A Girl and Her Gun

Kay Church, Omaha, Nebraska

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Kay Church has never been one to shy away from participating in traditionally male-dominated activities. In fact, her first DU banquet was a stag event, something her father neglected to mention until they were walking in. He simply assumed that because she was a hunter and sporting clays enthusiast, she would fit right in.

Kay went on her first hunting trip with her father and grandfather when she was just four years old. "Grandpa died when I was eight, and I was given his .410 Stevens," she recalls. "I shot my first blue rock pigeon with it soon after."

As she grew older, Kay carried on her family's love of shooting. The men at the local range didn't want to shoot with her, she says, "but I would shoot better than most of them and then they would go off in a huff." Her high school rifle team instructor encouraged female students to get involved in the sport, and Kay became the first captain of the girls' rifle team.

Kay also inherited her father's appreciation for wetlands conservation and Ducks Unlimited. She is a DU Diamond Benefactor, President's Council member, and Diamond Feather Society member. She recently made her fifth Major Sponsor pledge—focused on DU's Preserve Our Prairies Initiative.

"I like what Ducks Unlimited stands for, because it's not just about hunting. It's also a conservation organization that cares about sportsmanship and getting kids to participate in the outdoors," Kay explains.

Kay is retired from teaching and from serving as president of United Electric Supply, which gives her time to pursue her other passions: wildlife, photography, and cooking. She continues to hunt the Platte River, the same place her father and grandfather took her on that first hunting trip.

"When my father passed away, it was up to me to keep his hunting group together," Kay says. "You form a special bond with the people you hunt and shoot with."