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fall 2011

The magazine of aquinas college

Welcome New President: Juan R. Olivarez ’71, Ph.D.

Aquinas magazine is printed on paper containing 10 percent post-consumer waste. 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.

AQUINAS magazine is published by the Aquinas College Marketing & Communications Department. It is created for alumni, friends, and benefactors of the College, as well as parents of enrolled students and adult students. Aquinas is a private, four-year Catholic Dominican liberal arts college. Letters, comments, and suggestions are encouraged. Change of address requests can be made through the channels listed below. E-mail: Mail: Marketing & Communications Department 1607 Robinson Road, SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799 Website: Alumni news: Phone: (616) 632-2845 Fax: (616) 459-2563

For information on the cultural events taking place at Aquinas College, please visit the following websites: 125th Anniversary OLLI Music Schedule Theatre Schedule Contemporary Writers Series

Editor Sally Reeves Student Contributing Editor Lauren F. Carlson ’12 Consulting Editor Sandra Mitchell ’91 Contributing Writers Brigid Avery ’01, staff Terry Bocian ’70, staff Dan Brooks, Ph.D., faculty Lauren F. Carlson ’12, student Brent Chesley, Ph.D., faculty Cecilia A. Cunningham, staff Kate Davis, staff Meg Derrer, staff Gary Eberle, faculty Linda Nemec Foster ’72

Janine Guyesky ’08, staff Heather Hall, staff Ellen Harburn ’00, staff Tom Mikowski ’89, staff Sister Jean Milhaupt, O.P., Ph.D., ’45, staff Sheila Pantlind, staff Samantha Rinkus ’11, student Jan Sommerville, staff John Wofford ’12, student Mike Wojciakowski ’97, staff Layout/Design Jason Bardwell, D&D Printing Co. Photography Brian Kelly, freelancer Andris Visockis, freelancer

New in the Aquinas Magazine: QR Codes We’re trying something new! Inside this issue of the Aquinas magazine, you’ll notice a few stories are accompanied by black and white matrix barcodes, or QR codes. Scan these codes using a QR reader on your smartphone to be taken to the Aquinas website for additional information about a particular story. Don’t have a QR reader for your phone? Search your app store for “QR.” There are lots of free options available for both Apple and Android devices. Like this idea? Hate this idea? Have suggestions for us? Scan the QR code above and take our brief survey, or go to

Visit the Aquinas College page at the following social media websites:

Aquinas Performing Arts Center

fall 2011 vol. 10 no. 2

The magazine of aquinas college







Aquinas College Selects Juan Olivarez ’71 as New President......................................................... 5 2011 College Hall of Fame Honorees................................. 6 Art for Ed’s Sake................................................................ 7 May 2011 Commencement............................................... 8 Contemporary Writers Series Celebrates 15th Season...... 10

Aquinas Students Meet Seamus Heaney at Poetry Now Conference in Dublin............................. 13 Van Andel Millennial Board Works to “Keep Michigan Talent in Michigan”.......................... 15

2011-12 Aquinas Lecture Series...................................... 16


Alumni Association Awards............................................. 18

Wege ProAm Hosts Fourth Successful Year...................... 21 Joan Secchia Announces $2M Planned Gift..................... 22 Reflection Dinner Honors Three Vital Community Members............................. 33 Friends and Alumni Sponsor Aquinas College’s 125th Anniversary......................... 33

History at a Glance: 125 Years of Aquinas College........... 24 Aquinas College’s Core Values: The Four Charisms......... 26 Aquinas Professor Explores History of College................ 30 125th Anniversary Calendar............................................. 31

Former Saint Signs Professional Contract......................... 35 Athletics Hall of Fame..................................................... 37 Winter/Spring Sports Wrap.............................................. 40


New 2011 Aquinas College Trustees................................ 42


Fall 2011 AQDays............................................................ 19


Jandernoas Honored at OLLI’s Emeritus Evening............ 20

. 32

125,000 Acts of AQ, pg

Donation by Young Alumni, pg.


Marriages/Births............................................................... 43 Deaths of Friends and Family........................................... 44 Class Notes...................................................................... 45

ArtPrize 2011, pg. 12


Saints’ Squad, pg. 11

. 26

The Four Charisms, pg

The Four Charisms, pg. 29

Campus News

Pictured (l-r): Juan, Mary, and Elias Olivarez

Aquinas College Selects Juan R. Olivarez, Ph.D., as New President By Meg Derrer In May, Aquinas College announced Juan R. Olivarez, Ph.D., accepted the position as the College’s seventh president. Dr. Olivarez, 61, succeeds C. Edward Balog, Ph.D., who retired in June after serving five years as president. Aquinas College Board of Trustees Chairman General John Nowak said, “The Aquinas board of trustees could not be more pleased with the decision to hire Dr. Olivarez as our next president. We are looking forward to his leadership and vision as we enter this important year of celebrating our 125th anniversary.” Immediately after January’s retirement announcement by Balog, the board commissioned a Presidential Search Committee comprised of representatives from the trustees, alumni, student senate, faculty, and staff. Dr. Olivarez, a 1971 graduate of Aquinas, was unanimously recommended to the Board of Trustees, and enthusiastically selected as its seventh president. “The Presidential Search Committee was charged with seeking to identify a candidate who reflects the values of our institution and possesses the qualities of leadership required to fulfill our college’s mission,” said Aquinas College Trustee and Search Committee Chairman Donald Burns. “We found all that in Dr. Olivarez and feel very comfortable saying he is uniquely capable of guiding Aquinas into the future.” “I am thrilled to come back home to lead Aquinas College into the next phase,” said Dr. Olivarez, who, for the past three years, served as president and CEO of the Kalamazoo

Community Foundation. “I graduated from here, I met my wife here…so I have a strong affinity for Aquinas. As I’ve said before, Aquinas changed my life.” Prior to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Dr. Olivarez served for nine years as the president of Grand Rapids Community College. Although content with his role at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Dr. Olivarez was pulled by the opportunity to re-engage with his alma mater and with higher education, a profession in which he has spent the majority of his career. Dr. Olivarez also continues to maintain various civic and community leadership positions on both local and national levels. “Our selection process was based on a detailed candidate profile that had been developed by input from the board of trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and community leaders,” Burns notes. “Dr. Olivarez met and exceeded every requirement, namely his commitment to our Catholic Dominican heritage and proven track record of higher education financial stewardship and fundraising abilities.” A major focus for the new president is to represent the College in a manner that enhances its presence in and service to the region. “Aquinas College enters its 125th year stronger than ever,” adds General Nowak. “We have complete confidence that Dr. Olivarez can guide us forward by providing strong educational leadership and community engagement.” | Fall 2011 | Campus News 5

Campus News

2011 College Hall of Fame Honorees By Sister Jean Milhaupt, O.P., Ph.D., ’45

Sister M. Bertrand LaLonde, O.P., Ph.D. †

A scholar of French language, literature, and civilization, Sister M. Bertrand LaLonde taught two generations of students at Aquinas. Born in Essexville, Mich., she entered the Grand Rapids Dominican Congregation at age 16 and was soon teaching in elementary schools. Through summer study at Notre Dame, she received an M.A., then went abroad for doctoral work at the Paris Sorbonne and universities of Madrid and Fribourg. She received her Ph.D. summa cum laude and was awarded the Medal for the French Language by the French Academy for her thesis on Maurice Barres, academician, novelist, and member of the Chamber of Deputies. In 1935, Sister Bertrand was appointed to Catholic Junior College as directress of studies and teacher of French. She was a long-time chair of the department of French and Spanish, served on faculty committees, and was a member of national academic associations and the American Society of Friends of France. Many of her students became French teachers, and her course in French civilization prepared many for travel in Paris and throughout France. After 30 years of teaching, Sister Bertrand retired. She died after 86 years of religious life and three months short of her 100th birthday.

Anthony J. Brink ’43

A man of many talents, Anthony Brink was active as a musician and leader in extracurricular activities while an Aquinas undergraduate. Graduating in the College’s second class, he went on to gain an M.F.A. in drama from the Catholic University of America and an M.A. from Michigan State University. From 1948 to l957, he taught Latin and speech at Aquinas. As one of a minority of lay teachers on the faculty, he devoted much time to student groups. He assisted in Glee Club, directing, and even performing, in some dramatic productions, which enlivened the College atmosphere. Brink left teaching to move to Florida, where he operated a music school. He then returned to Michigan, earned an M.A. in guidance and counseling from Michigan State University, and taught Latin and Greek at St. Paul Seminary in Saginaw. He also was coordinator for the Aquinas Lansing Extension Center and taught as a senior lecturer 6 Campus News | Fall 2011 |

of communication arts. He was a devoted member of the Alumni Association, of which he became president in 1948, and one of the first Golden Saints. In the Lansing Diocese, he was program director for renewal through Vatican II and received the Alleluia Award for 34 years of liturgical service at St. Therese Parish. He was inducted into Saginaw Catholic Schools Hall of Fame.

Michael R. Williams, Ph.D.

Lifelong learner, educator and community organizer, Michael Williams holds a B.S. from Regis College, B.S.M.E. and M.S.M.E. from Marquette University, Ph.L. from St. Louis University, and Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. During the civil rights, era he taught in Milwaukee’s inner-city schools and co-founded a school that later became the state’s first charter school. With his wife, Mary Alice, he was active in community service. In 1974, he joined the Aquinas faculty to teach education, philosophy, mathematics, and interdisciplinary courses. In addition to teaching, Williams chaired the boards of the Eastown Community Association and the citywide Council of Neighborhood Associations. He also worked with community groups for civic improvement. At Aquinas, he served as faculty development director and conducted national workshops on the topic. With Mayor George Heartwell, he developed the community leadership major, which prepares students for leadership in non-profit organizations. In 2004, he accepted the position of dean of the school of education until he retired in 2006. He remained an adjunct professor and in 2010, resumed directorship of the community leadership major. He has published three books on community organizing and education and co-authored Eastown. 

To Nominate for Hall of Fame A form for nomination to the Aquinas College Hall of Fame is available at Nominations not used when received will be kept on file for future consideration.

Art for Ed’s Sake By Samantha Rinkus ’11

Pictured (l-r): Ron Pederson with former president Ed Balog

The C. Edward Balog Fund for Student-Faculty Research, dedicated in honor of Aquinas College’s sixth president, kicked off fundraising with the opening of Art for Ed’s Sake. This exhibition and silent auction, with pieces donated by Aquinas faculty and alumni, began on Friday, June 24, with an opening reception for the Aquinas community, and was open to the public through Thursday, June 30. “Part of the respect Ed has earned among faculty and staff is that he has always been a proponent of faculty development, both creative and scholarly,” said Art Department Chair Ron Pederson, “We chose student-faculty research because there is a growing phenomenon and opportunity for faculty to be involved as mentors for students doing scholarly and/or creative projects.” Although the specifics of the fund are still being worked out, the goal is to provide the monetary support for the faculty and students to stay involved within their fields. Art for Ed’s Sake is the first of many fundraising events hosted by Aquinas to allow for hands-on education experience. The event was envisioned with three goals: to begin raising money for the fund, to raise awareness of the fund in the

community, and to provide a fun event on-campus just one week before Balog’s official retirement date of June 30. “We want Ed to know how much he is appreciated by the community,” said Pederson. “Members of the art department faculty have great respect for President Balog. Both as provost and president, he has been most supportive of the art department and has always encouraged us individually as artists.” Attendees saw a variety of mediums on display, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, and ceramics. All Aquinas art department faculty members donated at least one piece to the show, and several donated multiple pieces. “Ed has been an advocate for student research, and this will be a wonderful way to honor him for his many important contributions to Aquinas during his tenure, both as provost and president,” said Professor Dana Freeman, also a contributor to the show. “I’m glad to give artwork to raise funds for important student research scholarships.” | Fall 2011 | Campus News 7

Campus News

2010 Commencement Review

Ruben Jeovani Pantoja and family, with a -Lun elas Orn

8 Campus News | Fall 2011 |

Stephanie Hakim, Julie Scott, and Christine Armock

Campus News Susan English, Ph .D., associate pr ofessor of education, with son Mike English , and Melissa English (Nicklow itz), recently mar ried

ids; r General, Diocese of Grand Rap Monsignor William Duncan, Vica e; and Dam re Not of ity vers Uni t, iden Pres Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., ids Rap nd Gra of Bishop of the Diocese Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley, | Fall 2011 | Campus News 9

Campus News

Contemporary Writers Series Celebrates 15th Season (2011-2012) By Linda Nemec-Foster ’72

Patricia (Plese) Gussin ’67

John Otterbacher ’66

Linda Nemec Foster ’72

The Contemporary Writers Series (CWS) will celebrate its 15th season in a special way that coincides with Aquinas’ 125th anniversary. The first reading of the season is a unique event that honors three alums who have achieved publication and critical acclaim in three different genres: the novel, memoir, and poetry.  Patricia (Plese) Gussin ’67 is a novelist whose fiction engages her medical background and the emotional fragility of families in crisis. Her suspense-filled novels include And Then There Was One, Shadow of Death, and Twisted Justice. John Otterbacher ’66 wrote a memoir, Sailing Grace, which describes his health challenges and his family’s sailing adventures around the world. His book was a Michigan Notable Book and a finalist for the Best Book Award by USA Book News. Linda Nemec Foster ’72 is the author of nine collections of poetry including Talking Diamonds (finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year), Listen to the Landscape (short-listed for the Michigan Book Award), and Amber Necklace from Gdansk (finalist for the Ohio Book Award). She (along with her husband, Tony Foster ’73) founded the CWS in 1997. This event will be held on Wednesday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. during Homecoming Week in Wege Center Ballroom. The next writer to be featured this season is Luis Rodriguez, poet, novelist, memoirist, and children’s author.  He is best known for his ground-breaking book, Always Running:  La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. The book has received the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. One of this country’s leading Chicano authors, Rodriguez has written over six books of poetry, three nonfiction books, two books of fiction, and three children’s books. His reading takes place on Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Wege Center Ballroom. Another multi-genre writer, Thylias Moss, visits the campus at the beginning of the spring semester. Moss is a pioneer in experimental poetry, poetry of the avant-garde, and using multi-media tools to convey the power of language. She is the author of over ten books including poetry (Pyramid of Bone, Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky, Tokyo 10 Campus News | Fall 2011 |

Luis Rodriguez

Thylias Moss

Scott Turow

Butter); nonfiction (Tale of a Sky-Blue Dress); and children’s books (I Want to Be Me). Moss teaches at the University of Michigan and has received numerous awards for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her reading is on Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wege Center Ballroom. The season concludes with a truly unique event, the CWS’ first gala fundraiser featuring acclaimed novelist Scott Turow. A native of Chicago, Turow is an attorney, an advocate for literacy, and the author of nine best-selling works of fiction including Presumed Innocent, Burden of Proof, Personal Injuries (Time Magazine’s Best Work of Fiction, 1999), Reversible Errors (winner of The Heartland Prize), and Innocent (the sequel to Presumed Innocent). He is also known for his nonfiction books including One L (about his experiences as a law student) and Ultimate Punishment (a reflection on the death penalty, which won the 2004 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award). Turow will read on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center. This event is a ticketed presentation, and all proceeds will benefit the CWS Endowment.  For more information about ordering tickets, please contact Ellen Harburn, coordinator of special events, at (616) 632-2805 or

To learn more about the 2011-2012 Contemporary Writers Series, visit

Campus News

Saints’ Squad Adds Energy and Builds Spirit at AQ By Heather Bloom Hall Showing pride in Aquinas has always been a privilege and expectation. However, in 2010-2011, it became a College initiative. Under the direction of the Campus Climate Committee, a group of students, staff, and administrators convened to determine ways to instill pride in the student body, beginning with the incoming class of 2014. The initiative found its home in Campus Life, where interns Matt Slee ’11 and Christie Adams ’11 worked to provide ample and diverse opportunities for students to show their pride as AQ Saints. The interns worked with student organizations, enlisted the support of the student senate, and motivated the entire campus to take part in various parts of college life, thus illustrating their AQ spirit as the Saints’ Squad. All first-year students received “white out” shirts during orientation to be worn both at athletic events and to develop their AQ clothing collection. An annual tailgate, organized for the first men’s home soccer game, saw record attendance and was complete with free food, activities, and giveaways. Pre-game events took place before basketball activities and carpools were organized for the cross-town rivalries among Calvin College, Davenport University, and Cornerstone University. Members of the Saints’ Squad were seen wearing face paint, waving AQ flags in our competitors’ gymnasiums, and cheering with the cheer and dance teams. The Commuter Club was also actively engaged in the spirit initiative. Resident assistants held competitions in their respective areas to see which living area could draw the most students to various events. In January, registered siblings

received their Saints’ Squad shirts and the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center was filled with excited families as the squad welcomed prospective athletes to campus for Athletic AQ Day. Interns worked with the Aquinas College Programming Board (AQPB) to organize a group of dedicated Saints’ participation in the college division of the Michigan Special Olympics’ Polar Plunge in February at Reeds Lake. There were also secret spirit ambushes that caught students “in the act,” wearing AQ apparel or aiding their community by helping others or keeping the environment clean. Students recognized for good spirit were given coupons for discounts to the Moose Café or the AQ bookstore for more AQ apparel. The year culminated with a great weekend of lacrosse at “LAXapalooza,” with tasty food from the Quaker Steak & Lube, tons of spring activities and events, and the awarding of Dan Meloy ’12 with the title of Super Saint for his unwavering support and dedication. Yet, there was no match to the AQ flash mob that busted out in Wege Cafeteria; our interns were definitely busy! Three talented undergraduate interns will work for Campus Life this year and will continue the effort. We invite you to attend as many campus activities where the Saints’ Squad will participate. During your visit, be sure to sport your Saint pride with our Saints’ Squad apparel, which can be purchased at, or by visiting the Campus Life Office, 107 Cook Carriage House. For more information about this initiative, please contact Paula Meehan, vice president of enrollment management & Retention, or Heather Hall, director of student activities & orientation. See you in the stands! GO SAINTS! | Fall 2011 | Campus News 11

Campus News

Aquinas Students and Faculty Participate in ArtPrize 2011 By John Wofford ’12

Ron and Miriam Pederson with this year's ArtPrize entry (Quartet). The poem, also titled Quartet, will be displayed to accompany the sculpture on a plexiglass panel.

In 2010, Aquinas alumnus and faculty member, Chris LaPorte ’96, was announced the winner of ArtPrize, Grand Rapids’ wildly popular international art competition and exhibition. Bringing to greater public awareness Aquinas’ connection to the arts, it is important to note the work of many Aquinas students and faculty whose creativity and imaginations seek to inspire. With the approach of ArtPrize 2011, nine Aquinas students and faculty artists will participate in ArtPrize exhibitions. Aquinas College’s connection to ArtPrize began three years ago when the Diocese of Grand Rapids brought in AQ Art Department Chair Ron Pederson, M.F.A, to serve as a consultant in the selection of sculptures to be exhibited. A success, the exhibition led to the establishment of the Diocese—specifically Cathedral Square—as a full-fledged ArtPrize site, which Pederson describes as “exhibiting at least 25 artists, providing computers to the public for ArtPrize registration purposes, running an ArtPrize store, and procuring the services of a professional curator.” With Pederson as curator and Aquinas interns assisting with responsibilities, Cathedral Square initially housed the work of 32 artists, 13 of which were Aquinas students or faculty. Since that inception, Aquinas College has seen an increased connection to the yearly ArtPrize event. For ArtPrize 2011, which begins September 21 and ends October 9, Aquinas Admissions and Alumni Relations will work alongside the Grand Rapids Diocese in event scheduling and 12 Campus News | Fall 2011 |

support. Pederson and his wife, Miriam Pederson, M.F.A., associate professor of English, will show a combination of sculpture and poetry known as Quartet, which combines four sculptures with a poem inspired by, among other things, family and music. As in previous years, several friends of Aquinas will exhibit their art, yet Pederson emphasizes an important aspect of student participation: “It is from my standpoint not about students so much as about individual artists participating in a cool community event. Some of those artists happen to be students, but the impetus to participate is provided entirely by themselves - no professor is pushing student participation.” Among those involved is recent Aquinas graduate and assistant curator for Cathedral Square, Allison Nix. Nix will have her object assemblage piece, Identity, on display. Nix describes the art project: “My assemblage style is based on the idea of turning the ordinary into something extraordinary. This may sound cliché. Yet for me, there is an underlying satisfaction in altering and transforming the identity of a recognized object. The objects in this piece will strip themselves from their man-made name/label, and in turn create a new visual identity as a group.” Nix concludes, “My newly found style of working has greatly been inspired by all of my art professors at Aquinas College. They have provided me with the tools, resources, wisdom, and inspiration that I need to create.”

Aquinas Students Meet Seamus Heaney at Poetry Now Conference in Dublin By Lauren F. Carlson ’12

Student News

Pictured (l-r): Ken Foley ’13, Rian Bosse ’11, poet Seamus Heaney, Rob Abid ’12, and Jake Mitchell ’13

“I think his work is so powerful and well written that it’s hard not to be initially impressed with anything he’s done,” said Aquinas English major, Rian Bosse ’11, of famed poet Seamus Heaney. While studying abroad in Ireland, Bosse and fellow students Rob Abid ’12, Jake Mitchell ’12, and Ken Foley ’12 stumbled on an opportunity to attend the international Poetry Now conference and meet with their literary idol Seamus Heaney in Dublin, Ireland last spring. “Reading and studying poetry today, there’s no way to avoid [Heaney’s] work,” said Bosse. As he studied the poet during his stay in Ireland, Bosse visited The Book Upstairs, a locally owned bookstore across from Trinity College in Dublin. The owner, upon noticing his purchase of Heaney’s, Human Chain, notified Bosse of the conference and suggested he attend. “[We] were all excited to go,” said Bosse, “…getting the chance to just see someone as important as Seamus Heaney was something we were not going to let go by the wayside.” After watching Heaney accept the Irish Times Poetry Now Award for Human Chain, the four students bumped into the

poet’s biographer and were finally able to meet and snap a photo with the poet. “I am delighted that the students were able to meet Heaney. I think that it is a testimony to how, in Ireland, the students have unlimited and unique opportunities to learn outside the classroom,” said Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D., associate professor of English and associate dean of student affairs, who accompanied the students on the Ireland program. “For English majors and serious poetry enthusiasts, meeting Heaney is a defining moment and a memory that I know these students will cherish.” “Meeting Seamus Heaney was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Abid. Since meeting Heaney and studying his poetry, Bosse continues to pursue an interest in Irish literature. He has since participated in a writing workshop in Galway with published Irish poets. “The arts are so special to the Irish people, it’s incredible getting the chance to experience this part of the culture while on the program, Bosse said. “We will never forget it.” | Fall 2011 | Student News 13

Student News

Student Leaders Define social justice in First Annual Series By Lauren F. Carlson ’12

Aquinas junior Mariah Kennedy at Kids' Food Basket Event

Last winter, Aquinas student leaders defined the term social justice on campus and in the surrounding community. A series of community outreach and educational events developed by the Social Action Committee, Student Senate Diversity Committee, Habitat for Humanity, and Community Action Volunteers of Aquinas (CAVA), invited the entire student body to participate in the first annual Aquinas Social Justice Series. “Social Justice to me is recognizing the dignity of every human being within a society,” said former Social Action Committee Coordinator Annie Parks ’12. “It is searching, working, and fighting for equality through nonviolent social action.” Parks hosted the first event on January 13, and invited Elemental Project founders Jonathan Williams, Travis Fahlen, Brian Dokter, and Timm Bloem to the Moose Café to discuss local and international positive news, an industry in which their online publication thrives. “I believe social justice is taking action to move a society toward equality for all human beings,” said former AQ Habitat Coordinator Brittany Reed ’11 who, with the help of the organization’s president Jason Tiedemann, hosted the second event on January 20. The group welcomed Kent County Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Coordinator and homeowner Jonie Jessup, and AmeriCorps Volunteer Recruiter Joanna Dykhuis, who discussed their mission to end homelessness and promote homeowner and sustainability education. Following the weeknight event, 15 students, the maximum capacity, committed to a local, eight-hour home build on January 23. “Social justice to me means working to educate about and correct a wrong you see in society,” said former Director of Student Senate Diversity Committee, Adam Hii ’11. On January 26, Hii hosted Local First Communication Director, Dan Truel ’09, in the Moose Café. Truel discussed the opportunities for social justice in a communications capacity, and the mission and programs of Local First to support local businesses. “[Social Justice] is when people in your community, your country, and the world…raise awareness and inspire everyone to take action to get rid of the social injustices that exist in the world,” says former CAVA Assistant Coordinator Adriana Facundo ’12. Facundo and former CAVA Coordinator Hannah Barker ’12 created three separate events for the series. On February 3, Christine Lentini ’77, head of fund development and community outreach at Kids’ Food Basket, spoke on the organization’s mission to end hunger for Grand Rapids school children. After the lecture, over 20 students volunteered to decorate paper lunch sacks for the organization’s school lunch program. “For us to live in a socially just world, every person would be free from oppression, racism, sexism, hunger, poverty and have access to all of the resources which give someone a meaningful life like education, clean water, a home,” said Barker. On February 5, she led 12 students in a day of volunteering at Rays of Hope for Haiti, a non-profit institution that donates supplies to medical missions. The event was catered by Chez Olga, a Haitian restaurant in Eastown, whose owner has close ties to Rays of Hope. Lastly, CAVA hosted Sowhope’s founder, Mary Daily Brown, at Rowster’s Coffee on February 8, for an open discussion on poverty in the third world and the organization’s mission of providing holistic aid to women in struggling nations. Together, Parks, Hii, Reed, Facundo, and Barker worked to develop an educational and entertaining series of events which attracted a large number of students, revived retired student clubs, and created a lasting interest in social justice. As current student leaders look forward to the coming years of AQ Social Justice, they hope that their successors will further the legacy of social justice events on campus.

Timm Bloemm of the Elemental Project 14 Student News | Fall 2011 |

Van Andel Millennial Board Works to “Keep Michigan talent in Michigan” Ashley Werner, Aquinas senior and triple major in international business, international studies, and Spanish, is the culprit behind the Michigan Colleges Foundation survey notices that frequently, and in great numbers, appeared on campus this past February. The reason for the detailed survey is the subject of great effort among Michigan politicians and students alike. In April of 2010, former Aquinas College President Ed Balog, Ph.D., appointed Werner to the first-ever Van Andel Millennial Board, an organization designed to gain the youthful perspective on Michigan’s career opportunities. Werner quickly accepted her appointment, became secretary for the board, and began work on the mission to “keep Michigan talent in Michigan.” A Minnesota native, Werner brings a unique perspective to the board’s mission. Her interest in cross-cultural communication and networking fed into a passion for making connections in the newly formed organization. The Millennial Board, part of the Michigan Colleges Foundation, brings together one student representative from each of 14 private colleges and universities to research and discuss methods for maintaining student population in Michigan.

“We want to keep students from leaving the state,” Werner said. The students and faculty members soon developed a survey that would determine student perception of Michigan opportunities, as well as the reasons behind leaving the state in favor of other regions. Though each of the representatives conducted the survey at their respective schools, Werner experienced the highest percentage of student response on the Aquinas campus. This was partly due to the College’s generous donation of $500 toward student tuition for one lucky survey respondent. After collecting the statistical information, Werner and her fellow student representatives will analyze the reasons for youth departure and begin to develop programs that will allow for a higher rate of Michigan student retention. During the board meetings, held once a semester in Lansing to discuss individual progress, the relationships between students allow for the accomplishment of group goals. “It’s those personal relationships that really get things done,” said Werner. As the current representatives become seniors, they look forward to focusing on the retention of high school students and maintaining a positive perception for Michigan’s millennial generation.

AQ Sophomore Shelby Wittum Wins MI-MAEOPP Scholarship By Lauren F. Carlson ’12 “They’re just like a huge support system,” said junior Shelby Wittum, of Aquinas Student Support Services (SSS). Currently studying English literature and secondary education, Wittum has taken advantage of the staff and resources at SSS to better understand the complex financial aid process, receive academic support, learn about scholarships, and plan for the future. In December 2010, Wittum received of the $1,000 Michigan Chapter of MidAmerican Association (MI-MAEOPP) Personal Essay Scholarship. Wittum then used the funds toward study in Tully Cross, Ireland this past spring. “[SSS Staff] are so helpful making students aware of opportunities they have,” said Wittum, and explained the multiple roles of the office in “emotional, academic, and financial support.” Wittum was contacted by SSS staff her freshman year and offered timely assistance in financial aid and college planning. She soon met with staff member LaShondra McMillan, who set up regular meetings throughout the semester to discuss the status of Wittum’s progress and her emotional and academic development. “She’s a huge help,” Wittum said of McMillan, who has since become her main supervisor. SSS staff member Brian Parsons also offered helpful assistance by notifying Wittum of the MI-MAEOPP

scholarship. Through a partnership with MI-MAEOPP, SSS is able to provide scholarships that recognize leadership and academic achievement. After learning of the opportunity, Wittum applied for study abroad assistance and wrote an essay expressing her desire to teach overseas in the future and earn the cultural experience necessary to complete her endeavor. An avid learner with a rich Irish heritage, Wittum was ecstatic about the opportunity to visit the country of her ancestors. “That really intrigues me,” she said, of the ability to better understand the history of her family and the Irish people and to widen her cultural exposure. “It’s such a big world.” As Wittum prepared for her junior year, she continued to further her cultural and educational experience with the help of SSS. This past summer, she embarked on a three-month internship in Newark, N.J. at Safe Haven Urban Redemption, a nonprofit organization geared toward the enrichment of the academic, spiritual, and emotional life of inner city students. Through this position, a semester in Ireland, and the support from McMillan and Parsons, Wittum feels she has gained the experience necessary for a future educator. “I want people to know about [SSS],” said Wittum. “It’s so helpful.” | Fall 2011 | Student News 15

Student News

By Lauren F. Carlson ’12

2011-12 Aquinas Lecture Series

Faculty News

Dan Brooks, Ph.D., and Brent Chesley, Ph.D., invite you to attend the 2011-12 Aquinas Lecture Series. Each presentation is on a Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in the Wege Center Ballroom. Attendants are invited to bring their lunches. Everyone is welcome.


Michel Pichot, Ph.D., associate professor of French, My Experience at Examining and Analyzing Primary Sources at the French National Archives: The Case of a Paris Conservatory Student Deported to Algeria with Her Family in 1848 by the French Republic


Michael Cushion, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology, Michael Pollan Meets Jurgen Habermas: A Critical Analysis of the Food System


Shelli Rottschafer, Ph.D., assistant professor of Spanish, Tatiana Martinez, Camile Charette, and Skylar Grant, Aquinas Students of Spanish Inquiring: What is Mexican-American Art, Culture, and Literature?


Michelle DeRose, Ph.D., professor of English, The American Slave Narrative


Anthony Burdick, M.S., C.P.A., Scandalous Accounting


Deb Wickering, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology, Bedouin Women, Images and Voices, 25 Years


Silvija Visockis, Father Andreas: Missionary and First Pastor of Grand Rapids’ Catholics


Penny Avery, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, Risk-Taking Behavior and Communication Patterns: Choices, Pressures, and Consequences

Michael Cushion, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology

Michelle DeRose, Ph.D., Professor of English

Penny Avery, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication

Deborah Wickering, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology

16 Faculty News | Fall 2011 |

New Faculty at Aquinas Stéphane Bédère, Assistant Professor of French and Spanish

Chris LaPorte ’96, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art

“I love to draw. Drawing is always cool — no matter what your age or background,” said LaPorte. He has pursued drawing as a vocation his whole adult life and has received art degrees from Aquinas College, La Coste Ecole de Beaux Arts, and the New York Academy of Art. LaPorte has taught drawing at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Kendall College of Art and Design, and Aquinas College, as well as other educational institutions in New York and Michigan. LaPorte’s caricature and portrait business has financially supported his education, travel, and fine arts studio. He has drawn close to 85,000 people over the last 18 years. LaPorte has also participated in numerous art exhibitions in Michigan and New York City.

Jim Rasmussen was born in Flint, Mich., and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1988 to 2000. He earned his bachelor of science in physical geography from the University of Michigan-Flint, and his master of science in earth science from Montana State University. Dr. Rasmussen taught conducted field research at the University of Florida under the 2003 Alumni Graduate Fellowship, and also served as assistant professor of geography at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Rasmussen is a physical geographer and geomorphologist who is passionate about teaching and specializes in field based research. He has led students into the high country of the northern Rocky Mountains and the forested swamps of southeastern coastal plain. His interests include cycling, paddling, and the eating habits of biting insects.

Carmen RuizSanchez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Spanish

Dr. Carmen Ruiz-Sánchez is originally from Seville, Spain. She came to the United States to do her graduate studies. She completed her Ph.D. in Hispanic linguistics at Indiana University. Her areas of interest are sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, and Spanish phonology. She has published a book and several articles in these areas. Before joining the faculty at Aquinas College, she taught in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Michigan State University. In her spare time, she teaches Flamenco dance and likes to spend time with her family. | Fall 2011 | Faculty News 17

Faculty News

Stéphane Bédère was born and raised in the Basque country in southwest France. After completing high school, he moved to Paris and then Argentina, and traveled to Bolivia and Chili. Upon returning to Paris, where a large part of his family now lives, Bédère specialized in Spanish and Latin American studies at the Université Paris VIII, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees. While working on his doctoral degree, he was employed as a high school Spanish teacher in Paris and met his wife, Christa, an American (originally from Washington, DC). Bédère also had the opportunity to return to Latin America (1999-2000), where he spent several months in Paraguay and Argentina conducting research for his dissertation. In 2006, he moved to the United States. Bédère’s wife’s family is from Michigan and her parents retired here. Before coming to Aquinas, he spent four years teaching at Grand Valley State University. When he’s not teaching, there are many things Bédère enjoys doing, including, but not limited to, spending time with family and friends, the cinema, soccer, good French, or Argentine, wine, discussing politics, reading a good book, and, of course, a good espresso.

James Rasmussen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geography

A letter from the director

Alumni News

Dear AQ Alumni As the legendary Kool & the Gang sang, “Celebrate good times…c’mon!” What an exciting year to be part of AQ history. The four signature events are sure to be something to remember. I hope you will be able to attend one or more of them, as our campus will be alive and brimming with energy. The best news is that if you aren’t able to physically be on campus, you can celebrate our anniversary from wherever you are in the world. As mentioned in the story on page XX, we are encouraging our alumni, parents, and friends to volunteer in honor of our anniversary. Next month, you’ll receive your invitation to participate in the 125,00 Acts of Aquinas project. It is my great hope that you are moved to click, serve, share, and repeat!  If you are interested in gathering a group of alumni in your regional area, please contact me at brigid. and I can help get you started.   In celebration,

Brigid Avery Director, Alumni Relations

Alumni Association Awards By Lauren Carlson ’12

Outstanding Alumna Award

Monique Salinas, Ph.D., received her undergraduate degree in music education from Aquinas College in 1978. Shortly thereafter, she earned her master of music from Central Michigan University, and her Ph.D. in music education from Michigan State University. Salinas’ numerous accolades include: 2003 YWCA Tribute Winner, one of four American conductors chosen to study with renowned conductor Jean Ashworth Bartle in Toronto (2006), winner of four first place awards in the Chicago Midwest Regional Competitions, feature in Grand Rapids Press Sunday profile, and 2010 nominee for President Obama’s National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award (formerly Coming Up Taller). Currently, Salinas serves on the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, ACDA, Toastmasters, and Non-profit Executive Roundtable. She also serves as the executive director of The Girls Choral Academy, which she founded 10 years ago in an attempt to increase young girls’ self-esteem with strong women role models. Salinas continues to be actively involved in the Aquinas College music program.

Distinguished Service Award

t Unite? fun you had at Projec Remember how much Serve today! Relive those days and 18 Alumni News | Fall 2011 |

Nominated by the Aquinas College Black Alumni Society, Patrick Miles, Sr., received his undergraduate degrees from Ferris State University and Spring Arbor College. In 1996, he earned a master of management degree from Aquinas College at the age of 60. Miles worked as a buyer at Steelcase from 1973 until he retired in 1998. A certified purchasing manager, he was the first African-American senior buyer at Steelcase. Miles’ community involvement includes: serving as president of the Grand Rapids Urban League Board of Directors and serving on the board of directors of Community Circle Theatre, the Board of the Aquinas Emeritus College, the Board of the Grand Rapids Optimist Club, United Way of West Michigan Allocation Committee, and the Grand Rapids Planning Commission. In addition, he taught operation management classes as an adjunct professor for the Aquinas College master of management program for several years.

Undergraduate Admissions Update By Tom Mikowski ’89 On August 18, 2011, Aquinas College welcomed another great freshmen class during its convocation ceremony. This year’s freshmen class of 443 students represents the fourth largest in the school’s history. In addition, the 532 students representing all new student undergraduate enrollment (freshmen, transfers, and nursing) is the fourth largest as well. First day enrollment numbers for traditional students show a slight increase in headcount versus a year ago (1,611 compared to 1,605) in large part due to a successful retention effort.

New Happenings in Admissions: AQ Video Series

In January, admissions unveiled the AQ Cost Calculator to help prospective students estimate their “net price” of attending Aquinas College. Students and their parents can now log onto the undergraduate admissions website and see immediately their eligibility for merit-based scholarships and need-based aid. As part of the Higher Education Act of 2008, all institutions participating in Title IV financial aid programs are required to install a “net-price calculator” on their websites by October 11, 2011.

Fine Arts AQDay

Once again the annual Fine Arts AQDay will be held during Artprize, the world’s largest art competition held in Grand Rapids. This year’s event will be held on Friday, October 7, 9:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. High school students interested in art, creative writing, music, and theatre are sure to enjoy the exciting and entertaining breakout sessions by Aquinas faculty and students. The 13 sessions include instrumental music improv, gesture drawing, writing poetry about art, acting, and much, much more. 2010 ArtPrize winner and AQ faculty member Chris LaPorte ’96 will also serve as an instructor in the gesture drawing breakout session. After the day’s events on campus, visitors have the opportunity to take in all that is ArtPrize! To view all the details of the day’s events and to register, visit www.aquinas. edu/undergraduate or call (616) 632-2900.

Visiting Aquinas makes all the difference. General Visit AQDay Friday, November 18, 2011 Special Visit Days: Fine Arts AQDay Friday, October 7, 2011 Science, Nursing, and Math AQDay Friday, November 11, 2011 Leadership AQDay Friday, December 9, 2011 | Fall 2011 | Admissions 19


Over the past two years, the Aquinas Undergraduate Admissions Department has worked with well-known local photographer and videographer, Brian Kelly, in the creation of a series of videos highlighting different aspects of Aquinas College. There are currently 14 videos and our newest, finalized in late August, spotlights three of our international programs: Costa Rica, Ireland, and France. Each semester, Aquinas gave students participating in the programs an HD Flip Cam to record their experiences. These videos can be viewed throughout the AQ website, and a gallery can be found at undergraduate/video.html. Be sure to share with family and friends via your email and Facebook accounts.

AQ Cost Calculator

Jandernoas Honored By Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) At Emeritus Evening By Sheila Pantlind


Mike and Sue Jandernoa with former president Ed Balog

On May 10, over 300 friends, family, and community members gathered in the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center at Aquinas College to honor Mike and Sue Jandernoa at the 28th Aquinas Emeritus Evening. Following other former outstanding recipients, including President Gerald R. Ford, the Jandernoas were a perfect choice for the OLLI’s most prestigious award. This award is given by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Aquinas as a tribute for leadership, generosity, and spirit of service in the community. Mike and Sue were selected to receive the 2011 Norbert J. Hruby Emeritus Award on this special 35th year anniversary of OLLI because of their ongoing dedication and commitment to improving the lives of those living in the greater Grand Rapids area. Mike and Sue exemplify all that the award represents. They are outstanding leaders whose significant contributions have been felt for over three

decades in West Michigan. As friends of many organizations and institutions, they continue to exhibit dedication to the welfare of all citizens and serve as a “light for those who follow.” Greg McAleenan, vice president of advancement and master of ceremonies for the evening, praised Mike and Sue for their contributions to the community and also for being special friends of Aquinas College. Co-Chairs for the evening, John C. Canepa, Lyle B. Morrison, and Ambassador Peter Secchia each expressed gratitude for all that Mike and Sue have given to the greater Grand Rapids area. Sue was lauded for her work with education and children, and Mike, former Chairman and CEO of Perrigo, was commended for bringing the entrepreneurial spirit back to life in Grand Rapids. All of the speakers spoke of the love, commitment, and loyalty Mike and Sue have for family, friends, and community.

What is OLLI at Aquinas? No tests, no papers, no grades….just learning for the sheer joy of it! That is what OLLI at Aquinas College is all about. The program was founded as the Emeritus College in 1975, and with a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation in 2008, changed the name to OLLI. OLLI offers a broad range of intellectually stimulating non-credit classes taught by professors from area colleges and business leaders from community organizations. At OLLI, our students take classes ranging from Bach to biology, history to Hemingway, and everything in between. The 2011-2012 year will again offer an exciting array of classes and events, beginning with a Remembering 9/11 kick-off event on 20 OLLI | Fall 2011 |

September 8, 7:00 p.m., at the Sturrus Center. We will welcome retired three-star Lt. General Thomas Plewes, who was in the Pentagon on that fateful day of September 11, 2011. He will retrace the events of that day and bring perspective to the decade that has followed. Also in September, we will begin our Presidential Lecture Series. Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University, will present talks on America’s modern presidents, from FDR to Obama. Please visit www.aquinas. edu/olli to see the many other great classes we have to offer in our Fall I Catalog. We look forward to seeing you at OLLI at the Browne Center this year. Come join the fun!

Wege ProAm Hosts Fourth Successful Year By Jannine Guyeskey ‘08


On June 13, Blythefield Country Club hosted the fourth annual Peter M. Wege ProAm golf outing. The event grossed $107,470 for student scholarships provided by the Aquinas Fund, bringing the four-year grossing total to just over $330,000. Patti Butcher, golf pro and head of club operations, helped coordinate another sold out event with 37 teams. The event was followed by dinner and a silent and live auction. Glenn Eckelkamp, account executive for the West Michigan Whitecaps, served as live auctioneer for the evening. Sincere thanks go out to all of the sponsors, especially the Wege Foundation, Mike and Sue Jandernoa, and Rockford companies who served as our Founding and Presenting Sponsors. Without them and all of the event sponsors, the ProAm would not have been possible. | Fall 2011 | Advancement 21

Joan Secchia Announces $2M Planned Gift Aquinas College is honored to begin its 125th anniversary celebration by announcing a $2 million planned gift from Joan Secchia, trustee emerita. The exciting announcement is the first of many the College hopes to make over the next year. As a prominent community member, Joan maintains her strong connection to the College. She was a trustee for six years and served as committee chair of the Student Activities Committee. “That was a hand in glove experience for me,” said Joan.



“I enjoyed working with the students, and my committee was responsible for the transformation of the Moose Café. It makes me proud to see the ongoing use of that space by students and professors.” Joan is also highly supportive of the study abroad programs at the College. “It is our hope that half of the proceeds will be directed to provide permanent support for Aquinas’ new Study in Rome Program, a city dear to our family,” she said, “It makes us happy to be able to help future students receive a quality education at Aquinas College.” “The Secchias have a long history of supporting higher education,” remarked Aquinas President Juan Olivarez, “And now, students at Aquinas will benefit greatly by Joan’s generosity. Joan’s gift will assure that students to come have an opportunity to study in Rome, which is a valuable experience in our global landscape. We are extremely appreciative of the Secchia family’s support of our students and their learning.”

uinas Fund

We made it! That exclamation has a two-fold meaning: We made it through our first year as co-directors of the Aquinas Fund and we made our goal for the 2010-2011 fiscal year! July 1, 2011 marked our first anniversary as co-directors of the Aquinas Fund. It was an adventurous ride, having the ups and downs that any new journey has. Along the way, we got to know many of our alumni and donors through phone calls, emails, and events. It was a truly delightful experience, and we thank you for helping us along the way. Thanks to you, the Aquinas community, we exceeded our $1.3 million dollar goal by reaching nearly $1.46 million. But, it isn’t over yet. We’re getting back on that ride for 2011-2012, hoping to implement new ideas and disseminate

22 Advancement | Fall 2011 |

more information in regard to the Aquinas Fund. Bottom line, all gifts to this fund help to offset the cost of tuition for welldeserving students. It’s only a fraction of the cost, but every dollar helps. Please visit the Aquinas Fund website at www. or social media sites to see some of the faces of students who benefit from the generosity of others.

Top: Art Bott Middle (l-r): Denny Briggs, Lynn Kerber, Dan Pfeiffer, and John Gill Bottom (l-r): Denise Gill, Joe Gill, and Rita Williams

Evening of Elegance Provides Picturesque Venue for Alumni, Donors Art Bott, member of Aquinas College class of ’56, generously offered his beautiful home for an Evening of Elegance on Tuesday, June 7. 17 years ago, his house was featured in Grand Rapids Cosmopolitan Home as the winner of Home of the Year. Several years later, Bott’s customdesigned home is still exquisite. The layout of the house is defined by the ceiling, creating the feel of separate rooms without closing off the living space. Eight-foot mahogany double doors shelter a large expanding room with both a serene and charming effect. Other impressive features of the house include: rich maple flooring, 14-foot ceilings, a 224-square foot deck overlooking a beautiful landscape and pond, a built-in wet bar, and much more. Started 11 years ago by members of the board of trustees, Evening of Elegance is a time for alumni and donors to mingle, get reacquainted, and meet new friends in a relaxed, home atmosphere, all while enjoying exquisite cuisine and fine wine. All proceeds of the event help deserving students with their tuition costs by benefiting the Aquinas Fund. Great thanks go out to Art Bott and our presenting sponsor, Huntington Bank, for providing a wonderful summer evening. With such unique features, the home served as an excellent venue for the gathering.


By Jannine Guyeskey ‘08

Many names, one mission. Aqui

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary




Marywood College Novitiate Normal School

Name changed to reflect location at Marywood motherhouse

Teacher training school for Dominican sisters

Sacred Heart College Teacher training for Dominican sisters and lay women 24 125th Anniversary | Fall 2011 |

inas College history at a glance.



1940 to present

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary


Aquinas College Four-year liberal arts college

Catholic Junior College Expanded curriculum co-educational Catholic junior college | Fall 2011 | 125th Anniversary 25

Aquinas College’s Core Values: The Four Charisms By Gary Eberle

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary

Aquinas College had its beginnings in the Novitiate Normal School of the congregation of Dominican sisters, who arrived in Michigan in 1877, and in 1886, accepted their first postulant for training in the religious life. Until 1922, all the graduates of what would eventually become Aquinas College were religious sisters, and so

the founding values of the College grow out of the Catholic spiritual and intellectual tradition of the sisters. The Dominican sisters of Grand Rapids have four special charisms, or core values, that have shaped the ongoing mission and growth of the College: prayer, study, service and community.

Deacon Dennis Williams blessed the newly installed artificial turf on the college soccer field at homecoming in 2007.


Prayer was essential to the mission of the sisters who founded the College. It formed the basis of their lives, gave a larger context to their work, and guided their decisions as the College evolved from the small Novitiate Normal School into a college for lay women, then into a junior college, and finally into the four-year school we have today. Historically, the life of the college was bound up with the deep ritual and prayer tradition of the Catholic Church. Throughout its history, the College has always had a chapel where regular masses were held, and the rhythm of the academic year was punctuated by regular prayer events in which the campus community participated. October was dedicated to the rosary, with formal rosary processions. Between academic semesters, all Catholic Junior College and early Aquinas College students were required to attend a three-day retreat. (Non-Catholic students were invited to join, but were not required to attend.) Early May brought the traditional May crowning, which evolved into the Marian Congress in 1946, once the College moved to its new Robinson Road campus. The May crowning took on special significance after the 1950 construction of the Fatima Shrine, located on the edge of the Holmdene lawn, dedicated to the six members of the Aquinas community who died in World War II. The Marian Congress regularly drew up to 3,000 people to its activities in honor of the Blessed

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Virgin. A Mass always began Academic Days in March, and a baccalaureate Mass was always held on commencement day. After Vatican II, the campus’s prayer life continued in new forms. As liturgical changes were instituted, liturgical dance became part of many Masses, and the music ministry expanded to include non-traditional instruments, such as guitars and drums. Today, under the Campus Ministry team, the prayer life of the college continues in the form of regular Masses, retreats, and prayer services throughout the year. The spiritual tradition of the Catholic Church is honored by crosses and an Advent wreath placed outside Wege Center, as well as the placement of crucifixes in classrooms. Spontaneous prayer services that take Bishop Thomas Haas and Father place at times of crisis such Bukowski bless the new campus as the death of members of in November 1945 in the lobby of Holmdene. Aquinas College the campus community or had purchased the former the terror attacks of 9/11, Lowe Estate the previous spring evidence the College’s and began classes on the new reliance on prayer to bind it. campus that fall.


into the 1970’s. The faculty consisted mainly of Dominican sisters who were sent to Catholic University of America or The primary mission of the Dominican sisters who came to Michigan from New York in the 1800’s was to teach in the Notre Dame to complete their undergraduate and graduate education. Some, such as Sisters Bertrand LaLonde and many Catholic schools that were springing up throughout Mildred Hawkins, were sent Michigan in those years. to European universities for In the earliest days, the advanced training in language or curriculum, like that of the classics. most teacher preparation Like most colleges of the programs, was simple. time, Aquinas College had an A review of the “three extensive and restricted core R’s,” and some classroom curriculum, until the education management techniques changes of the late 1960’s. The were combined with College’s 15-month self study practical supervised in 1969-70 created a wider and experience teaching more diverse curriculum, much children. of it career oriented. Programs As teaching like Encore, the Career Action requirements changed Program, and Emeritus, reached th in the 20 century, the out to new niche markets of College kept pace. By students such as older women, the time Catholic Junior mid-life career-changers, and College was founded in Commencement marks the completion of formal studies the elderly. The Master of 1931, the curriculum was for Aquinas students. Here, 2005 graduate Lee Anderson is Management Program expanded hooded by Associate Provost Nanette Clatterbuck. broad. Course offerings the graduate offerings of the included English, foreign College in the 1990’s. In the languages, mathematics, 21st century, the tradition science, and history. Career-oriented programs included of innovation continued with the introduction of bachelor journalism, pre-law, pre-medical, pre-engineering, preand master degrees in sustainable business as well as several business, teacher training, nursing, and music. Courses in graduate degrees in education. theology made up a large part of students’ course loads | Fall 2011 | 125th Anniversary 27

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary

The 1938 graduating class of Catholic Junior College poses for its graduation photo outside the CJC building on Ransom Street. Seated center front is Father Arthur Bukowski, who had been name president of the College the previous year.

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary

Students Edmund Kieras and Betty Butler check out Aquinas College’s World War II service flag in December 1944. Six Aquinas students were killed while serving in World War II.


Rooted in the mission of its Dominican founders, the College has always had a strong penchant for service. For graduates of Novitiate Normal School, service to others was the focus of their lives, whether they were teaching in parish schools in northern and western Michigan, or undertaking missionary activity in the American southwest or Canada. When the school was opened to lay students, the ethic of service continued. In 1938, the College’s first president, Monsignor Arthur Bukowksi, founded the Center for Negro Instruction in inner city Grand Rapids. This later evolved into the Martin de Porres Center, located in the St. Vincent de Paul Society building, offering education programs every Wednesday evening. In 1942, a second center, Augustine House, opened on Logan Street SE, providing instruction, services, and entertainment six days a week. History professor Lewis Clingman and his wife Dorothy lived at the center and ran its activities. Among students, the Interracial Justice Club flourished during this period. The call to service was answered by many students, and some faculty, when World War II began. In the 1950’s, Monsignor Bukowski led student service trips to Appalachia. In 1963, Gertrude Horgan, English professor and dean of women, led a three-month service trip to Bogota, Colombia, and that same summer, Bukowski led a group of 13 students to Guatemala, where they spent 11 weeks teaching, constructing, and doing social and clinical work. In 1966, Bukowski summed up the service ethic of the college in his annual report, writing, “The college provides graduates equipped not only to give intellectual leadership, but also to

28 125th Anniversary | Fall 2011 |

serve their communities in teaching, social work, business, and various professions. . .One of [the College’s] functions is to be in the vanguard of human advancement.” The social service tradition continued through the 1980’s to the present by students in Community Action Volunteers of Aquinas (CAVA) and the Social Action Committee (SAC). Today, under a full-time director of service learning, service to the community and the world has expanded to become a vital part of all Aquinas students’ educations. Father Arthus Bukowski, first president of Aquinas College, had a strong commitment to racial justice. In the 1930’s, he founded the Center for Negro Instruction, providing free educational opportunities for inner city residents. Eventually this evolved into the Martin de Porres Center, providing entertainment and enrichment for underprivleged residents of Grand Rapids.

Aquinas students participate in a variety of service activities, here providing medical care on a service trip to the Dominican Republic in 2009.


In its earliest days, Novitiate Normal School was a community in every sense of the word. The sisters who took their teacher training were also living together as a religious community. That spirit of community continued when the sisters opened their doors to lay women as the Normal School became first Sacred Heart, and then Marywood College, in the 1920’s. When the school expanded to include men and took the name Catholic Junior College, the student body and faculty remained closely knit. Small class sizes and a large number of core courses meant that students got to know one another very well in their time at the College. Social activities, such as the annual picnic at Johnson Park, and groups such as the Catholic Life Conference, the Women’s Club, the Men’s Club, and Le Circle Francais bonded the

community together. Sports were introduced in the late 1930’s, with basketball, then baseball, becoming the College’s first varsity teams. A Michigan Catholic article about the college reported, “Extra-curricular life plays a dominant part in the Catholic Junior College scheme. It is looked upon as a laboratory in which the fundamental teachings of the College are put into practice.” As the College expanded in the 1950’s, the close familial feeling remained strong, and was enhanced in the 1960’s with the addition of Regina and St. Joseph the Worker residence halls and Wege Center. The sense of a community that prays together, studies together, and serves the world together continues as graduates become part of the Alumni Association and maintain their ties of friendship and love throughout their lives.

The first post-World War II formal dance was held at the Blythefield Country Club in 1948.

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary

Ernie’s Run became a feature of Homecoming Weekend to commemorate the life of popular physical education instructor Ernie Romine. Teams dress up imaginative, themed costumes for the 5k walk/run.

Aquinas Professor Explores History of College By John Wofford ’12

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary

Sorting through the sheer wealth of information about Aquinas College past and present, against a backdrop of wars, economic hardships and social changes could be nearly impossible. However, Aquinas English professor and author Gary Eberle has successfully charted the 125year progress of an institution that is an integral part of the West Michigan community.

In Aquinas College: The First 125 Years, Eberle paints the picture of an educational foundation that is always changing, but ever faithful to its founding principles. The roots of Eberle’s manuscript began in 1995, when the Board of Trustees established the Aquinas College Historical Commission. Eberle says, “There’s a tendency to think that that [the College] began the day you arrived and ceased to exist the day you left. Often, your history with the College is the history of the College. But I think it’s very important in an educational institution to have a common history—a common narrative, if you will—that we share.” Research with Sister Jean Milhaupt and others produced approximately 300 interviews with former Aquinas associates and alumni. Then came the creation of five audio programs providing an oral history of Aquinas, known as “Historically Speaking.”

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“I think it’s very important in an educational institution to have a common history—a common narrative, if you will— that we share.”

– Gary Eberle

After completion, the commission felt a written narrative of the College’s development would be desirable. Cut to 2011, and the release of Aquinas College: The First 125 Years, a structured history of the College that balances print with vintage photography. Eberle’s book surveys the facets of Aquinas College’s success. One element stood out during the writing and research process: Aquinas’ evolution to meet the needs of its constituents. “How and why did we go from a small teacher training school,” Eberle asks, “to being the first coeducational Catholic college in the United States, run by a group of women, and evolving from that—during the Depression, of all times—into a four-year college…? That’s the narrative spine of the book.” Eberle concludes that the role of the Dominican Charisms was vital to the ongoing evolution of Aquinas College. Charisms are values essential in certain religious orders— in this case, prayer, study, community, and service: the founding principles that have served Aquinas throughout the last century-and-a-quarter, empowering Aquinas students themselves to serve. While the College was initially founded to provide a place of Catholic learning, it has had an even farther reach, to students of many faiths and walks of life. Eberle hopes that, of all the material in the text, readers take away what it means to be a part of the Aquinas community: “We insist that all our students get some experience serving the world. We try to foster a sense of real community here. (…) If the people reading the book get the sense of the spirit of the place, then I think the book has achieved its end.”

125th Anniversary Tour Speaking Engagements • September 24, Homecoming - 2 p.m., Donnelly Center, 157 Woodward Lane, S.E. Also book signings at main stage tent throughout the day. • October 13, Aquinas College: Historic Holmdene - 7 p.m., Grand Rapids Historical Society, Gerald R. Ford Museum, 303 Pearl Street. (No sales or book signing.) • November 3, OLLI members, Free Presentation. Aquinas College: The First 125 Years – 12-1 p.m., Browne Center, 2001 Robinson Road, S.E. • November 9, Aquinas College: The First 125 Years - 6:45 p.m., St. Isidore’s Church, 628 Diamond Avenue N.E.

125th Anniversary Events Calendar During this 125th anniversary year, Aquinas turns its attention to the four charisms in a series of special signature events intended to raise our level of

consciousness of the core values of the college. For more information, please visit The signature events are:

September 14, 2011 College Blessing and Rededication

March 14, 2012 An Evening with Scott Turow: Contemporary Writers Series 15th Anniversary Endowment Fundraiser

A formal liturgical blessing and rededication of the College. Processional begins at 11:10 a.m. at various locations on campus and converges at Fatima Shrine on Holmdene lawn. Registration, which includes a complimentary lunch, is available online.

September 18, 2011 Aquinas College 125th Anniversary Mass

November 1, 2011 All Saints’ Day Summit on Service

Kick-off event for 125,000 Acts of Aquinas, a worldwide service project, begins at 11:30 a.m. Speaker is Sister Anna Maria Santiago, O. P., Ph.D., a member of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids and the Leona Bevis and Marguerite Haynam Professor in Community Development at Case Western Reserve University. Her keynote address will be, “Serving the World in the Dominican Tradition.” Specially designed commemorative tokens for service will be distributed worldwide.

February 17, 2012 Aquinas College 125th Anniversary Celebration

A special 125th birthday version of Campus Life’s annual Wake-up People! Party, sponsored by Pepsi. Concert, food, and other entertainment, including finale of the AQ Idol competition. This event is open to members of the current Aquinas community only. 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., Wege Ballroom.

March 13, 2012 Faith AND Reason: My 60 Years in and around the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Aquinas College English professor and author of several books on spirituality in the postmodern world, Gary Eberle offers personal reminiscences and philosophical reflections on the significance of the Catholic intellectual tradition for the College in the 21st century. 12:30 p.m., Wege Ballroom. Free and open to the public.

March 19, 2012 The Dominican Tradition in Education

Sister Barbara Reid, O.P., Ph. D., professor of New Testament studies and vice president and academic dean at Catholic Theological Union Seminary in Chicago, will discuss the past and future of the Dominican intellectual tradition as it faces the challenges of the 21st century.

April 11, 2012 Catholic Higher Education Lecture by George Weigel

George Weigel’s presentation is entitled, “John Paul II, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and the Future of Catholic Higher Education.” Weigel is the author or editor of over twenty books, including Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II (1999) and The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II--The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (2010). A frequent guest on television and radio, he is also Vatican analyst for NBC News. The presentation will be held at 7:00 pm in the Wege Ballroom.

April 24, 2012 One Enchanted Evening: a Community Celebration of Aquinas College’s 125th Anniversary

A special celebration of Aquinas’s history for donors, benefactors, and members of the Aquinas community. The event features live music, wine, and a strolling gourmet dinner in the historic and newly remodeled Holmdene mansion and in the Carriage House. The highlight of this enchanted evening is a gala concert in the Performing Arts Center by Aquinas alumna and soprano Sara Jakubiak ‘02. Accompanying her on piano will be her old classmate, Dr. Andrew Fleser ‘00. They will be joined in the concert by their former instructor, Barbara McCargar, chair of Aquinas’ music department. For ticket information, contact Ellen Harburn at | Fall 2011 | 125th Anniversary 31

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary

A high mass celebrated by Bishop Walter Hurley and the Aquinas College community at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 265 Sheldon Ave. SE, in downtown Grand Rapids at 10 a.m. Reception to follow on Cathedral Square.

Best-selling author Scott Turow (One-L, Presumed Innocent) will appear at a special dinner event to celebrate the charism of study and the 15th anniversary of Aquinas College’s Contemporary Writers Series. For ticket information, contact Ellen Harburn at

Aquinas College 125th Anniversary

Click, Serve, Share Repeat: 125,000 Acts of Aquinas Commits to Service Worldwide By Lauren F. Carlson ’12 This November, Aquinas College kicks off 125,000 Acts of Aquinas, a new program which will bring together students, faculty, and alumni around the world in devotion to service and community. On All Saints’ Day, November 1st, 2011, the Aquinas College campus will buzz with activity as students and community members commit to short and long term service projects, while passing along the spirit of service, and publicizing the worldwide need for selfless acts. The project, initially developed by Director of Alumni Relations Brigid Avery ’01 and Eric Bridge,’92, MM ’05, coordinator of Service Learning, was designed to reflect the Dominican tradition of service at Aquinas College and the surrounding community. “If there’s one thing Aquinas students have in common, it’s their involvement in service learning projects,” said Avery. Before the November launch, a postcard will be mailed to thousands of community members explaining the four part project of “Click, Serve, Share, Repeat.” After receiving the mailing, recipients will be asked to click by visiting the 125th Anniversary website to learn more about the project, serve by volunteering a day, a morning, or even an hour in honor of the College’s anniversary, share by telling 32 125th Anniversary | Fall 2011 |

the story of the service project online, and lastly, repeat by passing on the spirit of service to a friend or family member. The repeat concept will be solidified through the service sub-committee’s creation (comprised of AQ faculty, staff, students and alumni), a wooden coin with the project’s information that allows each volunteer to keep a tangible record of their service, as well as literally “pay it forward” to the next volunteer. As past and present Aquinas community members demonstrate their devotion to service, the website will grow to include an interactive Google map with worldwide locations of the projects, as well as individual volunteer testimony. As Aquinas staff and faculty strive to increase the knowledge of service learning on campus and abroad, Avery stresses the idea of the intentionality of the volunteer, and the lifelong commitment to social justice. “Doing a beach cleanup one day and littering the next…that doesn’t work,” said Avery, “it’s important to remember why we’re doing the service.” The project itself is a call to action for community members, and allows for a variety of service projects around the world. “The possibilities are endless. We just want you to act,” Avery said.

Reflection Dinner Honors Three Vital Community Members By Jannine Guyeskey ‘08 This year’s Reflection event, on Monday, September 19, proudly honors Sister M. Aquinas Weber, O.P. ’58, Ralph W. Hauenstein, and Peter M. Wege. These individuals are recognized as influential leaders of commitment, vision, service, loyalty, and integrity. Each leader distinctly reflects these Aquinas values through their work and everyday lives. On account of their shared and dedicated vision, each honoree has contributed to the College’s Catholic mission, emphasis on philanthropy, and belief in a liberal arts education. They continue to be an example and inspiration for our community. Aquinas College’s three surviving past presidents, R. Paul Nelson, M.Ed., Harry Knopke, Ph.D., and Ed Balog, Ph.D., will join current President, Juan Olivarez, Ph.D., to serve as honorary co-chairs for this event. Sr. Aquinas graduated from Aquinas and remains a guiding force for the direction of the College. She was instrumental in raising funds for the College and influential in the advancement department.

Friends, Alumni Sponsor Aquinas College’s 125th Anniversary Aquinas College is grateful for generous friends who have underwritten the College’s anniversary celebration! Mr. Gregory A. and Mrs. Sally Alksnis Diocese of Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Mr. Lawrence E. and Mrs. Nancy Erhardt Sr. Mr. Michael J. and Mrs. Susan Jandernoa Mr. Michael and Mrs. Kathleen (Kiki) Lown Lt. Gen John and Mrs. Maureen Nowak Rockford Construction Saint Mary’s Health Care Mr. Peter and Mrs. Carolyn Sturrus Mr. Jim and Mrs. Mary Veldheer Wege Foundation The Woodhouse Family

Historic Donation by Young Alumni By Cecilia A. Cunningham

Peter M. Wege, with strong belief in the environment, education, arts and culture, health care, and human services, continues to support many non-profit organizations who strive to meet the needs of our community. He is the author of Economicolgy and Economicology II, which summarize his belief in striking a balance between economy and ecology.


Ralph Hauenstein is an Aquinas College and Grand Rapids philanthropic community leader, and is responsible for the LEED certified Grace Hauenstein Library, along with many other institutions in the Grand Rapids Area.

“We love Aquinas and look forward to making a meaningful difference during the College’s 125th anniversary,” said Elissa Sangalli Hillary ’05, of their family’s decision to contribute to the Family Scholarship Endowment Program this year. Family endowed scholarships have long been a tradition at the College. “We really had never considered that we might be able to fund a family scholarship,” remarked Brian Hillary ’97, whose family marks the youngest group of alumni to establish an endowed scholarship. “With five years to complete it and engaging our extended family, it made it seem manageable.” The family plans to fund a scholarship for a student who demonstrates leadership, commits to service, actively participates in their Catholic faith, and maintains a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better. Endowed scholarships provide a unique opportunity to ensure a scholarship reflects the spirit and intent of the donor. For more information, please contact Cecilia Cunningham, director of major gifts, at 616-632-2816 or e-mail

Corporate Partners William J. Kowalski, J.D., Rehmann Corporate Investigative Services

The 2010-2011 Corporate Partners networking series continued on Thursday, April 28, with William J. Kowalski, J.D., addressing, Increasing Fraud Trends. This session focused on how organizations can protect themselves from fraudsters in their employee ranks, and those outside their businesses who may wish them harm. Bill Kowalski is vice president and director of corporate investigations for Rehmann Corporate Investigative Services. Bill began his investigative career in 1983 as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he received numerous awards and letters of commendation. He was most recently the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI in Detroit, with oversight responsibility for counter-terrorism operations throughout Michigan.

Spartan Stores


For nearly 95 years, Spartan Stores has been a leader in the food industry. Today, this publicly traded company owns and operates 97 supermarkets in Michigan under the D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, and VG’s Grocery banners. The company also supplies more than 40,000 private label and national brand products to nearly 375 independent locations. President’s Circle Amway Bissell Inc Fifth Third Bank Huntington Bank Central Interconnect D&D Printing Co Global Forex Trading GR Dominican Sisters Howard Miller Co Rockford Companies Steelcase Inc Executive Partner Asphalt Paving Inc Comerica Bank Dematic Corp Gill Industries Israels Design Magic Steel Corp NETech Corporation Rehmann Robson Spartan Stores SondTech Inc Van Dyken Mechanical Varnum Wolverine World Wide

Partner Berends Hendricks Stuit Bucher Hydraulics Cascade Engineering Chemical Bank Crowe Howath LLP Erhardt Construction GE Avionics Grand Rapids Plastics Kent Manufacturing Martha's Vineyard Leon Plastics Metro Health Hospital Mosaic Wealth Management Louis Padnos Iron & Metal Co Pepsi Bottling Group River City Mechanical Saint Mary's Health Care Service Express Spartan Stores Vi-Chem Corp Weather Shield Roofing Systems

34 Advancement | Fall 2011 |

Spartan Stores is a big supporter of liberal arts education and sustainable business programs. Through economic booms and financial challenges, Spartan Stores remains committed to the communities it serves, annually providing more than $2 million in community contributions, over 1.5 million pounds of donated goods to local pantries, countless hours of community service, and 9,000 jobs throughout Michigan.

Steelcase Inc.

The families from Steelcase, including Peter Wege, Bob Pew, and his daughter, Kate Pew Wolters ’78, have been involved with Aquinas for decades. Recently, Steelcase has been very supportive of many events and programs at the College, including The Jarecki Center for Advanced Learning, The Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center, The Conductive Learning Program, and Aquinas’ Center For Sustainability. Steelcase also supports Aquinas students through corporate internships, most recently in the area of sustainable business. Steelcase Inc. helps create great experiences — wherever work happens. Its brands offer a comprehensive portfolio of workplace furnishings, products, and services inspired by nearly 100 years of insight gained serving the world’s leading organizations. Steelcase is globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 650 dealers. They design for social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Steelcase is a global, publicly traded company leading our industry with fiscal 2011 revenue of approximately $2.4 billion. Associate Partner A-1 Tent Rental Angel Care AON Consulting Associated Insurance Arrowaste Auto-Owners Insurance Company Baird Co Bartlett Tree Experts Baker Spindler Holtz Beene Garter LLP Byron Bank Campbell Group Carter Products Control Solutions Cap Trust Financial Advisors Creative Dining Crowne Plaza Hotel Dickinson Wright D.J. Lawn Service D. Schuler’s Wine Eikenhout Inc Founders Trust Bank Forest Hills Foods Grandville Printing Hanover Insurance Henry Fox Sales Highland Chrysler

Infotech Imaging Products Inc. Integrated Architecture Kay Pharmacy Kent Beverage Company Lakeshore Energy Marsh / Mercer Pridgeon & Clay Inc Progressive AE Prudential Financial Ritsema Associates Kent Beverage Northfield Lanes Perrigo Corp Prangley & Marks Pridgeon & Clay Prudential Financial Restoration Technology S.A. Morman Inc Shred Docs LLC Superior Asphalt Swaney Sales Transmatic West Side Beer Williams Group Witte Travel Wolverine Coil Wolverine Printing

AQ Alum Signs Professional Contract By Mike Wojciakowski ’97

Former AQ Basketball Coach Patti Tibaldi Receives MHSAA Award By Lauren F. Carlson ’12

Pedja Lazic

Patti Tibaldi

Patti Tibaldi ’73, former Aquinas College women’s basketball coach and current teacher and athletic director at Traverse City West High School, recently received the 2011 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Women in Sports Leadership Award. The MHSAA awards women coaches, officials, and athletic administrators affiliated with the organization who demonstrate leadership and make a positive contribution to their athletic communities. “I am deeply honored by this award, mostly because I never imagined I could be included in this group of women,” said Tibaldi. In 1978, Tibaldi began her 18-year career at Aquinas; during which time, she served as head coach of women’s basketball, assistant athletic director, and woman’s softball coach. As head coach, she led her team to the National Catholic Basketball Championship in 1984 and three appearances at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Women’s Basketball Tournament. Tibaldi’s personal awards include induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1999, the Basketball Coaches of Michigan Hall of Fame in 1997, and the West Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 1998. “Patti was a pioneer in the State of Michigan in women’s athletics, both at the high school and college level,” said AQ athletics director and baseball coach Terry Bocian. “She is extremely deserving of this honor.” At Traverse City Area Public Schools, Tibaldi has served as teacher; physical education coordinator; PEP grant coordinator, in which she co-authored a million-dollar federal grant that provides the community with the necessary funds to fight obesity; district support specialist for the secondary physical education department; varsity basketball coach for West Senior High since the opening of the school in 1997; and, currently, athletic director for Traverse City West. “I am very grateful for my mentors, both male and female, and most of all, my players at both the high school and college levels,” said Tibaldi. “Being a female in a male dominated profession is not always easy and to be recognized as a strong voice for women is very rewarding.” The award was presented at halftime of the Class A championship game at the MHSAA girls basketball finals at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing on March 19. | Fall 2011 | Athletics 35


Pedja Lazic, former All-American for the Aquinas College Saints, recently signed a professional contract to play basketball in France. Lazic has teamed up with Feurs Fores Basket in Feurs, France. The squad plays in the French National 2 (NM2) League, which resumes play in September. Pedja said, “Playing in Germany was a learning experience for me, and I feel very fortunate that I was given an opportunity to play in France. Germany taught me how the business works and what to expect. I am very excited to help out a young team that is trying to move up to the French National 1 league, along with polishing my French, learning the French culture, and their traditions. This opportunity will allow me to gain valuable life experience and can be a stepping stone for my basketball career, and I plan to take full advantage of it.” During his career at Aquinas, Pedja led the Saints to a record of 94-43 and three WHAC regular season titles. Pedja also guided the Saints to two WHAC tournament championships and four straight trips to the NAIA national championships. During Lazic’s senior season (2008-09), he was named the WHAC Player of the Year and 1st Team NAIA All-American. Pedja averaged 16.9 points and 9.4 rebounds during his senior campaign.

Senior Scholar Athletes

Pictured (l-r): Samantha Rinkus, Kennen Less, and Molly Lounds

By Mike Wojciakowski ’97 The Joseph Baker and Sr. Helen Louise Brogger Awards are given annually to a male and female senior student athlete who meets the three requirements established by the alumni board. These requirements are academic strength, service to others, and athletic involvement and success. This year’s recipients are exemplary in meeting these requirements.



Kennen Less was a graduate of Rockford High School and a four-year letter winner for the Saints baseball team. The two-time All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) performer led the Saints to a 24-16-1 record during his senior season. Less led the team with 17 doubles and 31 RBI’s, while sporting a .381 batting average. Kennen was just as successful in the classroom, where he earned a 3.85 G.P.A. while majoring in biology. Less was also active in Habitat for Humanity, hospital volunteering, the Aquinas Chemistry Society, and the Beta Beta Beta Honor Society. Kennen interned at the Van Andel Research Institute and held on campus jobs in the housekeeping and athletic departments. Kennen is the son of Richard and Jackie Less.


Samantha Rinkus was a graduate of Hartland High School and a four-year member of the Saints cross country and track teams. During her senior season, Rinkus led the Saints to a

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13th place finish at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Cross Country meet and was named an All-WHAC performer. Samantha also garnered academic All-American honors in both cross country and track. Rinkus majored in English and history and minored in journalism and creative writing. Samantha also was involved in Insignis, The Saint (the College newspaper) and Lambda Iota Tau. Rinkus also found time to work in the College’s marketing department, wrote web stories for the Aquinas College webpage, and held internships at Revue Magazine. Samantha is the daughter of James and Mary Rinkus. Molly Lounds was a graduate of Mason High School and a four-year starter for the Saints volleyball team. During her time at Aquinas, the volleyball team made major strides and ascended to one of the top teams in the Midwest. Lounds captained the team during her senior season, led the Saints to a 29-12 record, and brought the Saints within one match of advancing to the national championships. Molly graduates as the Saints all-time leader in career kills. While at Aquinas, Molly was a dual major in business administration and communication and was involved in the Student Athlete Advisory Board and Alternative Spring Break. Lounds also worked in the Aquinas Conferencing department and for the State of Michigan Department of Education. Molly held internships at Rizzi Designs and St. Mary’s Health Care. Molly is the daughter of Calvin and Mary Jo Lounds.

2011 Athletic Hall of Fame By Terry Bocian ’70 The Aquinas College athletic department has announced its 2011 Hall of Fame class. The members of this group will be feted on September 22 at the Hall of Fame Gala Event in the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center. This year’s class includes an outstanding tennis player, two noteworthy volleyball athletes, and a basketball Life Time Achievement Award recipient.  The four honorees are Vonda (Nagelkirk) VanTil ’90 and Tami Harig ’87 (volleyball); Jim Payne ’75 (tennis); and Ray McCahill ’74 (basketball). McCahill will be awarded for lifetime achievement in his sport.   Both volleyball award winners had similar careers at Aquinas. Tami Harig and Vonda (Nagelkirk) VanTil were four-year starters and two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-State players, who captained highly successful Saints’ squads during their senior years and earned All-American honors for their performances. Harig was the first AQ volleyball performer to ever receive NAIA All-american honors.    Payne, an outstanding high school performer at GR Catholic Central, was the Saints’ number one tennis player and recorded an undefeated regular season and state tournament singles record. This is a feat unmatched to this day in AQ tennis history. He was the NAIA state singles

champion and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament where he was eventually defeated by the NAIA national champion in an extremely close match. Payne is lauded by his peers as the best AQ tennis player of his era. McCahill, an outstanding AQ basketball player during a successful era, captained the 1974 squad. He went on to coach at Grand Rapids Catholic and posted outstanding records and championships in the highly competitive Grand Rapids City League. Several of his Grand Rapids Community College players went on to outstanding playing and coaching careers. After retirement from coaching, McCahill stayed involved with his sport by spearheading local high school and College basketball events, most notably the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Basketball Classic, composed of local college teams.

Vonda (Nagelkirk) Van Til

Tami Harig

Jim Payne ’75

Ray McCahill ’74

AQ Track Coach Records Athletic History of Grand Rapids By Lauren F. Carlson ’12 he utilized his own background knowledge, as well as useful tidbits such as school board minutes of the competing local high schools. “It’s been an amazing experience, it’s just an incredible amount of work,” he said. In addition, as Wood poured over thousands of newspaper articles in the microfiche archives of local libraries, he discovered the importance of the Grand Rapids City League to both athletes and community members. “It was really a big deal,” he said. The book itself, which spans over a century of athletic history, consists of four evolutionary parts. The beginning, which includes the establishment of the league and its original members; the early years, which tells the story of the first city meet at Houseman Field in 1928 and the organization’s budding development; the golden years, in which the league experienced heightened popularity and increased audience members; and the modern years, which discusses the league’s eventual disbandment and the 2008 remodel of Houseman Field. “There are just a lot of connections,” said Wood, “It’s really all about names…a lot like a high school year book.” Wood will self-published the book under GRCL Publications, which will print through Color House Printing and distribute in early September. “I actually want to do another one now on basketball,” said Wood, who ambitiously applied his passion for history and athletics to share the story of a community. “It’s really been fun to do.” | Fall 2011 | Athletics 37


“I’ve decided to stop thinking about it and just do it,” said Aquinas Head Track Coach and Associate Athletic Director David Wood, of the newly finished, Houseman Field: The History of City League Track and Field. The book, a compilation of oral history, newspaper articles, high school yearbooks, and museum archives, combines Wood’s long held interests in history, teaching, and athletics into a working reference for the Grand Rapids City League. Using local Houseman Field as a jumping point, Wood demonstrates the rich history of Grand Rapids athletics. “I’ve always enjoyed history,” said Wood, who has appreciated the record-keeping and statistics of athletics for much of his life. After graduation from Central Michigan University and a four-year teaching position at Grand Rapids Public Schools, he pursued his passion for sports, and began coaching full time. In 1994, Wood accepted his current position at Aquinas as head track coach. During these several positions in the Grand Rapids area, his teams frequently competed at Houseman Field, a well-known athletics arena just a few blocks west of the AQ campus. “People have been running track meets at Houseman Field since the 1920’s,” said Wood, of the unique experience shared by athletes spanning many generations. “They are running on the same track that people ran on 20, 30, 40 years ago,” he continued. As Wood began his research over two and a half years ago,

Winter/Spring Athletic Honors Men’s Basketball • All Conference 3rd Team: Damacious White • Champion of Character: Matt Weiss Women’s Basketball • Champion of Character: Clare Conway • Champion of Character Coach: Linda Nash Men’s Indoor Track & Field • All Conference: Dustin Heiler, Nick Thelen • All American: Grant Gunneson, B.J. Klotz, Nick Thelen, Dustin Heiler Women’s Indoor Track & Field • All Conference: Rachel Luehm Men’s Outdoor Track & Field • All Conference: Charles Irman, Stephen Huizing, Kolin Stickney, Dustin Heiler, Nick Thelen, Devin Lea, Justin Marquardt • Academic All Conference: Ken Foley, Dustin Heiler, B.J. Klotz, Devin Lea, Andrew Libs, Eddie Seymour, Cam Smith, Nick Thelen • Champion of Character: Nick Thelen • Academic All American: Devin Lea, Andrew Libs, Eddie Seymour, Cam Smith, Nick Thelen • All American: Nick Thelen, Grant Gunneson, Kolin Stickney, Dustin Heiler Women’s Outdoor Track & Field • All Conference: Katy Cramer, Joordn Hall, Emily Smith, Rachael Steil • Academic All Conference: Caitlyn Bonney, Chelsey Bonney, Megan Byrne, Alina Dhaseleer, Sarah House, Lauren Mouthann, Catherine Newman, Samantha Rinkus, Emily Sandula, Lauren Smith, • Champion of Character: Katy Cramer • Academic All American: Chelsey Bonney, Alina Dhaseleer, Sarah House, Samantha Rinkus, Emily Sandula, Lauren Smith • All American: Emily Smith, Rachael Steil Men’s Tennis • All Conference: Nik Artaev, Aaron Hendrick (Player of the Year), Kyle Masteleer, John Telfer, Travis Wolf • Champion of Character: Aaron Hendrick • Conference Coach of the Year: Jerry Hendrick • Academic All American: John Telfer • All American: Nik Artaev, Aaron Hendrick

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Women’s Tennis • All Conference: Kristen Heinrich, Lauren Ramey • Champion of Character: Cecelia Vaughn • Academic All American: Emily Decker, Ashley Hendrick, Katie Siegel, Cecelia Vaughn Men’s Lacrosse • All CCLA Honorable Mention Team: Jacob Jeffers Women’s Lacrosse • WCLL Division 2 First Team: Kati Rogers, Hannah Brogger, Bri Shefferly, Bre Stockall • WCLL Division 2 Second Team: Michelle Murphy, Lauren McCarty, Jess Tunis • WCLA All-American: Kati Rogers • WCLA All-American Honorable Mention: Hannah Brogger, Bri Shefferly, Bre Stockall Men’s Golf • Academic All American: Andrew Kish Men’s Baseball • All Conference: Austin King, Kennen Less, Vince Misiewicz, Michael Penny • All Conference Honorable Mention: Cory Garneau, Taylor Pawlanta, Ryan Grigonis, Brent Butgereit • Conference Gold Glove Award: Cory Garneau, Austin King • Academic All Conference: Cory Garneau, Ryan Grigonis, Drew Huard, Kennen Less, Nick Papes, Michael Wood. • Champion of Character: Kennen Less • Academic All American: Drew Huard, Kennen Less, Nick Papes Women’s Softball • All Conference: Carlie Giarmo, Heidi Holmes, Renae Tubergen • All Conference Honorable Mention: Lindsey Stewart • Academic All Conference: Heidi Holmes, Whitney Hudson, Kristi Kuiphof, Kim Lohman, Taylor Turcott • Champion of Character: Kim Lohman • Academic All American: Whitney Hudson

Dustin Heiler, Four-Time All-American, AQ Record Holder in Five Events

Athletics | Fall 2011 | Athletics 39

Winter/Spring Sports Wrap Please check the Athletic Department Web site ( for the 2011-2012 sports schedules.

Men’s Track

Nick Thelen

The Saints finished in third place at both the indoor and outdoor Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) championships. At the indoor WHAC championships, the Saints were led by first place finishes by Nick Thelen (800M) and Dustin Heiler (mile). The Saints were well represented on the all-WHAC team during the outdoor season as Charles Irman, Stephen Huizing, Kolin Stickney, Dustin Heiler, Nick Thelen, Devin Lea, and Justin Marquardt all placed first in their respective events. In Geneva, Ohio the men’s distance medley relay received All-American recognition as Grant Gunneson, B.J. Klotz, Nick Thelen, and Dustin Heiler placed third at the indoor national championships. The men’s 4x800 meter relay placed fourth at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) outdoor championships, breaking the previous school record by five seconds. The foursome of Nick Thelen, Grant Gunneson, Kolin Stickney, and Dustin Heiler earned All-American status for running the relay in 7:36.38. Other records broken during the 2011 season included: Rumeal McKinney (60M) 6.72 and the men’s indoor distance medley (Gunneson, Klotz, Thelen and Heiler) 10:00.50. In addition to his two records as part of a relay, Dustin Heiler also established school records in the 600M (1:21.62), 800M (1:53.47), 1000M (2:30.36), and the 1500M (3:53.45).

Joordn Hall

Women’s Track

The women’s team placed fourth at the indoor WHAC championships and improved to second at the outdoor WHAC championships contested at Houseman Field. At the indoor championships, the Saints were led by an all-conference performance of Rachel Luehm, who won the 5000 meters. When the competition switched to outdoors, Katy Cramer, Emily Smith, Rachael Steil, and Joordn Hall recorded all-WHAC performances at the championships. At the outdoor national championships, Emily Smith earned All-American honors with a fourth place finish in the discus, while Rachael Steil earned All-American accolades by finishing seventh in the 5000 meters. New school records were delivered by Alicia Dorko (pole vault) 11-10, Joordn Hall (100M) 12.00, Joordn Hall (200M) 25.00, and Rachael Steil (5000M) 17:04.58 during the outdoor season.

40 Athletics | Fall 2011 |

Men’s Lacrosse

Jacob Jeffers

The men’s lacrosse team concluded their season with a playoff loss to Davenport in the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA) division II conference tournament. The Panthers defeated the Saints to advance to play Dayton University. The Saints saw marked improvement in their third season, as Coach Luke Griemsman guided the Saints to a 7-9 record. The Saints competed in their first playoff game in school history and closed the regular season, winning five of their last six contests. Junior midfielder Jacob Jeffers was named honorable mention allCCLA as a face-off specialist. Jeffers won over 130 face-offs for the Saints this season. Jacob also recorded 13 points (11 goals and two assists) and picked up 47 ground balls.

Lauren McCarty

Women’s Lacrosse

The Saints, who finished the season with a 21-1 record, were led by Kati Rogers. Rogers was named second team All-American by the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (WCLA). Joining Rogers with honorable mention All-American honors, included Hannah Brogger, Bri Shefferly, and Bre Stockall. The WCLL Division II also handed out awards for their top players. Kati Rogers, Hannah Brogger, Bri Shefferly, and Bre Stockall were all recognized on the first team. Michelle Murphy, Lauren McCarty, and Jess Tunis were all named to the second team. The Saints strung together 21 wins in a row, but fell to Oakland University in the WCLL finals to deny Aquinas a trip to the national championships. The team continues to perform as one of the best small college lacrosse programs in the country.

Women’s Tennis

The women’s tennis team started the season strong, winning six of their first eight matches. Unfortunately, Aquinas closed the season with five consecutive losses. Overall, the Saints amassed a record of 6-7 on the year and finished in third place in the WHAC. The doubles combination of Kristen Heinrich and Lauren Ramey were recognized as allconference performers by WHAC. The women’s tennis program will see a change in leadership next season, as long-time head coach Gerry Adams resigned. Aquinas will turn to former alums, Steve Greene and Jordan O’Neill, to guide the Saints during the 2012 season.


The women’s basketball program went through a rebuilding year with a 9-22 record. The 22 losses set the record for setbacks in a single season. Aquinas finished in eighth place in the WHAC with a conference mark of 5-11. The Saints were led by Taelor Sanders, who averaged 9.5 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per contest. Shelby Carter, a transfer from Calvin College, also played well in her first year. Carter averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Anne Marie Shumaker

Women’s Basketball

Men’s Tennis

Coach Hendrick’s crew, comprised of all underclassman, completed one of the most successful seasons in the College’s history. The Saints finished the year with a mark of 25-4, a WHAC championship, and a berth in the NAIA national championships. The Saints fell to St. Thomas University (Fla.) in the opening Kyle Masteller round of nationals (5-4) in a very entertaining, yet heartbreaking match. Aaron Hendrick and Nik Artaev, both freshmen, were named honorable mention All-American by the NAIA. The dynamic duo led the Saints to conference and regional titles and amassed a 24-2 record playing first doubles. Hendrick, also named WHAC Player of the Year, recorded a 23-4 record at number one singles, while Artaev finished his freshman campaign at 20-6. The pair was ranked first in the east region and seventh in the country in the latest rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Aaron Hendrick, Nik Artaev, Kyle Masteleer, John Telfer, and Travis Wolf were all recognized as all-conference by the WHAC. Coach Jerry Hendrick was named WHAC Coach of the Year for men’s tennis.


The Saints finished fifth in the WHAC (9-11) and finished the season with a 28-20 overall record. The Saints were represented by Carlie Giarmo, Heidi Holmes, and Renae Tubergen on the WHAC All-Conference Team. Giarmo, who struck out 111 batters, led the Saints with a 12-9 record and a 2.31 earned run average. Tubergen supplied the power in the Saints’ offense as she hit nine home runs and collected 41 RBI’s. Holmes, who was also named to the All-WHAC Academic Team, led the Saints with a .366 batting average. Sophomore Lindsey Stewart garnered All-WHAC honorable mention accolades for her play, while Kim Lohman was Aquinas’ representative on the Champions of Character team.


Overall, the Saints finished the season with a 24-16-1 record, including a 17 game winning streak. Aquinas placed fourth in the final WHAC standings with a record of 9-7. Saints who garnered allconference accolades included: Vince Misiewicz, Austin King, Kennen Less, and Michael Penny. Misiewicz, finished the season with a 6-2 record and a 2.33 earned run average. Austin King, who also won the Gold Glove Award for third base, hit .383 with 15 RBI’s. Kennen Less, the Saints Champion of Character, led the team with 31 RBI’s and hit for a .381 average. Michael Penny was also named an AllWHAC performer as he led the Saints in hitting (.400) and stolen bases (23). Earning honorable mention status was Cory Garneau, Taylor Pawlanta, Ryan Grigonis and Brent Butgereit. Garneau also earned the Gold Glove Award for pitchers.

Kennen Less

Emily Decker

Tim Jensen

Overall, the Saints posted a 12-18 record that included key victories over Grace Bible and Calvin College. Aquinas’ season started with great promise as the Saints secured two victories at the WHAC Mid-Central College (MCC) Conference that was contested at Aquinas College’s new Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center. The wins over Indiana Wesleyan and Spring Arbor were big at the time, but the Saints road got a little rocky once Aquinas hit WHAC play. Damacious White, named third team all-WHAC, led the Saints in scoring with 14.8 points per game, while Jake Shockey secured the team lead in rebounds with 6.4 per contest. Unfortunately, the Saints finished in last place in the WHAC with a 4-12 record.

Carlie Giarmo

Men’s Basketball

2011 Aquinas College Trustees

Matt Wey ’11

Managing director at Marsh (Marsh USA, Marsh/Mercer) 1980-present; Aquinas College, master of management 2011; vice president World Affairs Council of West Michigan; chairman of the board of Habitat for Humanity


Richard A. Peddicord, O.P., ’80

President, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Mo. 2008-present; professor of moral theology, 1994-present; B.A., Aquinas College M.A., Theology and M.Div., Aquinas Institute of Theology; S.T.L., Ph.D., and S.T.D., St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada

42 Trustees | Fall 2011 |

Kathryn Burrer Hyer ’77

Director of Illinois VENTURES; partner of the Illinois Emerging Technologies Fund; B.A. Aquinas College; J.D. from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio (1982)

Dennis M. Echelbarger ’64

Founder and chairman of the board of Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Co., P.C. (EHTC); principal of Egroupsolutions Co.; member of the Michigan Association of CPA’s (chairman of Michigan Small Practitioners Committee 1984-86, director 1988-present)

Alumni Deaths


Sarah White and Andrew Giguere ’07, November 13, 2010


Bernadette Rasch, mother of Robert Rasch ’67, Alpine Twp., Michigan, March 4, 2011


Martha (Zolvinski) and Matthew Van Haren ’08, July 17,


Margaret L. McGuire, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, January 11, 2011


Irene I. Geglio, sister of Helen Alexander ’43, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 11, 2011



Rosemary Angela Wood, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 25, 2011


Robert E. “Gibby” Gibson, Marne, Michigan, April 11, 2011


Barbara E. (Engemann) Westerman, wife of John Westerman ’50, deceased; mother of Ann Westerman ’81; aunt of Anthony Engemann ’78 and Mary Jo Engemann ’81, Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 2, 2011


Marion “Beebe” L. Kolenda, brother of Sister Peter Verona Kolenda, O.P. ’53, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 8, 2011


Rosemary Van Gessel, wife of Gerald Van Gessel ’50, predeceased, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 19, 2011


Dr. Thomas Hice Budzynski, brother of Doug Budzynski ’57; brother-in-law of Lillian (Zelma ’68) Budzynski; uncle of Juliet Budzynski ’ 83 Tompkins; Melissa Budzynski ’92, Wendy Budzynski ’92, and Scott Budzynski ’95; great-uncle of Lenna Tompkins ’04, Poulsbo, Washington, February 14, 2011


Nancy Corinne (Glass) Crowley, Wyoming, Michigan, January 19, 2011


Patricia Purwin, Comstock Park, Michigan, December 20, 2010


Ausma Linde, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 9, 2011


Monica McConnell Bilski, Santa Barbara, California, February 3, 2011


Bruce D. Spielmaker, father of Heidi Spielmaker ’83; brother of Ron Spielmaker ’56, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 21, 2011


Herman Wittgens, brother of Rymer Wittgens ’62, Nova Scotia, Canada, December 15, 2011


Edward Anthony Zickus, Jr., Seminole, Florida, March 22, 2011

Births ’95 Patrick (Susan) Maioho, a daughter, Audrey Namahanaikaleleokalani Maioho; Audrey joins big brother Simon (4) on March 1, 2011


Anne (Tyler) and John Duimstra, a son Dominic Jacques Duimstra; Dominic joins sisters Claudia and Brianna on July 16, 2010

’01 Martha (Krzyzewski) and Michael Boks, a son, Henry Michael Boks on August 8, 2010


Dawn (Wierzbicki) and Ryan Smith ’00, a son, Carter Robert Smith; Carter joins siblings Abigail (6), Claire (4) and Landon (3), on November 30, 2010


Kerrie (Walker) and Josh Nyenhuis, a son, Zachary Peter Nyenhuis on January 29, 2011


Christine (Kelly) and William Kieft IV, a son, William Adam Kieft V on November 1, 2010 | Fall 2011 | Class Notes 43

Class Notes


’63 ’63

Larry Enders, Elk Rapids, Michigan, July 3, 2011


Tommie Gene Williamson, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 19, 2011

Virginia Marie Vrona, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 18, 2011



Sister Mary Katharine Courtright, O.P. (formerly Sister Thomas Mary), Grand Rapids, Michigan, December 20, 2010

Kenneth H. DeHaan, Jr., Jenison, Michigan, February, 28, 2011


Christine (Jaklinski) Paganelli, wife of Dino Paganelli ’90, Wyoming, Michigan, March 9, 2011


Arlene Kay (Bonczyk) Ward, Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 16, 2011


Connie Kowalsyk, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 30, 2011


Charles Rang, Ph.D., Dayton, Ohio, February 7, 2011


Debra L. Vander Klay Paul, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 28, 2011


Pamela M. Schoen, sister of Marilyn Muma ’77, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 10, 2011

Deaths of Friends and Family


Rev. Erwin W. Meitz, brother of Rev. Marvin Meitz ’71, March 28, 2011

Kim Leon Bobo, father of Thomas Bobo ’04, March 14, 2011


M. Therese Markaity, MM, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 27, 2011

Yolanda Caceres, mother of Aquinas College faculty member Ric Caceres


Thomas Frederick Tepper, father-in-law of Amy Tepper ’99, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 29, 2011

Patrick E. Cashin, father of Andrea (Cashin ’93) VanSurksum, July 14, 2011


Rick Kroha, brother of Tom “Boz” Kroha ’81; brother-in-law of Thomas Veryser ’68, Mt. Clemens, Michigan, December 16, 2010

Edward Charles Czyzyk, Sr., father of Gerald Czyzyk ’73 and William Czyzyk ’87, December 18, 2010

’74 ’76

Michael G. Littell, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 23, 2011


Norma M. Baars, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 24, 2011


Constance Michelle Seifullah, wife of Noah Seifullah ’84, Grand Rapids, Michigan, December 16, 2010


Jean MacGregor Lacey, Green Valley, Arizona, March 6, 2011


Class Notes

Mary Ann Michmershuizen, Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 2, 2011

Roberta “Bobbi” Jean Schrader, Sparta, Michigan, February 4, 2011

Roger Banaszak, father of current student Brett Banaszak

Elizabeth “Betty” Dallier, mother of Ralph Dallier ’81, February 11, 2011 John Downer, husband of Maureen Downer ’71 Donald D. Doyle, Ret. Lt. Col. USAF, husband of former Aquinas College employee Jane Doyle, June 9, 2011 Kyran C. Eardley, brother of Sister Elizabeth Eardley, OP ’43, deceased, June 14, 2011 Donald R. Egeler, husband of Clara (Colligan ’57) Egeler; father of Sandy (Egeler ’85) DeJonge and Tom Egeler ’87, January 26, 2011 Faith Emerson, daughter of Lisa (Manders) Emerson, March 4, 2011

’82 ’84

Richard Gary Fuller, Ada, Michigan, March 19, 2011

Sister Nancy Flumerfelt, O.P. (the former Sr. Joannes), retired Aquinas faculty, February 14, 2011

Randy Bird, Hudsonville, Michigan, December 22, 2010

Robert Georgi, Jr., father of Jacque (Georgi ’75) Kolb, March 4, 2011


Dennis Kaminski, father-in-law of Laura Hoekstra ’04 Kaminski; son of Roman Kaminski ’42, deceased, Belmont, Michigan, May 15, 2011

Ellenor (Finedore) Graves, mother of Cathy Rybski ’84


Kenneth Crawford, husband of Jane (Bouchamp’87) Crawford, Owosso, Michigan, March 31, 2011

44 Class Notes | Fall 2011 |

Dr. Mary Ann Grobbel, mother of current student Jonathan Grobbel, June 4, 2011 Marianne Hammersmith, mother of Henry Hammersmith ’71, April 30, 2011

Rev. Fr. Lionel A. Harnish, father of Joseph ’96 (Sarah ’99) Harnish, June 10, 2011

Alfonso Paolini, father of Aquinas College staff member, Francine Paolini

Jennifer Heeren, niece of Aquinas College staff member Sue Buyze; cousin of Sam (Buyze ’02) Hekman, Chad Buyze ’06 and Aquinas College staff member Steve Buyze

Robert Jude Parente, father of Sandra (Parente ’85) Choffel, March 6, 2011

Kamrie Heeren, grand-niece of Aquinas College staff member Sue Buyze; cousin of Sam (Buyze ’02) Hekman, Chad Buyze ’06 and Aquinas College staff member Steve Buyze Rebecca (Brown) Heeren, sister of Aquinas College staff member Sue Buyze; aunt of Sam (Buyze ’02) Hekman, Chad Buyze ’06 and Aquinas College staff member Steve Buyze Thomas “Frank” Heeren, brother-in-law of Aquinas College staff member Sue Buyze; uncle of Sam (Buyze ’02) Hekman, Chad Buyze ’06 and Aquinas College staff member Steve Buyze Daniel Hefferan, father of Michele VanHouten ’11, May 2, 2011 Richard Hefferan, brother of Sister Roberta Hefferan, OP ’59 and Daniel Hefferan ’50, March 28, 2011

Monika Patterson, mother of Jennie Patterson ’95, December 16, 2010 Mary Payne, stepmother of Dr. Robert Payne ’67, Jim Payne ’75, and Richard Payne ’80 (Jane Richard Payne ’80), January 22, 2011 Francele M. Prettyman, mother of Candace (Prettyman ’78) Merkel, Grand Rapids, Michigan, December 23, 2010 Sister Marie Rosaire, April 10, 2011 Sean Rose, brother of Amy Rose ’11, December 11, 2010 Dennis C. Sawinski, father of Mary Sawinski ’79, May 31, 2011 John Selesky, father of Barb Selesky ’87, March 5, 2011 Roger J. Terhaar, father of Steven Terhaar ’85, April 22, 2011

John F. Hoekstra, father of Laura (Hoekstra ’04) Kaminski, January 26, 2011

Cyril Weinandy, father of Aquinas College faculty member David Weinandy, Ph.D., June 11, 2011

Bonnie L. (Hoekstra) Isley, mother of Richelle (Isley ’88) LeMay

Joy (Swanson) Wittenbach, sister-in-law of Sister Alice Wittenbach, OP, ’58

John Hoover, son of Patrick Hoover ’76, May 15, 2011

Monsignor Herman H. Zerfas, friend of Aquinas College, December 8, 2010

John C. Kennedy, father of John (Nancy) Kennedy, friend and benefactor of Aquinas College, March 22, 2011 Diane Marie Kieras, sister of Roger Kieras ’77; sister-in-law of Ellen (Vanbragt ’84) Kieras; aunt of current student Rachel Kieras, December 26, 2010 Nida E. (Donazzolo) Lamancusa, mother of Nina (Lamancusa ’66) Bloomfield, June 19, 2011 Sister Marciana, OP (the former Estelle Constance), friend of Aquinas College, December 13, 2010 Robert A. Minnie, father of Cheryl Homrich ’06, June 4, 2011 Mary Morrison, sister of Aquinas College trustee emeritus Lyle Morrison ’52, July 19, 2011


Ed Kelbel, Sr., was inducted into the Harbor Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Kelbel taught elementary school in the district for more than 30 years and served as the varsity golf coach for much of the 1970s and ’80s. Before arriving at Harbor Springs, Kelbel played for four years on the AQ golf team where he left a legacy as the best player ever to come through the program. He is also enshrined in the College’s Hall of Fame.


Chet Murawski was inducted into the Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Murawski, who retired in 2003 after 26 years teaching and coaching at Kentwood and 32 years in education, was inducted this spring.

Class Notes

Archie “Art” Neuman, father of Susan Neuman ’87, May 17, 2011

Class Notes

Ron Orlowski, father of Jim Orlowski ’81, May 13, 2011 | Fall 2011 | Class Notes 45


Brian Malone has retired after a 42-year career in the newspaper business with Advance Publications, Inc. Malone began his newspaper career in 1969 at The Grand Rapids Press. He was a reporter, then assistant metro editor at The Press before moving to The Bay City Times. He moved to The Ann Arbor news where he was editor from 1983-1988. He was named editor of The Times of Trenton in 1988 and was appointed publisher/editor in November 2008. He and his wife Nancy live in Lambertville.


Kevin Pendleton was chosen to receive the Fellow of Michigan Pharmacists Association Award during the association’s annual convention and exposition, which recently took place in Detroit. The award recognizes achievements and dedication to the practice of pharmacy, the community, and the Michigan Pharmacists Association. Pendleton is the pharmacy services director for Northern Michigan Regional Hospital.


Maureen Oostendorp, MM, CIP, was hired at the New England Institutional Review Board (NEIRB) as an account executive. Maureen brings over eight years of experience in human research protection and the medical device industry, most recently as senior IRB analyst for Spectrum Health Research.


Jeff Williams has received national recognition as one of the top 20 investment banking program managers in the country. Williams is sr. vice president-NW sr. area manager at Huntington Investment Company in Muskegon, Michigan.


Christian Hauser, Esq., was named a partner in the law firm of Frasco Caponigro Wineman & Scheible, PLLC.


Edrye Maurer is the newly appointed pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church. Maurer is the third consecutive woman to lead the church.


Joe Langerak, an associate with Rudolph, Fine, Porter & Johnson, was recognized for the second year in a row as a Rising Star by Indiana Super Lawyers. Langerak’s practice includes business litigation, commercial litigation, insurance defense, and construction law. In addition, he serves on the board of 4C of Southern Indiana, Inc. Langerak received his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2005.


Sara (Koster) Schmidt has moved back to West Michigan to join Perrigo Company as an information security engineer. Sara has worked for the Department of Defense in Maryland and Hawaii since graduation from Aquinas and received her master of science in spplied and computational mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 2006.

Class Notes


Jenny Maleski-Raymond was inducted into the Revenna Athletic Hall of Fame. Maleski-Raymond was a member of the AQ track and field team and holds records in the hammer for 2004 and the indoor 20 lb. hammer in 2006.

46 Class Notes | Fall 2011 |

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Aquinas Magazine :: Fall 2011  

The Magazine of Aquinas College