said of his time at East Dorm. There was a 1.5-inch gap under the door of the bathroom used by Elmer Michels (’54), who was the hall’s dean. Using a long hook under the bathroom door, Scheuerell tried to remove the dean’s bathrobe from the room while Michels was in the shower.

“I got it about halfway out and he opened the door and said, ‘Scheuerell, that’s a 5:50,” he remembered. Having to do a 5:50 meant waking up, showering, shaving, getting dressed and making the trek to Keane Hall to sign in at the front desk before 5:50 a.m. the next day. It was a common punishment that didn’t dim his memories of East Dorm.

“I really liked it there because it was such a great group of guys,” he said. “I never wanted to live off-campus.”