Barry McNamara  |  Published September 08, 2023

‘The Face of Monmouth’

Lillian Hucke, an alumna of the College For Kids program, named Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy.

LILLIAN HUCKE: The senior from nearby Aledo, Illinois, was congratulated on her recent honor by M... LILLIAN HUCKE: The senior from nearby Aledo, Illinois, was congratulated on her recent honor by Monmouth College President Clarence Wyatt.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College has seen many students progress from participants in its College For Kids summer enrichment program to actual Monmouth students.

Now, one of those College For Kids alumni has received one of Monmouth’s highest honors.

Lillian Hucke ’24, who attended College For Kids from her hometown of Aledo, Illinois, has been named Monmouth’s recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award, thereby becoming a Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and cocurricular activities.

“This is such an incredible honor,” said Hucke. “This is the highest honor that Monmouth College can award a student, so I’m grateful to be a local kid who received this award.”


Deciding on Monmouth

Although Hucke knew her way around campus from her elementary and middle school days, it still took a tour as a prospective student for her to decide where to attend college.

“What really sealed the deal was when I sat in on a marketing class,” she said. “I got to see how the students and the teacher had a discussion and had such a great relationship and back and forth. That’s what I had in high school. At the time, I was between Monmouth and a big school, so that experience of sitting in on a class made me realize that I really liked the small-school environment and small community around campus.”

Aledo is just one county and 25 miles away from the Monmouth campus. That proximity was another factor in her college decision.

“My family are my largest supporters and another main reason why I chose Monmouth,” said Hucke. “Being close to home allows me to have that comfort of knowing that if I need something they are only 20 minutes away. Their support has allowed me to be confident and be so successful at Monmouth.”

Hucke has swapped stories with a close friend who attends a larger university and has had classes with 200 or more other students. She’s grateful that her experience at Monmouth has not been that way.

“Some of my professors have become friends that I’m going to keep long after college,” she said.


‘The face of Monmouth’

Hucke’s campus involvements are many – so many, in fact, that she seems to show up everywhere.

“The softball team calls me ‘the face of Monmouth’ – they like to joke about it,” said Hucke, who will suit up for her fourth season with the Fighting Scots next spring. As a junior, she started all 40 of Monmouth’s games, reaching base at .367 clip.

“The softball team calls me ‘the face of Monmouth’ – they like to joke about it.” Lillian Hucke


“Coach (Alexa) McClaughry has been absolutely awesome in not only fostering my athletic development, but also my leadership skills, my interpersonal relationship skills,” said Hucke, who said that being on the team has opened the door to friendships with other student-athletes on campus.

LINEUP FIXTURE: Coach Alexa McClaughry put Lillian Hucke's name in the starting lineup every ... LINEUP FIXTURE: Coach Alexa McClaughry put Lillian Hucke's name in the starting lineup every game during the outfielder's junior season.Hucke has also served for several years as a Scot Ambassador and is now the one giving campus tours of her own. That includes the summer months, since she lives relatively close to campus.

Another significant part of Hucke’s time is given to the women’s fraternity Pi Beta Phi, which she currently serves as vice president of recruitment.

“We recently had Bid Day, so it was fun to see all my work over the summer for recruitment pay off once we got our new members,” she said. “Being a part of a sorority has allowed me to meet people outside of the athlete world and gain connections that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Her Greek life experience has been another important part of her growth in leadership and relationships.

“Pi Phi has allowed me to develop accountability skills, make new friends, make super fun memories and make connections outside my local chapter,” she said.

The Greek life experience comes in all shapes and sizes, and Hucke has opted for a more involved approach.

“I tell prospective students on campus tours that you can just be a normal, active member of the chapter and that you don’t have to have an executive position, but if you really want, we can send you to national conventions and help develop your leadership skills,” she said. “It’s really all that you make it out to be.”

“Pi Phi has allowed me to develop accountability skills, make new friends, make super fun memories and make connections outside my local chapter.” Lillian Hucke


In addition to all her involvements, Hucke shines in the classroom as a double major in psychology and sociology & anthropology, with a minor in educational studies

“The secret is always time management,” she said. “I’m an academic coach, and this is what I always tell my students – your motivation, your organization, that all comes out of your time management skills.”

Hucke plans to become a specialist in school psychology, which will take three years beyond Monmouth – two years of classes and a year in the classroom through an internship. She’s working on graduate school applications, using the College’s Wackerle Center for Career, Leadership and Fellowships as a valued resource.

As Monmouth’s Lincoln Laureate, Hucke will have a speaking role at the 2024 Commencement ceremony. Looking ahead to that day, she began to reflect on her time as a Fighting Scot.

“Monmouth is super special,” she said. “You get to build those relationships – not just with your peers, but with faculty and staff and the community around you, like Bus Kellogg, who does our printing. That’s what I’m going to remember most – that, and all the laughs that I’ve had.”

Listen Up …

On the Monmouth College Conversations podcast, Lillian Hucke talks about her Scots experience and how she become the “Face of Monmouth.”

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