Meet the Perdew family, Hilltopper legacies

Noah Moore

If you see a family of seven dressed in strictly Hilltopper attire head-to-toe, odds are it’s the Perdew family. They bleed red, and no, it’s not because of their red blood cells. The sheer morale surrounding WKU this family possesses is enough to convince others WKU spirit runs through their veins.

Parents Tammy and Damon Perdew are both graduates of WKU, with Tammy receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1988 and Damon receiving a degree in business economics in 1990.

Once they married and began having children, there was no doubt where their children would attend college.

“It was never really a question of ‘if’ I would go here,” Tammy and Damon’s daughter Hannah Perdew said. “WKU has always been such a big part of our family that I never even considered anywhere else.”

Hannah is one of three Perdew children who attended or currently attend WKU. Having parents that attended the same university is a unique occurrence that few experience, and Hannah says it is something that brings them together.

“It’s really cool because we can sit and talk about WKU for hours and they tell me all of the cool stories about how they met and things they did in college, and now I’m here experiencing it all for myself,” Hannah said.

The university experience in Bowling Green is no foreign thought. The Perdew’s first daughter McKenzie, a current post-graduate student, is a 2014 WKU graduate with a degree in psychology. Hannah, a junior, studies communication sciences and disorders with minors in psychology and American sign language (ASL), and freshman Kaleb is a mechanical engineering major. All three children are also involved in the Mahurin Honors College.

As for how the Hilltopper spirit has been bestowed upon them, the family recalls growing up tailgating here and even having WKU-themed Christmas pictures.

“It’s just really awesome to go to a school that your whole family feels passionate about as well. We get to tailgate together and they come down for all of the family events,” Hannah said.

For younger brother Kaleb, attending WKU is less a coincidence and more about continuing a legacy.

“It keeps me honest in the sense that it forces me to live up to something,” he said. “It keeps me wanting to do better and helps better me every single day.”

As for the future of the Perdew family at WKU, the family is insistent that the two younger brothers plan to come here as well. That would make all seven family members Hilltoppers, a rare feat.

From one generation to another, the spirit of WKU lives on, as the mantra goes: “life, more life.” Their lives just happen to share one thing — a passion for the place that brought them together, and a place that they will always call home.

Reporter Noah Moore can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @noah_moore18.