The Huss Family in Wildcat Country
Brian and Jill visit their daughter Peyton Huss during UA Parent’s Weekend.
As the first university in the state, the University of Arizona has educated many generations — some entire families have been Wildcats. For the Huss family, the phrase “Wildcat for life” has taken on a whole new meaning.
To them, being a Wildcat is a bond.
Wild in Wildcat Country
Why does the Huss family attend the UA and what makes them stay?
According to UA freshman Peyton Huss, her decision to attend the UA was relatively free from parental influence.
“I don’t think [my parents] persuaded me to do anything at all,” Peyton Huss said. “I kind of knew growing up that I always wanted to go to the UA. It had everything I could’ve wanted in a college.”
Peyton Huss’ biggest influence in her decision was the medical curriculum, citing the strong Emergency Medical Service program and the College of Medicine’s physiology major.
“I think the UA has a ton of different opportunities. We’re really unique in all of the medical majors we have,” said Brian Huss, Peyton Huss’ father, a TUSD assistant school principal and UA graduating class of 2001. “There’s just so many research opportunities to meet doctorate people in the field.”
Brian Huss based the decision on sheer geography. He grew up in Iowa before moving to Arizona. He had been in Tucson for a couple years before deciding to attend the UA.
“It was the school that was there, so I went,” Brian Huss said.
But according to Brian Huss, what may have been only convenience congealed into an affinity for the city’s “small town charm” and honest Wildcat pride.
“I just like Tucson. I like the climate. I like the uniqueness of Tucson,” Brian Huss said. “I just like campus towns as well. I just like living in a college town. Tucson is a neat place.”
While Peyton Huss and Brian Huss made their own decisions about where they wanted to attend, mother and wife Jill Huss, UA graduating class of 2001, was not so free to choose.
“My dad made me,” Jill Huss said. “I wanted to go to [Arizona State University] where my friends were going, but I’m glad that I went to the UA. It’s obviously a much better school.”
According to Peyton Huss, the only thing her mom pushed her into was joining Greek life — a decision Peyton Huss called “beneficial.” Peyton Huss recently joined Alpha Chi Omega.
“I feel like they were bigger partiers than I am,” Peyton Huss said.
Ready for the real world
The Huss family is in solid agreement that attending the UA prepares students for the future.
According to Brian Huss, the simple act of going to college not only taught him how to live as a professional, but also how to live as a thinking and growing member of society.
“I felt, as I went through the College of Education, I was really well prepared to be a teacher,” Brian Huss said. “The program was really good. I think just going to college teaches you to be responsible and a critical thinker.”
For Jill Huss, the challenging curriculum of the UA Eller College of Management was exactly what she needed.
“I thought my professors were very challenging,” Jill Huss said. “Obviously my career is in accounting, so I learned a lot from Eller classes.”
While Peyton Huss has not graduated yet, she sees herself being prepared through opportunities available at the UA.
For the Huss family, attending the same school has greater benefits than just decent educational opportunities.
“You just feel a special bond when you graduate from the same place,” Jill Huss said.
Peyton Huss enjoyed the recent Family Weekend for the same reason. Her parents have pride in their daughter and in the school they attended.
“Everyone else was scrambling to find fun things to do with their parents and places to show them,” Peyton Huss said of Family Weekend. “[It was] a fun weekend for them to reminisce. I took my mom to the fraternities she used to go to, which was cute.”
The Huss family’s pride and shared experience of being Wildcats were commonalities.
“It’s just a pride thing for me,” Brian Huss said. “[I’m] proud to be a Wildcat.”
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