Legacy Stories

Siblings Thiney Vang-Elfers and Lore Vang.
As a UWL Legacy family-like Thiney & Lore-your connection to UWL lasts a lifetime.
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Meet Thiney & Lore expanding section

When searching for colleges to attend, Lore Vang and Thiney Vang-Elfers came to visit UW-La Crosse and found it to be the first place that felt like home away from home. Lore kicked off his college days pursing a Communications Studies degree, graduating in 2004 and continued on to receive a Masters in Student Affairs Administration in 2008. Thiney followed in her older brother’s footsteps just a year later, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Ethnic and Racial Studies and graduated in 2005.

During their time at UWL they developed strong relationships with friends. Every year they still get together with their college friends to celebrate in similarly themed costumes for Halloween—12 years running to be exact! They keep in touch with their professional contacts from UWL as well. Thiney still keeps in touch with her Career Advisor, Karolyn Bald, as she works as Talent Management Program Analyst for American Family Insurance. Lore recruits talented UWL graduates in his current role as a Community Outreach Resource Education (CORE) Officer with the City of Madison Police Department.

Sharing the same affinity for their alma mater is a cherished aspect of their siblinghood. Lore says, “It’s a wonderful feeling to look back on many of our independent and shared experiences at UW-La Crosse.” And their feelings of being a Legacy family take their affinity to new heights, “I never thought that we were considered a Legacy Family and to be a part of it is pretty neat. We are first generation born to immigrants so if we can make any kind of impact and pave the path for future families, that’s pretty empowering,” says Thiney. 

Meet Patty, Dominic & Brooks expanding section

Kaila & Brooks Braga, Dominic Braga, Patty Loew, and David Braga enjoying their family trip to Europe.

Patty Loew initially wanted to major in physical education, but she discovered journalism and found her passion. “I really enjoyed working at the campus radio station. The news director, Paul Lowrey, was instrumental in helping me get my first professional broadcast job WKTY radio,” said Patty. After graduating in 1974, she went on to become an award-winning journalist, author and educator—working to fill the gap on Native American history and education through storytelling. Her UWL education set her up for success and that wasn’t lost on her sons, Dominic and Brooks Braga.

Both sons decided to study at UWL. Brooks was a student-athlete when their team won the WIAC Baseball Championship and qualified for the NCAA III Tournament in 2012. Two years prior, the tough decision to drop baseball was made, but after remarkable fundraising efforts in which Patty and her family were very active, the sport was reinstated. “It made winning the state championship that much sweeter,” said Patty, “It’s one of the highlights for our family.” Dominic ended up transferring to UW-Madison to finish his college career, but still flaunts his Eagle gear from time to time.

Patty is definitely full of UWL pride. As a life member, she encourages tribal teens to consider UWL as a first choice and feels loyal because of the education she received. She states, “I’m proud that Brooks, Dominic and I share this connection. I really enjoyed my four years in La Crosse and am happy that my sons experienced the same excellent teaching and learning opportunities.”

Thiney and Lore are just one of more than 15,000 others who are considered part of UWL Legacy families. Your experiences are independent, yet also shared, making connections last a lifetime.  

Share your legacy and keep The La Crosse Experience alive for future generations. Join today!  

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