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Fall 2006

Science Initiative Provides Greater Opportunities

The Magazine of Aquinas College

MISSION STATEMENT Aquinas College, an inclusive educational community rooted in the Catholic Dominican tradition, provides a liberal arts education with a global perspective, emphasizes career preparation focused on leadership and service to others, and fosters a commitment to lifelong learning dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the common good.

VISION STATEMENT Aquinas College conducts an array of educational programs whose quality and effectiveness cause it to be considered consistently as a premier Catholic liberal arts college in the Midwest. In doing so, it is the college of choice for increasing numbers of students who seek a diverse, but inclusive, learning community that will enable them to increase their knowledge, hone their competencies, develop their character, and answer God’s calling to use their gifts and talents to make a positive difference in our world through their lives, work, and service. Aquinas strives to graduate students of competence, conscience, compassion, and commitment.

Editorial Team Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95 Marty Fahey, MM’06, staff Rene Palileo ’98, staff Sally Reeves, staff Julie Ridenour, staff

Contributing Writers Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95 Terry Bocian ’70, staff Eric Bridge ’92, staff Cecilia Cunningham, staff Stephan Davis, Ph.D., faculty Cindy Dorman, staff Marty Fahey, MM’06, staff Linda Nemec Foster ’72 Dave Fox, staff Brenda Hennink ’96, staff Jessica Higgins, senior Elizabeth Jensen, Ph.D., faculty Crystal (Lubbers ’01) Laska, staff Kristin Leamon ’93, staff Rabbi Al Lewis, D.H.L., D.D., L.L.D., staff Sr. Jean Milhaupt, O.P. ’45, staff Ben O’Hearn, senior Rene Palileo ’98, staff

Sally Reeves, staff Julie Ridenour, staff Ronda Varnesdeel ’01, staff William Weitzel, staff

Layout/Design D & D Printing, Grand Rapids Silvija Visockis

Design/Photo Archive Silvija Visockis

Photography Eric Bridge ’92 Mikel Cahill Mark Schmidbauer Brian Kelly The Saint Andris Visockis

Aquinas magazine, created in Spring 2002, is a semi-annual publication of Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is published in August and February each year by the College Relations Department for alumni, friends and benefactors of the College as well as parents of enrolled students. Aquinas is a private, four-year Catholic Dominican Liberal Arts College. Letters, comments and suggestions are encouraged. E-mail: Mail to: College Relations Department 1607 Robinson Road, SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799 Web site: Alumni news: Main number: (616) 632-8900 / (616) 632-2844 Fax: (616) 459-2563

Our Apologies In the spring 2006 edition, we profiled President Harry J. Knopke who retired from his post in June. In the article, we inadvertently omitted comments offered about President Knopke by one of our alumni. We provide those comments here: “Thanks to individuals, organizations, business entities, and many supporters, Aquinas has continued to grow and is an important education institution. From this long roster, the outstanding work of

President Harry J. Knopke is among those at the very top. He has brought to Aquinas a professional, friendly, and pragmatic attitude to his position. And, he applied these skills to the ever-growing business, social and community contacts that he has made and continues to make for Aquinas.” -Francisco M. Vega ’50, State Chairman of the Hispanic Assembly We apologize for the omission.

Correction: In the spring 2006 edition, we presented a picture of a group following a speech by Dr. Richard Lapchick. We inadvertently mis-identified Phil Hatlem as coordinator of the Aquinas Athletic Training Program. Phil is actually an assistant professor in the Sports Management Program and chairman of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

fall 2006 Vol. 5, No. 2

The Magazine of Aquinas College



CAMPUS NEWS Holmdene Gardens Receive Some Long-awaited Attention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Feature: Science Initiative Brings Cutting-Edge Equipment/Facilities . . . . . . .6 Grace Hauenstein Library: What It Will Mean to Users . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2006 Commencement Review . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Wege Speaker Speth: Citizens Need to be Better Environmental Managers . . . . . . . . 16 Nobel Prize Winning Author Seamus Heaney Speaks on Campus . . . . . 19 Carriage House Gets Facelift . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Maintenance Team Tackles Summer-long List of Projects . . . . . . . . . . 24

ALUMNI Regional Alumni Receptions (Mich. & N.Y.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 2006 Homecoming: Class Reunions & Alumni Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

ADMISSIONS Record Freshmen Enrollment Expected for Fall 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

EMERITUS COLLEGE Dick and Barbara Young Honored . . . . . . . . . 45

ADVANCEMENT AQ To Honor Bob Israels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Snell Gift Helps Students with Scholarships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 AQ Fund Reaches Record Level . . . . . . . . . . 48

STUDENT NEWS SIFE Team Markets Unique Life Saving Fire Evacuation System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Internship in First Gentleman’s Office Gives Student Look Inside Politics . . . . . . 30 Science Students Get Involved in Summer Research Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33




Cover-Rob Sturm (Senior) carefully analyzes some of his chemistry samples taken as part of his summer research project at Pierce Cedar Creek. Cover photo by Andris Visockis

page 5 - Holmdene Gardens


Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees . . . . . . . . . . .52 Saints Reach Nationals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

TRUSTEES New Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

page 6 - Science Initiative

page 30 - Internship in First Gentleman’s Office


page 46 - Honoring Bob Israels

Aquinas College is committed to equality. This statement of the College speaks to this commitment, as do our history and heritage. We believe that diversity is a blessing, which brings a richness of perspective to our intellectual, cultural, social and spiritual life. All members of our community—faculty, staff, students—will demonstrate respect for each other regardless of our differences. All of us will be sensitive in our actions, words and deeds. We will demonstrate these sensitivities in our classrooms, curricula, offices, meeting places and living environments. We will maintain the diversity of our Board of Trustees, faculty, student body and staff and appreciate the different gifts each brings to this community regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or disability.


Interim President’s Message

C. Edward Balog, Ph.D.

The beginning of an academic year is an exciting time. New students begin their college career and returning students continue their studies. It is well that at times like these we reflect a little on what it is that we are about. We are committed, in the words of our mission statement, “…to lifelong learning dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the common good.” We are committed to education. However, education at all levels is under considerable fire these days. There is criticism of the level of functional illiteracy. Speeches are made on the floor of the U.S. Congress about the sorry state of scientific and technical education in the United States. These speeches frequently cite the huge disparity in the number of engineers being trained in the U.S. compared with China and India. These disparities are exaggerated and sometimes simply false, but if they are repeated often enough and reported often enough they acquire an existence independent of the facts. These criticisms are but symptomatic of the general debate about the quality of American education. I remain convinced that the quality of American education, especially of American higher education, is quite high. We still have what is arguably the best system of higher education in the world; this is attested to in part by the number of foreign students who continue to come here to study. We should be aware that the sharpest critics of education are those who somehow believe that education exists to serve their particular political or economic interests. It is easy to criticize the lack of specific training and thus to overlook the actual purpose of a vast and complex educational system such as ours.

Access to education is one of the most significant contributing factors to the success of the great experiment of American constitutional democracy. Extensive educational opportunities for all levels of society have provided an informed citizenry with its common heritage and common goals that a democracy requires. With our diverse society this multiplicity of opportunities is crucial. This is why colleges such as Aquinas deserve and require public support as much as elementary and secondary systems and public colleges and universities. Without access to education a common course examined and decided through the avenues of civil public discourse would be nearly impossible to achieve. Thus, at this time of leadership transition at Aquinas College, I think it wise to remind ourselves that we are continuing to contribute to this larger purpose. We do so by providing to a diverse student body the intellectual skills to learn and to think about themselves and their society and to become engaged in the civic process. Our growing undergraduate enrollment suggests that we are serving this need. So in this time of change we should look ahead to the new academic year, with the opening of our new library, as indications of our continuing service to both our students and to the broader community. With the support of our alumni and friends we will continue to prepare educated, reflective individuals who will also be engaged citizens. We look forward to seeing you at Homecoming.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 4

By Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95, Contributing writer

Holmdene Gardens early 1990s

One of the most elegant yet restful natural spots on the Aquinas campus is the terraced garden west of the Holmdene building. Ellen Biddle Shipman created the graceful, formal design for the Lowe family, who commissioned the project more than 80 years ago when Holmdene was their residence. Shipman designed more than 650 gardens in the U.S. from 1914 until her death in 1950, according to The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman by Judith Tankard. The 1997 book, which contains photos and information about Holmdene garden, even shows the 1922 landscape plan by Shipman, who was one of the first women to enter – and excel in – the male-dominated field of landscape architecture. In a 1929 issue of Country Life magazine, an article was written about “Holmdene,” the Lowe estate of “80 acres of beautifully rolling and wooded land” that was landscaped by Ossian Cole Simonds, a well-known landscape designer of the Midwest, at the time the residence was built in

1908. Shipman’s Holmdene garden, the article says, contained sedums, statices, hostas, violas, irises, stock, roses, delphiniums, lilacs, “phloxes in wonderful array,” and “two very symmetrical dwarf apple trees,” to name a few plants. The property eventually passed from the Lowe family to the University of Grand Rapids and then to Aquinas College in 1945. In 1990, the gardens were re-established to their former colorful, diverse glory, thanks to generous donations of time, funds and plants from the community. James Doyle, then assistant professor of biology, some 30 Tri Beta Biological Honor Society students, and staff, faculty and other volunteers planted more than 2,000 perennials and 300 shrubs. Over the years, the gardens have become a popular destination for garden admirers as well as amateur and professional photographers looking for scenic backgrounds for family, wedding and individual photographs. And recently, Dirk and Vicki AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 5

Hoffius presented the College with a gift to maintain and enhance the Holmdene gardens. The reflecting pond already has been refurbished and a new fountain has been installed. In addition, a plaque will be created to recognize Shipman’s contributions.

Rectangular Pool, Holmdene, Edward Lowe Estate, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1921 (Photo by Mattie Edwards Hewitt, c. 1923. RMC- Cornell University Library)

If you would like to support the enhancement of the historic Holmdene gardens, contact Julie Ridenour at (616) 632-2808 or


Holmdene Garden Restored


Science Initiative Gains Momentum By Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95, Contributing writer

Science students (L-R) Lianne Griffiths (sophomore), Adam VanGessel (junior), Jeanne Gilewski (senior), Kyler Carroll (senior), Meghann Broderick (senior), Melissa Conklin (senior) and Rob Sturm (senior).

If science isn’t the first thing you think of when someone mentions Aquinas College, you’re not alone. But this small liberal arts college has an admirable tradition in the sciences, and out of about 750 living science major graduates, more than 200 are M.D.s or D.O.s and about 100 have Ph.D.s. “Aquinas is like spring training for grad school,” said Charles R. Frydrych ’63, associate professor of physics. Every science major who graduates with a decent GPA and wants to go on to grad school has been accepted into graduate programs, he added. Jeanne Gilewski, who graduated in May with a triple major in biology, chemistry and math, exemplifies that statement. She said one of the reasons she chose Aquinas was because “they have great stats for getting into medical school.” Gilewski was accepted by four university medical schools and begins at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in August.

Yet, while the science department, which includes biology, chemistry, geography and physics, offers challenging coursework and dedicated, highly regarded faculty, its laboratories and equipment haven’t always been cutting edge. Efforts are being made to rectify that, and good progress has been made. The Science Initiative, as the collective efforts are called, has its roots in the Dr. John Poje Scholarship, which was established in memory of “Doc Poje,” who taught in the College’s science department for 38 years. He died in 1988. One of the main goals of the Science Initiative is to develop a self-sustaining endowment that can have a lasting impact on the science department, Frydrych said. The science department has already benefited from the Initiative through more than 40 gifts. Just this spring, the Science Initiative project received good news from the Haviland Products Company about its decision to support the analytical chemistry laboratory. The company AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 6

The science department has already benefited from the Initiative through more than 40 gifts.


Dr. Elizabeth Jensen, assistant professor of chemistry (L) assists sophomore Lianne Griffiths with a metals research project.

presented the department with $40,000 for the lab, which will provide an opportunity for cooperation between Haviland and the chemistry department. Haviland products include chemicals and plastic extrusion projects. In the summer of 2005, faculty purchased $100,000 worth of needed laboratory and student research equipment: The biology department replaced analogue equipment with computer integrated equipment. The chemistry department received a 60MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. And the geography department acquired geographic information systems (GIS), which are computer mapping programs. While upgrading and replacing equipment and labs is a top priority for the Science Initiative, that certainly isn’t the only focus. “My suggestion is you have to get people to not only give money, but also get involved,” said Science Advisory Committee member Luis A. Tomatis,

M.D., FACS, FACC, who has been a College Board member since 2002 and was the founding president of the Van Andel Research Institute. Thomas Zwier ’76, who is senior director of Quality Technical Services at Pfizer and a Science Advisory Committee co-chair with Robert Boguslaski ’62, listed goals for the Initiative: modernize the science department, increase the numbers of students who choose science majors, have state-of-the-art equipment, support the strong teaching tradition of Aquinas and foster a strong relationship between the College and graduates. “The vision of the Science Initiative, first, is the increase and stabilization of the giving base of Aquinas graduates,” Zwier said. And because the outreach is directed toward a specific alumni group, “it can be a valuable model for the rest of the school.” Frydrych and other faculty are already strengthening alumni-College relationships by scheduling lectures



Left: Lianne Griffiths processes some metal samples from her summer research project.

Right: Senior Rob Sturm and Sophomore Lianne Griffiths test some of their samples for the Pierce Cedar Creek Research Project.

given by alumni and asking them to speak with students who have questions about the various and varied science fields. During the last school year, the Contemporary Science Seminar Series featured former Aquinas students including Dr. Megan App, Dr. Dave Baumgartner, Dr. Adam Burnett and Dr. Vern Armbrustmacher, Frydrych said.

“This is a nice task, to keep Aquinas in the back of your consciousness,” he said. Whether it means identifying an internship opportunity or donating unused equipment, for example, alumni can make a difference in a number of ways.

Tomatis expressed his satisfaction for such networking and said he’d like to see graduates thinking more often of the College and how they can support it.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 8

If you’d like to get involved with the Science Initiative, contact Bill Weitzel at (616) 632-2820. A Homecoming Weekend luncheon for science graduates and friends of the science department is scheduled for September. Also the Contemporary Science Seminar Series has several great speakers lined up for the fall semester, including alumnus Dr. Ralph Mathis ‘60.


Haviland Funds Chemistry Laboratory

(L-R) Sr. Aquinas Weber, O.P, Chancellor Emerita; Bernie Haviland, Haviland Products president; and Sr. Katrina Hartman, O.P., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry

The Science Initiative project received good news from the Haviland Products Company about its decision to support the analytical chemistry laboratory.

The lab will provide an opportunity of cooperation between Haviland and the chemistry department. Haviland products include chemicals and plastic extrusion projects.

Health Center Keeps Campus Healthy By Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95, Contributing writer

exams and clinical breast exams; men’s health care; immunizations; vaccinations; suture, wart and mole removal; prescription medications; and strep, mono, urinalysis and pregnancy tests.

test? Stop in at the Aquinas College Health Center, which offers quite an array of medical services for students, faculty and staff.

“We average about 30 to 40 students a day,” she noted. The Center, which has been in existence at least since the 1950s, also bills most insurance companies directly. Most students have insurance, she said, but for those who don’t, “we have a sliding fee scale.”

“We don’t cast and we don’t suture,” said nurse practitioner Kim Texley-Quigg, RNC, NP. But other than that, the variety of services is impressive: complete physical exams; women’s health care including gynecological

In addition to Health Center director Texley-Quigg (who has been there nine years), Veronica Beitner works full-time in the Center as receptionist, certified phlebotomist and all-around assistant. Physicians Greg

Kim Texley-Quigg, R.N., director of Health Center (L) with Veronica Beitner

Need an allergy shot? A strep

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 9

Kuldanek, M.D. and John Walen, M.D., both AQ graduates, see patients throughout the school year by appointment. Texley-Quigg is a familiar face on campus. She offers education programs to students and began the Wellness Series lectures last year for faculty and staff. “Veronica and I make house calls, too,” she said, so if a student is feeling too sick to walk from his or her dorm to the Center, they will do the legwork.

“My main goal has always been to help students avoid an emergency.” -Health Care Director Kim Texley-Quigg



On May 23 at its regular Board meeting, the Aquinas College Board of Trustees officially and unanimously selected Provost C. Edward Balog, Ph.D., to serve as Interim President until a new president for the College is found. Balog began his additional responsibilities on July 1, 2006, the day after President Harry J. Knopke, Ph.D. retired from the post he has held since July 1997. “The Board of Trustees is grateful to have a person of Dr. Balog’s experience and caliber ready and willing to serve as Interim President, ” said Board Chairman Patrick Miles, Jr. “The Board has complete confidence in Dr. Balog and knows Aquinas College will be in good hands until a new president is appointed and installed.” Balog joined Aquinas in 2000 as Provost and Dean of Faculty. He came from Marian College in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he served as vice president of Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty and a professor of history. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees

from West Virginia University and received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois. “Transitions in the leadership are important times in the life of any institution or organization,” stated Balog. “I am gratified by the confidence of the Board of Trustees, but I realize that this confidence is rooted in their awareness of the continuing commitment of the administration, faculty and staff to the mission of the College. With the support of this dedicated community, I am confident we will effect a seamless transition which will enhance our efforts to provide the best possible education for our students.” Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees’ presidential search, which began earlier this year, continued in a confidential manner in mid-July. Miles had indicated earlier that it was unlikely that a new president would be found and installed by July 1, making necessary the selection of an interim president.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 10

“With the support of this dedicated community, I am confident we will effect a seamless transition which will enhance our efforts to provide the best possible education for our students.”


What’s New at the New Library By Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95, Contributing writer

98 percent of academic libraries in the U.S., according to library codirectors Francine Paolini and Shellie Jeffries. “The Library of Congress classification is just a better system for academic libraries,” Paolini said. “The material is organized much more comprehensively.” Not only that, but the call numbers will be shorter, so no more awkwardly trying to read numbers as they wrap around a book.

When the three-story Grace M. The library’s move to the east side of campus will be an adjustment, no doubt. “The traffic flow of the campus is going to change,” Paolini said. Being closer to the Moose Café, parking and dorms likely will encourage students to use the new facilities more frequently, especially when they realize what a convenient, welcoming library it is.

Hauenstein Library opens this fall, the new location won’t be the only change, although it’s arguably the most obvious. More spacious and well-lit than the Woodhouse Library, the new location also will feature a new classification system, wireless access, more computers and a new media services system. After years with the Dewey decimal classification system, the library is being converted to the Library of Congress system, which is used by

Technology and work spaces also should make the library more userfriendly. In addition to providing more computers throughout the library, the space will also offer wireless and wired access for students who want to use their laptops. “We’ll have lots of outlets,” Jeffries promised, along with several rooms for students to work together on library research projects. The media services area will be more accessible to patrons as well. “There will be a separate media department with its own circulation desk,” Paolini said. A new policy will allow students to borrow feature films. And with more total space in the library, the media department will have room to display CDs, DVDs and other media for easy browsing. Additionally, the college will continue to grow its full-text online journal holdings. The new information literacy classroom will have 26 computers. And a public archives is planned. With the increased square footage of the library, “people will generally have more access to materials, with more space and more computers,” Jeffries said.

View on second floor of new library AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 11


Aquinas Presents Diplomas to 500 As weather goes in West Michigan, there couldn’t have been a more ideal day for Commencement. Temperatures outside hovered in the upper fifties, while inside conditions remained comfortable for those gathered for the two and a half hour ceremony. Some 270 of the 508 undergraduate and graduate students eligible to graduate showed up for the 65th annual Commencement ceremony. President Harry Knopke was there to personally congratulate and present diplomas to each graduate. It was his last official responsibility as president as he closed in on his planned retirement on June 30. The honorary degree ceremony added an international flavor to the proceedings. Four individuals were honored for contributions in their fields and for humanitarian efforts. Sr. Amata Fabbro, O.P., Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Theology and of Italian heritage, received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for her vast contributions to the College’s Theology-related programs; Jorge Luis Acevedo, the program coordinator for Aquinas’ Costa Rican studies program, received an honorary

Doctor of Fine Arts degree; the Honorable Clement Chiwaya ’02, from the country of Malawi in southeast Africa, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Social Sciences degree for his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the impoverished people in his homeland; and Brian Williams ’69, the “dean of Canadian sportscasting,” was given an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his contributions in the field of sports. Williams also delivered the Commencement Address – “Going for Gold, Achieving Excellence.” Citing four keys to achieving excellence, he first cautioned graduates that there are no shortcuts to practice and preparation. The importance of flexibility, he said, is the ability to think on your feet –- to face whatever comes along. And finally, the most important key to excellence, he told graduates, is that “You have to believe in yourselves.”


Brian Williams ’69 to Join CTV, TSN as Canada’s Prime-Time Olympic Host for 2010

Brian Williams at 2006 Commencement

Venerated Canadian sportscaster Brian Williams, a 1969 Aquinas graduate who delivered this year’s Commencement address, will join CTV Inc. in December 2006 as a key member of CTV and TSN’s broadcast teams. In announcing Williams’ appointment in early June, CTV officials revealed that he will be the prime-time host of the highly anticipated 2010 Winter Games from Vancouver-Whistler and the ensuing 2012 Summer Games from London. Williams will join CTV Inc. through 2012, and over the next six years he will be inte-

grated into several sporting assignments for CTV, TSN and other platforms.

awards and praise from critics.

Williams, considered the dean of Olympic sports broadcasting in Canada, reported his first Olympics at the 1976 Summer Games from Montreal. He has covered virtually every Olympic Games since and every high profile professional and major amateur sporting event around the globe.

CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality news, sports, information and entertainment programming. (Information provided by CTV, Canada)

Along the way, Williams’ unique broadcast style has endeared him to millions of Canadians from coast to coast, winning numerous

Chiwaya ’02 Meets Bono Clement Chiwaya ’02 continues to leverage his connections to raise money to build facilities and plant crops to help those living in his poverty-stricken homeland of Malawi in southeast Africa. He even had the opportunity to share his concerns with music icon and humanitarian Bono during the entertainer’s visit to Grand Rapids in mid-May. The two met for a short period to discuss their mutual concerns. Bono has

used his influence to help Africa address the issues of AIDS, hunger and poverty there. Those wanting to learn more about Chiwaya’s efforts in his African homeland can visit his website at If you would like to contact the malawiconnection, the email address is

Clement Chiwaya ’02 (R) pictured with pop icon Bono during the entertainer’s mid-May visit to Grand Rapids. Chiwaya was in town to visit friends and receive an honorary doctorate from his alma mater.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 14

By Barbara Witham McCargar, Associate Professor of Music

Rupert Kettle congratulates 2000 B.M. graduate, Andrew W. Fleser, following his piano recital.


he music department will strut its stuff throughout Homecoming Weekend as it has in the past, but there will be a special aura this year: a celebration honoring Rupert Kettle, the man and his contributions. Rupert was an adjunct professor of music who began instructing percussionists at Aquinas in 1972 and founded the AQ Percussion Group in 1979. The innovations that were introduced both to and through the student percussionists on campus were surprising, exciting, refreshing and unusual, to say the least, for the many student and community audiences over the years. Sadly, Rupert died on May 11, 2005 after a long battle against cancer. Describing the unique music that he was known for in an old issue of The Score, a music department newsletter in the 1980s, Rupert stated, “Within our concert formats we have, in a sense, served as educators as well as musicians.

Fall 2002 Percussion Group (L-R) Kelli Tilley, Nate Lareau, Spiro Sinigos, Tim Iding, David Baylis, Kara Stermin, Scott Markwart and Rupert Kettle

A great body of twentieth-century music has been written exclusively for percussion instruments, yet, this music goes unheard in these parts, the names of its composers often unrecognized.” This legend of a man was a tremendous communicator through the written word, and he authored many articles on percussion playing, percussionists and compositions. His articles appeared in DownBeat, Modern Drummer, Percussive Notes and other magazines. A published composer of instructional methods and compositions for percussion, Rupert has music in the listings of Studio 4 Music, HoneyRock Publishing Company and most recently (2003) with Frog Peak Music, a prestigious collective of American experimental composers. In 2000, he received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Aquinas College, which he treasured.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 15

However, his greatest treasure had to be his widow, Char, along with his children, Rupert III, Sabrina and Aaron, as well as stepchildren Debra LaBelle, Craig Holtrop and Amy Holtrop. During Homecoming Weekend, September 29–October 1, music department students, faculty and staff, alumni, friends and family members of Rupert Kettle are planning a Friday noontime Percussion Event, a Saturday Tree Planting Ceremony at 6 p.m. and a Sunday Scholarship Kick-off concert at 5 p.m. Stop by the Art and Music Center (AMC) during the Open House and be sure to enjoy the AQ Jazz Band led by adjunct instructor, Tim Froncek.


Aquinas to Honor Musician Rupert Kettle during Homecoming Weekend


Wege Speaker Calls For Greater Environmental Management be an environmental agency.”

Renowned environmental leader, James Gustave “Gus” Speth, dean and professor in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, took center stage at the tenth annual Wege Speaker Series forum April 11 to call on world citizens to become better environmental managers. Speth took a moment at the start of his discussion to applaud Peter Wege for his long-time commitment to the environment and for being an environmental leader at times when it was an unpopular position. Speaking about the “Environment and Economy: On Course for Collision or Reconciliation? ” Speth stated that environmental management – the enterprise of bringing human endeavors into harmony with the natural world– must quickly emerge as the number one priority of business, government and citizens on this planet.” The world, he stated, has lost half of its wetlands and half of its tropical and temperate forests. In addition, he noted, agricultural lands are suffering, in some measure, from a process called

desertification, undermining livelihoods in scores of countries. The process of disruptive climate change has already started. And, he warned, “we are altering the great systems and cycles of the planet on a scale that is unprecedented in human history. We were severely depleting the earth’s stratospheric ozone layer without even knowing we were doing it.” In his most recent publication, Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment, Speth shares his views on what the Seattle Times described as “a remarkably wellresearched and well-documented warning of potential global disaster.” “We’re in a race against time that is unprecedented,” Speth told an audience of more than 200. “The bottom line is that we need a new profound sense of urgency to move our human activity into harmony with human nature.” The good news, he said, is that he’s seen a change in societal attitudes to one of more collaboration. “Every sector – business, citizens and government – must AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 16

Speth reminded those gathered that America is to blame for a third of the greenhouse gases and yet, he says, we have done almost nothing to reduce that build-up in the past quarter of a century. The result, he warned: “the world, as we have known it, is history.” He pointed out that the mere one degree Fahrenheit rise in average global warming has increased sea levels, strengthened hurricanes, disrupted the ecosystems, threatened parks and the protected areas around our country, caused droughts and heat waves, melted the arctic and glaciers everywhere and killed an estimated 100,000 people each year. Climate change, he said, will have incalculable environmental, social and economic costs. The real tragedy, he noted, is that attitudes everywhere have not changed fast enough. Although the public’s understanding of the problem is only now beginning to change for the better, he added, we are still far behind. Speth believes the environmental gains being made by those at the state and local levels will have to serve as the impetus for those in Washington to develop a sensible energy policy that begins to address the issues most threatening to the global environmental issues.


AQ THEATRE 2006-07 Season Mainstage Charlotte’s Web Adapted by Joseph Robinette October 2,6,7,8 @ 7pm 7,8 @ 3pm

The Underpants By Steve Martin November 15,31 @ 8pm December 1,2,3 @ 8pm 2,3 @ 2pm

The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams January 29 @ 8pm February 15,16,17 @ 8pm 22,23,24 @ 8pm 25 @ 2pm

The High Rise: A Comedy in Mask By Aquinas College Students March 20,22,23,24 @ 8pm

The Pirates of Penzance By Gilbert and Sullivan A production partnered with Cornerstone University March 25 @ 8pm April 12,13,14, 19,20,21 @ 8pm 22 @ 2pm

Student Laboratory Productions Play TBA November 9,10,11 @ 8pm Directed by Christopher Grooms

Play TBA March 15,16,17 @ 8pm Directed by Jessica Watson and Erin Clossen

For tickets, call the box office at (616) 456-6656.

Fall 2006 Circle Theatre Schedule Aquinas College Performing Arts Center 1705 Robinson Road, S.E.

“The Boys Next Door” Comedy by Tom Griffin Aug. 17-19, 23-27, and 30 - Sept. 2 “The Full Monty” Musical comedy Book by Terrence McNally Musical and lyrics by David Yazbek Sept. 14-16, 20-24, 27-30

Circle Theatre Cabaret: Annie Beals, Actress Sept. 18 Edye Evans Hyde ‘79, Actress September 25 For tickets, call the box office at (616) 456-6656.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 17

Children’s Theatre: Circle Presents “The Wright Stuff” Nov. 13 and 14 Call (616) 632-1980


Contemporary Writers Series Celebrates Landmark Year By Linda Nemec Foster ’72, CWS Founder

The 2006-07 academic year marks the 10th anniversary of Aquinas College’s Contemporary Writers Series (CWS). This prestigious series has showcased some of the finest poets and writers from around the country and the world as they have visited campus to give featured readings and informal talks (see the article on Seamus Heaney’s visit, p. 19). Since the events are always free and open to the public, the CWS has become a fixture of the West Michigan literary scene, benefiting not only Aquinas’ students and faculty but the greater Grand Rapids community as well. During the 10th anniversary year, some of our

very favorite authors will return for a “Greatest Hits of the CWS” celebration: Kurtis Lamkin, Li-Young Lee, Linda Pastan and Marilyn Nelson (who was our very first reader in the fall of 1997). Please join us for these events. Special opportunities and benefits are available for event sponsorship. For more information, contact Bill Weitzel, Director of Planned Giving, at (616) 632-2820.

CWS SCHEDULE FOR 2006-2007 All lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. and are in the Wege Student Center Ballroom. The lectures are free and all are welcome. For additional information on the series, call (616) 632-8900. Thursday, September 21, 2006 – Kurtis Lamkin Tuesday, November 7, 2006 – Li-Young Lee Tuesday, March 20, 2007 – Linda Pastan Thursday, April 12, 2007 – Marilyn Nelson

DIANE REHM TO VISIT AQUINAS OCTOBER 24 – SAVE THE DATE! In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center, Diane Rehm, creator of the award-winning The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio, will speak at Aquinas on Tuesday, October 24. “Women Make a Difference: An Hour with Diane Rehm at Aquinas College” will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Aquinas Performing Arts Center, 1705 Robinson Road, S.E. This event is free and all are welcome to attend. Diane Rehm

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 18

At 6 p.m., come to a dinner at Cascade Hills County Club, 3725 Cascade Road, S.E., with Diane Rehm as the featured speaker. Reservations ($150) are currently being taken. Please call (616) 632-2979 or e-mail to reserve your spot. For information on Rehm and her show, visit programs/dr/diane_rehm/

By Vicki McMillan, Assistant Professor of English

Seamus Heaney

On May 10, 2006, the Aquinas College Contemporary Writers Series ended its ninth season with a reading by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. Five hundred and fifty poetry enthusiasts filled both the Wege Ballroom and an overflow space as Aquinas

College welcomed one of the most beloved poets writing today. Heaney shared a sampling of poems from his extensive body of work. The poetry was followed by a question and answer session that proved as popular as the reading itself, as Heaney fielded questions from the audience, dazzling all with the breadth and scope of his mind. Seamus Heaney’s visit would not have been possible without the support of Deborah Meijer’s Rimbaud Fund at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Meijer was pleased with both the speaker and the audience’s reception of its guest. “Readings like

this are important,” she said. “They culturally enrich our lives, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to assist in making such an event possible. Besides,” she added, “it’s not every day that one meets someone as charming and brilliant as Seamus Heaney. I’m sure that everyone in the audience will remember this day for years to come.” The Contemporary Writers Series will continue its legacy of literary excellence on September 21 with a performance by poet Kurtis Lamkin. Aquinas College wishes to thank Dr. Tony and Linda Nemec Foster for their continued support of this important series.

Anyone interested in providing additional support for the Contemporary Writers Series, contact Bill Weitzel at 632-2820.

“Biomimicry” Author Speaks By Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95, Contributing writer

Janine Benyus

The Sustainable Business Department hosted author Janine Benyus in March, who shared her research into the efforts being made to mimic nature’s designs, processes and adaptability to create more efficient, environmentally sustainable products and processes. Whether discussing

how the aerodynamic design of kingfishers inspired a beakshaped nose on bullet trains or how the self-cleaning surface of lotus plants led researchers to develop a material that has kept a building exterior clean for eight years, Benyus offered fascinating food for thought. Nature offers “3.8 billion years of research and design,” with millions of survivors who have come up with well-adapted solutions, she said. Why not mimic them? Presenting vivid, often beautiful slides of nature, Benyus described research projects across the globe that are exploring everything AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 19

from how mussels create adhesive to how geckos use static electricity to cling to surfaces. Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature and three other life science books, graduated from Rutgers University and lectures at the University of Montana. In addition to her March slide lecture, she also participated in a panel discussion, “Women Entrepreneurs: Their Green Side,” which was sponsored by the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center. For more information on biomimicry, visit


Nobel Prize Winner Draws a Capacity Crowd at AQ


Cook Carriage House Gets New Look By Dave Weinandy, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the Provost for Campus Life and Noddea Moore, Campus Life Program Coordinator

In addition to the familiar, there is much anew at this well-known hangout on campus, including two levels furnished with new furniture thanks to the help of the Wege Foundation, contemporary artwork by African artists, game equipment and meeting spaces.

In 1996, the Student Senate had a plan to create a place for students to socialize, gather and study… a student union of sorts. The result was the renovation of the College’s historic carriage house. Over the last ten years this space has become a core element of the campus, having hosted hundreds of special events and many important conversations over coffee among friends and leaders. Now, ten years later, the Cook Carriage House is an even more comfortable and welcoming place. In 2004, along with a change in leadership and expansion of programs in the Campus Life area of the College, there came a plan to update the space. The plan was to start small and work up, beginning with simple changes like new paint colors, carpeting and structural repairs, all the while preserving the historic integrity of the building and the warmth of the existing coffee house the Moose Café. It was also critical to keep the building functional throughout the renovations.

On the main level is an “expanded” Moose Café, a full service coffee and snack bar that now features custom cabinets, an ice machine, new sinks, and a wraparound slate bar with contemporary seating and overhead lighting. The Café was updated to be visually pleasing and more efficient. Fall 2006 will bring new baked good products and a fullselection smoothie bar. While students enjoy a coffee or a chai, they can gather around high-top tables or relax on comfortable deep rust and wheat colored lounge chairs and couches from Steelcase as they read up on the latest news and trends in one of the many magazines and newspapers found throughout the Café. When the weather is nice, students study or socialize outside on the Ryan Deck, which includes new awnings, patio umbrellas and planters. Upstairs you will find a game room furnished with billiards, table tennis, foosball, air hockey, a stand-up arcade game, a big screen TV and living room style seating… a perfect place to socialize, study or watch a favorite show. There’s no doubt AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 20

that the building is functional as well as social – as guests can check out a laptop with wireless Internet access for their homework or research needs, or do ATM banking with Lake Michigan Credit Union. Two new private offices were created for Student Activities and Multicultural Affairs staff members on the upper level, and the lower level features the Campus Life Office with a fresh image and new fixtures in a shared workspace by the Program and Building Coordinator, Noddea Moore and David Weinandy, Special Assistant to the Provost. Dave recently relocated his office from the lower level of the Academic Building to the Carriage House. In addition to staff offices, there is also student office space in the Student Leadership Office, including work space for the Student Senate and Tree Top Productions – the Programming Board. Also a newly developed Multicultural Resource Lounge was made possible by a grant from Daimler – Chrysler. In the center of the office is a large boardroom table, perfect for meetings and working sessions of student groups. Though the project has been in full gear for the past two years, it is one that is will continue indefinitely. Future installations include a new sprinkler system and updated landscaping, a sound system and Adirondack chairs for


the outside deck, a music library, plants and greenery throughout the building, additional wireless laptops and a flat screen television. Up to this point, most of the renovations, improvements and additions are the result of active fundraising efforts. Alumni, staff and faculty members, and current students through the Student Senate have made contributions, as well as campus and community supporters. Major gifts have been received by Lake Michigan Credit Union, the Wege Foundation, Peter Cook, the

Erhardt family and the Alan Ryan Family. Throughout the building you’ll see new signage acknowledging the gifts of these generous donors. At Aquinas, it’s your Campus Life. Live it!

Upper Left: Campus Life student assistant Dave Doppel helps Assistant Director of Student Activities Sara Frees pack up for the move to her new office.

“This is a project that will never end. In the future, the hopes are to create a building endowment for continual improvements.” –Dave Weinandy, Special Assistant to the Provost Contributions are still being sought, and you can play a role in this exciting effort by contacting Dave Weinandy at or calling 616-632-2058.

The Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center held the 4th Annual Outstanding Aquinas Woman Award Reception in the Holmdene Board Room on Thursday March 30, 2006. (L - R) Kelly Ditmar ’06, was named the Outstanding Aquinas Student; Sandy Rademaker, Education Department, Outstanding Staff Woman; Elizabeth Jensen, Ph.D., Chemistry, Outstanding Faculty Woman; and Margaret Cheff, Outstanding Volunteer and Friend of Aquinas. AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 21


2006 fall Calendar of Events August 22.........Music Department Concert 7:30 p.m., AMC, Kretschmer Recital Hall John Proulx’s Debut CD Release Concert “My Love for You”

25.........AQ Day All day, 8:15 a.m. For high school juniors, seniors and their families; for information, visit

27 - Oct. 1 ...........Aquinas Faculty Art Exhibit AMC Gallery, Free Opening Reception: Sept. 30, 2-4 p.m. Dana Freeman, Madeline Kaczmarczyk, Don Kerr, Chris LaPorte, Ron Pederson, Steve Schousen, Sharon Sandberg, H.J. Slider Gallery closed Sept. 2-4

September 7...........Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center presentation (JHIWSC) 7 p.m., Wege Center, Loutit Room, Free “The Not-So Civil Rights Initiative: Why It’s Harmful to Women, Minorities and Families in Michigan” Jean Doss, Representative, One United Michigan

8...........Music Department/West Michigan Jazz Society Concert 7:30 p.m., AMC, Kretschmer Recital Hall, Free “Tribute to Oscar Peterson”

12.........Aquinas Lecture Series 12:30-1:30 p.m., Wege Center Ballroom, Free “Cycling: A Poetry Reading” Michelle De Rose, Ph.D.

17.........Music Department Concert 4 p.m., AMC, Kretschmer Recital Hall, Free Barbara Witham McCargar and Friends Chamber works, ensemble pieces and songs

21.........Music Department Concert AMC, Kretschmer Recital Hall, Free 12:30 p.m. Informance 4:30-6:30 p.m. Master Class David Ronis Guest vocal master from New York

25.........JHIWSC Presentation 7 to 8 p.m. panel, 8 to 9 p.m. breakout sessions Wege Center, Loutit Room, Free “Activism for a New Millennium” Panel discussion featuring Dotti Clune, activist, organizer, and local freelance writer; Paula Melin, Muskegon school teacher; Doris Rucks retired professor of women’s studies and African American studies at GVSU

29.........Music Department Concert Noon, Front Lawn of AMC, Free “a la Rupert Kettle” Percussion Event

30.........Music Department Event 6 p.m., Lawn East of AMC, Free Tree planting in honor of Rupert Kettle

October 1...........Music Department Concert 5 p.m., AMC Kretschmer Recital Hall, Free Rupert Kettle Scholarship Kick-off Concert Tim Froncek, director

3...........Aquinas Lecture Series 12:30-1:30 p.m., Wege Center Ballroom, Free “Myers-Briggs and Accounting: Time for a Change” John Hogan

6-9........Aquinas Theatre Production Performing Arts Center Performances: 10/6-8 at 7 p.m., 10/7 at 7 p.m., 10/8-9 at 3p.m. “Charlotte’s Web” Adapted by Joseph Robinette Individual tickets & season passes available. Call (616) 456-6656 for ticket information.

8-Nov. 3 ...........Aquinas Art Exhibit AMC Gallery, Free Opening Reception: October 8, 2-4 p.m. Ceramics Invitational Curated by Madeline Kaczmarczyk Gallery closed Oct. 14-22

8...........Music Department Concert 4 p.m., location TBA, Free Fall Choral Concert Aquinas Chorus, Chamber Choir & Valenti Handbell Ensemble

21 ........... Contemporary Writers Series 7:30 p.m. Wege Center Ballroom. Free Kurtis Lamkin Poet and musician

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24.........JHIWSC Presentation 12:30 p.m., Aquinas Performing Arts Center, Free Diane Rehm, National Public Radio talk show host "Women Make a Difference: An Hour with Diane Rehm at Aquinas College." For more information call (616) 632-2979.

24.........JHIWSC Presentation 6 p.m. doors open, 6:45 p.m. dinner Cascade Hills Country Club 20th Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser $150 per person “A Conversation with Diane Rehm” Reservations are currently being taken. For more information call (616) 632-2979.

31.........Aquinas Lecture Series 12:30-1:30 p.m., Wege Center Ballroom, Free “Destination Alaska: A Pictorial Journey of the National Parks” Brenda Hennink

November 3...........AQ Day All day, 8:15 a.m. For high school juniors, seniors and their families; for information, visit

4...........Music Department Concert 7:30 p.m., AMC, Kretschmer Recital Hall, Free Aquinas Chamber Choir Concert “Odyssey in Operas – Famous Opera Arias & Choruses”

7...........Contemporary Writers Series 7:30 p.m. Wege Center Ballroom. Free Li-Young Lee Internationally known poet

8...........Music Department Concert 9:30 p.m., Moose Café, Cook Carriage House, Free Jazz Jam

10.........Science/Nursing/Math AQ Day All day, 8:15 a.m. For high school juniors, seniors and their families; for information, visit

11.........Music Department Concert 7:30 p.m., W.K. Kellogg Auditorium Battle Creek, Free Aquinas Chorus and the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

AMC Gallery, Free Opening Reception: Nov. 12, 2-4 p.m. Kurt Kaiser Sabbatical Exhibit Gallery closed Nov. 23-26

14.........Aquinas Lecture Series 12:30-1:30 p.m., Wege Center Ballroom, Free “The Theological Rehabilitation of the Pharisees” Stephan Davis, Ph.D.


12–Dec. 15 ...........Aquinas Art Exhibit

3-4........Club AQ For accepted high school seniors and their parents; for information, visit

10.........Music Department Concert 4 p.m., Aquinas Performing Arts Center, Free Holiday Concert Instrumental ensembles and more

16.........JHIWSC Presentation 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Wege Center, Loutit Room, Free “Anishinabekwewok: The Strength of the People” Debra Muller, Project Manager, Grand Rapids Public Museum

17.........AQ Day All day, 8:15 a.m. For high school juniors, seniors and their families; for information, visit

24-25....Select Bank Hall of Fame Classic TBA Van Andel Arena

28.........Aquinas Lecture Series 12:30-1:30 p.m., Wege Center Ballroom, Free “A Theoretical Guide to Performing Shakespeare’s Folio of 1623” Tony Guest

Nov. 31 and Dec. 2 and 3 ...........Aquinas Theatre Production Performing Arts Center

Staff Notes: A warm welcome to a new staff member who joined the Aquinas College family this summer…. Stephen Wolf was named Director of Human Resources and joined the College on June 26. Wolf comes to the College from Crowe Chizek where he was senior manager of human resources consulting. He also is an Aquinas alumnus, having earned his Master of Management degree in 1987.

Stephen Wolf

Performances: 11/31-12/2 at 8 p.m., 12/2-3 at 2 p.m. “The Underpants” By Steve Martin Individual tickets & season passes available. Call (616) 456-6656 for ticket information.

December 1...........Leadership AQ Day All day, 8:15 a.m. For high school juniors, seniors and their families; for information, visit

1...........JHIWSC Presentation 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wege Center Cafeteria, Free Sister Santa Visits Aquinas

2...........Music Department Concert 8 p.m., East Congregational United Church of Christ 1005 Giddings Ave. SE, Free A Service of Lessons and Carols

The Aquinas Community said “good-bye” and “thanks” to those staff members who transitioned into retirement this past year. A celebration of their years of service was held April 21 to honor both faculty and staff retirees. The staff retirees include (L-R): Dr. Michael Williams, dean of the School of Education and professor-in-the-college; Sr. Mary Navarre, O.P. Ph.D., professor of Education; Dr. Harry J. Knopke, president; Sr. Rose Marie Martin, O.P., Technical Services Librarian; Thomas Summers, director of Physical Plant Services; and Tom Dooley, professor of Computer Information Systems.

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Summer Shape Up: Getting Physical Around Campus As summers go, 2006 will probably not be much different than those of recent years. For the College’s Physical Plant staff, the only difference is that their longtime leader, Director Tom Summers, is no longer there after exercising his option to retire at the end of the school year. However, chief electrician Dale Haisma has stepped in as director of maintenance to make sure work continues smoothly.

Dale Haisma, recently named director of maintenance, is overseeing an exhaustive list of summer maintenance projects.

Every year, it’s the same old thing. Clean, fix and paint. Often, summer is the only time the College’s maintenance staff has to tackle some of the major projects, in particular, those in and around the dormitories or student apartments.

Physical Plant Services has some 27 employees handling maintenance, event set-up and moving, housekeeping and grounds maintenance. The group keeps busy day and night throughout the school year, ensuring the comfort of community members, including faculty, staff, students and visitors, whether offices, classrooms, dormitories or meeting rooms. The responsibilities are enormous. The projects are plentiful and, of course, the money to fund all of the projects is limited. So, prioritization is paramount. Right now, some of the maintenance staff is focusing on completing the College’s transition to an all-computerized heating and cooling system. The goal is to allow Physical Plant Services to monitor and control the environment of each campus building via computer from home or office.

Jerry Beute

Leisa Keenan (center), maintenance staffer, has a list of summer projects that include wall repairs and painting in student apartments. Keenan is getting help with her projects from student workers Nic Hawley (L) and Charley Clapp.

Greg Duiven

Maintenance member Jerry Beute rewired the heating/air conditioning control system in Browne Center so that the internal environment will be controlled by the Physical Plant Services staff remotely via computer. Every building on campus will soon have its environment controlled remotely.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 24

Early summer is also a time for sprucing up many areas of the grounds, especially around Holmdene and Hruby Hall, where student workers work laboriously to beautify the grounds for visitors. Several buildings will get roof repairs, as well.

(L-R) Senior Patrick Earl and junior Katie Wagner rake through the shrubbery in front of Holmdene.

(L-R) Junior Dan Vanduine and sophomore Mary Carlson handle edging work in front of Holmdene.

The planting of spring flowers at Hruby Hall was handled by Mo Poirier (left) and Shelly Wernet, both sophomores.

At the Art and Music Center, student workers assisted Jim Williams, director of grounds maintenance, with demolition of a damaged section of the building’s courtyard in preparation for new concrete to be laid.

One of the major summer projects was repair of a section of courtyard surface in front of the Art and Music Center. Jim Williams (left), director of grounds maintenance, supervised the surface demolition being handled by students Scott Assenmacher, senior (2nd from left); Nate Straathof, junior (2nd from right); and Steve Howell, junior (right).

Summer Maintenance Projects: Academic Building -Rebuild/replace bathroom sloan valves Art & Music Center -Rebuild stage floor in Kretschmer Recital Hall -Re-do courtyard surface Browne Center -Replace bad heating controller

Leisa Keenan prepares wallboard for painting in the new CCS office in lower Donnelly

Selected sections in each dormitory/apartment are targeted for work that includes wall repairs, new carpeting and a fresh coat of paint.

Ironically, it was just a little more than ten years ago that the dormitory rooms in that east section of Hruby Hall were renovated and converted to use by the Career and Counseling Services Center.

In addition, this summer, the maintenance crew is busy converting the lower east wing of Hruby Hall for use as a

Dominican Hall -Replace boiler expansion tank Donnelly Center -Replace HVAC controller for roof top unit Field House -Repair AHU in ceiling for gym Gate House -Replace/Re-shingle roof Hruby Hall -Replace bad domestic hot water pipes -Renovate ground floor for student housing Regina Hall -Replace two bad HVAC controllers

The maintenance group will convert the current offices of the Career and Counseling Services (CSS) in the basement of Hruby Hall into dormitory rooms for students.

Denny Malone tackles some ductwork in the new CSS offices.

Career and Counseling Services Moves Office to Donnelly One of the more significant projects that took place this summer is the conversion of the lower east end of Hruby Hall from offices to residence housing. As a result of what is projected to be a record freshmen enrollment, the residence staff has been busy locating new housing for many students. The lower east end of Hruby Hall was the logical choice.

So, in mid-June, the maintenance staff was quickly assigned the task to build new offices in lower Donnelly Center to accommodate the 16-member staff of Career and Counseling Services (CSS), which would be moving from lower Hruby in mid-July. Maintenance crews worked to create new offices in a former meeting room and followed up with painting and ductwork in late June.

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Then, in July, the staff was to begin the process of converting the Hruby offices back to residence housing to accommodate 23 students. Ironically, CSS had moved into Hruby Hall a little over ten years ago into what, at that time, had been a student residence hall.


dormitory to meet a need for more student living accommodations due to a record-sized freshmen class entering this upcoming academic year. Career and Counseling Services, which is currently housed there, will move to lower Donnelly Center.


Aquinas to Induct Four to Hall of Fame Aquinas will add four names to its list of inductees to the College Hall of Fame on September 29. The selections, made by members of the Aquinas Historical Commission, recognize the four for their contributions to the College. The inductees are:

Joseph ’50 and Mary Beth ’50 (†) Hansknecht

Joseph Hansknecht and Mary Beth Beckwith met at Aquinas, where both were active students. They married in their senior year and following graduation in 1950, they each went on to earn master’s degrees and became agents for change in the Detroit area. In 1997 the two received the Outstanding Alumnus and Alumna Awards. Four of their nine children attended Aquinas. In memory of their son, Stephen, ’83, who died in an automobile accident shortly after graduating, Joe and Mary Beth donated $10,000 to maintain the Marian statue and shrine. Mary Beth died in December 1996.

R. Paul Nelson, President Emeritus

Sister Malachi Laithwaite, O.P. (†)

Between 1969 and 1997, Paul

Librarian, teacher, story-teller,

Nelson served Aquinas in many capacities. He began as Assistant Academic Dean and moved to Dean of Curriculum, Dean of Community Education, Vice President for Student Development, Interim President and finally President in 1990. He originated the “summer school without walls” concept and developed field experience semesters and independent study. He introduced strategic planning and total quality management and supported students in their plan for renovating Cook Carriage House. He emphasized the Dominican heritage of the College: learning, service and community. In 1997, he retired from the presidency but remained active in community and academic affairs, teaching at Emeritus College and leading book discussions for the Grand Rapids Public Library.

scholar, gardener and true gentlewoman, Sr. Malachi Laithwaite devoted 35 years to the College library. Born in Ireland, she received a broad education in several countries. Then she came to the U.S., gained a master’s degree in library science and experience at several libraries. After joining the Grand Rapids Dominicans, in the 1930s, she was assigned to the Catholic Junior College. She built up the library holdings and moved them to three different sites as the College grew. She was an authority on children’s literature, organizer of the Friends of Aquinas College Library, and a founding member of the local Story-Spinners League. After retiring in 1971, she worked with Indian youth in San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico for six years. She spent her last years in the House of Studies (now Hruby Hall). She died in November 1980.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 26


Aquinas Recognizes Employees for Service to College Aquinas is marking 110 years since its inception as an institution of education in 1886. But on May 9, the College recognized and honored 58 employees for their service to Aquinas with a cumulative total of 685 years. Those achieving milestones in the 2006-07 academic year include: Five Years of Service (24) Lynn Atkins-Rykert School of Management Ed Balog, Ph.D. Office of the Provost Veronica Beitner Health Center Cindy Blair School of Education Mary Boomgaard Housekeeping Chad Buczkowski Woodhouse Library Steve Buyze Housekeeping

Melissa Rauch Student Accounts Julie Ridenour Institutional Advancement Dee Scales Advising Jill Straub Student Support Services Kim Thomas Human Resources Matthew Tueth, Ph.D. Geography Bradley Vedders ITS Jeremy Wood Admissions

Cecilia Cunningham Institutional Advancement

Ten Years of Service (8)

Elizabeth Flores School of Education

Sue Buyze Housekeeping

Phil Hatlem HPER Shellie Jeffries Woodhouse Library David Kelly, Jr. School of Education Katie Kupiecki Institutional Advancement Joan Kutchin Student Accounts Jennifer Laird Woodhouse Library Laura O'Brock Registrar’s Office

Nanette Clatterbuck In The College Cheri Dykhouse Admissions Steve Inskeep Housekeeping Gloria Kozal Housekeeping Mark McCann Campus Safety Judi Serba Student Accounts

Dave Wood Athletics

Dave Weinandy, Ph. D. Campus Life

Fifteen Years of Service (16)

Jim Williams Grounds

Chris Asplund Housekeeping

Twenty Years of Service (6)

Penny Blackall Child Development Center

Katrina Hartman, O.P., Ph.D. Chemistry

Mary Clark-Kaiser Campus Ministry

Allene Kieff School of Management

Rebecca Coogan, Ph.D. English Mary Cook Advising Frank Courtney Campus Safety Judi Creamer Conferencing Susan Gasster, Ph.D. Languages Susan Gerrity Child Development Center Kristel Heinz-Ciullo School of Management Kurt Kaiser Art & Music Barbara McCargar Art & Music Tim Moerland Grounds Noreen Vidro Student Accounts

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 27

Maureen Maher Information Services Jeffrey McKelvey, Ph.D. Biology Cynthia Talbert Registrar's Mary Navarre, O.P., Ph.D. Education

Thirty Years of Service (3) Bruce Frayman, Ph.D. Psychology Paula Meehan Admissions Dee Wagner Student Affairs

Thirty-five Years of Service (1) Rosemary O'Donnell, O.P. Communication

Student Senate STUDENT NEWS

By Ben O'Hearn, Student Senate Chair (2006-2007), senior


he 2005-2006 academic year was a busy one for the Student Senate, from talking about smoking concerns on campus, to trying to make Aquinas have a more compassionate impact on the world. Briefly, we sought more corporate responsibility from some of the college vendors, and we strove for Aquinas to be affiliated with the Workers Rights Consortium, a group that will work with Aquinas to ensure that the people the College buys from are not exploiting foreign workers. Aside from the political business, we put on events such as the Christmas Tree Lighting

Ceremony, and we read to students at Congress Elementary School. And, of course, we continued to aid student clubs by offering campus resources and encouraging them to reach out to the Aquinas community and share what they have. The Senate also has direct input into College governance, as its chair has a seat on the Enrollment Committee of the Board of Trustees and provides regular updates on Student Senate activities and issues of concern to Board members at their regular meetings.

Each March, Student Senate elections are held and this past spring, Benjamin O’Hearn (pictured on left) was installed as chair, having promised to work for greater student representation, continued emphasis on social justice and encouraging Aquinas’ Catholic identity. Kim Graham (center) was installed as vicechair of the Student Senate and will be the head of student input in the College’s sustainability initiative (which is a new direction for that position). Finally, the new secretary, Dan Hoezee (right), will be there helping it all happen – while taking notes at the same time.

AQ’s Largest Freshmen Class Engages in 12th Annual Project Unite By Eric J. Bridge ’92, Coordinator of Service-Learning

Each fall, members of the new

freshmen class take part in Project Unite, a community service project that provides help to a local elementary school as it prepares to welcome their students back for a new school year. Last fall, Aquinas welcomed what has been its largest freshmen class ever! As part of new student orientation, Project Unite was held at Brookside Elementary School on Friday of Orientation Week. On that day, more than 400 Aquinas students, faculty and staff joined community members and Grand Rapids Public Schools for a service project to meet the needs of Brookside students. The aim of Project Unite is for new Aquinas students to work with a community school to clean, paint and repair the

school, playground and surrounding area. The day at Brookside consisted of completing indoor projects such as creating bulletin boards, moving classrooms, outdoor painting and landscape work. In working together, new students interacted with each other and got to know members of both the Aquinas and Grand Rapids community. In addition, students learned about Brookside Elementary School and the local community. The tradition continues. In August, members of a freshmen class that, in June, looked to be even larger than the previous year’s class, will become involved in their own Project Unite program. Educational Community Credit Union (E.C.C.U.), which had AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 28

recently opened a Grand Rapids branch office, sponsored last year’s Project Unite. The E.C.C.U. sponsored the t-shirts for all participants. Other sponsors included the Aquinas College Alumni Board and President’s office. If you would like to participate and/or co-sponsor Project Unite, contact Sara Frees, assistant director of Student Activities at (616) 632-2457 or Aquinas freshman Rachel Fechik was able to attend Aquinas this past year, thanks, in part, to a $1,000 scholarship provided by E.C.C.U.

2005 Project Unite

AQ SIFE Team Markets Life-Saving Device

Members of an Aquinas

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team are marketing a product that they believe has the potential for saving hundreds, or even thousands, of lives in major building fires. The group, including sophomore Ken Czop, senior Tim Muma and junior Katie Seastrom, first unveiled the device in March at a regional SIFE competition in Chicago. The device uses LED lights embedded in hallway baseboards that can

Joe Carmon and Brian Morritt, members of the Aquinas IT Department, provided the technical know-how that took the system from concept to functionality.

tion in April to area architects, contractors, insurance agents, fire department representatives and members of the media.

Masato Yamazaki, Ph.D.

Masato Yamazaki, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics and the SIFE advisor, says the team is reviewing the protocols for manufacturing and sale of the product.

The Aquinas SIFE Team unveiled the device for the first time in Grand Rapids during a presenta-

AQ-UDM Nursing Graduate Speaking in June, Waldron said Heads Off to Kenya she was excited about this new By Laura Bennett-Kimble ’95, Contributing writer

Carmen Waldron ‘06

She may have walked at the

University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) ceremony with the graduating class of 2006, but Carmen Waldron said when she thinks of her college experience, Aquinas College is what comes to mind. Enrolled in the cooperative nursing program that was started in 2000 by Aquinas, UDM and Saint Mary’s Health Center, Waldron was an active contributor to Aquinas while she worked toward her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. “I love the sense of community

on campus,” Waldron said. She not only graduated summa cum laude, she also started the Catholic Studies group on campus, participated in service learning trips during almost every school break, and served as vice president of the Students for Life campus organization and as a student ambassador for the College. And now she’s entering a new phase of her life as she applies her nursing education at Misikhu Mission Hospital in Kenya. The region where she will live and work for eight months is a remote area of the country with limited services. Waldron received her assignment from the Catholic Mission Board, a missionary organization she found after doing some online research. AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 29

adventure, and relieved to have connected with another recent nursing graduate from Minnesota who would be traveling with her to the same location. “I don’t know her yet,” Waldron said at the time, “but it will be nice to have someone with me who’s also starting out as a new nurse in a new environment.” Waldron, whose brother Jerome graduated from Aquinas in 2004, said when she chose the school, she knew she wanted to go to a small Catholic college. “And more than that, I wanted to become a good Catholic nurse.” “I know she’s going to shine wherever she goes,” said nursing instructor Kim Texley-Quigg. “Anybody who hires her will be lucky to have her.”


Junior Katie Seastrom (l) and sophomore Ken Czop

help lead people to the nearest exit in case of fire. The system’s designers feel the device will provide an additional net of safety for firefighters who often enter smoke-filled buildings. The system, tentatively called the Guiding Light Navigation System, also may provide a reduction in fire insurance rates for large buildings and could be made part of certification for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings.


Unique Internship in First Gentleman’s Office Provides Career Perspective By Kelly Dittmar, Senior

Michigan’s First Gentleman’s Staff: (L-R) Steve Lyon, Mary Zatina (Chief of Staff), Cindy Janecke, Gayleen Gavitt, Oralya Garza, Kelly Dittmar, Joan Bowman, and First Gentleman Dan Mulhern.

In the fall of 2005, I was overwhelmed with the decision of what I was going to do with my life. I knew that graduation was looming and my future was yet unplanned. As a result, I began working on varied options – from graduate school to “real” jobs. In the process, I realized that a political internship would provide the hands-on experience that I sought to help make a decision about my future. After searching the Internet for positions, I applied and was accepted as an Executive Office Intern at the Office of Governor Jennifer Granholm. I chose her office because of its alignment with my political beliefs and because I couldn’t help but want to be a member of the team supporting the first female governor of Michigan. In January, I began working in Lansing as the sole intern in the

Office of First Gentleman Daniel Mulhern. As a full-time volunteer to the state, the First Gentleman speaks throughout Michigan on leadership, mentoring, and business and economic issues, drawing upon his experience as a leadership coach and organizational development expert to promote statewide initiatives. In my position, I worked primarily on the First Gentleman’s scheduling – helping to decide what events or engagements he would attend, planning for varied activities with event coordinators, researching and preparing briefings, and sometimes staffing the First Gentleman at his events. I worked primarily with four wonderful women and the First Gentleman himself, but was also able to communicate daily with other members of the Executive Office team and individuals who invited Mulhern to their AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 30


Aquinas student Kelly Dittmar and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

events. As an intern, I learned much about the inner workings of a government office and the importance of all team members in getting the job done. I also saw the demands placed on political families and the difficulties associated with balancing public and private roles. On a larger scale, I became much more astute in Michigan politics and policy and felt much more engaged in what was happening statewide. I shared what I learned in classes and with my peers. As a result of my internship, I began to seriously consider pursuing a career in politics after my graduate education. I appreciate the respect and support that the Office of the First Gentleman gave to me and I relied on their kindness again as they helped to secure a summer position for me in the Governor’s Washington D.C. office. I will spend the summer “on the hill,” witnessing D.C. politics in all of their

glory. In the fall, I will begin my academic work at Rutgers University, pursuing a Ph.D. in political science with a concentration in women and politics. I will surely rely on my experience in the Office of Governor Granholm as I pursue a doctorate degree, and I have already told the Governor to expect a call from me as I begin work on my dissertation and look for strong and successful female politicians. Although I am still unclear about what the future holds for me, my internship and resulting summer position have provided a glimpse into the “real world” of state government and politics and will help as I chart my own life path.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 31


CE Students & Registrar/ Advising Staff Honored Ten outstanding continuing education students were inducted into the Iota Iota chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) National Honor Society for Adult Students in a candlelit evening ceremony on March 27. President Harry Knopke and Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D. presented each student with an award of membership, pin, honor chords and name plaque.

The inductees included (L-R) Julie Shrontz, Dianne Takens, Mary DeWeerd, Stephen Vander Laan, Elizabeth Chamberlain, Marlin Feyen, Janine Maly, Tamara Smith and Kristin Tanis. Not pictured: Amy Costello-Belile.

Also honored in the ceremony was the staff of the Registrar and Advising office. Pictured (L-R) are: Mary Cook, Cynthia Talbert, Dee Scales, Cecelia Mesler, Patricia Kozal and Sister Diane Dehn. In a tribute by Deb Wickering, Ph.D., the staff members were thanked for their more than 35 years of support to Continuing Education students. The advising staff has always held the needs of Continuing Education students as a high priority and many adult students attribute their success to the guidance offered by their advisors.

2006 Outstanding Adult Learner Award By Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English

(L-R) Kate Dernocoeur, Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D.

Each year, the Grand Rapids

Higher Education Network (GRAHEN) presents its annual Outstanding Adult Leaner Awards. The 7th annual event was held April 19 and CE student Kate Dernocoeur was honored as Aquinas College’s Outstanding Adult Learner. In 2002, Kate returned to Aquinas College to pursue a second bachelor’s degree with a major in English. A professional author who has written over 230

published articles and has contributed to 13 books on emergency medical issues, Kate clearly did not need another degree. However, for Kate, being a continuing education student means pushing herself to grow intellectually while contributing to a new community. Never one to be a wallflower, Kate immersed herself in the AQ community, winning the Women’s History Writing Contest, publishing in the student Sampler Magazine, joining the Literature Honor Society, presenting to the larger campus community on her experiences as a medic on a National Geographic expedition down the Nile and reading her powerful work whenever possible. Kate’s love of knowledge and dedication to community leadership extends beyond the AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 32

Aquinas community. Her full range of accomplishment is vast: She co-founded the Lowell “Open Space Committee” group helping to plan six annual education forums on land use. She served on the Lowell School Board for four years while working on the Demographic Committee and facilitating Jr. Great Books discussion groups. She chaired the Lowell Area Advisory Committee Fund and has transferred her love of horses to the Board of Directors of the Eventing Association of Michigan, a statewide horse sport association. Kate is a natural leader who has taught her peers, professors, friends and family that “your life is your school.” The Aquinas College community is proud to honor Kate Dernocoeur and her many accomplishments both on and off campus. Please join us in congratulating the other nominees: Elizabeth Chamberlain, Christopher Leyrer, Dianna Rottiers, Antonia Van Dyken

AQ Students Dig Into Summer Research Projects Left: Robb Bajema, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and Jessica Higgins, senior, conducted physical and biological surveys of some Hastings (Mich.) area streams. Right: (L-R) Chemistry students senior Rob Sturm and junior Lianne Griffiths perform some lab experiments for their research project at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.

Summer is time for jobs, being outdoors and enjoying nature. This summer, I’ve had the privilege to incorporate those three into one project. I am working at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI), near Hastings, Michigan, in a summer research project with Dr. Robb Bajema (biology). We are a conducting a physical and biological survey of a small stream on the Institute’s property. We are collecting sediment samples to determine stream bed composition and to compare that with the macro-invertebrates (aquatic insects) that are present. Chemical composition of the stream water is being determined by measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate and phosphorus levels. All of this information will build on research that was started last year by Aquinas students Dave Baylis and Lareina Van Strien. With two years of data, we will examine relationships between physical conditions of the stream and the presence of organisms. This will also help future studies by providing current conditions

of the stream for comparisons in the future. This field research ends in mid-July, and the project concludes in October with a presentation to the PCCI and the public. In addition, chemistry majors senior Rob Sturm and junior Lianne Griffiths, along with assistant professor Elizabeth Jensen, were awarded a summer research grant by Pierce Creek. The students will be studying the amount of lead and other metals in different types of soil on the PCCI property throughout the summer using atomic absorption spectrometry. The main objective of the investigation is to discover whether human traffic on roads has increased concentrations of metals in nearby soils. Part of the research, including collecting soil samples and using GPS technology to document sampling sites, will take place on the PCCI property. All of the analysis will be done in the chemistry labs at Aquinas.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 33

(L-R) Elizabeth Jensen, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry; Rob Sturm, senior; and Lianne Griffiths, junior, performed analyses on led and others metals found in different types of soils at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute this summer.


By Jessica Higgins, senior, biology major and Dr. Elizabeth Jensen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry



The Board of Trustees, at its March 14, 2006 meeting, approved promotions and tenure for the following faculty members:

Deb Steketee, Ph.D., assistant professor of sustainable business, successfully defended her dissertation at Indiana University in May. Congratulations! Also last spring, Deb assumed the responsibility of executive director of the Aquinas Center for Sustainability.

At its May 23, 2006 meeting, the Board approved the Faculty Emeriti status for the following retirees:


Tom Dooley, professor of computer information systems

Dr. Michael Cushion to associate professor of sociology

Sr. Mary Navarre, O.P., Ed.D., professor of education

Dr. Katharina Gross to associate professor of German

Michael Williams, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education and Professor-in-the-College

Dr. Matthew Tueth to associate professor of geography and sustainable business

Also, Aquinas welcomes new faculty members:

Tenure: (effective August 2006)

Dr. Kathy Kremer, assistant professor of sociology

Dr. Matthew Tueth

Kelli Esteves, assistant professor of education

Dr. Deborah Wickering

Longtime Political Science Professor Clarke Dies


rofessor Robert J. Clarke, Ph.D., 77, died suddenly at his East Grand Rapids home on July 2, 2006. Bob taught political science at Aquinas from 1958-1972, and is remembered by many as a quiet, gentle and friendly man, “a great guy,” and as a teacher of quality who was “never afraid to respond to issues…a true academician who knew how politics really works,” said Ken Marin, former economics professor at Aquinas (1953-1988).

Bob came to Aquinas from Notre Dame (ND), where he completed his master’s thesis. During his time at Aquinas, Clarke completed his doctoral degree at ND, and also became a member of the Education Council of the Grand Rapids Foundation, the Citizens Study Committee on Revising the City Charter, the board of Western Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Social Aspects Committee for Environmental Study. These experiences in local issues enabled Clarke to speak the often incomprehensible languages of academic and government fluently, while retaining the ability to carry on ordinary conversations with students in the classroom as well as throughout the international community. Bob and his wife Mary traveled all over the world to study the effects of trouble spots on peoAQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 34

ple. At one point, as a result of his many journeys to study evolving democracy, he said, “We have got to really care for people.” There must be a real affection for others. If winning an election is all that a democracy is about, we are lost. Splitting people into factions will destroy us.” Professor Clarke’s fundamental attitude toward life enriched the lives of many specific Aquinas students, as well as the entire Aquinas community. Let us never forget his charge to us all: “To ignore our responsibilities is to ignore our potential and that is a tragedy. You can change the world. Just getting power is nothing. You have to care about your country.” Bob Clarke is survived by his wife, Mary, four children and two grandchildren. (Some information provided by The Grand Rapids Press, July 13, 1995)

Letter from the

alumni director Dear Saints, “What really goes on in the alumni office?”


It is quite a question and one I continually ask myself. Do we plan events, maintain communications, publish magazine articles or exist as a place to pick up an AQ Alum pin and a bumper sticker? Well, let me take the opportunity to answer, “YES we are all that and more.” We are a clearinghouse of alumni related events, schedules, reunions and publications. We plan and coordinate Homecoming Weekend and class reunions and are involved in Commencement activities and regional receptions across Michigan, the Midwest and the rest of the country. We maintain a database of alumni records and contact information and we distribute various forms of communication to over 17,500 alumni strong, including e-mail, phone calls, letters and publications. But most importantly, we are Alumni Relations, not just an office in Holmdene. We are a concept, theory and stance that the alumni of Aquinas College are making all the difference in the world and are the most important people the College connects with. We, the Alumni Relations staff, are graduates of Aquinas College, from the classes of 1960, 1993, and 1998. Our newly named coordinator of Alumni & Parent Relations is Kristin Leamon ’93 who joins me and Sr. Alice Wittenbach O.P., Ph.D. ’60, Coordinator of Alumni Reunions and whom many of you know from her teaching days in Albertus Hall. You may have even joined her on one of her nine trips as an advisor in Tully Cross, Ireland. Now you’ll be receiving a phone call, email or postcard from Sr. Alice asking you to reunite with your class during Homecoming Weekend. We are a staff of three, an Alumni Association Board of 21, and a base of 17,000 strong. We are Aquinas College, we are proud of you, we hope for you, we are here for you, we are you…and you can stop by for an AQ Alum pin and bumper sticker anytime!

Proudly, an AQ Alum~

René Palileo ’98, Director Alumni & Parent Relations Aquinas College (616) 632-2494

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 35

Kristin Leamon ‘93

Detroit Alumni Honor Sr. Aquinas Weber, O.P. ‘58 Joining Sr. Aquinas Weber are (L-R) Bill Weitzel, Detroit Area Alumni Representative; Sr. Orlanda Leyba, O.P .’67; Sr. Marie Rachel Guevara, O.P. ’66; Julie Ridenour, V.P. for Advancement; Fran Georgeff, ’82; Denise Christy, ’82; and Rene Palileo, ’98, Alumni Director.


A table of Detroit alumni was on hand to honor Sr. Aquinas Weber, O.P., as the Michigan Women’s Foundation named her one of the 2006 Women of Achievement and Courage. The event at the Dearborn Ritz Carlton recognized Sr. Aquinas for her community service and influence on young women.

Sr. Aquinas Weber, O.P. ‘58 Honored by Alumni

Sr. Mary Aquinas Weber, O.P., Chancellor Emerita, was recognized for her contributions to the College with the dedication of a garden bench and plaque in her honor. A brief ceremony was held in the Holmdene Gardens March 29 with several dozen members of the faculty, staff, student Senate and administration on hand.

Tony Nolan ’67, vice president of the Alumni Association Board, delivered remarks on behalf of the Board and all alumni, “Knowing her love of gardening and her love of the campus, the decision to honor her contributions has taken the form of a garden bench, which will accent the beauty and tradition of Holmdene Gardens.” He continued, “Here, alumni, visitors and students will be reminded of her vision and dedication to this College.” Bishop Robert Rose, former bishop of the Grand Rapids Diocese, offered a prayer and a blessing. “We have every reason to ask the Lord to let this bench in this garden become a place of rest and contemplation, a place for friendly conversation, a place for heartfelt prayer….a fitting remembrance of Sister’s life among us.”

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 36

Considering Sr. Aquinas’ love of gardening, Bishop Rose said, the blessing made perfect sense, although he did note, “In my fifty years of priesthood, I have never been asked to bless a memorial bench before.” Sr. Aquinas thanked Connie Kowalsyk ‘99, who chaired the effort to honor her, and the rest of the Aquinas alumni for their generous recognition. She encouraged those present and all alumni to take in the beauty of the garden from the site of the new bench.

Bishop Robert Rose offered a blessing for Sr. Aquinas

Sr. Alice’s new role

Aquinas student. Alumna.

Aquinas Yearbook

Aquinas Alumni Directory

Harris Connect, Inc. has

returned to help publish the 2006-2007 Alumni Directory. Multiple phone calls, postcards and e-mails asking to update your records from the Harris Connect staff have helped make our database current to ensure the best way for Aquinas College to keep in contact with you. Your information is also collected with the intent to publish an Aquinas College Alumni Directory. You have the right to choose not to publish your records in the Directory.

1996. That was the last year Aquinas College published a yearbook. Although a decade has passed without one, the memories have still accumulated and like a zephyr, the AQ College experience gently breezed through the years. With the help of several Aquinas students, Lisa Klynstra-Yarost (Aquinas Media Services and AQ Yearbook advisor) has been diligently compiling photos, stories and special Aquinas moments over the past year to create the return of the AQ Yearbook. An annual yearbook will help the Alumni Office and the College keep track of all the special events our students go through throughout the year, but more importantly, will be a keepsake for alumni who want to remember what made Aquinas special to them. 2006 – the year another tradition came back to campus.

New Alumni Association Board

In July, the Aquinas College Alumni Association selected its new Board of Directors. The 21member board helps increase alumni activity and participation through various events and committees. This volunteer board dedicates time, talent and resources to help create events like Homecoming, the annual Alumni Golf Outing and the Hall of Fame gala. Check out the newly designed Alumni website and click on the Alumni Association to find out how you can get more involved.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 37


Science professor. Retired faculty member. Dominican Sister. Volunteer. Community Board member. No matter what title she has, Sr. Alice Wittenbach has given a 100 percent effort. She can now add another title to that very impressive list – Coordinator of Alumni Reunions. The re-establishment of Class Reunions at Aquinas has brought a new excitement to Homecoming Weekend and a new found goal for Sr. Alice; reconnecting classmates during the last weekend of September.

Sr. Alice is focused on contacting members of the classes that will celebrate their 10th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 40th and 50th reunion. By phone or e-mail, she finds connections with hundreds of alumni and provides several ways to help rally the alumni back to campus. If you are celebrating a reunion and would like to help, feel free to get in contact with Sr. Alice at (616) 632-2453, or just wait for her phone call!

New York Alumni Reception By Sr. Alice Wittenbach, O.P., Ph.D., ‘60 Coordinator of Alumni Reunions


Left: New York-area Aquinas alumni enjoy the first of what many hope will be many annual get-togethers in the Big Apple. Right: Sr. Alice Wittenbach, O.P. ‘60 pauses for a picture with alumni Tony Leno ’85 (L) and Fei Lin ’93 at the June 5 New York reception.

On Monday evening, June 5, several New York/New Jersey Aquinas alums met for a reception at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church on Henry Street in Lower Manhattan. Hosted by Aquinas alum Rev. Errol Harvey ’65, who is pastor of the historical Church, the gathering brought together more than twenty area alumni for a wonderful time visiting and reconnecting with friends from the past. A special tour was given of the St. Augustine Church and its slave galleries, along with a very informative presentation on the history of the African slave community in New York, its contributions, and its difficulties. Aquinas alumni from 1966 to 2002 were served up some delectable treats and “fine red wine.” Also, many take great delight in a new awareness that there are so many other alums living in the area (175 to 200).

suggestions from both those who participated as well as those who could not attend. Those in attendance were: Domenick D'ercole ’89; Ashley Dills ‘02 and guest, Tony Burns; Rev. Errol Harvey ’65, and Deacon Edgar Hopper; Greg Knowles ’74 and wife, Katie; Lyonel LaGrone ’97, and wife, Monifa; Fei Lin ’93; Tony Leno ’85; Brian Malone ’69; Nazar Massouh ’95; Katie Hyrns McGuire ’97 and husband, Steven; Rachel Matuszak Oppen ’89 and husband, William; Dan Pupel ’84; Sister Lucianne Siers, O.P. ’72 and Sister Alice Wittenbach, O.P. ’60. Planning Committee members were Errol Harvey, Brian Malone, Nazar Massouh, Ashley Dills, Michelle Thomas and Greg Knowles.

The enthusiasm engendered and the gratitude expressed by so many indicates that another event will be planned for next summer. The Alumni Office would appreciate

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 38

Flint (Michigan) Region Alumni Chapter Established

Inspired by Sister Alice Wittenbach,

Alumni Reunions

Class reunions are a success! 2005 marked the first formal year class reunions came back to campus. Aquinas’ Golden Saints (AQ graduates from 50 years and beyond) have maintained a consistent run of annual events and meetings. Through the work of Bill Weitzel, director of Planned Giving for Aquinas, other class reunions have been integrated into the annual planning. Sr. Alice Wittenbach now coordinates six other class reunions and is developing structures for reunions based on successful models at similar college institutions.

Alumni Awards Remember that the Hall of Fame Gala will be held Friday, September 29 in the Wege Ballroom. The Alumni Association Board will present awards to the following alumni during the evening event: 2006 Outstanding Alumni Award -General James Brunson ’71. 2006 Distinguished Service Award -Mike ’86 and Kathleen “Kiki” (Hieshetter ’87) Lown. If you would like more information on the Hall of Fame Gala, including obtaining tickets to the event, contact Deb O’Donnell at (616)-632-2809 or e-mail her at

Plan for your class reunion by contacting the Alumni Office at or by calling Sr. Alice at (616) 632-2453.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 39

General James Brunson ’71

Mike ’86 and Kathleen “Kiki” (Hieshetter ’87) Lown

2006 Homecoming – September 29, 30 and October 1

Class Reunions: Golden Saints Class of 1956-57 Class of 1966 Class of 1976 Class of 1986 Class of 1981 Class of 1996


O.P. ’60, the new Aquinas reunion coordinator, the Flint Region alumni gathered at the Gateway Centre in Grand Blanc. The chapter will hold its first official alumni reception in November. For more information, please call Rene Palileo, alumni director, or Bill Weitzel, Flint Region alumni representative.

(L–R) Rene Palileo ’98, alumni director; Marian Lynch ’00; Kevin Beste ’89; Kris (Woltanski) Allen ’79; Tom Tithof ’70; April Carpenter ’97; Bob Allen ’78; Yarmilla (Racek) Kleinedler ’63; Bob LeVasseur ’67; Judy (Stimac) LeVasseur ’67; Marc Maniaci ’98; Sr. Joane Davey, O.P. ’62; and Sr. Alice Wittenbach, O.P. ’60, reunion coordinator.

Taking the Golfing World by Storm By Dave Fox, Staff, Contributing Writer

Aquinas College golf boasts a


strong tradition of excellence dating back to the early 1950s, highlighted by Aquinas’ Athletic Hall-of-Famer John Kurzynowski’s ’66 Small College National Championship in 1964.

former Saints golfer who has won more than 20 amateur titles. As far as titles go, Sakocius holds a commanding lead on the rest of the field, but he is followed closely by Aquinas golf alums Al Dimavicius ’62, second in title wins with eight and Greg Alksnis ’71, who ranks fourth with six titles. Overall, Aquinas alums have won 45 tournament titles and show no signs of slowing down.

John Kurzynowski ‘66

This tradition of success continues today. The men’s team, under the guidance of Coach Tom Gunn, won its second straight conference championship this past season, a second and equally impressive tradition has immerged. In Grand Rapids, around the state and across the nation, Aquinas golf alumni have established themselves as leaders both on-the-green and behind the scenes in the highly competitive world of golf. On the course, Aquinas stakes claim to the local area’s most successful amateur golfer in Bob Sakocius ’78, a

Al Dimavicius ‘62

Bob Sakocius ‘78

Sakocius, who captured his 23rd title in June by winning his eighth West Michigan Amateur Tournament Championship, remembers his time at Aquinas as having a positive affect on his life, both on and off the golf course. “I really enjoyed the time I spent at Aquinas. The guys on the golf team were close, and there was always a strong connection between students and instructors,” he said. “My life definitely benefited from those experiences.”

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 40

Aquinas golf alumni have established themselves as leaders both on-the-green and behind the scenes in the highly competitive world of golf.

Aquinas College Trustee Greg Alksnis, co-owner and executive vice-president of Magic Steel Corporation, knows that his time at Aquinas helped to pave the way for his future relationships in golf, business and with his family. “My Aquinas experience was all about the people I met,” explained Alksnis, a two-time Saints team captain and a three-time Michigan State Amateur semifinalist from 1979-81.

Bob Sakocius ‘78 driving from the tee.

When he’s not trying to close the gap between himself and Sakocius, Dimavicious serves as president of the West Michigan Golf Association and as director of the West Michigan Amateur Tournament. “Aquinas turned out to be a blueprint for my lifestyle; the family atmosphere and personal attention were unique and supportive,” he said. In addition to being together in the rankings, Dimavicius and Sakocius have been friends for more than 40 years.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 41

“If not for my teammates, classmates, friends and instructors, I do not know what I’d be doing right now.” Alksnis also credits the socioeconomic background he shares with Sakocius and Dimavicius as one of the secrets to their success. “We are all overachievers. In order to be successful, we all had to work hard, maintain strong character and remain self-motivated. Bob (Sakocius) practices more than anyone I know, and Al (Dimavicius) has been a driving force in the success and popularity of golf in West Michigan.”


Greg Alksnis ‘71


Despite their competitive natures, all three men remain close friends; they also all share Lithuanian heritage, and play together in scrambles once or twice a year. Off the course, Aquinas golf alumni have been equally successful across the golfing landscape. After breaking into the maledominated sport in the 1960s and winning over 60 percent of her matches as the lone female on the Saints golf team, Sherry Wilder ’65 – a 2005 Aquinas College Athletic Hall of Fame inductee – played professionally on the LPGA tour and now works as director of Golf at the Palms Desert Golf Course in Southern California.

most prestigious golf courses. Mike Kernicki ’73, a former Aquinas College Trustee, serves as head golf professional at Indian Creek Country Club in Miami Beach, Florida, and Kirk Scheerhorn ’80, holds a similar position at the Wuskowhan Player’s Club in nearby Holland, Michigan. And let’s not forget Tom Stewart ’70, a former professional golfer and instructor. He used his Aquinas experience to springboard himself around the world: golfing with three U.S. presidents, giving former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev his first golf lesson, and performing volunteer work in Calcutta with Mother Teresa.

Neal Hotelling ’80 Sherry Wilder ‘65

Wilder is joined by two other alums who serve in leadership positions at some of the country’s

As successful as these former Saints golfers have become, they are not the only alumni who have found a home in the golf industry. Neal Hotelling ’80, who

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 42

did not play golf at Aquinas, presently serves as director of Licensing and Special Projects and chief historian for the Pebble Beach Golf Company in Northern California. (See Related Story p. 51) While playing golf at Aquinas, or just attending the College, will not necessarily guarantee admission success in the world of golf, for these individuals, it certainly hasn’t kept them off the green. (Special thanks to Aquinas College professor Ali Erhan, Ph.D., for his contributions to this article.)

Annual Alumni Golf Outing 2006

Aquinas alumni, faculty and staff met on the pristine Thousand Oaks Golf Course on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids for a round of golf and a whole slew of memories revisited. This is the first year the Aquinas College Alumni Association decided to hold the annual event during the week (June 5, 2006) and at a new course. Seventeen foursomes combined to make up the slate of golfers

that include some of the College’s many corporate sponsors. Without a doubt, it was a challenging course, but the day provided yet another opportunity for alums to reconnect with the College. Thanks to the support of principal sponsors Tom and Joyce Wisner, the outing has gained momentum as one of the premiere Alumni Association events of the summer.


On a beautiful Monday afternoon,

Check out more photos on the Web at

The team of Champions – winners of the 2006 Alumni Golf Outing were: (L-R) John Burke '88 Tom Mikowski '89 Kenton Kurth '03 Ed Raubol

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 43



Campus Ministry Director Mary Clark-Kaiser talks about what it means to be Dominican.

There is good buzz about

Aquinas in high schools and community colleges around the Midwest. Applications for admission continue to soar above the record-breaking 2,100 mark. Preliminary projections indicate that this could be the biggest undergraduate enrollment year the College has ever had. Visits to campus have increased significantly as a result of the creation of niche on-campus programming designed with specific student groups in mind. Club AQ, a program for accepted applicants, has met with great success in its inaugural year. Students are paired with an Aquinas ambassador and participate in everything from dinner at the BOB in downtown Grand Rapids, to attending classes and spending the night in a residence hall. Preliminary projections indicate that more than 400 freshmen and nearly 70 transfer students will enroll at the start of classes on August 21. These numbers put the College ahead of the

2005 Freshman move-in day

2006-07 AQ Days four-year plan to increase overall freshman numbers by 150 to the year 2008. Continued development of new recruitment strategies and the refinement of approaches tried and true have bode well for achieving this goal. For example, prospective students can view the new VIP pages on our Web site (, where they can customize their on-line experience. Academics, scholarships, cultural events, athletics or any combinations pertaining to their interests are all at their fingertips. It is evident, and the numbers speak for themselves: Aquinas is on the top of the list for an increasing number of high school students. Geographic distribution spans from the shores of Ireland to the coast of California and the cityscapes of New York. Aquinas College has not stood still. Visit us and see why an Aquinas education makes all the difference in the world.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 44

Friday, August 25, 2006 General AQ Day Friday, November 3, 2006 General AQ Day Friday, November 10, 2006 Science, Nursing and Math AQ Day Friday, November 17, 2006 General AQ Day Friday, December 1, 2006 Leadership AQ Day Sun.-Mon., December 3-4, 2006 Club AQ Sun.-Mon., January 21-22, 2007 Club AQ Saturday, January 27, 2007 Athletic AQ Day Fri.–Sat., February 16-17, 2007 Club AQ Saturday, February 17, 2007 Spectrum Scholarship Competition Friday, March 23, 2007 Fine Arts Day Friday, April 20, 2007 General AQ Day

Emeritus Evening By Laura Bennett-Kimble `95, Contributing writer

(L-R) Dick Young, Rabbi Al Lewis, Barbara Young, President Harry Knopke

Dick and Barbara Young received the Aquinas Emeritus Award in May at the annual Emeritus Evening for their leadership, generosity and spirit of service in the community. The sold-out event celebrated the couple with warm-hearted speeches, fine dining (including a luscious lemon-raspberry cake) and entertaining music from Rich Ridenour and David Hall.

The Youngs, described by friend Bob Fairman as “warm people – people you want to be with,” received the Emeritus Award citation from outgoing Aquinas President Harry Knopke after Fairman, Dick Rathburn and Charles Stoddard offered tributes to the couple. In accepting the award, Dick Young reflected on his life with Barbara, including meeting in sixth grade, joining into a “mixed” marriage based on the fact that he attended the University of Michigan and she Michigan State, raising three children, and successfully running a family business that allowed them to donate time and money to numerous organizations.

After the ceremony, Barbara Young expressed her pleasure in the event. “It was a most exciting evening. So many of our good friends were here. It was just fantastic.” Dick, who is chairman of the Behler-Young Company, has served as both member and chairman of several boards of directors for organizations including Porter Hills Presbyterian Village and the Kent County United Way. Barbara is a former president of the John T. Hodgen Guild at Blodgett Memorial Hospital and Spectrum Health, as well as treasurer of the Grand Rapids Junior League.

For more information about the Aquinas Emeritus College and its diverse classes available to those over age 45, call (616) 632-2430

Since the fall of 1975, hundreds of senior adults have participated in Aquinas Emeritus College classes, and many are perennial attendees. A large number of its students have regularly attended classes for more than 10 years; as many as two dozen for 20 years or more.

An Aquinas Emeritus student since 1985, Isabel Butkiewicz remembers when classes were held at Willowbrook, the home of the Aquinas College president. Her son, Ron Butkiewicz ‘69, an Aquinas alumnus, encouraged her to participate in the Emeritus program. “It was hard for me just to walk in,” she remembered. “Because I never went to college, you see. It was the best move I ever made.” A frequent student in Emeritus history classes, Isabel likes to reminisce about making a day of taking classes and having lunch with her friends at the Wege cafeteria. “It was fantastic. We all got old together. I had some great times here.” In honor of Isabel and other longtime Emeritus students, the Aquinas Emeritus College recognizes students who have taken classes for 20 years or more: Mary Alexander

Teresa Buist

Barbara Friend

Marianne Veit

Barbara Amberg

Barbara Bunbury

Louise Harley

Elizabeth Vittands

Betty Andre

Isabel Butkiewicz

Sr. Mary A. Morang

Mary Louise Wolf

Sr. Juliana Barilla

Helen Carr

Mary Margaret Rapp

Anne Zimmerman

Charles Bertsch

Lois Davis

Mary Riordan

Helen Blackford

Esther Dengler

Sr. Aurora Valerio

Virginia Braley

Sheila Frank

Marion VanderVeen

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 45


Aquinas Emeritus College Enjoys Loyal Following

AQ Honors GR Businessman Robert Israels with Reflection Award bestows; it is given to those who reflect the Aquinas values of commitment, vision, service, loyalty, and integrity. During a lifetime of service to West Michigan and beyond, Robert Israels has been a friend to Aquinas and more than 50 community organizations he has either led or served.

Aquinas College is pleased to


announce the presentation of the 14th annual Reflection Award to Robert Israels on Thursday, September 7, 2006. The Reflection Award is one of the highest honors the College

Each year the Board of Trustees thoughtfully considers who best represents these values throughout the community. “Bob is quietly involved in so many wonderful things around the community. The real pleasure for me has been getting to know Bob. He gives passionately and enthusiastically to those things he believes in,” said Sr. M. Aquinas Weber,

O.P. ’58, Chancellor Emerita. Bob Israels is a consummate business leader fully engaged as CEO of multiple national and international corporations. As a designer, Bob sees himself as a problem solver, and adheres to Albert Einstein’s philosophy that “you can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it.” The Reflection Award dinner benefits the Aquinas Fund for student scholarships. For sponsorship and ticket information contact: Ellen Harburn 616-632-2805 or e-mail

Enchanting Evening of Elegance time in the United States at the Evening of Elegance 2006 and made possible by Grand River Grocery and Kent Beverage.

Monsignor Bill Duncan, AQ Trustee and Vicar General for the Diocese of Grand Rapids and Bishop William Hurley

It was an extraordinary evening.

The fragrant spring flowers surrounding “Lakewood,” the stunning waterfront view of Fisk Lake and distinctive gourmet delicacies created a treat for all senses. Kathleen and Trustee Roger

Roger & Kathleen Schiefler

Schiefler opened their beautiful home to a record number of sponsors and guests celebrating the special Evening of Elegance tribute to President Harry and Mrs. Sheila Knopke. The event was the début for a special series of South African wines showcased for the first AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 46

The event raised over $126,000 toward student scholarships through the Aquinas Fund. This year, three presenting sponsors: Aquinas College Alumni Association, Hunting National Bank and the Wege Foundation topped the list of over sixty sponsors. From the sunshine glistening off the sparkling wine as guests entered to the pewter collector’s bottle of Heredad Brut Reserva gift offered to patrons as they left, the Evening of Elegance 2006 was an exceptional experience.

The Arthur R. and Elizabeth Snell Scholarship – A Gift to the Future T

he death this past spring of Elizabeth “Betty” Snell closed the final chapter for the service that she and husband, Art, provided our community. Since 1995, the Snell Scholarship has aided many of our students in their pursuit of higher education.

Betty and Art Snell

Established by Betty in memory of her husband, the scholarship gave preference to employees of his law firm – Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey – and their family members. Art Snell was a corporate and tax attorney and a founding partner of the firm. A graduate

of Harvard Law School, he later served as an artillery officer in WWII, being decorated with the Bronze Star for meritorious duty. Upon returning to Grand Rapids, Art and Betty became supporters of the arts and theater. Through a generous bequest to Aquinas College, the memory and values of Art and Betty will live on through the many students who will benefit from this legacy. Students who received Snell Scholarships for the 20052006 academic year were:

2005-06 Recipients of Snell Scholarship


Joshua Wilford, senior computer information systems Awards: Valedictorian Scholar Career Goals: Computer Services

Hilary Atkin, junior triple major in political science, environmental studies and Spanish Awards: Jackman Palmatier Scholar for Political Science Activities: Student Senate Chair, Student Ambassador Career Goals: Attorney AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 47

James Wahmhoff, Jr., freshman chemistry major Awards: Academic Leadership Scholar Career Goals: Laboratory Science

Aquinas Fund: Rocket High Results The Aquinas Fund for student scholarships continues its sixth year of consecutive growth with another campaign record of $1.88 million as of mid-June. Thousands of Aquinas alums and community leaders have become actively involved in the Aquinas Fund Campaign. “The success of the Aquinas Fund will in turn change the lives of student scholarship recipients forever. This is very rewarding work,” stated Aquinas Fund co-chair Michelle Bottrall ‘97. Michelle Bottrall ‘97

Aquinas Fund: 6 years of Growth YTD = $1.98 million


$1.87 million

2004-05 2003-04

$1.65 million


$1.617 million


$1.52 million $1.3 million

2000-01 1999-00









“It’s amazing to be a part of this huge effort. Hundreds of people volunteering and thousands of people responding equals success. This is why I am willing to be involved year after year. I have witnessed incredible growth over the past six years,” recounted Sr. M. Aquinas Weber ‘58, Honorary co-chair of the Aquinas Fund, and College Chancellor Emerita. A significant part of this growth can be attributed to the Wege Foundation Alumni Challenge which this year helped encourage nearly 1,500 alumni to provide new or increased gifts. The capacity-building Alumni Challenge started six years ago and totals $1.25 million in matching money. The entire $250,000 match for this year was secured through growth in alumni giving. Alumni participation is at 19 percent as of mid-June. With only 139 additional Alumni donors needed to achieve the 20 percent goal the College anticipates reaching this milestone. The Wege Challenge will continue to inspire alumni over the next two years as alumni, staff and volunteers work to raise alumni participation toward 30 percent.

Sr. Aquinas Weber ‘58

Peter Wege

Nearly 90 percent of Aquinas students receive scholarship assistance and approximately 27 percent are the first in their families to pursue higher education. “We have an increasingly active Alumni Association and this has helped reconnect alumni with the College. The electricity and enthusiasm generated when alumni become engaged is contagious. This combined with the knowledge that most of us were helped significantly through scholarships and hard work – it is easy to understand why contributions for scholarships is skyrocketing. The need is here,” stated Mike Zagaroli ’74, president of the Alumni Association and co-chair of the Aquinas Fund. AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 48

Mike Zagaroli ‘74

“Every person counts in the Aquinas Fund campaign. Big or small, each gift is important. I know it was an Aquinas scholarship that paved the way for my education and the cornerstone for my personal success. It feels great to help pave the way for the next generation of students,” explained Greg Alksnis ’71, trustee emeritus, honorary Aquinas Fund co-chair and architect of the very successful Evening of Elegance this past April. The Aquinas Fund opens doors for young men and women who want a strong liberal arts education. Another robust component of the Aquinas Fund is the new Corporate Partners Network which has encouraged more than 65 Aquinas friendly businesses to support the Aquinas Fund in the network’s first year. “It seemed natural to me to give both personally and encourage strong corporate support by both alumni and community executives,” asserts Jim Payne ’75, co-chair of the Aquinas Fund. The Corporate Partners Network has raised more than $250,000 toward the overall goal. Additionally, many alumni double or even triple their gifts through their employers’ Corporate Matching Gift programs.

Greg Alksnis ‘71

A very special thank you to Honorary Aquinas Fund Co-chairs Greg Alksnis ‘71, Karen Palmore ‘89, and Sr. M. Aquinas Weber ’58 and Aquinas Fund Co-chairs Michelle Bottrall ’97, Jim Payne ’75, and Mike Zagaroli ’74 and the hundreds of other volunteers who have made this year’s success possible. Those who would like to become involved in the 2006-07 campaign or contribute should contact Cecilia A. Cunningham at 616-632-2816.

March to enjoy a hearty breakfast. John Osbourne ’90, Mike Zagaroli ’74 and Rosie Zant ’58 were the co-chairs this year and nearly 30 alumni were involved as table captains.

Good friends and good food – sprinkle in valuable information from the trustees and the president about the positive changes here at Aquinas and it is a recipe for a good time. The spring Alumni Breakfast has become a favorite for alumni reconnecting with each other. Nearly 200 alumni, Aquinas faculty and staff gathered in late

“Alumni are astounded by all the positive changes that have occurred with both programs and facilities here at Aquinas. This is especially true if they haven’t been back to campus in some time.” said Mike Zagaroli ’74, president of the Alumni Association. Traditionally held from 7:30 am to 8:30 am in the Wege Ballroom, AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 49

the event this year raised nearly $70,000 for student scholarships through the Aquinas Fund. Special thanks to Mark Meijer ’80 and the Meijer family, who offered a $25,000 challenge match for participants attending. All the matching money was leveraged by the generous gifts of the participants. For more information about how you can participate or how you can become a Table Host please contact Cecilia Cunningham, director of the Aquinas Fund at (616) 632-2816.


Alumni Fun for the Fund

Corporate Partners Network Meets Tremendous Success in Inaugural Year By Ali Erhan, Ph.D., Director of Corporate Giving

Impact and growth are words which


often describe successful businesses. The Corporate Partners Network (CPN) program has been created by Aquinas College in response to the expressed interests of business leaders of generating impact and growth in conjunction with Aquinas College and its position as an educator of future business leaders.

Aquinas College is an incubator for dynamic programs of influence. Because CPN directly addresses business interests, the initial response to the program has been beyond expectations. In CPN’s inaugural year, more than 70 companies enrolled. The most immediate membership benefits include extensive marketing exposure through the Aquinas magazine, web site, faculty, students and alumni programs and recognition during Aquinas events. Companies also have enjoyed utilizing our technology-rich conference and meeting rooms for staff training or retreats, as well as computer labs and athletic facilities. The Aquinas Executive Series Luncheons allowed company executives to meet and network and learn from a variety of experts addressing business and economic concerns. While CPN currently has more than 70 partners, here are just three of those who have contributed to the program’s success:

D&D Printing is a full-service print house offering a wide array of prepress, print and bindery services including brochures, newsletters, catalogs, booklets, stationery, banners, labels and more. D&D Printing is available for consultation on design, layout, typesetting and art requirements.

Gill Industries was built on the value of services. Gill Industries is a full-service supplier of engineered, mechanical assemblies to the automotive, furniture and multi-use vehicle markets. Not only does Gill provide service and value to its customers, but service also includes giving back to its community and helping those in need. Gill Industries proudly supports Aquinas College because of its provision of quality education. In addition to being corporate partner, the Gill family also supports Aquinas on a personal level. John Gill and Rita Williams provide funding for the College’s music department, Campus Ministry and the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center. Gill Industries supports the Aquinas Scholarship fund by participating in the Evening of Excellence.

Huntington Bank is a “bank invested in people” and the communities served. Huntington Bank works hard to support community partners like Aquinas College. Over the years, Huntington Bank has been aligned closely with Aquinas through event and program support, encouraging programs that add value to the educational experience and further positive initiatives within the community. For the past two years, Huntington has been a presenting sponsor of the Aquinas Evening of Elegance that helps to raise money to fund scholarships and promote diversity. The bank has also been a major supporter of the Emeritus Awards program that aids conductive education. In addition, Huntington has been actively involved in support for Circle Theatre; the Reflection Award; Lights, Action, Auction; and the Aquinas Fund.

Those interested in joining CPN can contact Dr. Ali Erhan, Director of Corporate Giving at (616) 632-2819.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 50

Corporate Partners President’s Circle Erhardt Construction Executive Partner Bissell Inc. Central Interconnect Chemical Bank Comerica Bank D&D Printing Dolphin Travel Gill Industries Global Forex Trading Howard Miller Company Huntington Bank Israels Design NETech Corporation Peter Albertini Real Estate Quixtar TDS Metrocom Universal Forest Products UPS Van Dyken Mechanical Inc. Wolverine World Wide Partner Buist Electric Centennial Securities Feyen-Zylstra Electric Inc. Independent Bank Kent Manufacturing Leon Plastics, Inc. Monarch Hydraulics, Inc. Rehmann Robson Spartan Stores Varnum Riddering Schmidt Associate Partner Accident Fund Allied Electric AXA Advisors Bank Financial Services Group Black Monument Company Bradford Company Cole’s Quality Foods Crystal Flash Energy Dodson Inc. Eikenhout Inc. Foremost Graphics, LLC Grand Rapids Label Company Gymco Sports GWI Engineering Highland Chrysler Plymouth Hurst Industries Infotech Imaging Products Inc. Kay Pharmacy Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc. Kent Beverage Kent Communications, Inc. Languages International Laser’s Resource Martha’s Vineyard Micron Technology Northfield Lanes Prangley & Marks Pridgeon & Clay, Inc. Prudential Financial River City Mechanical Rogers Printing S.A. Morman Inc. Shred Docs LLC Service Express Sun Stone Hotels Terryberry Company Tony Betten Ford Transmatic West Side Beer Distributing Windemuller Electric Inc. Wolverine Coil Spring

Just Another Day at the Beach By David Fox, Staff, Contributing writer

Neal Hotelling ’80 poses with former President George Bush in a photo taken at Pebble Beach in February 1993, just weeks after Bush left office. Bush was there to play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – his first visit to Pebble Beach. The certificate is from the 1929 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, and is signed by Bush’s father, Prescott, who was then the secretary of the USGA.

While the typical Aquinas College business graduate might not list working at the beach as a future goal, for Neal Hotelling ’80 the beach is right where he wants to be.

Hotelling’s presentation, part of the Aquinas College Corporate Partners Network, entitled, "How A Hometown Boy Found A Home at Pebble Beach," included hundreds of slides documenting his life and the history of Pebble Beach, the site of numerous professional and amateur champonship golf tournaments dating back to 1929 when a young Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur Championship and put Pebble Beach on the map.

Just starting out at the company, Hotelling quickly realized that the storied history of Pebble Beach, and the Monterrey Peninsula area once known as Cannery Row, remained virtually undocumented. So, Hotelling took it upon himself to unearth some of the historic treasures of the region before they were forgotten. “I believe greatly in the wisdom of George Santayana: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,’” explained Hotelling.

A Grand Rapids native who grew up in Rockford, Hotelling serves AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 51

Hotelling’s unique ability to bring the historic past of this majestic golfing region to life stands as the best example of his Aquinas experience. “I learned a lot at Aquinas, especially the process of learning,” Hotelling said. “The interdisciplinary study and the connectivity of everything in life – that was the real value I received from my education at Aquinas.” The love of history and community involvement that Hotelling developed growing up in Michigan has led to his publication of numerous books and articles and keeps him in demand across the country doing interviews for CBS, CNN and the Golf and History channels. Hotelling is currently working on a variety of projects, including an update to his history book, the memoirs of the Pebble Beach Company’s founder, and a fine art book showcasing historic images from the Pebble Beach Heritage Collection, due out this fall.


After spending the last 14 years working his way up the ranks of the Pebble Beach Company in northern California, Hotelling returned to Grand Rapids this summer to share stories of his journey from Rockford, Michigan to one of the most prestigious and well-known golf destinations in the world.

as the director of Licensing and Special Projects for the Pebble Beach Company, where he also oversees the entire marketing budget, manages the historical archive and is executive editor of Pebble Beach Magazine. However, it is his role as the company’s historian that led him to publish Pebble Beach Golf Links: The Official History, which earned golf book-of-the-year accolades in 1999 and has sold over 50,000 copies worldwide.

Neal Hotelling ’80

Five Former AQ Athletes to be Inducted into Hall of Fame T

he Aquinas College athletic department has announced its 2006 Hall of Fame class. It is comprised of legendary golfers Greg Alksnis ’71, Al Dimavicius ’62, and Bob Sakocius ’78, volleyball star Shawn (Pearson) Gleason ’90 and two-sport athlete Mike Wilson ’89. The five individuals will be inducted at the Aquinas College Hall of Fame Gala Event on Friday, September 29; this event kicks off the Aquinas Homecoming weekend festivities.


Alksnis, Dimavicius, and Sakocius will all enter the Hall with lifetime achievement awards as well. Each was an outstanding golfer during his years at Aquinas, leading successful AQ teams. All went on to win numerous championships in local and state amateur play. They hold three of the top four positions in alltime victories on the Grand Rapids circuit (Kent County Amateur, Grand Rapids City Championship,

Greg Alksnis ‘71

Grand Rapids City Match Play Championship and the West Michigan Amateur). Shawn (Pearson) Gleason was the mainstay of the successful AQ volleyball teams of the late 1980s. She was the first Aquinas volleyball player to earn NAIA All-American recognition for her efforts. She also earned NAIA Academic All-American honors. Gleason still holds several volleyball records for her career achievements. Mike Wilson was a mainstay on the track and basketball teams of the late 1980s. He was the first and only Aquinas student-athlete to be feted by the NAIA as an All-American in two sports. He received accolades in indoor track, outdoor track and basketball. Wilson still holds the Aquinas high jump records in both indoor and outdoor track.

Shawn Gleason ‘90

Mike Wilson ‘89

Al Dimavicius ‘62

Bob Sakocius ‘78 AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 52

Winter and Spring Athletic Honors BRASPENNINX NAMED WHAC PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR Junior Jackie Braspenninx, a 6'2" center from Ravenna, Mich. was selected as the 2005-06 Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference WHAC Player-ofthe-Year by league coaches. Braspenninx, who eclipsed the 1,000 point mark this season, is the Saints leading scorer, averaging 18.2 points per game. Braspenninx was also selected to the All-WHAC first team and WHAC Academic AllConference team.

Coach-of-the-Year honors. DOUGLAS FINISHES CAREER ON A HIGH NOTE Saint’s senior Derek Douglas started the year with a broken wrist and finished the year passing the 1,000 Career Points mark and being named All-American Honorable Mention. Derek has been a solid player for the Saint’s for the last two years after transferring in and helped lead the 2005-06 squad to their first NAIA National Tournament appearance. BASEBALL RECEIVED NUMEROUS HONORS

Senior member of the Aquinas College Women's Basketball team, Ashley "Hoovie" Heuvelman, has moved into 12th place on the Aquinas women's all-time leading scorer list with 1,121 points. In addition, Heuvelman has also claimed two additional places in the Aquinas Women's Basketball History book. With 134 assists, Heuvelman has become the Saints single season assist leader as well as the single season steals leader. Heuvelman joined Braspenninx on the All-WHAC first team as well as being selected to the All-WHAC Defensive team. Rounding out the all-conference selections include Whitney Marsh (All-WHAC third team), Claire Hogan (AllWHAC Newcomer team) and Mandi Degroot (All Academic/Champions of Character team). Head Coach Linda Nash received WHAC

The Aquinas College baseball places five players on this year's WHAC All-Conference team. Four seniors garnered the honor for Aquinas: Matt Soergel (SS), Ryan Bertoia (3B), Tim Muma (OF) and Matt Spitzley (C). Lone junior Matt Nelson (P) also received all-conference accolades. Honorable mention honors went to seniors Craig Antekeier and Mike Lantzy as well as junior pitcher Dave Ottenwess. Rounding out the honors for the Saints were Academic AllConference selections Dave Dinallo and Mike Lantzy. Matt Soergel and Matt Spitzley also were named All-American Honorable Mention. SOFTBALL WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE WHAC TITLE AND MANY INDIVIDUAL HONORS The Aquinas College softball team racked up its second consecutive WHAC Championship

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 53

Senior pitcher Tarin Foster led the way for the Saints as she received WHAC Pitcher of the Year honors. Foster, a Jenison, Michigan native, tallied a 1.90 ERA while posting a 15-4 record on the mound. At the plate, Foster led the team offensively with a .457 batting average. Senior shortstop Kristen Jager, junior first baseman McCall Kleinfelt, senior pitcher Annie Szczepanek and freshman outfielder Courtney Miles completed the All-Conference selections. Rounding out the post-season conference honors for the Saints was senior Sarah Metiva, who received All-Conference honorable mention honors. Metiva also was selected as academic all-conference along with juniors McCall Kleinfelt (Grand Ledge) and Kathy Williams (Paw Paw). Coach Varnesdeel capped off the regular season with her third selection in four years as WHAC Coach of the Year. In her fouryear tenure as head coach, Coach Varnesdeel posts a 135-67 overall record, which includes racking up WHAC Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2006, Regional Championship in 2005 and a NAIA National Championship appearance in 2005.



as they posted an 18-2 record in conference play. The Lady Saint Sluggers, 37-11 overall, have also tallied back-to-back 30-plus win seasons. The Saints' 46 homeruns this year breaks the schools’ team homerun record of 21, which was set in the 2005 season.

2006-07 Athletic Schedules WOMEN’S SOCCER MEN’S SOCCER Sat., Aug. 26 - TBD Bethel

Wed., Aug. 23 - 4 p.m. Siena Heights

Tues., Aug. 29 - TBD Univ. of St. Francis

Sat., Aug. 26 - 1 p.m. Spring Arbor University

Sat.-Sun., Sept. 2-3 -TBD Calumet Tournament

Wed., Aug. 30 - 4 p.m. Rochester

Tues., Sept. 5 - TBD Indiana Tech Sat., Sept. 9 - TBD Siena Heights Tues., Sept. 12 - TBD Kalamazoo Thurs., Sept. 14 - TBD Hope Sat., Sept. 16 - TBD Madonna Tues., Sept 19 - TBD Cornerstone

Wed., Sept. 6 - 6 p.m. Indiana Tech Sat., Sept. 9 - 1 p.m. St. Xavier Sat., Sept.16 - 1 p.m. Madonna Wed., Sept. 20 - 4 p.m. Cornerstone

Tues., Aug. 15 - TBD Cornerstone (scrimmage)

Tues., Nov. 7 - TBD WHAC Tournament Quarterfinals

Fri.- Sat., Sept. 1-2 - TBD Cornerstone

Fri., Nov. 10 - TBD WHAC Tournament Semi-Finals

Tues., Sept. 5 - 7 p.m. Grace Bible Fri.- Sat., Sept. 8-9 - TBD Indiana Wesleyan Tues., Sept. 12 - 7 p.m. Siena Heights Sat., Sept. 17 - TBD Aquinas Classic

Tues., Sept 26 - TBD Davenport

Wed., Sept. 27 - 4 p.m. Davenport

Sat., Sept. 30 - TBD Indiana Tech

Sat., Sept 30 - TBD Indiana Tech

Sat., Sept. 30 - 1 p.m. Indiana Tech

Tues., Oct. 3 - 7 p.m. Madonna

Tues., Oct. 3 - TBD Siena Heights

Wed., Oct. 4 - 4 p.m. Siena Heights

Tues., Oct. 10 - TBD Madonna

Thurs., Oct. 5 - 7 p.m. Concordia

Wed., Oct. 11 - 4 p.m. Madonna

Tues., Oct. 10 - 7 p.m. Siena Heights

Sat., Oct. 14 - 1 p.m. Cornerstone

Thurs., Oct. 12 - 7 p.m. Goshen

Tues., Oct. 17 - 4 p.m. Concordia

Tues., Oct. 17 - 7 p.m. Davenport

Sat., Oct. 21 - 1 p.m. Davenport

Fri.- Sat., Oct. 20-21 -TBD St. Francis (Joilet, Ill.)

Oct. 25-28 - TBD WHAC Tourney

Tues., Oct. 24 - 7 p.m. Indiana Tech

Nov. 1-4 - TBD Region Eight Tourney

Thurs., Oct. 26 - 7 p.m. Cornerstone

Sat., Oct. 21 - TBD Davenport

Fri., Nov. 17 - TBD Regional Semi-Finals Sat., Nov. 18 - TBD Regional Finals

Sat., Sept. 23 - 1 p.m. Davenport

Sat., Sept. 23 - 1 p.m. Concordia

Tues., Oct. 17 - TBD Concordia

Sat., Nov. 11 - TBD WHAC Tournament Finals

Tues., Sept. 19 - 7 p.m. UM Dearborn

Sat., Sept. 23 - TBD Concordia

Sat., Oct. 14 - TBD Cornerstone


Sat. & Sun., Sept. 2-3 -TBD Calumet College Tourney


Tues., Sept. 26 - 7 p.m. Cornerstone

Tues., Oct. 31 - 7 p.m. Madonna Thurs., Nov. 2 - 7 p.m. UM Dearborn Sat., Nov. 4 - 1 p.m. Concordia AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 54

Key Home Away Please be aware schedule is subject to change. Visit athletics for the most recent schedules.



Sat., Nov. 4 - TBD St. Francis, Ill.

Sat., Feb. 3 - 1 p.m. Madonna

Thurs., Nov. 2 - 7 p.m. Grace Bible

Sat., Jan 20 - 3 p.m. Indiana Tech

Mon., Nov. 6 - 7 p.m. St. Francis, IN

Wed., Feb. 7 - 7:30 p.m. Concordia

Sat., Nov. 11 - TBD Goshen

Sat., Feb. 10 - 1 p.m. Davenport

Sat., Nov. 4 - 7 p.m. Judson

Wed., Jan. 24 – 7:30 p.m. Siena Heights

Tues., Nov. 14 - 7 p.m. Huntington

Wed., Feb. 14 - 6:30 p.m. Indiana Tech

Tues., Nov. 7 – 7 p.m. Spring Arbor

Sat., Jan. 27 – 3 p.m. UM Dearborn

Fri., Nov. 17 - TBD Aquinas Classic

Sat., Feb. 17 - 1 p.m. Siena Heights

Fri.-Sat., Nov. 10-11 -TBD Bethel Tournament

Wed., Jan. 31 – 8 p.m. Cornerstone

Sat., Nov. 18 - TBD Aquinas Classic

Wed., Feb. 21 - TBD WHAC Tournament – 1st Round

Fri.-Sat., Nov. 17-18 -TBD Huntington Tournament

Sat., Feb. 3 – 3 p.m. Madonna

Tues., Nov. 21 – 7:30 p.m. Northwood

Wed., Feb. 7 – 7:30 p.m. Concordia Sat., Feb. 10 – 3 p.m. Davenport

Tues., Nov. 21 - 7 p.m. Calvin

Sat., Feb. 24 - TBD WHAC Tournament. – Semi-finals

Thurs., Dec. 7 - 7 p.m. Indiana - South Bend

Mon., Feb. 26 - TBD WHAC Tournament – Finals

Fri.-Sat., Nov. 24-25 - TBD Select Bank Hall of Fame Classic Van Andel Arena

Sat., Dec. 9 - 7 p.m. Ferris State

NAIA National Tournament

Wed., Dec. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Calvin College

Sat., Dec. 2 - TBD Judson

Sat., Dec. 16-21 - TBD St. Thomas Tournament – 3 games

Sat., Dec. 9 – 3 p.m. Alma

Sat., Dec. 30 - 1 p.m. Olivet

Sat., Dec. 16 – 7:30 p.m. Hope

Wed., Jan. 3 - 7:30 p.m. UM Dearborn Sat., Jan. 6 - 1 p.m. Cornerstone

Wed., Dec. 20 – 7 p.m. Grace Bible

Sat., Jan. 13 -1 p.m. Concordia

Wed., Jan. 3 – 7:30 p.m. UM Dearborn

Wed., Jan. 17 - 7:30 p.m. Davenport

Sat., Jan. 6 – 3 p.m. Cornerstone

Sat., Jan 20 - 1 p.m. Indiana Tech Wed., Jan. 24 - 7:30 p.m. Siena Heights Sat., Jan. 27 - 1 p.m. UM Dearborn Wed., Jan. 31 - 6 p.m. Cornerstone

Wed., Jan. 10 – 7:30 p.m. Madonna Sat., Jan. 13 – 3 p.m. Concordia Wed., Jan. 17 – 7:30 p.m. Davenport

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 55

Sat., Feb. 17 – 3 p.m. Siena Heights Sat., Feb. 24 – TBD WHAC Tournament – 1st Round WHAC Tournament – Semifinals WHAC Tournament – Finals NAIA National Tournament


Wed., Jan. 10 - 7:30 p.m. Madonna

Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 28-29 - TBD Ashland Ohio Holiday Tournament

Wed., Feb. 14 – 7:30 p.m. Indiana Tech

ATHLETIC SHORTS…. Aquinas Recaptures AllSports Trophy The Aquinas College Saints sit atop the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) once again. After losing the AllSports trophy for the first time in eight years last season, the Saints have rebounded to capture the coveted All-Sports Championship, which recognizes the best department finish among the league’s eight-member institutions. Aquinas totaled 36 points to best Cornerstone University and 2005 All-Sport Champion Madonna University, which each tallied 32 points each. It marks the Saints’ ninth All-Sport trophy in school history, and the ninth in the last 10 years.

AQ Captures 15th Spot in U.S. Sports Academy AllSports Standings Aquinas finished the 2005-2006 year in 15th place nationally among NAIA schools in the U.S. Sports Academy/National AllSports Championship. There are 307 NAIA institutions vying for the top honor, and Azusa Pacific (CA) was the national winner. This is the highest final finish that Aquinas College has had since the program began 14 years ago.


The Sr. Helen Louise Brogger and Joseph Baker Awards are given annually to one male and one female senior student-athlete who meet the three requirements established by the alumni board: academic strength, service to other people and athletic involvement and success. This year’s recipients are exemplary in meeting these requirements.

Sara Metiva

Aquinas Wins Saints Cup for Second Consecutive Year Aquinas athletic teams have won the Saints Cup for the second consecutive year. The honor was established two years ago in memory of Fr. Charles Santoro, Dominican priest and Aquinas chaplain, who passed away suddenly prior to the 2004-2005 school year. Fr. Charles always promoted competition between Dominican colleges Aquinas and Siena Heights. In the Saints Cup competition, points are tabulated during the entire school year in all competitions between the two schools. Aquinas will maintain the Saints Cup, displayed in the trophy case in the field house, for the entire 2006-2007 year.

Aquinas Announces Yearly Senior Awards

Michael Rose

Patrick Bruining

Two Men’s Tennis Players Placed on All-American List Patrick Bruining, a sophomore from Grand Haven, Michigan and Michael Rose, a junior from Grand Rapids, were selected to the NAIA All-American second team. Mike and Pat finished the season with a record of 21-4 at first doubles. Their last match together was at the NAIA National Championship Tournament in Mobile, Alabama where they defeated the number five ranked team from Shorter College. Rose posts a 15-11 record at number singles while Bruining is 21-5 at second singles.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 56

Sara Metiva, a senior from Grand Rapids, is this year’s recipient of the Sr. Helen Louise Brogger Award. Metiva was a four-year letter winner on the Aquinas softball team and earned WHAC All-Conference, WHAC Academic All-Conference and All-Regional honors. She has been involved in multiple service learning projects and the Student Advisory Athletic Board. She is a biology major and chemistry minor and will be in the physician’s assistant program at Grand Valley State University next fall. This year Aquinas is recognizing dual honorees for the Joseph Baker Award. The Saint’s first Baker Award winner is Dave Baylis from Belding, Mich. who is a four-year letter winner in both indoor and outdoor track.

Aaron Heindl

Dave Baylis

An outstanding student, Baylis has been involved with the music department in the percussion ensemble, the Insignis Honors Society and the political science club, and was a founding member of the Geography Club and a member of the American Model United Nations Club.

team, the president of the Premedical Honor Society and a member of the Biology Honor Society. Heindl also served as a patient care provider at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, and he has been accepted at the medical school at Wayne State University for next fall.

The second recipient of the Joseph Baker Award is Aaron Heindl of Traverse City, Michigan. Heindl was a member of this year’s men’s basketball

AQ Teams Compete in Nationals Five Aquinas Track and Field athletes garnered All-American hon-

ors in the 2006 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships held in Johnson City, Tennessee. Leading the charge was senior De-Ale-Jo Roberts, who not only broke the school record in the long jump by nearly a foot, but also claimed a third place finish in the long jump with a distance of 25-0 to garner himself All-American honors for the second consecutive year. All-American honors for the women went to the 3,200 Meter Relay foursome of Stacey Hoffman, Natalie Kent, Andye Razmus and Lisa Wojciakowski, who captured a fifth place finish with a time of 9:20.75. The time marks the second fastest time in Saints track and field history. The foursome received All-American honors for their efforts.

Spring Sports Teams Reach Nationals The Aquinas College Men's

Natalie Kent

Also twenty one Aquinas track athletes qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Track National Meet in Fresno, California from May 25May 27. The men's qualifiers were Scott Assenmacher, Dave Baylis, Braydon Dahlberg, Justin Dupey, Patrick Earl, Nick Gumina, Brian Keilen, Josh Kornoely, Chris Leikert, Josh Robach, De-Ale-Jo Roberts, and Erich Tanis. The women's qualifiers were: Stephanie Allers, Sue Chang, Tracy Dykstra, Noelia Garcia, Stacey Hoffman, Natalie Kent, Siobhan Martin, Nicole Parker, and Gizelle Rolle. The top AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 57

individual finishers who also received All-American recognition were De-Ale-Jo Roberts in the Men’s Long Jump finishing 6th overall and Natalie Kent in the 400m Hurdles finishing 5th overall. Congratulations to all of our track athletes for a great season!

De-Ale-Jo Roberts


Tennis team advanced to the 55th Annual Men's Tennis National Championship, May 1519, 2006 in Mobile, Alabama after winning their sixth consecutive Regional Championship. The Saints finished the season with a

very respectable 16-8 record and a National Ranking of 22.

Trustee Notes…. T

he Aquinas College Board of Trustees elected a new slate of leaders at its May 23, 2006 meeting. Selected to the 2006-2007 leadership positions were:

Patrick Miles Jr. ’88, attorney with Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett – Chair

Msgr. William Duncan, Vicar General for the Grand Rapids Diocese – Vice-Chair

Ellen Satterlee, Executive Director of the Wege Foundation – Secretary

Thomas Czerney ‘74, Partner with Beene Garter LLP – Treasurer

In addition, the Board granted Emeritus status to five members who concluded their terms on the Board. They include: Greg Alksnis ’71 Debra Bailey MM ’83 Gerald Barber Patrick Quinn ’58 Lanny Thodey

Former Aquinas Trustee Tim McGuire Speaks at William Mitchell College of Law Commencement


Aquinas alumnus and

former trustee Tim McGuire ’71 delivered the commencement address at another alma mater, William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, this past May. McGuire, who graduated from the 100-year-old, private law school in 1987, focused his comments on his concerns about the current values system in business and

law and encouraged individuals to make a difference by improving their own values and behavior. McGuire is the recently named Frank Russell Chair for the business of journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. As the Russell Chair, McGuire teaches courses on ethics and the business

components of journalism. A retired editor and senior vice president of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, he consults with the media and conducts seminars on purpose and spirituality in the workplace. He is also an outspoken advocate of finding the right balance between editorial responsibility to readers and profits.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 58 • (616) 632-2962 • Fax (616) 732-4599 B


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Marriages: Births: ’86

Elena Fracassa and John Bugg on April 29, 2006. Among those 1986/1987alumni attending the FracassaBugg wedding were:

Front (L-R): John Risko ’87, Sarah (Holmes) Hessen ’86, Cynde (Darge) Wallace ’86, Maureen (Wagner) DeBernardino ’86, Suzanne (Woodcock) Rosenburg ’86, Maggie McLaughlin ’86, Bride Elena (Fracassa) Bugg ’86 and new husband, John Bugg. Back: Mike Lehmkuhle ‘86, Delmas Szura ‘86 Photo taken at St. Raymond’s – Detroit by Bill Rosenburg ’86.



Julianne Waner and Brad Klein on September 3, 2005.

Michaeline CooperWinters and Jeffrey Winters, a son, Evan Cooper, April 24, 2006.


Julie (Trybus) and Joe Petersen ’92, a son, Noel Joseph, December 10, 2005.


Nora (Veine) and Michael Berninger, a son, William Oscar, May 10, 2006.


Sara (Berger) and Michael LaForest, a son, Dylan Thomas, January 9, 2006.





Dr. Nikkiya (Koval) Fraser and Andrew Fraser ’00, a son, Ian Oswald, February 7, 2006. Christine and Shawn Veenstra, a boy, Andrew Joseph, May 24, 2006. Holly (Heitzman) and Dan O’Donnell ’99, a son, Lucas Daniel, March 2, 2006. Holly (Hart) and Kurt Kuempel, a son, Holden Michael, October 20, 2005.


Kathleen Marie (Schmidt) Scheer, March 9, 2005.


Kenneth Bishop, March 25, 2006 and Eugene Bishop, April 1, 2006, brothers of Sr. Elizabeth Bishop.


Joan (Bott) McGavin, mother of Anne (McGavin) Harpold ’8, April 21, 2006.


Audrey Mitchell, sister of Sr. Elaine Mitchell, February 11, 2006.


Helen Benson, mother of Sr. Ardeth Platte, March 2006.


Aurora Martinez Fernandez, mother of Sr. Dolorita Martinez, April 21, 2006.


Frank Chrusciel, brother of Sr. Irene Chrusciel, March 3, 2006.


Gertrude Kelly, mother of Michael F. Kelly, February 23, 2006.


Chester J. Skendzel, brother of Joseph Skendzel, April 7, 2006.


Anna C. Leiber, mother of The Honorable Dennis Leiber and mother-in-law to Margaret Leiber ’87, February 21, 2006.


Lisa Manders and Joel Emerson on Oct 1, 2005.


Kacey Corcoran and Aaron Riley on August 13, 2005.


Katey Miller and Andrew Morse on September 24, 2005.



Sharon Drong and Todd Davis on June 11, 2006.

Orville DeBruce Lefferts, June 8, 2006.



Margaret Allen and Brian Sheridan on June 11, 2005.

Jeffrey T. Lyon, February 2, 2006.


Lila Pursley, mother of Martha Pursley-Peabody, March 14, 2006.


Lowell Switzer, father of Sr. Carmelita Switzer, March 2006.



Rachel Matusak and William Oppen on April 9, 2000.



Jessica Short and Dan Molloy on June 18, 2005.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 60

Milestones ’72



Maxine Zapata, mother of Sr. Lucia Zapata, March 2006. John Townshend, father of Richard Townshend, Julie (Townshend) Jaglowski ’79, Joseph Townshend ’81, Robert Townshend ’83, Michelle (Townshend) Burnett ’84, April 13, 2006. Duane (Bockheim) Thompson, wife of Theodore Thompson ’52, April 10, 2006.


Sr. Eleanor Marie Roberts, June 18, 2006.


Marian Lahay, sister of Sr. Marie Therese Rouse, April 5, 2006.


Regina (Martin) Petersen, February 28, 2006.


Clayton E. “Bud” Muma, father of Stephen Muma, April 21, 2006.


Ruth (Kelly) Woodcock, mother of Suzanne (Woodcock) Rosenburg, Patrick Woodcock ’85, and Steven Woodcock ’84. Ellen (Vidro) Rosenburg, mother of William Rosenburg.


Brent Biermacher-King, husband of Nancy Biermacher-King ’88, March 16, 2006.


Paul J. Murray, husband of Elizabeth “Betty” (Locey) Murray, November 2005.


James Nicholas Potter, father of Scott Michael Potter, April 2005.


Delia Walsh, grandmother of Anne Marie Schlichting, employee of Aquinas College, March 2006.

Evelyn Lingo Cahoon, mother-in-law of Marty Fahey MM’06 and AQ staff member, June 2006.

Other Deaths Tom Schindler, former employee of Aquinas College, March 2006. Lorraine Piotrowski, sister of Harvey Sova, employee of Aquinas College, May 3, 2006. Carl Geis, husband of Virginia “Ginny” Geis, and friend of Aquinas College, March 3, 2006. Elenore Cummisky, wife of the late John Cummisky, friend and former Trustee Emeritus of Aquinas College, April 16, 2006. Barbara Schroeder, wife of Willard Schroeder, friend and former Trustee Emeritus of Aquinas College, April 13, 2006.

1959 George Colburn and Tom McCarthy are on the tiny Pacific island of Tinian (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) with an artifact of World War II, a propellor and engine from a crippled B-29 bomber that crashed on its return from a bombing run to Japan in 1944 or 1945. In August 1945, Tinian's airfields, recaptured from the Japanese in the summer of 1944, launched the B-29s that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshina and Nagasaki and prompted the Japanese to agree to unconditional surrender, ending World War II. The two alums are serving as the producers for the Santa Fe Media & Education Center of a major documentary series about the lives and times of the Navajo Code Talkers, Marines who participated in all the major actions by the USMC in the Pacific during WWII, but were forbidden to discuss "the code" for 25 years after the war ended. For more information, visit 1966 Larry D. McMillan has earned his Ph.D. (September 2005) in Entrepreneur Engineering at Kochi University in Kochi Prefecture, Japan. Dr. McMillan is author and/or co-author of over 150 patents and 160 publications in the areas of ferroelectric memories, I.C. devices and processes, metal organic chemistry and thin film deposition. Dr. McMillan is the president and CEO of Symetrix Corporation in Colorado Springs, Colo.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 61




Dave Donovan has retired from his position of director of religious education at St. Teresa of Avila Parish, Cincinnati, Ohio. While in this position he was one of the founding members of Come Home, an outreach to inactive Catholics in the tri-state area around Cincinnati and a member of the archdiocesan commission on interfaith affairs. 1967 Dr. Patricia (Stewart) Gussin, M.D. has published her first novel Shadow of Death. It was released by Oceanview Publishing in March of this year. 1969 Brian Williams, 2006 Commencement keynote speaker, was introduced this past June as the newest member of the CTV/TSN Olympic broadcast team at CTV’s Upfront in Toronto. CTV is Canada's largest private broadcaster. 1983 Beverly Wall has been named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan” for her commitment to excellence and determination to make West Michigan a premier U.S. metropolitan area. Wall was selected from over 160 nominees for the 2006 Grand Rapids Business Journal honor. 1984


Daniel S. Pupel, Jr. has been named legal counsel for the New Jersey Devils. He and his wife Deborah, who is the president of Babies ‘R Us, reside in Mahwah, NJ.



Rolando Silva was ordained to the Catholic priesthood June 10, 2006 at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord, Mich. by Bishop Patrick R. Clooney. In 1999, he applied to the Diocese of Gaylord to enter the seminary and began studying for the priesthood. He was sent to Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2002. In 2005, Silva was ordained a transitional deacon by Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He then graduated from St. Mary of the Lake in May 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology.

Greg Newell left the newsroom in March of this year after 14 years, most recently as features editor for the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, to work in client support and implementation for SAXOTECH Inc., a provider of software systems to the media industry. He now resides with his wife, Teresa, in beautiful, sunny Tampa, Fla.

1986 David Robach was recently promoted to assistant vice president of Consumer Lending at the Rockford office of Independent Bank. He lives in Rockford with his wife, Tricia, and his two sons, Kyle and Connor. 1987 Kimberly Mercatante is currently with Gordon Food Service as national account credit manager and does much financial profiling and analysis of multi-conceptual/ national accounts. She also has a dual career in professional theatre, voice, talent with 20+ years experience, including 40 musicals/plays and numerous freelance, professional, commercial and video projects. 1990 Therese Kerbey is attending Arizona State University as a full-time doctoral student. She is working at the School of Music for ASU. Therese is also a Staff Sergeant in the 108th Army Band of the Arizona Army National Guard.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 62

1995 Scott Michael Potter was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Crescent City, Calif. Art Gallery, as well as editor of their newsletter. Scott was also named artist of the month at the gallery in June of 2006. 1997 Catherine (Hochstetler) Lynch has been accepted into the graduate college at Northern Arizona University and is beginning work on her master’s in Art. She now resides in Flagstaff, Ariz. 1998 Ellen Bolline recently joined Grand Wealth Management, LLC as vice president. Bolline joins Grand Wealth Management after nearly nine years with Ernst & Young, where she was a senior manager in the firm’s Personal Financial Counseling group. In this capacity, she provided financial planning services to individuals and employees of large corporations. Ellen resides in West Olive. Gisela Classon graduated from Umea University Medical School in Sweden in January of this year and has started an internship and Sunderby Hospital in Lulea, in the north of Sweden. She resides in Lulea with fiance Bjorn Pettersson, M.D.

2000 Mary Kopchick joined Bingham Farms, Mich. based Identity Marketing and Public Relations as an account assistant in February 2006. 2001 Rick Mills has recently joined the Coldwater, Mich. law firm of Biringer, Hutchinson, Lillis, Bappert, Angell, P.C. His general practice includes the areas of business law, estate planning, tax, real estate, municipal law and civil litigation. Rick also serves as an assistant city attorney for the city of Coldwater. 2002 Emily Kamara has just graduated from St. Louis University with an M.S. in Geological Sciences and a GIS certificate. Heidi (Notheifer) Hilton has three children: Hunter, 15, Marshall, 13, and Ember, 8. She and her husband live in Grandville, Mich. Aaron Plafkin completed GVSU's MBA program in December 2005. 2003 Michele Giordano just graduated from MSU College of Law in May 2006 with a concentration in Criminal Law.

Jessica (Short) Malloy is attending graduate school at GVSU for Master’s in Education with TESOL certification. Jeanette Pierce started a non-profit organization called Inside Detroit that will “guide the curious to an insider's appreciation of Detroit’s history, entertainment culture and livability through uniquely designed experiences.” For more information, visit 2005 Jackie Hurley is an Inner City teaching Corps teacher in Chicago. She teaches social studies, reading and Spanish on the city’s west side at the Chicago Jesuit Academy. Michael Traywick, Navy Seaman, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. During the eight-week program, Traywick completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. Theresa Huyge ’95 ME ’05 completed her Master in Education in December ’05 and will begin teaching Spanish at Niles (Mich.) Senior High School in September.

2004 Jenny Hayes-Daley has been promoted to trainer at Community Connection of Minnesota, Inc. She joined the company in 2005 as a behavior specialist.

AQUINAS MAGAZINE ~ fall 2006 63


Abigail Paterka was selected as Yuma County's Intermediate Teacher of the Year. She currently teaches fifth grade at Gwyneth Ham Elementary School, Arizona's only professional development school.



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Aquinas Magazine :: Fall 2006  

The official magazine of Aquinas College

Aquinas Magazine :: Fall 2006  

The official magazine of Aquinas College