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INSIDE Round robin letters Gifts are music to the university Leaving RMAC for MIAA Class of 1960-61 reunions

Top10 Rated

Top 10 Public Regional University – U.S.News & World Report

Dear Alumni & Friends, This has been a remarkable year for the University of Nebraska at Kearney. First, at 6,753 students, our fall enrollment was the highest since 1999 and marked our seventh consecutive year of overall enrollment growth. We were especially pleased with the number of first-time freshmen, which increased by an impressive 15.2 percent over last year. Another indicator of achievement was UNK’s ranking as a “Top 10 Public Regional University in the Midwest” by U.S. News & World Report in its annual “Best Colleges” edition. The ranking is a composite of scores in several categories including faculty and financial resources, student selectivity, alumni giving and graduation and retention rates. We also received national recognition by The Chronicle of Higher Education. In a December 2010 feature entitled “Fast Gainers: 4 Ways That Colleges Have Raised Graduation Rates,” the Chronicle offered UNK as a top example of success by public and private universities that have improved graduation rates since 2002. In 2009-2010, the number of UNK graduates climbed to 1,304, a total that was second only to 1987-88 when the recorded number was 1,312. As you browse through the pages of this issue of UNK Today, I hope you enjoy learning of additional milestones reached and of alumni news from coast to coast. Most of the news is new. But some news spans generations – like the story of the “Round Robin” – the Case Hall coeds of the 1950s who have continued their friendship and their correspondence for more than five decades. My mother is one of those coeds. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how many lives have been, and continue to be, influenced by your alma mater? On behalf of everyone at UNK, I send warm regards, an open invitation to visit campus whenever your schedule allows and sincere thanks for your friendship, your generous support and for representing our campus in your daily lives.


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UNK Today is published twice a year by the Alumni Association and the University of Nebraska Foundation and is the official alumni publication of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. EXECU TIVE D IRECT OR Pete Kotsiopulos ‘70 A SSOCIATE D IRECT OR Lucas Dart ‘97 O F F ICE A SSOCIATE Toni Meyers ‘93 D ESIG N TEA M Dorin Abrisz, NU Foundation Art Director Randy Mattley ‘90 Director of Advertising & Creative Services Michelle Widger ‘90 Assistant Director UNK Alumni Association CONTRIBUTING EDIT OR S Jim Rundstrom ‘64 Director Emeritus Robb Crouch, NU Foundation Colleen Fleischer, NU Foundation PH OTO GRAPH Y UNK Alumni Association UNK Athletics UNK Creative Services Postmaster: Please send address changes to: UNK Today University of Nebraska at Kearney Campus Box 21 Kearney, Nebraska 68849 Phone 308.865.8474 Fax 308.865.8999 E-mail:

B OAR D OF DIR EC TO R S - O FFI C ER S Bryan Kuntz ‘95 President, Kearney Andrea Walton Miller ‘02 President-Elect, Scottsbluff Brett Kuhn, Ph.D. ‘86 Secretary, Gretna Chad Rutar ‘97 Past President, Lincoln Brenda Snodgrass Christensen ‘83 Trustee, Minden DIR E C T OR S (Expi r i ng 2011) Barb Lehmkuhl Estes ‘74, Kearney Dean Jindra ‘85, Papillion DeeDee Schutte Kitzelman ‘90, Kearney Andrea Walton Miller ‘02, Scottsbluff Ben Rowe ‘03, Kearney Ryan Samuelson ‘02, Phoenix, AZ Troy Schleiger ‘95, Omaha Ryan Tworek ‘98, Newport Beach, CA Candy Thompson Walton, Ph.D. ‘97, Vermillion, SD DIR E C T OR S (Expi r i ng 2012) Carol Green Ballain ‘65, Fort Collins, CO Mark Felker ‘86, Alliance Pat Kelly Hoehner ‘57 BAE ‘67 MSE ‘82, Kearney Kip Magner ‘92, Lincoln Nancy McCarthy Polk ‘73, Kearney Trina Jacobsen Rother MAE ‘00, Grand Island Bethany Spilde ‘06, Kansas City, MO Bret Walker ‘00, Brighton, CO DIR E C T OR S (Expi r i ng 2013) David Bargen ‘96, Lincoln Amy Fagot Cope ‘99, Kearney Jay Dostal ‘01, Kearney Abby Losey Grenke ‘01, Aurora Robin Rubenthaler Hines ‘88 MSE ‘91, North Platte Leah Bruns Holmberg ‘94, Jordan, MN Jean Nelson Johnson ‘60 MSE ‘68 MSE ‘86, Kearney Bill Peard ‘84, Waukee, IA Gary Reber ‘86, Lincoln


4 Round robin letters

Letters that last a lifetime

6 National forensics event

Comes to campus

7 Rozema awarded

New endowed chair of philosophy and literature

8 Gifts are music to university

Department of Music and Performing Arts

9 Making music with Jazz Guardians Aurora native travels the world 10 Mark of a quality teacher

Bob Feurer leaves a lasting impression

12 Closing the gap

UNK’s global reach

14 Homecoming recognitions

Eleven alumni honored

19 All-sports champions Lopers capture 14th title 16 Lopers leave RMAC for MIAA New athletic conference affiliation 23 Successful sports seasons Wrapping up the year 29 Distance Education Learning from the university at home 32 Q&A with Pete Kotsiopulos Meet the new alumni/foundation leadership 34 Class Notes Alumni news & updates university-of-nebraska-at-kearney

The University of Nebraska is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. Individuals needing accommodation under ADA should contact the ADA Coordinator at UNK, 308.865.8655. UNK Alumni Association.


By Jim Rundstrom ‘64 Alumni Director Emeritus

Since the 1950s a group of Kearney coeds has continued the lost art of what is now known as:

Round robin letters


n the early 1950s, 11 coeds who lived on Valley Center, California, and Mary Lou Martin the second floor in Case Hall bonded. Kristensen of Kenesaw, who lives in Minden. During their college days they studied Five of the seven returned to campus last together, worked together, spent their evening summer for a day that included a campus tour, sharing stories about school, sororities and visiting and a luncheon with Chancellor Doug fraternities, friends and classmates. Kristensen, son of Mary Lou. It was their first total Like most college friends, when they graduated gathering since the late 1980s when they were they all went their separate ways. They began last together as a group. Although, Joyce pointed careers as teachers, out, “A few have office managers, wives, gotten together mothers, and even as an spontaneously ordained minister. They from time to time.” also found a unique Although the way to stay in touch. origins are sketchy, Today, more than credit for starting five decades later, seven the Round Robin, is of those surviving 11 generally credited continue what was to Jeannie Zwiebel started after they Barker. The letters left college, a Round were newsy and had Robin letter. Four of few ground rules. the original Round Each person would Robin members are write a letter, add to deceased – Jeannie the ones she already Zwiebel Barker from had, add family Central City, Maxine pictures and other Overturf Schlictman personal items and of Edgar, Helen Orcutt mail it to the next The round robin letter writers include Ardith Talbot ’56, Marjorie Peters ’50, Post of Doniphan, and person on the list. Mary Lou Kristensen ’52, MSE ’62, Leola Bathgate ’57 and Joyce Wink ’54. Emmajean Payton Letters that often Jackson Fitch of Callaway. took only one stamp The other seven are Marilyn Johnson Smith of to begin with, ended up needing three or four when Kearney who now lives in Lincoln, Wilma Schardt the additional letters and pictures were added. of Deshler who lives in Omaha, Joyce Psota Joyce might have been the one responsible for Wink of Ravenna who lives in Kearney, Marge keeping the letters current. She told her friends Lutjeharms Peters of Republican City who lives in “that if you don’t write in three days, I’ll drop Ogden, Utah, and Sun City West, Arizona, Ardith you.” However, that was relaxed a bit to “about Snell Talbot of Juniata who lives in Eldora, Iowa, a week,” she said. Mary Lou remembers that it Leola Snyder Bathgate of Orleans, who lives in started out as a newsy letter after everybody got settled down with teaching careers and families.


Spring 2011

Now it is much of the same. “We still share news, pictures and life in general. We have one rule, we don’t complain about our ills although health issues are important.” They all agreed that they bonded as students because life was simple. It was a great time in their lives and the memories were still as vivid as if they had just happened. Leola still had her bill for attending college in 1950. Tuition was $24. Room was $36 for the semester. There was a $2.50 student union fee. Textbook rental was $10 with $5 returned at the end of the semester. The total cost was $65 plus food in the cafeteria that was located in Men’s Hall “We still which was about another $65 each semester. There was a 9:00 p.m. curfew during share news, the week when everyone had to be back in pictures and the dorm. Students needed a written letter from their parents to leave campus for the life in weekend. Very few students had cars. general. We “We walked everywhere,” Joyce said. “I walked to a job in a lawyer’s office. We walked have one to Grantham’s Café at 25th Street and Central rule, we don’t on Sunday to eat. We walked to the Dairy Queen near campus. We walked downtown.” complain about Faculty members made a lasting our ills although impression. Marge said she got called into the office of Dean of Women Alice health issues Robinson for missing a class. Dr. Calvin are important.” T. Ryan was a favorite. Ardith said history ~Mary Lou professor Jennie Conrad once told her to run around the building to wake up after Martin she was dozing in class one day. Marge Kristensen remembered learning “new math” from Dr. Theodora Nelson at Kearney then having a professor at the University of Wyoming teaching “new math” 20 years later. Biology professor Carrie Ludden, education psychology professor Dr. Leona Failor, history professor Dr. Lyle Mantor, physical education professor Harriet Yingling and English professor Miriam Drake were among the others who played key roles in their lives as students. Even though they all have e-mail, the Round Robin letter is still the preferred method of communication. When a letter arrives, filled with pictures and news, you know it took time and thought, they all agreed. Except that most of the buildings on campus were gone – Case Hall, Green Terrace Hall and Old Main – being back on campus was to remember what they all agreed were some of the best years of their lives. •

legends DiAnna Schimek ’63, a former Nebraska state senator, was recognized for her achievements with the Mary Hatwood Futrell award at the National Education Association’s annual Human and Civil Rights Dinner in July, 2010. In her 20 years as a member of the Unicameral, Schimek championed the causes of groups whose civil rights were in jeopardy. First elected in 1989, Schimek served throughout two decades on numerous policy-making bodies in the legislature, chairing or co-chairing committees and task forces that included among others, those on racial and gender equity, urban affairs, veterans’ affairs and sexual harassment. She introduced, co-sponsored, or prioritized approximately 900 bills that helped transform the lives of women, minorities, migrant workers, Native Americans and many others. And, unknown to many, several of her legislative victories were achieved while she fought and survived breast cancer in the late 1990s. “Senator Schimek was passionate about the need to aid those who could not protect their rights alone,” said Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president. “She courageously worked to change both laws and lives for the betterment of Nebraska. This award recognizes the many sacrifices she made to eradicate injustices that caused harm not only to the people who suffered them, but to the future of her state.”


National forensics event comes to campus


early 650 students from 84 schools across the nation were at UNK in April for the 2011 American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament. UNK director of forensics and national conference chair Rachelle Kamrath said, “This particular national tournament is known as ‘The Tournament of Champions.’ It is the toughest one in the nation to qualify for, because it is the most selective. It draws the best talent.” Kamrath said that having the event in Kearney adds to the reputation of UNK’s program. The AFA-NIET committee chose Kearney as its location in 2009 when the event was held at University of Akron. This is only the second time that the national tournament has taken place in Nebraska. UNL hosted the tournament in 2000. After a number of years of inactivity, Kamrath has led a resurgence of forensics since 2005 when it began competing in the AFA-NIET circuit. UNK has qualified a team every year since.

Tournament director Larry Schnoor said, “Forensics competition gives students a sense of poise, a sense of professionalism. It’s a communication skill that’s going to make a big difference in the rest of their lives in how effectively they can communicate, not only with their friends and family, but how they can communicate in their professional careers.” UNK student competitors were Brooke Alstrom of Bassett, Cassie Larreau of Kearney, Robert Friedman of Plattsmouth and Kara Loeffler of Shelton. “These students are committed. We’re on the road 16 to 18 weekends from September until April, so the time commitment is extraordinary,” Kamrath said. In addition to traveling for the competitions, students attend weekly team meetings and individual coaching sessions and spend time studying critiques of their performances, she said. “You add all that up, this really can be a full-time job,” Kamrath said. “The students who do this are extraordinary, and the ones who make it to nationals have proven themselves to be the best at it.” Hosting a national event is a tremendous challenge, Kamrath said, but it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the community and the university. •

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Rozema awarded new endowed chair of philosophy and literature David Rozema, professor and director of the philosophy department, has been awarded the first Inklings Chair of Philosophy and Literature. The chair is made possible through a $500,000 endowed fund given by an anonymous benefactor to the University of Nebraska Foundation. “It is quite an honor and quite humbling,” said Rozema, who has taught at UNK’s College of Fine Arts and Humanities for more than 18 years. The chair is named after a group of 20th century thinkers and writers at Oxford University who became known as The Inklings. Some of its members included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams and Hugo Dyson, among other renowned writers and scholars. “The example set by the members of the Inklings constitutes a high deal of intellectual and spiritual maturity, which serves as a goal for our efforts as teachers and scholars,” Rozema said. “I consider myself a student of these men.” The permanent endowment enables the department to award an annual stipend for salary, research and program support. The chair is awarded to outstanding teachers who use philosophy literature commonly considered among the great books of the western world. Recipients are selected by the university and receive five-year appointments, renewable for an additional five-year term. The gift provides support for the university’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities. More than half of UNK’s $50 million campaign goal has been met.

Rozema said this new endowed gift ensures the integrity of the philosophy department for many years to come. “Our departmental mission is to provide a challenging, intensive course of study in what is commonly called the great books,” Rozema said. “We seek to develop in our students the arts of careful, soul-centered reading and writing. The provisions of the Inklings Chair will enable us to carry out this mission with greater confidence and hope.” The Inklings Chair of Philosophy and Literature is the second endowed chair for the philosophy department at UNK. The O.K. Bouwsma Chair in Philosophy was established in 2004. “Both chairs have been established through the very generous contributions of an anonymous donor,” Rozema said. “The magnanimity of this donor is clear and poignant. On behalf of all the students and others who have benefited from reading and discussing and writing about the great teachers throughout the ages, we thank our friend for these magnificent gifts.” Rozema has taught a variety of courses at UNK, from ethics to seminars on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Soren Kierkegaard and Lewis. The studies of Lewis and Tolkien’s works have been a special focus of his research and teaching, and he has published articles on works by Lewis, Tolkien, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Plato, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Conrad and Wendell Berry. With his colleague, Gene Fendt, he also co-authored a book on Plato’s dialogues titled “Platonic Errors: Plato, a Kind of Poet.”•


Gifts are music to university’s ears Department of Music and Performing Arts


usic enthusiasts might call it a musical “round.” Continuous gift announcements throughout the past year left UNK’s Department of Music and Performing Arts on an unprecedented high note. Gifts from an anonymous donor in particular exceeded $2.5 million and established permanently endowed funds at the University of Nebraska Foundation that provide perpetual support for student scholarships and academic music programs. The total donations comprise the largest private support received in history for the music department. “Our campus and community cannot begin to express our appreciation to this most generous supporter,” said Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “This incredible investment in education provides consistent annual support for student scholarships and music instruction while bringing recognition to our quality music programs and a distinction to our campus.” In April, the anonymous benefactor announced a $500,000 contribution to establish a permanently endowed chair named in honor of Ron Crocker, UNK’s longtime professor of music and performing arts also directed the Kearney Symphony Orchestra.


In October, the department celebrated another gift of $500,000 from the same donor. This gift supports an endowed fund to provide scholarships for students who study brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. The donor also offered the department a challenge grant of $100,000 to support student recruitment efforts if $150,000 from others could be raised. This encouraged several donations, including a $150,000 gift from the estate of alumnus Mary Elaine House, an accomplished musician, professor and author, whose husband, Robert House, chaired the UNK music department from 1946 to 1955. “Mary Elaine got her start at UNK,” said Russell House, her stepson. “She was committed to music education and believed in the music department, the school and the Kearney community.” Each of these gifts provides support for the university’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities. More than half of UNK’s $50 million campaign goal has been met. Reflecting on the past year of amazing support, Dr. Valerie Cisler, chair of the department of music and performing arts, said the gifts acknowledge the university’s continued efforts to improve the quality of its academic programs, outreach performances and activities and sends the message that the arts are both appreciated and valued. “We are deeply grateful to the donors for providing the department with a level of support that will clearly enhance our vision for continued artistic and educational excellence well into the future,” she said. •

By Kurt Johnson ‘79 Aurora News - Register

Making music with Jazz Guardians


He’s been director of the group for a year now, urora native John Jacobs ‘86 doesn’t blink when stationed at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, and said it’s an he says “I’ve got the best job in the world.” honor to lead one of the top six bands in the Army. The 1981 Aurora High School graduate loves to play “This is a by-audition only ensemble,” he noted of the music, loves his country and loves to travel the world, 65-member big band. “Once they so combining all three as are in this ensemble, I select who director of the Army ground will be in the Jazz Guardians. We forces Jazz Guardian band is rehearse a couple of times a week in his view a perfect trifecta. and for everyone in the Army band “It sounds pretty cliché, this is their primary function. I but I get to play music and don’t do a lot of playing myself, travel around the world,” unless it’s for a special number.” Jacobs said from his home Though Jacobs is more in Marietta, Georgia, near comfortable with a pair of Atlanta. “I counted up once drumsticks in his hand than an and I’ve played “I counted Army rifle, he’s been close enough in 21 countries up once and in 21 years.” to the action on a number of I’ve played in occasions to understand the vital Jacob spends 21 countries most of his time in role of the uniform he wears. “I’ve been to Bosnia several in 21 years.” Georgia, with his times and my first trip was the most ~John Jacobs wife, high school memorable because they were still sweetheart, Carla shooting down there,” he recalled. (Jorgensen) and three children. The Army didn’t fly helicopters He tries to bet back to Aurora by day at the time for safety at least once a year to visit his reasons, so Jacobs and his parents, Walt and Veda Jacobs. fellow rock band members were Jacobs was on the flown in from Hungary in pitch road again last fall, and in black using night vision, with a fact ventured close to his machine gunner hanging out hometown for a three-day the side of the helicopter. tour in Nebraska. The Jazz They used a “hot landing,” with Guardians performed concerts the rotors still humming while the and clinics November second gear was unloaded, then set up in through the fourth in York, John Jacobs ‘86 still breaks out the drum sticks and performs. a bombed-out shell of a motorpool Grand Island and Kearney. with bullet holes in the wall. “The Jazz Guardians “We brought music out to those guys that night,” are mainly a touring entity for the U.S. Army,” Jacobs Jacobs said. “Playing the drums, I could see the top of a explained. “Our first function is to support the fighting hill, and I was thinking, whoever is sitting on the top of troops. They’ll put music in the outposts wherever those that hill can see me, and it kind of made me nervous. guys are at. We are also the public face of the Army, so “That’s kind of a snapshot of what Army bands do public relations is really our secondary mission.” out in the warzones,” he said. “It was a very memorable Though he hasn’t been to the Middle East, personally, experience for me in my first time in a combat zone.” Jacobs said most of the 19 members of the Jazz Guardians have Another memorable moment was recorded in been to Iraq at some point. All involved are on active duty. Russia, shortly after the Berlin wall came down. Twenty-two years with the Army band system “We flew into St. Petersburg on a Navy jet with a big has given Jacobs a lifetime of memories. He worked American flag on the tail,” Jacobs recalled. “We flew in real low his way up through several bands, beginning at Fort for a long time and people were just watching us go by. For Sheridan in Chicago and landing in Atlanta as a playing years and years we were bitter enemies, but we were received member of the Jazz Guardians back in 2001. very well that day and it was an incredible experience.” • 9



By Al Koontz ‘76 Nebraska State Education Association

of a quality teacher Bob Feurer leaves a lasting impression on students



hortly after he came out of surgery several years ago, Bob Feurer ’79 discovered the initials of a former student written in marker on his toes. That’s the risk a high school science teacher takes, especially when more than 60 of your former students have entered the medical field. “I have enough former ‘kids’ out there with M.D. and R.N. after their names to concern me when I go into a medical facility,” Feurer said. While at least one of those former students has left a visible mark on Feurer, he has left a much deeper mark on the hundreds of students who have walked “I have enough the halls of North Bend Central Public Schools former ‘kids’ out over the past 32 years. Feurer’s success in his there with M.D. science classroom is the reason he has been and R.N. after named the 2011 Nebraska Teacher of the Year. their names to Feurer claims that it was divine concern me intervention that diverted him from a when I go into a medical career to a high school classroom. medical facility.” He was a medical technology major through ~Bob Feurer ‘79 his junior year, but married to a nurse, he soon learned from her daily stories that he had little desire to work in a hospital setting. He turned his chemistry, math, biology and physics classes toward a degree in education. It took an additional 18 months to get his degree, and he accepted a job offer at North Bend in 1979. In his first 10 years as a teacher and coach, Feurer says his classroom teaching effort was “adequate.” The 80hour weeks took a toll, and with young children at home, he stepped away from coaching. That gave him more time to create curriculum, to be involved in professional organizations and to look for better ways to “get to” kids. Then he attended a week-long, insight-filled, “doing” science workshop that Feurer says paved the path for the past 20 years of his teaching career. “I could ‘see’ things I had never seen before, and wanted to share those previously invisible things with my students, so I began to integrate those ways of learning into my classroom. I try to make my students scientists, not teach them science.” His philosophy of teaching explains his classroom effort. “One is planning a trip to the Grand Canyon with two options: fly or drive,” Feurer said. “Flying definitely gets you there faster, but you miss a lot of experiences along the way. Teaching is the same – experiences along the way need to be capitalized upon.”

Feurer quotes Albert Einstein, who said “The only source of knowledge is experience.” He added that “I do not want my junior students to study biology, I want them to become biologists. I want to change their dispositions. I want them to develop ‘seeing’ eyes, not just vision.” The school grounds give Feurer’s students plenty of opportunities to ‘see’ science and biology. The grounds include a 22-acre arboretum and outdoor classroom that Feurer has been curating for 20 years. Students planted the trees, shrubs and grasses, and the 50-member Science Club added a pond.

Bob Feurer ‘79, 2011 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

“I don’t think I realized how beneficial it would be to create a living classroom,” Feurer wrote. “Demonstrating fall colors in leaves leads to teaching the role of pigments in photosynthesis. Insect collections developed in the early school year make interesting study of metamorphosis in the winter. We don’t just study dendrochronology, we do dendrochronology.” Feurer pulls learning opportunities from anywhere and everywhere. A football field is a lab for learning about GPS devices. In the arboretum, an unlucky cottonwood tree, struck by lightning, offers a classroom lesson. A “serendipitous ‘frog rodeo’ during a tank cleaning or feeding is a real learning opportunity. “What nature does for me, I can’t do with a book. I have to have nature, trees and a pond to do what I do. It’s part of my nature, growing up on a farm.” Raised near Tecumseh, he said his mother’s work ethic, and his father’s love of nature, have been a big influence on his life and his teaching. Principal Brenda Petersen said Feurer “doesn’t just teach science; he teaches students how to become learners.” That’s the mark of a great teacher. •

Celebrating D C excellence Ten retiring faculty members honored

Ten retiring faculty members were honored by UNK at a Celebration of Excellence ceremony in April. Dr. John Anderson joined the Political Science Department in 1993. He came to UNK from Washington State University. Dr. Anderson earned degrees from Washington State and University of Wyoming. He will teach online at the University of Wyoming. Dr. Lucille Freeman Gregory has been on the staff in teacher education and school administration since 1986. In the last of many projects at UNK, Dr. Freeman and Dr. Leonard Gregory developed the curriculum to support Nebraska’s Transition to Teaching grant, which brought the Statewide Assessment to the College of Education and associated online programs which continue to serve Nebraska students. Dr. Larry Kuskie started teaching in the Department of Industrial Technology in 1982. For seven years, he was the construction management program director. He also served as the department chairman for the Industrial Technology Department for 10 years. He has received many honors and awards for his teaching and his contributions to education. Dr. Marlene Kuskie joined the staff in 1987. She has been a professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology and an associate dean of the College of Education. Active in local, state and national organizations, she served as chair of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Self Study (NCATE). Among her honors was Nebraska Outstanding Counselor and Counselor of the Year Award by the Nebraska Counseling Association. Dr. Lillian (Lil) Larson began teaching in the Special Education/Communication

Disorders Department in 1987. She was president of the Nebraska Speech-LanguageHearing Association and has been active in campus, state and national organizations. Mary Ann Lawson joined the staff in 1991 as administrative assistant for the MBA program in the College of Business and Technology. In 1997, she became director of Business Internship Programs. She has a legacy of service on campus committees and community boards. Dr. Richard Meznarich has been a faculty member in the Department of Industrial Technology Department since 1994 in the industrial distribution program. Dr. Glen Powell joined the staff in 1979. His assignment was to develop the master’s degree in reading and teach courses in reading education. Among his positions at UNK have been chair of the Department of Elementary/Early Childhood, director of assessment for UNK, director of general studies and associate dean for the College of Education. Among his awards were the PrattHeins Foundation Faculty Award for Service. Robert Young joined the staff of the Department of Business in 1965. His 46 years of continuous service is one of the longest in history. Among his positions at UNK have been associate dean of the College of Business, chair of Business Department, Registrar/Director of Registration and Records. He has been president of Faculty Senate and served on numerous faculty committees. Among his numerous awards have been the Pratt-Heins Award for Outstanding Service and the David Stevenson Hamster Wheel Award for service to Faculty Senate. Gail Zeller joined the staff in 1993 as director of student support services. She has served a variety of positions in residential and Greek life, along with student life. She also was director for academic success. She was recognized for writing proposals valued at $4 million and was awarded more than $3 million in grants for retention. • 11

Closing the gap



hen Michael Nyffeler was a kid growing up near Kearney, he and his family hosted an exchange student from Nepal for the holidays. They would head to the snowy hills near his home and go sledding. They’d eat turkey. The man had been paired with his mom, a tutor at UNK. He was kind. He’d always bring Nyffeler some type of candy or buy him ice cream or games of pool when they’d meet up in town, even though the man had little money. In 1996, the man graduated from UNK with a degree in science education. Before the man returned home to his village high in the Himalayas, Nyffeler and his dad took him to Cabela’s so he could buy a trekking backpack. “I didn’t have any idea of the type of poverty he was from,” Nyffeler says. And Nyffeler didn’t have any idea how important this man, Mahabir Pun, was to become to his country. Years later, in 2007, Nyffeler met up with his old friend again when Pun returned to UNK to give the commencement speech and receive an honorary doctorate. That year, Pun had won the Ramon Magsaysay Award – considered the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize – for the effort he led in bringing wireless Internet to his extremely remote village and to others like it in Nepal and for improving the educational, “I didn’t have healthcare and economic hopes any idea of the of so many of his people. “We talked about his incredible type of poverty projects,” Nyffeler says. “I told he was from” him I wanted to travel to Nepal to see them firsthand and do something to help his cause. He just smiled and said, ‘OK.’ And since then I have been determined to get there.” Nyffeler is 29 now, a graduate of UNK himself (’05) and a freelance photographer and videographer. He and writer Chele Norrie, a journalism graduate out of UNL, traveled to Kathmandu in late February to begin their dream of documenting Pun’s dream. It’s a project they’ve called “The Himalayan Gap,” for the digital and information-technology gap that exists in many rural communities in Nepal and for the gap in educational and health care services.

They want to show how Pun’s selfless mission to bring wireless network to those villages is closing that gap. Nyffeler took photos for a book, which Norrie will write. He shot video for a short documentary, which the two then will use to try to inspire a larger production company to turn Pun’s story into a fullproduction documentary and maybe enter it in festivals to further spread the word. “Our goal, No. 1, is to show how just one person can truly make a difference by presenting what Mahabir has done and is continually doing to revolutionize rural Nepal,” Nyffeler says. “Hopefully, this may inspire other people in other parts of the world to replicate the ways Mahabir has utilized wireless technology to bridge the poverty, knowledge and informational gaps.”

Michael Nyffeler ‘05 and friend, Chele Norrie.

He and Norrie stayed in Kathmandu a few days to adjust their bodies to the climate and to see the sights. While in that capital city of Nepal, they met up with other former Nepali exchange students they know or have met through friends or Facebook. “We are fortunate enough to have kept in contact with many UNK Nepali exchange students and alumni,” Nyffeler says. They took a 10-hour bus ride up the mountains, rode in a taxi for 30 minutes and – once the road ended – hiked for nine hours to get to Mahabir’s village, Nangi. They slept in a guesthouse and ate food prepared by the village women.

Nyffeler was thrilled to see his old friend again. Pun’s demeanor is quiet and calm, Nyffeler says. But there’s just something about him that inspires people to get to know him and to help him out. Pun came up with the idea for creating a wireless network after seeing the need for better education in his village. To make it happen, he returned to UNK in 2001 and completed a master’s degree in educational administration. While in Kearney, he took computer classes and learned how to refurbish and run computers. He studied new trends in information technology. “I feel blessed to have known such an inspiring person, and I use that for motivation to keep working for better things in my life,” Nyffeler says. “With Mahabir’s example, as well as in our own experience, it

has taught us that nothing happens when hands and feet are idle – if you truly want something to happen you have to get out and do it yourself to the best of your capability.” Nyffeler says his UNK education has helped both him and Pun realize their dreams. “My education has enabled me to follow my dream of becoming a freelance photojournalist and, in a way, it is bringing me back to help another fellow UNK student. “Mahabir has become well-known across the world for his work in revolutionizing the way people think about developing education and health care systems in remote and geographically isolated areas. And he, too, would credit his education to the professors at UNK.” •

Want to make a difference? Global engagement is one of the priorities of the university’s Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities – a $1.2 billion fundraising effort. Only a small percentage of University of Nebraska students study abroad. The university’s goal is to give every undergraduate the opportunity for a meaningful international experience – classes, internships, research opportunities or service learning. Another goal is to attract more international students to the University of Nebraska campuses, building on the success of programs such as UNK’s initiative to attract students from Japan. If you’d like to help with the University of Nebraska’s global engagement efforts, contact Lucas Dart with the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Kearney office, 308.698.5272.

Visit Michael Nyffeler and Chele Norrie quit their jobs and sold their cars to make the trip to Nepal a reality. They bought expensive cameras and hiking gear. That’s why they’re looking for some financial sherpas to help carry the load. If you’d like to help them, go to thehimalayangap. com/donate-to-our-cause. They’re offering gifts for various levels of donations, such as a copy of the published book, signed photo prints or a postcard from the village of Nangi.

you can with


Homecoming v recognitions During the fall Homecoming celebration, six alumni were honored with Alumni Association awards and five individuals were inducted into the UNK Athletic Hall of Fame. Dr. Don Envick ’61, MSE ’65 of Kearney, Dr. Dennis Pool ’70 of Omaha, Cameron ‘Cam’ Sutton ’70 of Grimes, Iowa, Carolyn Wagner Snyder ’84 of Carbondale, Illinois, and Larry Edwards of Fort Collins, Colorado, received Distinguished Alumni Awards. Greg Daake ’96 of Omaha received the first Young Alumnus Award. Hall of Fame inductees were athletes Darcie Berry ’00 of Griswold, Iowa, Jon Gustafson ’86 of Maryville, Missouri, Meg Gross Minton ’79 of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, former athletic director and golf coach Dick Beechner of Kearney and former wrestling coach Jack Ramey of Kearney. Two other alumni were also honored. Shawn King ’93 of Kearney received the Gary Thomas Distinguished Music Award and Dr. Dori Hunt ’93, who has a private dermatology practice in Durham, North Carolina,

was the Don Fox Lecturer, an annual event sponsored by the Chemistry Department to honor Dr. Fox, long-time chair of the department. Dr. Envick is a UNK professor emeritus who created and developed the highly successful Industrial Distribution program in the Department of Industrial Technology. It is the sixth largest in the country and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top programs. Dr. Pool is a career educator who is assistant superintendent for general administrative services and administrator for Educational Service Unit 19. His career has included dedicated teaching and coaching service at Alliance, McCook, North Platte and Omaha Public Schools along with the Nebraska Department of Education. Carolyn Wagner Snyder spent 40 years as a university library administrator at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Indiana University and UNL. She was dean and professor of library affairs at Southern Illinois, associate dean of university libraries at Indiana and assistant director of public services at UNL. She has authored a number of publications. She co-authored the landmark book about libraries and their support for distance learning. Cam Sutton is retired president and CEO of the North American Division of ARAG Group, a global leader in legal insurance. After earning a law degree from the University of Nebraska in 1983, Sutton operated a financial services

Alpha Phis at Loperville. Gary Thomas award recipient Shawn King and family at the Awards Banquet. Athletic Hall of Fame new inductees Dick Beechner, Jack Ramey, Meg Gross Minton, Jon Gustafson and Darcie Berry. Distinguished Alumni Honoree Carolyn Wagner Snyder and Homecoming King Andy Greer.


company before joining Alexander and Alexander as senior vice president. In 1994, he became executive vice president and member of the Aon Consulting Global Operations Committee. Larry Edwards received the Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Services Award for his long-time support of association activities, Alumni House renovation projects and work with the NU Foundation. Edwards, president of the Light Center in Fort Collins, was Association president in 2006-2007. Greg Daake founded DAAKE Design in 2001, a company that has grown to a full-service branding and creative design studio with nine employees. Six alumni His company has won a variety of local and honored; five regional awards for their work. Daake and his wife, Lisa Schwartzkopf ’95 created an inducted into endowed scholarship at UNK for the graphic the Hall of design program. Darcy Berry was a first-team NCAA Fame. Division II All-American in 1999 and a fourtime first-team all-conference infielder for the UNK softball team. She was the Omaha World-Herald State Female Athlete of the Year and was named to the RMAC All-Century team announced in 2009. A summa cum laude graduate, she was twice an academic All-American.

Jon Gustafson was a first team NAIA All-American defensive end in 1984 and an honorable mention selection in 1983. He also handled the punting chores and earned allconference honors. Meg Gross Minton was an outstanding tennis player and pioneer on the first Loper tennis teams. She was the first woman to qualify and compete in four post season regional tennis tournaments. Following graduation, she became a U.S. Professional Tennis Association teacher. Dick Beechner was athletic director from 1987 to 1996 and golf coach from 1996 until retiring in 2009. During his years as AD, he guided the university in its transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, began major fundraising activities, oversaw the construction of the Health and Sports Center, facilitated the entry into the RMAC conference and brought two NCAA championship events to Kearney. As golf coach, Beechner led UNK to its most successful years in the program’s history winning three RMAC titles and qualifying for seven NCAA Super Regional events. Jack Ramey was head wrestling coach for 17 years beginning in 1969. His teams earned six district championships. Selected by the wrestling coaches, Ramey was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1987. •

Delta Tau Deltas showing their pride at Loperville. Admissions Director Dusty Newton and Claire Bryan Admission Counselor, NU Foundation Tracy Lungrin and Mason Doughty enjoy brats at Loper Luncheon. Homecoming King Andy Greer and Queen Allie Nightingale both of Kearney wait to ride the limo in the parade. Alumni President Chad Rutar, Chancellor Doug Kristensen and Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient Cam Sutton. Service Award Recipients Larry Edwards and Judy Spohr.



Lopers leaving RMAC for the MIAA Lopers to join the NCAA Division II Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association beginning with the 2012 academic year. Chancellor Doug Kristensen said “The change in conference is in the best interest of our campus. We have the opportunity to join an outstanding conference and reduce travel burdens.” Athletic director Jon McBride added, “Our primary goal is to improve student athlete welfare by reducing long bus rides and the number of classes missed. In addition, many people are familar with schools in the MIAA and will be excited to renew old rivalries.” MIAA Commissioner Bob Boerigter said that UNK will be a great addition to the conference. “I’ve been a part of the league for 10 years, and every time we’ve talked about expansion, Kearney always came up. Their facilities are terrific. They’ve done a wonderful job with their campus infrastructure, and they’ve hosted national championships. We’re excited. It will be great.” UNK has been a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference since 1994, winning the RMAC All-Sports Trophy for 13 of the last 15 years. There are 14 schools in the RMAC, ranging geographically from Nebraska to western Colorado and southern New Mexico. 16

When UNK joins the MIAA the conference will have 15 members from Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Chancellor Kristensen said that tremendous travel differences were a factor in the move. UNK’s shortest road trip in the RMAC is 346 miles to Chadron State. Five MIAA schools are within that radius, he said. WWW.THEMIAA.COM

“The map says it all. If you take the two longest trips in the MIAA and add them together, they’re not as long as our longest trip in the RMAC. I would rather put money into scholarships instead of gas.” Membership in the MIAA will reunite with all but one member of the Central States Intercollegiate Conference, which it was a member of from 1976 “Many people are to 1989 when familar with schools member schools in the MIAA and will were affiliated be excited to renew with the National old rivalries.” Intercollegiate ~Jon McBride Athletic Association (NAIA). After 1989, all of the conference schools gradually moved into the NCAA Division II. UNK was an independent until 1994 when it joined the RMAC. Chancellor Kristensen said that it is not with joy that UNK is leaving the RMAC. “It has good schools and good people who are like family.” When the opportunity arose rather quickly to join the MIAA, we felt it was important to pursue that opportunity, he said.


UNK will face schools that have significantly larger athletic budgets in the new conference. One of the major differences in leagues is in football where MIAA schools can award 36 scholarships and the RMAC schools can award 28. Many other sports in the RMAC are funded at a lower level than the MIAA, too. McBride said the university will continue to work to improve the issue of financial support for athletics to make the Lopers competitive. “We have great coaches and there is broad support for the new conference. I think we are ready to embrace a higher level of competition in the MIAA.�

MIAA Conference Members With UNK University of Central Missouri Location: Warrensburg, MO Founded: 1871 Enrollment: 11,000 Colors: Cardinal & Black Nickname: Mules/Jennies

Emporia State University Location: Emporia, KS Founded: 1863 Enrollment: 6,258 Colors: Old Gold & Black Nickname: Hornets

Fort Hays State University Location: Hays, KS Founded: 1902 Enrollment: 9,000 Colors: Black & Gold Nickname: Tigers

Lincoln University Location: Jefferson City, MO Founded: 1866 Enrollment: 3,200 Colors: Navy Blue & White Nickname: Blue Tigers

Missouri Southern State University Location: Joplin, MO Founded: 1937 Enrollment: 5,740 Colors: Green & Gold Nickname: Lions

Missouri Western State University Location: St. Joseph, MO Founded: 1969 Enrollment: 6,134 Colors: Black & Gold Nickname: Griffons

Southwest Baptist University Location: Bolivar, MO Founded: 1878 Enrollment: 3,400 Colors: Purple & White Nickname: Bearcats

Northwest Missouri State University Location: Maryville, MO Founded: 1905 Enrollment: 6,900 Colors: Forest Green & White Nickname: Bearcats

Pittsburg State University Location: Pittsburg, KS Founded: 1903 Enrollment: 7,127 Colors: Crimson & Gold Nickname: Gorillas

Lindenwood University Location: St. Charles, MO Founded: 1828 Enrollment: 15,000 Colors: Yale Black & Gold Nickname: Lions

Truman State University Location: Kirksville, MO Founded: 1867 Enrollment: 6,000 Colors: Purple & White Nickname: Bulldogs

Washburn University Location: Topeka, KS Founded: 1865 Enrollment: 7,002 Colors: Yale Blue & White Nickname: Ichabods/Lady Blues

Northeastern Oklahoma State Location: Tahlequah, OK Founded: 1846 Enrollment: 9,261 Colors: Yale Black & Green Nickname: Riverhawks

University of Central Oklahoma Location: Edmond, OK Founded: 1890 Enrollment: 16,000 Colors: Yale Blue & Gold Nickname: Bronchos


legends During the fall sports season, UNK honored Jim McKay for his nearly 50 years of support to Loper athletics. McKay has worked for the athletic department, volunteered in many capacities and has been one of UNK’s most ardent supporters for every sport. This year he “officially” retired after 48 years of a variety of services to the campus. When McKay came to Kearney in 1962 to start Ray’s Pizza, he immediately volunteered to help in any way he could. He was instrumental in starting the first athletic booster club, Loper Supporters. From 1962 until this fall, he worked in some area of football. He started out on the chain gang at football games, was equipment manager for many years and every year assisted with equipping athletes when they returned to campus in the fall. McKay’s knowledge and relationship with former players and the athletic program has made him one of the most

Title town ... again UNK was once again the site of another NCAA Division II National Championship event when the wrestling tournament came to Kearney March 11-12, 2011. This was the seventh time UNK has hosted an NCAA national tournament. The university and the community hosted cross country in 1994, women’s basketball in 2007 and 2008, volleyball in 2005 and wrestling in 1995 and 2007. At the wrestling tournament in 2007, UNK set a Division II attendance record with 8,685 “ Our No. 1 goal in spectators who watched the Lopers win two the NCAA is to individual championships and finish as the make sure the national runner-up. Athletic director Jon McBride said the student-athlete’s NCAA knows how the community and experience is the the university work together to make the best it can be. national championship successful. After The city of Kearney the last tournament, NCAA director of championships Tina Krath said, “Our and the staff at No. 1 goal in the NCAA is to make sure the University of the student-athlete’s experience is the Nebraska at best it can be. The city of Kearney and the staff at the University of Nebraska at Kearney were Kearney were fabulous.”


valuable resources on campus. He got an early introduction into Loper athletics. When he was a freshman at Teachers College High School in Lincoln in 1946, legendary coach and athletic director Al Zikmund was his basketball coach. 14


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14th RMAC All-Sports Title For the 14th time in the 16 years that UNK has been a member of the RMAC, the Lopers have captured the All-Sports Competition Cup. The Lopers won by 2.8 points over second place Adams State in the closest competition in the history of the award. UNK scored 827 points to the Grizzlies’ 824.5. Third was Metro State with 789 points. The RMAC All-Sports Competition Cup is awarded to the institution that accumulates the most points over the year based on outcome in the RMAC’s four core sports, along with six wild card sports. The four core sports are football or men’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball, while the six wild card sports

consist of three men’s sports and three women’s sports. Total points are calculated based on how the teams finish in the RMAC regular season standings. In sports where there are no regular season standings, conference championship results are used. In 2000-11, UNK won six RMAC regular season titles – football (tied with Colorado Mines), volleyball, women’s tennis, baseball, wrestling and men’s and women’s indoor track and field. They qualified for the NCAA post-season in volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis and baseball. The Lopers also have individuals who qualified for the NCAA Championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and wrestling.

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Dane Tobey


throws his weight around

Tobey said Jorden’s support made everything easier. year ago, Dane Tobey won an individual “When I sat down and thought about everything, national title overcoming obstacles he you only get so many years to do it,” he said. “You don’t could imagine to achieve his dream. get this opportunity down the road when you’re 34.” On that day in May, he captured the NCAA Tobey said he had Division II national some ups and downs championship in the shot during the spring season, put, thanks to a schoolbut he finished as the record throw of 62-7.25. In Field Athlete of the Year winning, he joined thrower in the RMAC and the Lance Pfeiffer and runner Central Region. He won Ivan Ivanov as the only Loper RMAC titles in the shot, men to win national titles discus and javelin. Those at the Division II level. titles gave him eight This May, Tobey who outdoor championships graduated a year ago, for his career. completed his career with a Two years ago when fourth place finish “My goal the 2009-10 academic in the shot and a coming into year started, Tobey fourth place finish this year was wasn’t planning for what in the discus. to still be he would encounter With those the best in especially after two two All-American the nation.” performances, knee surgeries. ~Dane Tobey Tobey completed “My goal coming into last year was to his career with still be the best in the eight All-American honors, nation. As a freshman the most for a UNK athlete at and sophomore, I saw the NCAA Division II level. Lance win and I knew It was a long road for the that’s what I wanted to do Waco native and Centennial some day,” Tobey said. High School who started “Because of the knee his career six years ago. injuries, I was basically at Now 24, he was granted ground zero from a lifting a sixth year of eligibility Dane Tobey ended his career with eight All-American honors. point. I don’t have a knee because knee surgery of a normal 24-year-old knocked him out of outdoor but I had to battle through that and eventually most of my competition two years in a row after his sophomore season. strength came back. Throwing is all about leg power.” Knowing how busy his schedule would be this year, Tobey Tobey’s return to the Lopers started with a thought long and hard before committing to compete one last bang as he set a new school record in the shot time. Adding to the craziness, his wife, Jorden, was expecting (61-9) at the Charlie Foster Classic in January. a baby boy a few weeks after the national competition. 20

Loper track athletes celebrate winning the RMAC indoor title in February 2011.

“Early on in the indoor season, A few weeks later, UNK headed it was like starting something to Pueblo, Colorado, for the RMAC new as I had to get back into Outdoor Championships. Thanks competition mode. I had a lot of to success in the final event, the success right away but I then got triple jump, and 23 points from beat down a bit,” Tobey said. Tobey, UNK won its first outdoor By indoor nationals in title. And the trophy came in head March, Tobey was back in coaches Andy Meyer’s last season. top form, finishing as runner“The Adams State men had won up in the shot (61-0). the national indoor title, and to beat “I threw well at nationals and them, (183-174) was awesome. It was happy, but not satisfied, was a total team effort, and we did getting second. There isn’t too great across the board,” Tobey said. much you can do when someone “It was a happy and sad time, too throws 64-11.5,” he said. because we found out coach (Andy The spring season was a record Meyer) was stepping down soon setting time for the eventual after the meet. Coach Meyer is an Division II Male Field Athlete of extremely special person, and it the Year. With every meet, Tobey was a privilege to throw for him.” was recording NCAA automatic Now, more than a year after or provisional throws, not to winning the national championship mention breaking school records. and finishing his career this In April 2010, he had a chance spring, Tobey said this last year of Coach Andy Meyer stepped down as track coach in to compete in the 42nd annual taking graduate classes, substitute 2010 after the Lopers won their first RMAC Drake Relays. While he had been teaching, training, lifting and outdoor title and Dane Tobey captured the there before, Tobey wasn’t aiming trying to find time to spend with national championship in the shot put. to just throw well. He was looking his wife has all been worth it. to make some giant waves. After all of his years “It meant a lot to represent UNK at such a prestigious competing, he said he sometimes feels old. But meet. To me, it’s not what division you are in. It’s about he doesn’t regret his decision to come back. how bad you want it; everyone throws a 16-pound “I thoroughly enjoyed competing at any shot and throws the same day. I knew I could compete level,” he said. “I love throwing.” • with anyone at the Division I level,” Tobey said. Well enough (59-6.75) to win, beating throwers from schools such as Georgia, Notre Dame and Missouri.


By Buck Mahoney Kearney Hub Sports Editor

The UNK Golf Academy at Awarii Dunes, an indoor/outdoor learning center “This has been a dream of mine since 1991 when I was a freshman at the University of Iowa and we played a tournament at Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois, and they had a similar facility to this,” said golf coach and Awarii Dunes pro Chad Lydiatt. “They just had one bay and had their kids hitting out of it. I just thought, ‘This is the coolest thing in the world and at some time in my “This gives you life, I want to be a part of that.’ ” The UNK Academy has three bays – garage doors the ability to that open onto the driving range. It also has a 40-foot work on your by 45-foot putting green and a fitness center. game – your The academy provides a year-round opportunity short game inside here, or to practice all aspects of their game in the comfort of a hitting balls out heated environment. “People have the ability to play basketball year-round onto the range.” and go to football camps year-round, and now we have the ability to do camps with golf year-round. This is going to be an unbelievable facility for Central Nebraska,” Lydiatt said. “This gives you the ability to work on your game – your short game inside here, or hitting balls out onto the range.” One of the bays includes three cameras that can film a golfer’s swing from all angles. “I love teaching the game even more than playing the game,” Lydiatt said. “That’s what gets me really fired up, and to be able to do it in a setting like this is incredible. “I’m really fortunate to have this on a golf course that is world-class.” The golf academy will also be open to the public. Members of the UNK golf team will have first priority on the bays. Lydiatt said he hopes to create a vibrant junior golf program, offering instruction through camps for high school, junior high and even younger golfers. “I’m really excited for the kids. The kids in the Midwest and Central Nebraska now have the ability to take golf very seriously and get good instruction at an unbelievable facility,” Lydiatt said.

To learn more and contribute To help make the UNK Golf Academy a reality for the UNK golf teams and the community, please consider making a gift. You can give online at (search on UNK Golf Academy) or contact Lucas Dart at 308.698.5272 or

LOPER GOLF | A w a r i i D u n e s 22



Successful sports seasons

n the fall, the Loper football team treated fans to an exciting fall posting a 9-2 record, sharing the RMAC crown. A 55-53 triple overtime loss to Colorado School of Mines in the season finale kept UNK from reaching the NCAA playoffs. Senior Orion Mathies, a 6-7, 330-lb offensive tackle from Overton was named to two All-American squads. He was a second team choice of Daktronics and a third team Associated Press Little All-American selection. Volleyball posted a 31-5 record, captured the RMAC regular season and tournament titles, advanced to the finals of the NCAA regional tournament and finishing the year ranked No. 5 in the country. Grand Island senior middle blocker Jeri Walkowiak was a first team All-American selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Elkhorn senior setter Cola Svec was a second team All-American. Defensive specialist Katlyn Heiserman, Manchester, Iowa, was honorable mention by AMVCA along with being chosen on the third All-American team by Daktronics. Two cross athletes qualified for the national meet. Senior Tanner Fruit, Ogallala, finished 48th and junior Al Sanabria, Minden, finished 86th. The women’s soccer team completed its second season as a university sport with a 6-9-3 record. Highlight of the winter season was a RMAC title by the men’s indoor track team. The women’s team finished fifth. Coach Brady Bonsall’s squad captured the championship by winning the final event of the meet, the 4x400 relay. Other RMAC champions were Kyle Glidden, Benkelman sophomore, in the weight throw; Cody Klein, Donipahan senior in the 60; Marty Molina, Kearney junior in the triple jump; and Bryson Mahlberg, Elwood junior, in the pentathlon. Mahlberg set a school record with 4,980 points breaking Andrew Smith’s mark of 4,737 set in 2008. In the outdoor championships, the men finished third and the women fourth. Waco senior Dane Tobey won the shot, discus and javelin, an event he normally doesn’t compete in, and was fifth in the hammer. Tobey has won eight outdoor championships during his career. UNK’s other individual champion was Allen Osborn, Chadron junior, in the 110-meter hurdles.

Tobey was named the RMAC Field Athlete of the Year and Brady Bonsall was named Track and Field Coach of the Year. Both basketball teams qualified for the RMAC post season tournament, losing in the first round. The two squads each posted 13-14 records with squads dominated by underclassmen. For the men, 6-6 freshman Mike Dentlinger, Millard, was named to the NCAA Division II National All-Freshman team after averaging a team-leading 14.5 points and 6 rebounds a game. Colorado Springs 5-10 junior Vanessa Leeper led the women averaging 16.9 points and 7.6 rebounds a game for first year coach Kevin Chaney. In the spring, the UNK baseball team’s exciting run led to a RMAC regular season championship, a school record for wins (38-19) and a spot in the NCAA regional tournament finals. At the regional, Winona State ended the Lopers hopes for a spot in the Division II World Series with a 3-1 win the championship game. Six seniors were selected first-team all-conference, an all-time high. They are Andrew Haake from Beatrice on first base; Jake Kresse from Dallas, Texas as relief pitcher; Jordan Mitchelhill from Melbourne, Australia on second base; Todd Stachura from Scotia, as starting pitcher; Jason Trulin from Blair as centerfielder; and Luke Valerius from Lakewood, Colorado on third base. Coach Damon Day was named Coach of the Year and Stachura was Pitcher of the Year. The men’s tennis team, with no seniors on the squad, won the NCAA Central Region tournament by beating Montana State-Billings and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen championships in Florida where they lost to Rockhurst University. Coach Jake Saulsbury’s team finished the season with a 19-8 record. The women’s team captured the RMAC regular season title in route to a 15-7 record. Blair senior Cassie Keck provided the fireworks for the softball team that went 16-29. She set school season records for home runs (17), batting average (.448) and slugging percentage (.909). Keck was a first team RMAC selection. It was her fourth all-conference honor and third on the first team. She joins Darcy Berry as the only Lopers to earn all-conference all four years. In RMAC golf, the men’s finished seventh and the women sixth. •





Members of the Class of 1961 celebrated their 50th anniversary with a variety of activities during spring graduation week in May. The first of the two-day event included a reception, tour and lunch at the Museum of Nebraska Art with greetings from Chancellor Doug Kristensen, a tour of campus highlighted a planetarium show in the newly renovated Bruner Hall of Science complex and a barbeque social at the Alumni House for more than 50 class members, Alumni staff members and friends. On the second day, class members were acknowledged at spring commencement and were guests of the chancellor at a luncheon. The Alumni Association presented those who attended and those who completed biographical forms with a Golden Anniversary booklet and a bag of UNK gifts. Those who attended included Chuck Bolton, Dorchester; Jim Holechek, Lincoln; Kent Holen, Holdrege; Karen Lueck Hunt, Anchorage, Alaska; Ken Kroeker, Omaha; Roger Loschen, Kearney; Ray Ozanne, Gibbon; Tom Reiber, Gibbon; Mavis Bosle Reiter, Wood River; Bill Ripp, Ames, Iowa; Frank Russell, Oro Valley, Arizona; Dale Smidt, Wood River; Suzie Parsons Smith, Fort Collins, Colorado; Gary Sohrweid, Golden, Colorado; Ilene Albrecht Steinkruger, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Louie Stithem, Broken Bow; Sharon Silas Strong, Kearney, Tom York, Kearney. The Alumni Association heard from nearly 40 class members from around the country. The Golden Anniversary reunion has been popular since it was started in 1978. The Class of 1962 reunion is scheduled for May 3 and 4, 2012. 24

(Parsons) Smith, Dale Smidt, Karen Louie Stithem, Bill Ripp, Mavis (Bosle) Reiter, Ken Kroeker, Suzie d, Kent Holen, Sharon (Silas) Sohrwei (Lueck) Hunt, Roger Loschen, Ilene (Albrecht) Steinkruger, Gary Russell. Frank and Bolton Chuck Strong, Tom York, Tom Reiber,

Class of 1961 Reunion Golden Anniversary

Dale Smidt, Roger Loschen, Kent Holen and Tom Reiber enjoy sharing fraternity stories.

Gary Sohrweid shows off his letter jacket he received from track.

Ed Scantling at Columbus Karen Lueck Hunt, Roger and Sharon Loschen and Georgene Smidt become reacquainted at MONA.

The Class of 1961 settles in for commencement activities. Each year the Golden Anniversary class gets a front row seat to May Commencement.

Class of 1960 Reunion Golden Anniversary

Joe and Mary Colgan, Polly and Gil Feis and Carl and Gwen Feis Sterner at the 50 year reunion in 2010.

John Condra, Claire Boroff, Tom Smith, Jack Crowley and Bob Noah at Golden Anniversary.

Hole in one Last year’s 22nd annual Blue/Gold golf outing was another success. In addition to raising money for athletic scholarships, the event which featured 45 six-player teams on two Kearney courses, had a hole-in-one by Bob Nowaczyk ’70 of Omaha, a former catcher on the UNK baseball team. Nowacyzk’s first career ace at the 175-yard 17th hole on the Meadowlark Hills course earned him a six-day, five night trip to the Makena Beach and Golf Resort in Maui, Hawaii, that includes eight rounds of golf. Nowaczyk is an American history teacher and the development coordinator at Omaha’s St. Paul X-St. Leo Grade School. Athletic Director Jon McBride said the one-day golf event, coupled with an auction and banquet last February, raised around $50,000 for athletic scholarships. “It‘s great to see everyone year in and year out get together and just enjoy themselves in support of the Lopers.” At the social event and awards ceremony following golf, E. J. Gannon was named the recipient of the John McDonald Memorial Scholarship. McDonald, the long-time manager of KGFW radio, emceed the first 20 Blue/Gold golf outings.

Rita Dikeman Shimmon and Karen Van Pelt Priester at MONA.

Left to right: Bill Morrison, Paul Collison, Rita Dikeman Shimmon, Jean Nelson Johnson, Jack Crowley, Karen Van Pelt Priester, Jim Bowers, Donna Garwood, L. Terry Steinkruger, Betty Kempf, Tom Smith, Gary Crook, John Condra and Bob Clay.


HOMECOMING 2011 September 23-24

Women’s Walk sponsors and co-chairs unite for women’s athletic scholarships. Brenda VanLengen ’88, Jaime Lundgren, Brenda Christensen ’83 and Judy McDonald.

Homecoming Week is a great time to visit your alma mater! Make plans with friends now, and look for more details at 2nd Annual “Loperville” Alumni Party Over 80 Loper alumni turned out for business after hours in Omaha.

Nebraska’s Largest Homecoming Parade 31st Annual Alumni Awards Banquet Loper Football vs. Western State College Alumni Reunions

Marilyn Whitney Peterson ’55, MAE ’63 and Mary Wichelt ’94 enjoy Mac’s Creek Wine and visiting at a vineyard event.

Academic Presentations Planetarium Shows Musical Performances Athletic Events Do we have your current e-mail address? Send it to:

Tom Pillen ’75, Ed Scantling and Morgan Pillen Kapels ’09 at Columbus.

Friends and fans join, Leslie Easterbrook (fourth from left), of Hollywood fame during a Kearney pre-concert event. 26

Brett Wetton ’02 and Vanessa McGarry pose for pregame. They are now married.

Andres Traslavina ‘01, Katty Pujado Petak and Matt Sheffield ‘96 at Omaha after-hours.

Adam ‘00 and Jill Bolling ‘01 and family enjoy the Kansas City Royals game with fellow Lopers.

legends During Homecoming weekend, the College of Education dedicated an Academy for Teacher Education Excellence Recognition Wall. Judith Henggeler Spohr ’63 was honored for her gift which funded the construction of the wall. College of Education dean Dr. Ed Scantling said the wall “recognizes those outstanding professionals who meet our highest standards in their work with our students.” The Academy, started in 2007, was

Peggy Benson, Barb ’82, MS ’83 and Richard Jacobsen ’78 and Bentley Benson ’08 of Minden enjoy a pregame event at Kearney.

developed to reward and support the excellence that ‘select’ teachers have demonstrated in the preparation of new teachers for the P-12 education profession, according to Dr. Scantling. Spohr, a retired elementary teacher who spent 37 years in the East Las Angeles Public Schools, has a history of philanthropy to UNK. Her gifts have supported scholarship

Stephanie Chandler ’00, Carey Loewe Hahne ’96 and Michael Murphy ’99 at the Norfolk event.

Herman ’90, Tricia and Brandon Baptiste enjoyed the Kansas Cit y Royals game.

programs, The Gold Torch Mentoring Program, Foster Field improvements, the Southern California Endowment and the Alumni House.


By Jim Rundstrom ‘64 Director Emeritus

Reconditioning for safety Athletics has always played an important role in the life of leadership, the territory covered has expanded to Chris Bachman ’83. After the four-year wrestling letterman include Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Idaho, who earned All-American honors graduated, he joined Washington, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, North and his father Merle ’56 in a small company that Merlin had South Dakota, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming. started which focused on reconditioning football helmets. Bachman said that during the early years, 800 helmets That company, HARCO Athletic Reconditioning were inspected, reconditioned, tested and recertified of Fort Collins, Colorado, has grown to play an by HARCO annually. In recent years the volume has important role in athletic equipment safety. surpassed 25,000 helmets a year. Reconditioning, he said, In the early 1980s, due to the number of head injuries involves testing the helmet for structure flaws such as a and even deaths during high school football practices and cracked shell, cleaning, sanitizing, painting, checking/ games, the National Operating replacing hardware and Committee on Standards applying new logo stickers. for Athletic Equipment In addition to football (NOCSAE) set standards helmets, HARCO also for athletic equipment. reconditions such things as At this time, the standards for lacrosse helmets, shoulder reconditioning pads and baseball helmets. “I hope the athletic “We do fewer baseball service we equipment were helmets because the cost of supply will set, concentrating buying a new one is similar help keep the mainly on the to the cost of reconditioning sport of football football helmet. one,” he said. The company also sells new equipment a safe sport.” There were on a wholesale basis. ~Chris Bachman many helmets being used by HARCO has been working players that did with UNK, UNL and most not meet these standards. Nebraska school districts, Merlin Bachman, owner as well as little leagues, of Hogan’s Sporting Goods of for more than 25 years. Hastings, who did business Dick Collins, UNK with many high schools and equipment manager, has colleges in the Midwest realized been using HARCO since the need and the potential the company was founded. Chris Bachman ‘83 reconditions 25,000 helmets a year. for providing a new service. Collins said that UNK uses a In 1982, he established football helmet for only six HARCO (Hogan’s Athletic Reconditioning Company). At years, rather than the recommended 10 years, for safety of the time, the staff of salesmen who were calling on high the athletes. “During those six years, we will recondition a schools, colleges and universities was trained to work helmet twice,” he said. “If an athlete has had a concussion, with coaches and athletic directors in inspecting their we will watch that athlete’s helmet even more closely.” football equipment. During the first year of inspection, Reconditioning helmets not only provides for the helmets were found being used that were 20 years old. athletes’ safety, it is cost effective since new helmets range The use of old helmets prompted one of the major from $200 to $350. Reconditioning a helmet is about helmet makers, Riddell Manufacturing Company, to $40, Collins said. With more than 100 football players recommend that helmets should not be used for more than on the squad, and with other equipment players wear, 10 years. Other companies who manufactured helmets the cost of putting a player on the field is significant. followed suit. For about 11 years, HARCO was based in The bottom line, Collins and Bachman agreed, is all Hastings and Hogan’s Sporting Goods sales staff covered about providing a helmet that protects the athletes from the state of Nebraska and parts of Iowa and Kansas. head injuries. “I hope the service we supply will help Because the territory was growing, HARCO was keep the sport of football a safe sport,” Bachman said. • moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where Chris is now president and manager of the company. Under his 28

Distance education brings the University of Nebraska to more students


you can at

all it distance education. Online learning. Extended education. Now Nebraskans – and people around the world – who want to finish their degree, earn a master’s degree or Ph.D., or increase their earning power with a specialized certificate or endorsement can earn a University of Nebraska degree online. They can find information about all of the university’s online education programs at a single location, a new Web platform called University of Nebraska Online Worldwide. University of Nebraska Online Worldwide – – provides information about more than 80 accredited programs, including bachelor’s “Online Worldwide and advanced degrees offers a tremendous as well as certificates and endorsements, and opportunity to more than 1,000 courses students who want in a wide range of fields, including agriculture, a high-quality, biology, business, affordable education computer science, education, engineering, from a highly public administration and reputable institution” many more. Programs and courses are offered by the university’s four campuses, with some developed collaboratively among campuses. “By marketing all of NU’s distance programs together under one virtual roof,” Online Worldwide will better serve Nebraskans looking to further their education and will allow the university to capture a larger share of the rapidly growing national and international market for online learning,” NU President James B. Milliken said. “Online Worldwide offers a tremendous opportunity to students who want a high-quality, affordable education from a highly reputable institution,” Milliken said. “Our distance courses are taught by the same excellent faculty who teach on 29

Learn more at


Graduates of the program often launch careers our campuses – ensuring that students in in management, human relations, marketing, Nebraska and around the world have access to sales or information technology. challenging, relevant curricula developed by “Online learning is an integral part of the experts in their fields.” University of Nebraska’s mission,” said Gloria In addition, growth in online education Vavricka, who directs distance education represents one of the university’s best programs at UNK. “Our online courses are highopportunities to increase revenue – which will quality, affordable and an excellent option for be critical in the coming years. nontraditional students or students A recent study by the Sloan who are unable to attend classes Consortium found that 1 in 4 college on campus. One of the hallmarks of students took at least one course online in Online Worldwide courses is that fall 2008 – a 17 percent increase over the students and faculty have a high previous year. At NU, online credit hour degree of one-on-one interaction – production increased nearly 30 percent just as they do on campus.” from 2008-2009 to 2009-2010. UNK offers a number of other But many of these online credit programs online, including an hours were generated by students internationally recognized already enrolled at one of NU’s physical Master of Science degree in campuses. There is a broader market biology that is targeted to scientists, to be tapped that extends well beyond researchers, and high school and campus borders, Milliken said. middle school teachers. “More than 265,000 Nebraskans UNK’s Department of Biology – have completed some college but have “Our online courses are whose faculty have a wide range of not earned a degree,” he said. “Distance high-quality, affordable and an areas of expertise, including physiology, learning is a great solution for those Nebraskans. It gives them a chance to excellent option for nontraditional biochemistry, ecology, microbiology, molecular biology, botany and become more competitive in today’s job students or students who are geographic information systems – has market, increase their earning power established itself as a leader in the and improve their quality of life – all unable to attend classes on successful delivery of its online biology while continuing to balance work, campus. One of the hallmarks graduate degree program, said Wyatt family and other obligations.” Hoback, the UNK biology professor Demand for online learning also of Online Worldwide courses is who developed the M.S. program. is growing worldwide because of the that students and faculty have “The Master of Science in biology increased importance of postsecondary program provides a well-rounded education in today’s knowledge-driven a high degree of one-on-one graduate education that prepares workforce. A new report from Georgetown interaction – just as they do students for careers in a variety of University projected that 63 percent fields,” Hoback said. “Students in the of all jobs will require some level of on campus.” program have opportunities to conduct postsecondary education over the next Gloria Vavricka both basic and applied research, decade, and that the demand for workers UNK Director of Distance Education and interdisciplinary studies are with at least an associate’s degree will emphasized so that students develop the skills they continue to outpace supply. According to the report, need to solve modern biological challenges. Also, a Nebraska ranks 7th in the nation in the percentage of low student-to-faculty ratio assures the individual jobs that will require post-secondary education. guidance necessary for student success.” The University of Nebraska has a number University of Nebraska Online Worldwide is of degree completion programs to complement the result of extensive study and collaboration by a its current offerings, including one of the newest university-wide Distance Education Coordinating programs at Online Worldwide, a bachelor’s degree Committee. Consultants retained by the committee completion program in business administration said the university has a major opportunity to grow offered through the University of Nebraska at its distance learning enterprise, and recommended Kearney. The program is ideal for working adults that all distance programs be marketed under a looking to advance their careers with enhanced skills single brand to maximize resources. Responsibility and knowledge and for community college graduates for developing and delivering courses and programs who want to continue their education. remains with each campus. •


Q&A with the new executive director of the UNK Alumni Association and NU Foundation

Q&A with Pete Kotsiopulos T

he grandson of Greek immigrants, he grew up in Are you going to move back to Kearney? Kearney and graduated from Kearney State College. At this point probably not. Quite frankly, if I would He owned and operated a Kearney-based dry-cleaning, have had a dollar anytime people from Buffalo County uniform, linen supply and formal-wear business for 36 years. asked me that, the campaign would probably be over! He served on the City Council from 1990 and was mayor from Time will tell as far as a physical move. But I’ll definitely 1994 to 2003. be a lot more visible in Kearney. For the past six years Kotsiopulos worked for University On paper, I’ll probably be working in and around Kearney of Nebraska President James B. Milliken as vice president three days a week. The remaining two I’ll be in Lincoln and for university affairs, interacting with higherOmaha. That’s the short-term plan. We still education partners, civic and community have the remaining $24 million to raise to reach leaders, government officials and business and the campaign goal, so the net has to be cast industry leaders to increase jobs and economic wider than Buffalo County. Our alumni are all development in the state. He will continue in over the country and so I will be, too. that role about one-fourth of his time. What is the impact that raising $50 million The rest of his time will be split between will have on the campus and students? being the executive director of the UNK Alumni The short answer: huge, major league. Association and being vice president for UNK If we go back in history, I know there were development for the University of Nebraska some naysayers when Kearney first joined the Foundation, which is in the middle of a $1.2 university system and the foundation merged billion fundraising initiative – the Campaign with the University of Nebraska Foundation for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities. But ever since that day, I think people can The campaign includes a $50 million point to quality of faculty, quality of student, goal for the Kearney campus. quality of buildings and infrastructure right on We sat down with Kotsiopulos to ask him Pete has been involved down the line. So in those 20 years there’s been a few questions about his new dual roles. with the University of a huge impact in the UNK campus across the Nebraska Kearney on Are you looking forward to whole spectrum. returning to work in Kearney?

some level for more

What is the $50 million for? It’s a new chapter in my life. It’s a great than 40 years. Half of it is for scholarships and the other half challenge, and I’m looking forward to that is to create more endowed faculty and chairs challenge. The last half dozen years that I’ve and support academic programs, among other worked with President Milliken have been a priorities. So I’m just thrilled to death we’re at great challenge, too. I wasn’t looking for this new $28 million already, about halfway through the campaign. position. When this opportunity emerged, it sounded like a very interesting and exciting plan. Where will your office be?

Right now, I’ll have two offices in Kearney – at the alumni office and at the foundation office. I am splitting time with those two staffs. Again, I will see where time takes us.


UNK has about 36,000 alumni of record - 24,000 in the state. What’s the impact of those alumni on Nebraska?

About a third of our graduates are in education, another third from the school of business and technology, and another third are in the rest of the disciplines. So we have a significant amount of coaches, teachers, principals and superintendents in Nebraska who are still active and a huge percent of them coming out of Kearney.

Spring 2011

Part of our focus is keeping the brands of the alumni association and the foundation separate, but capitalizing on a common database, resources and personnel. So it can’t help but enhance the relationship the alumni will have – to capitalize on what we’ve been doing. What changes can UNK alumni expect to see in the coming years?

We’re not going to lose the brand. I mean, for starters, the alumni board will still exist. I think we’ll try to capture the statistics we touched on earlier – if two-thirds of the alumni in the database are still in Nebraska, I think we need to capitalize on that. We’ll still do the out-of-state events. They’re still important. But what the big emphasis will be is capitalizing on those in-state events. Our foundation and alumni personnel also will be a lot more visible at UNK events – the fine arts, the theater productions, the athletic events – things that are important to the campus. We’ll be more in tune with the campus. Obviously, being in Kearney that long, I’m pretty locked in to Division II sports. I like to see young people compete, so I’ll watch all sports. And UNK has added women’s soccer since I’ve been absent, and that’s taking hold. I look forward to watching them, too.

I thought I knew an awful lot with working with the university system and higher education. But I now understand it is such a huge organization, with such a tremendous amount of resources and assets. I now understand the relationships between our campuses and the relationships outside their own campus – the externals, be it public or private. The average person really doesn’t have a clue what amount of benefit NU has to the state, what a huge resource it is. I know it sounds like a prejudiced statement, but at arms’ length, look what NU does in this state and the impact. It’s pretty incredible. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I still love to water ski and try and do it as often as I can. I love to do about anything outdoors. I run and bike. That helps clean the cobwebs up here regularly and helps me think more clearly. What do you think is the relationship between UNK and the Kearney community?

It’s been a continually maintained relationship. It has been like that for decades and continues to be a very important relationship. Every fall before school, there’s the Blue & Gold Day in which Kearney Area Chamber Thoughts on the other senior members of your of Commerce members help students move team—Lucas Dart and Clark Rosenlof? into the residence halls. Then there’s the Lucas grew up in Kearney, and he’s very Destination Downtown: The Bricks celebration, plugged into the community. He’s covered a in the week after school starts. lot of ground in a hurry, and he relates well to Every June, there’s the UNK Blue-Gold Golf people. His experience in both alumni affairs Scramble. About 270 men and women from Pete’s roots run deep and development is key to our ability to more the community participate and raise money for in the soil of Kearney closely integrate the two offices. He bleeds UNK athletic scholarships. and the UNK campus. blue. Clark is also a Kearney native and his 20 Local churches have outreach programs years of experience at the foundation makes for the college students. Businesses employ his assistance and knowledge invaluable in them as interns. Many people in the community show their overseeing training and other operational support items for support at UNK athletic events, art and theater and music us, in addition to having him help us raise major gifts. events. The Kearney Chamber of Commerce has a University Relations Committee, and it has the chancellor as an exDo you think working with President Milliken these past few officio member of the board. years will help you in this current position? UNK is just part of the fabric of Kearney. If it’s not at the Most certainly. I’ve learned a tremendous amount. table, someone will ask why. When I threw my hat in the ring, No. 1, what was intriguing, even though I didn’t know President Milliken, was the What’s your best memory of your days at Kearney State College? fact that somebody in the academic arena wanted more and better relationships with the private sector and what It would be my involvement beyond the classroom – the they could do together. interpersonal relationships. That’s always been a part of My sister’s whole career was in higher education. So it was my life since then, even outside the business, with the state not like I was ignorant of it. But I wasn’t totally convinced college board and with the municipal government work, someone from higher education would want someone from with President Milliken’s team and now with the foundation the private sector on his management team, quite frankly. and the alumni. • But we got by that in a hurry!


Class Notes 1955 Marilyn Whitney Peterson’s poetry “Shades of White” has been selected for publication in the book, Eternal Heartland: Interstate 20. “I based the theme of my writing on the 1930s in Nebraska,” she said. “The stock market crash had a major impact on families, followed by the Great Depression.” Marilyn has written and published one book based on journalism, co-authored a book based on grammar and published numerous other pieces. She is retired from Midland Lutheran College and lives in Cozad. She received the UNK Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 1984. 1956 Elbert Gallemore Jr. is enjoying retirement in Huntington Beach, California. He retired from ABC-TV in 1991 where he was an engineer. 1964 Morrey Hester worked his 21st NCAA National Division I Track and Field Championship last spring. His first was at UNL in the late 1950s when staff member ‘Pop’ Klein, a former Kearney State coach and family friend of the Hesters, gave him the assignment of making sure that the press area had plenty of water and food. “Now, I am on the high jump crew and have witnessed record-setting jumps, amazing comebacks and heart-breaking misses,” he said. 1966 Judith Krueger Bahnsen Koski LPC, NCC, NCSC, school counselor with the Rockwood District in Wildwood, Missouri, retired after 32 years in education as a counselor at Green Pines Elementary School. She worked as a teacher and counselor in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Virginia, Montana and overseas with the American Dependent School System. Judith and her school received a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation at the American School Counselor Association’s annual conference last summer. Jennie Gutierrez MAE’81, long-time educator and community leader in Lexington, has moved to Omaha. Among her awards she has received are the UNK Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the Nebraska Woman of Color Award and the Outstanding Hispanic Woman Award. Ron Hadwiger of Amherst was inducted into the Nebraska Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 2011 after a 50-year career as a fast-pitch pitcher. He has a career record of 605-122. 1967 Tom Martin of Lincoln retired as a NSEA UniServ director in December after a 31-year career. His education career also included teaching and coaching. 1968 Corliss Dixon of Pleasanton received the Governor’s Point of Light award last summer for her volunteer work in the community. Over the past six years, Dixon, retired after 38 years of teaching, has recruited students to become involved in writing grant proposals and working together with the community on volunteer projects.


1971 Bill Reichert was named Citizen of the Year by the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce. He has been a band teacher for Broken Bow schools for 37 years. 1972 Jim Miller will be inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in September, 2011. In 34 years as Omaha Marian’s basketball coach, he led the Crusaders to 619 wins and 25 state tournament appearances. They won three titles and were runners-up eight times. He also coached Marian to the past four Class A girls’ golf titles. 1974 Michael Donnelly is vice president, regional director for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust Services in Lincoln. 1975 Michael Geis is president/CEO of The Geis Group, a fundraising company in Omaha. 1976 David Gee retired from Grand Island Northwest High School. He had taught for 34 years. 1978 Randy Butts of Kearney will be inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in September. He won seven all-class gold medals in track at Grand Island Senior High School. He was an honorable mention All-American football player for UNK. Roger Hansen retired in May after a 32-year career as an elementary resource teacher and coach for the Minden schools. His wife, Gara ’80, MAE’87 is a special education teacher in Axtell. They have three grown children. Kimberly Ashburn Jacobson of Lincoln is an Academic Achievement Specialist at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Verlyn Rewerts works in Hastings at LMHP at the Bridges program. 1979 Gregg Grubaugh has moved to Omaha from Overland Park, Kansas, after 25 years. He is now a sales executive for IDEAL-IMAGES. 1980 Nancy Calahan Pickerell is the athletic director at a small liberal arts 6-12 school in Tempe, Arizona. She also teaches middle school English and coaches girl’s high school basketball and softball. She and her husband, Scott, have four grown children and one grandson. Daniel Keyser is superintendent of Sutherland Public Schools. He had been with Cambridge Public Schools. 1981 Charles Carpenter is in his 40th year of teaching and currently teaches eighth grade physical science at Westridge Middle School in Grand Island. He also teaches for Doane College and Central Community College. Patricia Neff MAE’95 retired from Riverdale Public School where she had been an elementary teacher. Mark Tonniges of Winside is a physical education teacher, health instructor and athletic director at Winside Public Schools.

1982 David Hartman is vice president and commercial banking relationship manager with Access Bank in Omaha. 1983 Geoffrey Hall of Blair was appointed by Gov. Dave Heineman to serve as a district court judge for the Sixth Judicial District of Nebraska in December, 2010. The district includes the counties of Cedar, Dixon, Dakota, Thurston, Burt, Dodge and Washington. Hall had been in practice in Blair since 2000. He graduated from Creighton University Law School in 1988. 1985 Konnie Keaschall-Kiser of Tempe, Arizona, is an underwriting manager at Burns & Wilcox. She recently completed her Registered Professional Lines Underwriter (RPLU) designation. Konnie has been with Burns & Wilcox for 15 years. Dr. Jean Lukesh MAE’90, MSE’93 received the 2010 Mari Sandoz Award from Nebraska Library Association/Nebraska Educational Media Association. She is a retired Grand Island Public School teacher. Ann Frohman has been named senior vice president of government and industry for Physicians Mutual Insurance Company. Since 2007, she had been Nebraska State Insurance Director. 1986 Barbara Herbek Bergmeier is vice president, internal auditor at Mutual of Omaha in Omaha. Lance Fuller, principal at Sunrise Middle School in Kearney, was named the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals Distinguished School Principal of the Year for 2009-2010. He has been principal at Sunrise since 2001. Before Sunrise, he was assistant principal at Kearney High School from 1995 to 2001. Dr. John Habben EDS is the executive director of Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association. He had been superintendent of Falls City Public Schools. He was selected NRCSA Outstanding Superintendent of the Year for 2009-2010. Janna Marxauch lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and is pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood special education. She has a son, Grayson 14, who is a freshman in high school. Gary Reber is Archway Fund Manager for the Office of Advancement at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. Lt. Col. David Sankey has been named superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. He is a 23-year state patrol veteran. 1988 Ron Sack is associate creative director at Bailey Lauerman in Omaha. 1990 Andy Stebbing was elected Lancaster County Treasurer in the November elections. He had been a Lancaster Country Sherriff’s Office sergeant before resigning last summer to run for office.

Class Notes 1991 Charles ‘Chuck’ Hervert BAE ‘62, MAS ‘71, MAE’91, EDS’97 of Kearney retired from a career in public education in May 2011. He has been superintendent and elementary principal at Maxwell Public Schools since 1999 and a teacher and coach at Loup City, Cozad and Lexington. Tom Hanson was promoted to lieutenant colonel and is business manager for the Nebraska Army National Guard Construction and Facilities Management Office. He and his wife, Janni ’90 live in Seward where Janni teaches sixth grade at Seward Middle School. Paula Mayfield is mortgage loan originator with Platte Valley State Bank & Trust in Grand Island. Sara Preister Sims is marketing communications manager for Valmont Irrigation in Valley. 1992 Michael Snodgrass is executive director of a metro-wide nonprofit community development corporation in Kansas City called Builders Development Corporation. 1993 Dr. Jason Miller MA’00 recently published a book, Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture. He is an assistant professor in the Department of English at North Carolina State University.

1994 Jean Mandin Ford is director of corporate benefits for Infogroup in Omaha. Todd Hilyard MAE’98 has been named superintendent of the Holdrege Public Schools. He had been principal at Cozad Middle School. Sean Wickham MAE ’08 is athletic director for St. Edward Public Schools. 1995 Brian Diedrichsen is vice president of commercial lending with Pinnacle Bank in Omaha. Barbara Flaherty Beck MSE is an early childhood instructor at Central Community College in Hastings. Kenneth Hartman has been named a partner with Baird Holm LLP firm in Omaha. He is a member of the firm’s litigation section representing clients in commercial matters in both federal and state court. He received his juris doctorate magna cum laude from Creighton University in 2000. Dale Herl earned his doctorate in education from Wichita State University. Dale is currently the deputy superintendent for the Independence, Mo. school district.

Jennifer Prince Nealson has been named to Bye Energy Inc. Business Advisory Council. Bye Energy, Inc., is an integrator of alternative energy and renewable fuel technologies for business and general aviation aircraft. She is principal of EMERGE strategy Group. Before starting EMERGE, Jennifer was vice president and managing director at Republic Financial Corporation, a firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Scott Petzoldt of Gretna is surfaces division marketing manager for Consolidated Kitchens & Fireplaces. Laura Steel is a State of Alaska Probation Officer II. She lives in Fairbanks. Jeff Yoachim, K-12-art educator at Alpha School in Omaha, was honored as a 2010-2011 Outstanding Art Educator by the Nebraska Art Teachers Association. 1996 Michael Mazurana is assistant principal and athletic director of a K-8 school in Loveland, Colorado. 1997 Jason Davis is career and employment services/ cooperative education director with Central Community College in Grand Island. He had worked at Boys Town the past 13 years. Jennifer Pippitt Demerath is a senior account manager for the magazine Kansas City Spaces, a publication of Grand Communications.


Class Notes Karen Sorensen Mulroney MBA’00 is the corporate tax manager for The Buckle, Inc. in Kearney. She had been a senior revenue auditor for the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Tara Christensen-Fischer Naprstek is chief financial officer of Dawson Public Power District in Lexington. She is also a CPA. Tara and her husband Cody live in Lexington. Lachelle O’Connor Sigg EDS’01 of Overland Park, Kansas, principal of Pioneer Ridge Middle School, has been named an Exemplary Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators. Sam Stecher MAE’05 is principal at Emerson Elementary School in Kearney. He had been dean of students at Kearney High School. He and his wife, Shawna ‘98, live in Kearney. Dr. Candace Thompson Walton, assistant professor in the department of Contemporary Media and Journalism at the University of South Dakota, was one of two faculty members to receive a DelbasLarson Excellence in Teaching Award for 2010. She has been a faculty member at USD since 2006. 1998 Angela Burke MAE’06 has released her debut book, Lucidity. It is a paranormal love story about the secrets of the uknown, the essence of the spirit and the endurance of love. Details are available on her website - Tara Knuth is executive director of KidZone – Kearney Area Children’s Museum. She and her husband, Aaron, have four children. Russ Sebek is Lincoln branch sales manager for HomeServices Lending. 1999 Robin Gilbert is a speech pathologist for BCK-SEI #615 in Robinson, Kansas. She has been in the position for nine years. She and her husband, Craig, have three children, Madison, Carson and Grayson. 2000 Sam Fleury is community relations director for the Lake Ozark campus for Columbia College in Missouri. Kara Graham has been promoted to head girls’ basketball coach at Lincoln Southeast High School. She has coached there for 11 years. Mike Kvanvig MAE’07 is principal at Mullen Public High School. He and his wife, Arla Ridenour ’98, have three children, Ty, Tel and Tate. Dr. Chris Unterseher is a physician at Ord Family Health Center. 2001 Dr. Jay Dostal is principal at Kearney High School. He had been assistant principal at Millard North High School since 2006. He earned his Ed.D. at UNO last summer. Abby Losey Grenke of Aurora, Illinois, is account manager for the industrial product line at W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.


Dr. Amber Gloystein Messersmith is an assistant professor in the Department of Communications at UNK. She had been an assistant professor at James Madison University. Her husband, Jake, is an Assistant Professor in UNK’s Management Department. Shalee Santero works at Holmes Murphy & Associates, an insurance company, as a property casualty assistant account manager in Omaha. Dr. Jeremy Schnieder and Elizabeth Earl Schnieder have recently graduated from Bowling Green University and have taken new jobs. Jeremy received his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing and is an assistant professor of writing and rhetoric and director of Writing Across the Curriculum at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Elizabeth earned a graduate certificate in women’s studies in 2008 and a master of arts in U. S. Policy History. She works at the State Office of the South Dakota Small Business Development Center housed at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. They live in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. 2002 Shelly Daake works for Walmart in Kearney where she has been a cashier for eight years. She has also helped with store remodels. Leslie Alber Frazier is an elementary media specialist for Hastings Public Schools. She and her husband, Spencer, have a daughter, Sadie Lynn. Luke Garringer is boys cross country coach at Kearney High School. Erich Hover, an actor living in Los Angeles, is playing the role of Larry Sutton in the movie “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt. The movie is based on the bestselling book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael M. Lewis. It is scheduled to be released in 2011. The movie is centered on Billy Beane (Pitt), the Oakland A’s general manager, who assembles a contending team despite having a payroll much less than other teams. Michelle Marks MSE’05 is assistant vice president for Huddle, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. Caleb Newquist is the founding editor of www., the premiere source of news for young accountants, financial professionals and aspiring CFOs. He lives in Denver. Alberto Rodriguez-Baez MBA of Boerne, Texas, has been named Emerge Boerne’s chair of communications. Emerge Boerne is a young professional’s forum designed for emerging leaders that live and/or work in the greater Boerne, Texas, area. He works for Rainbow Play Systems International as the vice president of international marketing and sales, leading the expansion of its worldwide distributor network and the global marketing initiatives for the company. Christy Hagler Rose is director of recruitment marketing and sourcing for Executive Health Resources, the Physician Advisor Company, in Newtown, Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Kevin Rose, live in Center City, Philadelphia.

Mike Skeen is a sales executive with Pivot Man of Grand Island. 2003 Julia McDonald Beckstrand MS’09 is a school counselor with the Grand Island Northwest Public School Dirstrict. She and her husband, Mike, were married in July 2010. Mike manages the HyVee store in Grand Island. 2004 Bryce Abbey MAE’06 received the 2010 Staff Award for Excellence at UNK. He is the human performance lab and wellness coordinator. Barbara Hoesly Carnahan is an instructor at Vatterott College in Omaha. Aaron Estes MSE’06 is an academic and career advisor at UNK. Scott Jorgensen is an assistant track coach at UNK working with the Loper throwers. He had been coaching and teaching at Hayes Center High School. Jason Krontz is a media buyer for Redstone advertising agency in Omaha. Vrusali Moghe MSE’08 is an instructional designer at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Jenna Fitzke Pieper graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a doctor of philosophy in business. She will start a position as a tenure-track assistant professor of management this fall at the University of Texas at Dallas. Adam Wegner is director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council in Kearney. 2005 Jenni Klingelhoefer is marketing coordinator at Countryman Associates, P.C. in Kearney. Alicia Meyers is a reporter at KAKE-TV in Wichita, Kansas. She had been with KOLN/KGIN-TV in Lincoln since graduating. Kelly Hickman Miller is a public relations associate with Swanson Russell in Omaha. Joshua Tolin is judicial law clerk for the honorable Alan B. Johnson, U. S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. 2006 Molly Albrecht is interactive marketing specialist with Robert Sharp & Associates, a public relations and advertising firm in Rapid City, South Dakota. Trudy de Goede, a former librarian at UNK, works at the St. Cloud branch of the Great River Regional Library, a public library system serving central Minnesota. His oldest son, John Harrold, is serving as a sailor in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Carr based out of Norfolk, Virginia, and son, Jim, is a student at UNL in the political science master’s degree program. Brette Covington Ensz is an admissions counselor at UNK. Alisha Schnackenberg Hanshaw is senior assistant director of undergraduate recruitment and admissions at UNK. She had been a residence life coordinator at Nebraska Wesleyan.

Class Notes Adam Krueger is an outside sales rep for Graybar’s service provider group. He calls on independent telephone companies, utilities and plow contractors in Kansas and Nebraska. He lives in Kearney. Laurel McKellips MSE ’09 is outreach coordinator of the Kearney Area Community Foundation. 2007 Jennifer Caudillo is an officer with the Kearney Police Department. Jeff Rutledge is head wrestling coach at Lincoln Southeast high School. Tim Smith is a habitat specialist with the Grand Island Rainwater Basin Joint Venture. 2008 Joseph Anderson is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, South Dakota. In a recent letter to Chancellor Kristensen he credited UNK and many of his activities – Ambassadors, resident advisor and NU Foundation phonathon participant, along with his first-class education for his successes. Jennifer Caudillo is an officer to the Kearney Police Department. She was a recovery specialist at Richard Young Hospital in Kearney for five years and graduated from the Grand Island Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in December. Travis Checketts will graduate in June from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a master of science degree in College Student Affairs. Dr. Nicole Dickmeyer is a home care physical therapist for Alegent Home Care and Hospice in Omaha. She received her doctorate in physical therapy from UNMC in 2010. Kevin Dodson MAE has been named superintendent of North Platte Catholic Schools. He will replace Bill McGahan ’64, MSE’68, EDS’91 after the completion of the 2010-11 school year. Tanner ’03 and Cassandra Trembly Engel ’03 of Lincoln are parents of a daughter, Selah Claire, born February 2, 2011. Tanner is a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol. Andrew ’93 and Monica Graham Falk ’94 of Pleasanton are parents of a son, Roman Nathanael Quentin, born January 12, 2011. Greg and Erin Hacker Feather ’00, MSE’02 of Gothenburg are parents of a son, Landon Kenrex, born November 19. Erin is a speech language pathologist with Gothenburg Public Schools. Aubrie Hill works for Redstone advertising agency as a video and online specialist. Katie Miller Schmidt is a special education teacher with the Minden Public Schools. She and her husband, Shane, have a son, Cohen. Jessica Mosbarger is an account coordinator with SCORR Marketing in Kearney. Heather Korte Wolf is coordinator of student activities at UNK while Justin Wolf graduated in May from Baylor University with a MBA emphasis in Healthcare Administration. They are married and live in Kearney with their son, Alex.

Dana Wright is finance director for the Tri City Storm hockey team and Viaero Event Center in Kearney. 2009 Former wrestler Tervel Dlagnev won the 2011 U.S. Open Heavyweight Freestyle in April. Adding to his long list of freestyle accomplishments, Dlagnev wasn’t scored upon enroute to a 3-0 record in the 265.5 lbs/120 kg men’s bracket. In the finals, he defeated 2008 U.S. Olympian Steve Mocco. He won by scores of 3-0 and 1-0. Dlagnev scored via a feetto-back takedown in the first period and a pushout in the second. By winning the U.S. Open title, Dlagnev automatically advances to the finals of this year’s World Team Trials, slated for June in Oklahoma City. Phillip Erb MBA’10 is an accountant with McDermott & Miller in Grand Island. Wade Jarvi is an accountant in the tax department of Countryman Associates in Grand Island. Keenan McCurdy is head wrestling coach at Lincoln East High School. He teaches math and social studies at Mickle Middle School. Brady Metz is an account coordinator with SCORR Marketing in Kearney. Jordan Plummer MSE works for Old Mill Counseling in Grand Island. Angela Reynolds MBA’10 is the human resources administrator at Litzenberg Memorial County Hospital in Central City. Achala Sharma works at Mega Bank Nepal Ltd. in Kathmandu, Nepal. 2010 Brooke Balfour is a speech-language pathologist at Children’s Rehab in Grand Island. Erica Burson is a journalism teacher and head volleyball coach at Lexington High School. Kaleb Cruise is a physical therapy student at UNMC. Adam Drudik is working in a management training program at SRS Acquisitions in Kent, Washington. The company sells roofing materials to contractors. Abbie Harris is a graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa. William Hayward is a technology risk consultant with Deloitte and Touche in Omaha. Nicole Kennedy is a Kearney area recruiter for Viaero Wireless. Jake McGlade is a graduate student studying Geography at UNO. Joey Morrison Is head wrestling coach at Lexington High School. Emilie Ross is a graduate student working on a degree in community counseling. Nikki Scott is a graduate student at UNL studying communication disorders. Cameron Smith is an elementary teacher in Sterling, Colorado. Taryn Vasa is an account coordinator with SCORR Marketing in Kearney. Rita Vogel is a fourth-grade teacher with York Public Schools. Jim Wyant is an insurance agent for Mutual of Omaha in Norfolk.


Cara Anderson ’07 and Torrey Odenbach June 26, 2010, in Grand Island. Katie Bittman ’06 and Aaron Fiscus May 15, 2010, in Kearney. Amber Booton ’04 and Carlos Medina Jr. October 11, 2008, in Kearney. Christopher Christensen ’08 and Laura Smith August 14, 2010, in Grand Island. Jessica Christo ’03 and Michael Cole ’04 June 26, 2010, in Kearney. Chelsey Cook ’09 and Brian Neville July 10, 2010, in Grand Island. Danae Cravatt ’06 and Cole Spresser ’05 July 24, 2010, in Kansas City. Katherine Davolt ’10 and Dustin Johnson May 29, 2010, in Kearney. Jenna Derr ’07 and David Schanbacher May 22, 2010, in Kearney. Sheryl Dehning ’90 and Frank Long April 24, 2010, in Phoenix. Sheryl works for Rogers Corporation and Frank owns his own company, North Scottsdale Nursery & Cactus. Justine Derr ’09 and Seth Tschetter ’09 June 19, 2010, in Kearney. Nick Donahue ’05 and Jennifer Dillman August 20, 2010, in Lincoln. Anne Drinkwalter ’05 and Lawrence Wood II ’05 June 12, 2010, in Chadron. Anne works for State Farm Insurance Company and Darnell works for Chase Bank. They have a daughter, Kamryn Demaree, born February 14. They live in Evans, Colorado. Lisa Dusatko ’94 and Craig Plummer July 24, 2010. Lisa works at UNK as a business manager. Kelly Wemhoff ’10 and Ricky DuVall ’09 August 14, 2010, in Humphrey. They live in Lincoln. Alisa Edgerton ’05, MSE’07 and Clint Ryan September 25, 2010, in Kearney. Sarah Gibbs ’08 and Brian Birkby April 24, 2010. They live in Ravenna. Amanda Harvey ’04 and John Buchfinck July 3, 2010, in Grand Island. Samantha Harvey ’06 and Jeffrey Hammond May 21, 2010, in Springfield. Samantha is volleyball coach at College of Saint Mary in Omaha. Briann Horacek ’06 and William Fines August 7, 2010, in Kearney. Andrew Hudson ’08 and Tracie King June 25, 2010, in Kearney. Megan Irvine ’10 and Matthew Tonniges ’09 September 18, 2010, in Ravenna. Michaela Jennings ’03 and Drew Meismer ’03 October 2, 2010, in Kearney. Rachel Jensen ’09 and Timothy Hruza July 17, 2010, in Wayne. They live in Lincoln. Dusty Jura ’08 and Michelle Wells August 28, 2010, in Kearney. Morgan Pillen ’09 to Kurt Kapels on May 28, 2011. Jeffrery Kezeor ’03, MA’09 and Jamie Welliver April 29 in Lincoln. Phillips ’10 and Carissa Koelling July 10, 2010, in Ord. 37

Class Notes Sean Korgel ’04 and Kelly Spiegel September 18, 2010, in Kearney. Julia Lyons ’10 and Bradly Krebs July 9, 2010 in Omaha. Julia teaches sixth grade math and science at Russell Middle School in Millard. She plans to graduate with a master’s degree from UNO in education this summer. Megan Kumler ’07 and Jason Gfeller ’10 May 2010, in Kearney. Emily Ross ’10 and Tyler Macke ’10 May 28 in Kearney. Megan Marshall ’09 and Chris Basnett ’03 June 11, 2010, in Kearney. They live in Springfield, Missouri. Andy May ’06 and Lauren Lutz May 1, 2010, in Hudson, Ohio. They live in Omaha. Anne McGovern ’08 and Marty Brewer ’09 June 12, 2010, in Grand Island. Ashley McMahon ’09 and Dane Edwards April 10, 2010, in Grand Island. Ashley is a radiologic technologist for GIKK Orthopedic Specialists. They live in Omaha. Crystal Mossman ’09 and Trent Puhalla May 14 in Lincoln. Elaine M. Nelson ’02 and Kent Blansett July 24, 2010, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Nelson holds an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Dissertation Writing Fellowship and will complete her Ph.D. in history from the University of New Mexico in May. Blansett earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of New Mexico in 2010. They live in Morris, Minnesota, where Blansett is a professor in the history department at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Both Nelson and Blansett are published authors, university instructors and have won academic awards and honors. Valerie Novak ’08 and Josh Turner October 10, 2009, in Geneva. Megan Ourada ’06 and Matt Uphoff May 22, 2010, in Kearney. Lindsey Petersen ’07 and David Morris October 2, 2010, in Kearney. Lindsey is a Spanish teacher at Lincoln Lutheran High School. Sarah Rodenbaugh ’07 and Nathan Berglund ’07 May 1, 2010, in Kearney. They live in Lincoln. Sara is a human resource consultant with Sandhills Publishing, a trade magazine publisher. Nathan is a client service analyst with Fiserv, a Fortune 500 company that develops banking solutions. Stacey Ross ’09 and Tyler Ritz October 9, 2010, in Kearney. Ashley Rubesh ’09 and Daniel Hake January 23, 2010, in St. Paul. They live in Palmer. Amanda Ruzicka ’03 and Casey Gehrt June 26, 2010, in Kearney. They live in Reserve, New Mexico. Mollie Sheffield ’08 and Adam Akerson July 17, 2010. They live in Omaha.


Christa Sindelar ’05 and Josh Hunnicut ’04 June 19, 2010, at Miletta Vista Winery near St. Paul. Christa is an optometrist with Eyecare Professionals/ Grand Island Optical at their locations in Aurora, Grand Island and Ravenna. Josh is currently farming with his father near Giltner. Kevin Snyder ’01 and Jamie Warehime August 7, 2010, in Greeley, Colorado. Heather Sperling ’09 and Dean Amundson June 26, 2010, in Kearney. Kelly Spiegel ’09 and Sean Korgel ’04 September 18, 2010, in Kearney. Megan Ourada and Matt Uphoff ’06 May 22, 2010, in Kearney. Tesa Valdez ’10 and Jeremy Aldridge August 7, 2010, in Grand Island. Tesa is a kindergarten teacher for the Grand Island Public Schools. Jennifer Young ’08 and John Verba March 12 in Ravenna. Jennifer is a teacher for Greeley-Wolbach Public School. Kyra Webb ’08 and Joshua Riley July 10, 2010, in Aurora. Anna Welander ’04 and Jeremy Farnsworth September 11, 2010, in Omaha. Brett Wetton ’02 and Sarah McGarry November 12, 2010, in Manti, Utah. They live in Kearney. Wade Wiles ’99 and Megan Crouch October 23, 2010, in Wood River.


Bryce ’04, MAE’06 and Erin Liedtke Abbey ’03, MAE’07 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Sloane Elizabeth, born May 10, 2010. They also have a son, Kade Michael. Patrick and Amber Finke Arner ’10 of Holdrege are parents of a daughter, Madison Jo, born June 27, 2010. Mitchell and Michele Davis Arnold ’00, MBA ’03 of Kearney are parents of a son, Bronson Kent, born May 21, 2010. They have two other sons, Logan and Huston. Sara and Ryan Axmann ’96 of Lincoln are parents of a son, Aidan Arthur, born July 6, 2010. Brent ’07 and Wendy Mattson Bader ’05 of Wisner are parents of a son, Jacoby David, born May 20, 2010. Derek ’04 and Kate Semin Bailey ’06 of Omaha are parents of a son, Carter Thomas, born April 26, 2011. Meressa and Jeremy Bayley ’07 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Sophie Lee, born September 13, 2010. Erin and Terry Becker ’93 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Alexis Sophie, born October 22, 2010. Bonnie and Blayne Behrends ’03 of Auburn are parents of a daughter, Lauren Nicole, born May 28, 2010. Greg and Amber Bredenkamp Benson ’03, MSE’05 of Kearney are parents of a son, Blake William, born April 24, 2011. Steve and Kodi Krugman Betke ’09 of Kearney are parents of a son, Brody James, born August 8, 2010. Ben and Dawn Suchsand Bickford ’05 of Kearney are parents of a son, Landon Ray, born February 10, 2010.

Brent and Janet Pokorny Boettcher ’01 are parents of a daughter, Ellie Renee, born April 16, 2010. They have two sons, Sam and Jed. Janet is a first grade teacher in Ord. Brian and Jodi Gibbons Bronson ’02 of Elkhorn are parents of a son, Jacob Martin, born July 1, 2010. Kevin and Stacie Libich Brueggeman ’06 of Auburn are parents of a son, Weston Michael, born July 13, 2010. They have two other children, Jalen and Brooklyn. Robin ’04 and Michelle McGeorge Burton ’05 of Nebraska City are parents of daughters, Brinley Anne, born April 23, 2010 and Abigail Grace, born September 13, 2009. Michelle is an eighth-grade social studies teacher in Nebraska City. Daniel ’98 and Rebecca Bauer Busenbark ’99 of Hutchinson, Kansas, are parents of a daughter, Nora Ann, born April 6, 2010. Robert and Brandie Snyder Campbell ’99 of Lincoln are parents of a daughter, Kensley Lorraine, born August 25, 2010. Taylor ’04 and Ashley Ehrman Carrier ’04 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Tayleigh Rae, born April 5, 2010. Joey ’03 and Amber Ross Cochran ’02 of Kearney are parents of a son, Lawson John, born July 15, 2010. They also have a son, Carter, and a daughter, Mackenzie. David ‘99, MAE’02 and Julie Balk Cunningham ’02 are parents of a son, Patrik Madsen, born October 26, 2010. Edwin and Pamela Sanford DeBraal ’04 of North Platte are parents of a son, Parker James, born September 9, 2010. They also have a daughter, MaKenna Jane. Scott and Rhonda Kreutzer Dicke ’96 of Lakewood, Colorado, are parents of a son, Eric Henry, born June 11, 2010. Robin and Albert Duckworth ’03 of Pensacola, Florida, are parents of a son, Carson Johring, born August 18, 2010. Josh ’98 and Nikki Henry Erickson ’98 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Emry Jean, born September 9, 2009. They also have three other children, Cali, Nina and Chaz. Greg ’98 and Erin Hacker Feather ’00, MSE’02 of Gothenburg are parents of a son, Landon Kenrex, born November 19, 2010. Gordon and Stephanie Kuck Fehringer ’05 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Charly Anne, born October 12, 2010. Stephanie is a Billing Manager with Central Nebraska Home Care. They also have a daughter, Payton, and son, Will. Patrick and Sara Gawecki Ferguson ’00 of Papillion are parents of a son, Noah Patrick, born August 14, 2010. Lyndi and Eric Fitzgerald ’00 of Loup City are parents of a son, Isaac Andrew, born September 8, 2010. Darby ’01 and Erica Rodehorst Flansburg ’01 of Ogallala are parents of daughter, Tenlie Mae, born May 24, 2010.

Class Notes Joshua ’03 and Sara Jorgensen Foulk ’04 of Kearney are parents of a son, Quinnton David, born May 19, 2010. Trent ’07 and Crystal Lentell Georgiana ’08 of Lincoln are parents of a daughter, Kenadi Jordyn, born August 4, 2010. Trent is the park and recreation director for the city of Hickman. Crystal is a social worker for Health & Human Services in Lincoln. Bruce and Amber Beach Hardacre ’94 of Kensington, Kansas, are parents of a daughter, Cameron Cate, born May 6, 2010. They also have two other daughters, Elizabeth and Abigail. Amber teaches English and is the library media specialist at Thunder Ridge High School in Kensington. Derick and Jessie Prosser Hardesty ’98 of Kearney are parents of a son, Asher Emory, born July 15, 2010. Elliot ’05 and Stefanie Becker Hoefs ’05 of Arapahoe are parents of a son, Ethan August, born August 9, 2010. They have two other children, Landen and Adellyn. Elliot is the IT director for New Age Industrial in Norton, Kansas. Stefanie is a stay-at-home mom. Ben ’01 and Kelli O’Connor Holl ’02 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Abigail Grace, born September 13, 2010. Nathanael ’01 and Jennifer Gilbert Hunter ’01 of Kearney are parents of a son, Jonathan Alexander, born August 3, 2010. Brandon and Alicia House Husted ’10 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Lyla Jade, born December 20, 2010. Kellen ’06 and Emily Murdoch Jacobs ’06 of St. Joseph, Missouri, are parents of a daughter, Teyah Marie, born May 1, 2010. Kellen is a physical therapist at St. Joseph Physical Therapy. Peter and Carrie Peterson Jardee ’05 of Lincoln are parents of a son, Tucker Daniel, born February 9, 2011. Andrew ’97 and Debbie Wilwerding Johansen ’99 of Adams are parents of a son, Jake Daniel, born January 28, 2011. They also have two daughters, Anna and Alicia. Amy and Jerred Johnson ‘00 of Kearney are parents of a son, Turner Harris, born April 9, 2010. Jason and Sarah Teply Jones ’05 of Lincoln are parents of a son, Kellen Ray, born May 29, 2010. Joe and Sherri Cords Kaplan ’94 of Tucson are parents of a son, Caleb Kim, born March 30, 2010. They also have a daughter, Carly. Dr. Mark and Dr. Kari Wendt Kearns ’98 of Denver are parents of a son, Connor Jackson, born December 23, 2010. Ryan ’07 and Megan Lauer Killion ’09 of Kearney are parents of a son, Leaf Hudnall, born July 10, 2010. Timothy and Mindy Streeter Lester ’06 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Isabella Grace, born August 7, 2010. Mindy is an associate attorney with Ross, Schroeder and George Law Firm. Nolan ’05 and Laura Emmerich Little ’05 of Kearney are parents of a son, Arlo Dennison, born September 25, 2010.

Lath and Sharon Burke Livingston ’00, MA’06 of Minden are parents of a son, Luke Jeffrey, born August 25, 2010. They also have a daughter, Leah Joanna. Kent ’06 and Russtanna Faimon Lutt ’07 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Leonella Ann, born May 25, 2010. Noah ’07 and Julie Long Maulsby ’06 of Kearney are parents of a son, Carson John, born October 31, 2010. Carson is a teacher and coach with Ravenna Public Schools. Trent and Stephanie Seger McConnell ’02, MSE’10 of Shelton are parents of a daughter, Mollie Rae, born February 20, 2011. Mike ’97 and Katie Hankla McGowen ’00 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Lanie Faith, born May 27, 2010. Maria and Mark Michaelis ’99 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Leyton Paige, born January 17, 2011. They have two other daughters, Lexi and Laini. Mark is a teacher with Omaha Public Schools. Travis ’01 and Andrea Walton Miller ’02 of Scottsbluff are parents of a son, Andrew Daweson, born July 16, 2010. Scott ’02 and Annie Anderson Mollring ’02 of McCook are parents of a son, Charlie Jeff, born September 22, 2010. They also have a son, Brody. Annie is a senior sales representative with Apria. Scott is a teacher and football coach at McCook High School. Andy and Julinne Johnson Moore ’00, MSE’02 of Sabetha, Kansas, are parents of a daughter, Audrey Leighanne, born May 17, 2010. Julinne is a speech-language pathologist with ESU 4. Jessie and Mark Morten ’09 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Clair Linn, born August 12, 2010. Matt and Stacey Schlickbernd Mostek ’05, MSE’08 of Kearney are parents of a son, Owen Lee, born May 25, 2010. Ryan and Jen Moser Ahlers ‘00 of Yankton, South Dakota are parents of a daughter, Brady Margaret, born March 29, 2011. They also have a daughter, Rylie Kate. Roxanne and Mike Muma ’02 of Henderson, Nevada, are parents of a son, Kash, born December 12, 2009. Mike is an underwriting manager with First Comp Insurance Agency. Scott ’02 and Cassie Schmidt Musil ’01, MSE’05 of Central City are parents of a son, Thomas Joseph, born August 12, 2010. They also have a daughter, Sarah. Jason and Lisa Noller Reynoldson ’98 of Albion are parents of a son, Jaeden Dale, born May 11, 2010. Ryan ’04 and Kristin Kirschner Ohri ’03 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Bergan Faith, born May 21, 2010. Adrienne and David Oliphant ’03 of Sammamish, Washington, are parents of a daughter, Makena Lorene, born March 24, 2010. David works with Supplier Management Structures at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Patrick and Wendy Parker O’Neill ’97 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Elizabeth, born February 8, 2011.

Antone and Channon Hunt Oseka ’98 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Josie Carolyn, born May 7, 2010. Kammy and Craig Ostermeyer ’04 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Chloe Anne, born February 3, 2011. David ’03 and Keri Eberhardt Pearson ’02 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Lucy Ann, born March 1, 2011. Barry and Gina Schwager Pospichal ’99 of Chambers are parents of a son, Bo Michael Grant, born September 21, 2010. They also have a son, AJ. Nathan and Ellen Newman Province ’01 of Kearney are parents of a son, Braxton Reid, born September 27, 2010. Ellen is an office manager with Tye and Rademacher PC LLO. Steve ’94 and Barb Bremer Prow ’95 of Omaha are parents of a son, Noah Jacob, born August 8, 2010. They also have a son, Tyler, and daughters, Ashley and Caitlyn. Ryan and Veleka Lindner Prunty ’01 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Autumn Elizabeth, born September 19, 2010. They also have two other daughters, Alayna and Allison. Kesiah and Derrick Pulliam ’98, MAE’07 are parents of a daughter, Beylah Mahrin, born June 11, 2010. Andrea and Tyler Rabe ’04 of Wahoo are parents of a daughter, Alyvia Nicole, born November 5, 2010. John and Kelli Koch Reilly ’95 of Lincoln are parents of a daughter, Emma Kaye, born August 20, 2010. Kelli is a pre-physical therapist and certified athletic trainer at PRN Employment. They also have two boys, Cole and Coen. Rusty and Hailey Greening Rhynalds ’09 of Minden are parents of a daughter, Ruby Joyce, born September 17, 2010. Rutheah and Ryan Rodehorst ’05 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Anna Grace, born May 11, 2010. Matt ’98, MAE’07 and Kaylyn Seier Rogers ’98 of Kearney are parents of a son, Cale Matthew, born August 20, 2010. They also have a daughter, Claire, and sons, Zach and Grant. Matt is assistant principal at Kearney Catholic High School. Kaylyn works at Good Samaritan Hospital lab. Matthew Rowling ’99 and Laura Moeller of Boone, Iowa, are parents of a daughter, Anna Evelyn, born June 15, 2010. Chad ’04 and Kayla Sheffield of Grand Island are parents of a son, Chase Channing, born July 28, 2010. Chad is a loan officer at Five Points Bank. Ryan ’02 and Lindi Belau Samuelson ’05 of Phoenix are parents of a son, Hayden Lee, born, November 19, 2010. They also have a son, Ethan. Fili and Cathy Luebbe Sanchez ’99, MA’04 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Lynn, born May 25, 2010. They also have sons, Samson and Banjamin. Troy ’99 and Caryn Hudson Saulsbury ’99 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Alexia Claire, born July 21, 2010.


Class Notes Julie Schamp Schemper ‘96 of Jackson are the parents of a daughter, Avery Grace, born on April 25, 2011. Marissa and Kylee Schneckloth ’98 of Gilbert, Arizona, are parents of a son, Caden Sheen, born June 9, 2010. B J and Amanda Hall-Warburton ’05, MSE’10 of Minden are parents of a daughter, Ella Sophia, born January 16, 2011. Jeremy ’99 and Dara Wisnieski Schroeder ’99 of Wahoo are parents of a son, Jackson Dean, born May 21, 2010. They also have a son, Carson. Brian and Katharine Harms Sisson ’07, MS’09 of Arapahoe are parents of a son, Graham Brian, born May 29, 2010. Mike and Heather Sittler Stalder ’04 of Beaver City are parents of a son, Bryton Jacob, born April 7, 2010. They also have a daughter, Laurel. Chad ’97 and Kimberly Boettcher Stengel ’00 of Maywood are parents of a daughter, Paytyn Marilyn, born December 28. Cody ’04 and Tanna Doeschot Struss ’03 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Tynlie Rae, born September 27, 2010. Rod and Heather Ehrenberg Swanson ’94 of Kearney are parents of twins, Ryker Kendall and Tayten Briann, born June 29, 2010. Tom and Chelsea Karr Swarm ’05 of Gibbon are parents of a son, Graeson Thomas, born January 21, 2011. J. T. ’04 and Jess Nickel Talkington ’04 of Fremont are parents of a daughter, Rory Grace, born October 17, 2010. Jeff MAE ’97 and Amanda Cronin Thober ’04 of Ravenna are parents of a son, Easton Mays, born November 3, 2010. They also have a two other sons, Jamesyn and Harper. Heath and Andrea Kahle Trampe ’04 of Fort Wayne, Indiana, are parents of a son, Jonathan Douglas, born July 19, 2010. Greg ’04 and Jill Lawson Trautman ’07 of Scottsbluff are parents of a son, Brendan Gregory, born August 22, 2010. Timothy and Kola Vogt Turek ’92 of Wood River are parents of a daughter, Ashlynn Nicole, born September 13, 2010. Brent ’04 and Andrea Oswald Upson ‘03 of Kearney are parents of a son, Carter Daniel, born October 25, 2010. Andrea is an accountant with The Buckle, Inc. Drew and Karla Sander Von Seggern ’97 of LeMars, Iowa, are parents of a daughter, Morgan Frances, born December 16. Aaron ’03 and Rhonda Mogee Veleba ’06 of Grand Island are parents of a daughter, Macyn Leigh, born March 21, 2010. Casey ’05 and Mikala Gleason Vrbka ’07 of Holdrege are parents of a daughter, Kaitalyn Jo, born August 4, 2010.


Rich ’97, MS’03 and Amy Havranek Walters ’99, EDS’03 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Kynlie Faith, born May 19, 2010. They also have children, Karson and Kennedy. Jacob ’00 and Tiffany Feldman Weiss ’08 of Kearney are parents of a son, Owen Darrell, born July 3, 2010. Jeff and Darci Higgins Williamson ’98 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Piper Jewel, born September 21, 2010. They also have a son, Chase. Shane and Jayde Geisinger Wohlgemuth ’09 of Funk are parents of a daughter, Elaina Grace, born May 30, 2010. Jeremy Yilk ’05 and Elizabeth Hoehner Yilk ’04 of McCook are parents of a son, Nolan Jeremy, born June 22, 2010. They also have a daughter, Camryn.


Bruce Ackerman of West Hills, California, died August 26, 2010. He had been president and chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance in Southern California the past 10 years. He was 64. Mary Ann Bowes Beavers of Omaha died July 24, 2010. She was 72. Mildred Irene Casey Beghtol of Houston died August 6, 2010. She was 81. Kenneth Brown ’72 of Bennet died June 7, 2010. He was 66. Margaret Clark of Kearney died September 8, 2010. She was the wife of professor emeritus R. David Clark. She was 67. Leeann Wilson Clouse ’99 of Kearney died July 25, 2010. She was 50. Paul Collison ’60 of Kimberling, Missouri, died November 30, 2010. He was the Lopers all-time leading rebounder and was inducted into the UNK Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. He was 72. Stanley Copley ’43 of Hastings died September 30, 2010. He was an educator for many years in Franklin who received the UNL Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He also was a successful cattle farmer. He was 89. Memorials are suggested to the Copley Family Scholarship with the NU Foundation in Kearney. Debra ‘Deb’ Olsen Cover ’75 of Norfolk died July 12, 2010. She was 57. Lana Cunningham Davis ’70 of Kearney died April 9, 2011. She taught at Bryant Elementary School for 35 years, retiring in 2005. She was 62. William Cupp of Northfield, Minnesota, died March 2, 2011. He was a professor of sociology and criminal justice at UNK for nine years, retiring due to ill health in 1987. He was 87. David Cushing MAE ’06 of Grand Island died November 1, 2010. He was 40. Dr. Donald Dahlin ’51 of Lincoln died April 11, 2010. He was a UNK professor of education administration and supervisor to student teachers from 1967 until retiring in 1992. He continued to supervise student teachers for several years after retiring. He was 88.

Dr. John Damon, UNK professor of English, died June 5, 2010. He was a specialist in medieval literature, languages and the work of J.R.R. Tolkein. He was 58. Jessica ‘Jet’ Higgins DeMay ‘68 of Grand Island died October 14, 2010. She was 81. Dr. Maurine Eckloff MSE ’61 of Kearney died November 28, 2010. Dr. Eckloff was a UNK a speech department faculty member for 44 years, retiring in 2006. From 1978 until 1990 she served as department chairman. During her career at UNK, she received numerous awards for her teaching and her contributions to speech education. Before joining the staff, Dr. Eckloff had a distinguished career in television. She was 82. Carole Jo Wade Egge ’68 of Goodyear, Arizona, died December 31, 2010. She was 65. Richard Embree ’51 of Florence, Oregon died November 21, 2010. He was 82. He was a retired educator. John Erazim ’68 of Raleigh, North Carolina, died May 15, 2010. He was 64. Dr. Bob Etzelmiller ’71 of Minden died June 10, 2010, when the propeller of his Cessna 172 airplane hit him. He was 60. Jill Evers ’02 of Lincoln died October 27, 2010. She was 30. Michael Fleshman ’89 of Funk died April 7, 2011. He was 47. Charles Frith MSE’75 of Grand Island died August 9, 2010. He was 77. Dennis Gove ’87 of Kearney died July 21, 2010. He was 58. Lucy Anderson Hahn ’56 of Westbury, New York, died July 2, 2010. She was 74. Robert M. ‘Bob’ Harris ’47 of Gering died October 28, 2010. He earned his law degree from the University of Michigan and was an attorney until retiring. He was 86. Don O. Hather ’64 of Skagway, Alaska, died April 7, 2011. He was 70. He was a retired educator, a football player and wrestler. He was inducted into the UNK Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. Randall ‘Randy’ Heng ’83 of Omaha died April 3, 2010. He was 49. Anna Margaret ‘Tully’ Hunt ’72 of Anselmo died March 11, 2011. She was 79. Mary Lou Jensen ’73 of Holdrege, formerly of Red Cloud, died November 12, 2010. She was 79. John Johnson ’64 of Cambridge died May 16, 2011. He taught and coached at Bertrand and Cambridge. He was 68. Tom Kaminski ’71 of Loup City died October 9, 2010. He was 62. Steven Kominek ’82 of Colorado Springs died September 17, 2010. He was 50. Sharon Peterson Knapp ’54, MAE’82 of Lincoln died February 19, 2011. She was 78. Edna Ritter Lange ’51 of Denver died January 20, 2011. She was 80. Bill Linn ’72 of Lexington died May 19, 2010.

Class Notes Elaine Martindale ’70, MAE’81 of Holdrege died December 13, 2010. She was 81. Beverly Vierk Orndoff McDonald ’75 of Rockville died October 10, 2010. She was 74. Dennis Monter ’86 died June 7, 2010, from injuries suffered in an automobile accident near Arapahoe. He was 45. Guy Murray of Kearney died May 29, 2010. Murray was baseball coach from 1972 until retiring in 1991. His teams won a school-record 614 games, and he was NAIA district 11 Coach of the Year 11 times. Coach Murray was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1999 and the UNK Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He was 69. Dr. Louis Ninegar of Kearney died April 9, 2011. Dr. Ninegar was a professor emeritus at UNK from 1958 until retiring in 1982. He served on the Kearney City Council, the Buffalo County Board of Supervisors and Central Nebraska Technical and Community College Board, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Buffalo county Red Cross Board, Nebraska Public Retirement System Board and Area Agency on Aging Board. He received the Distinguished Service Award from UNK and Chadron State College. He was 93. Richard Powers ’50 of Kansas City died September 17, 2010. He was a long-time teacher, coach and athletic director at Oak Park High School. He was 81.

Lexie Clark Shewmaker ’56 of Sacramento, California, died July 29, 2010. Ruby Clarice Stephenson Smith ’69 of Lincoln died May 26, 2010. She was 94. Terry Jo Smith ’78 of Bennington died February 25, 2011. He was 59. Teddy Steenson ’65 of Sarasota, Florida, died December 25, 2010. He was 67. Richard Triplett ’58 of Bellevue died June 3, 2010. He was a former superintendent of schools at Bellevue, retiring in 1994. He received the Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 1991. Clarissa ‘Joyce’ Tucker ’70 of Broken Bow died January 30, 2011. She was 85. Gayle Skiles Johnson ’66 of Kearney died December 4, 2010. She was 66. Barbara Larsen ‘43 of Minden died April 28, 2011. She was 91. Don McKee ’61 of Elm Creek died November 24, 2010. He was a teacher for 33 years. He was 72. Twila Keller Martin ’53 of Houston died April 22, 2011. She was 78. Elaine Martindale ’70 MAE ’81 of Holdrege, formerly of Elm Creek, died December 13, 2010. She was 81. May May ’66 of Kearney died November 10, 2010. She was a retired teacher with Kearney Public Schools. She was 95.

Rose Ponticello ’91 of Kearney died November 24, 2010. She was 93. Timothy Roeder ’78 of Holdrege died November 25, 2010. He was 57. Vince Urban ‘69 of Lexington died May 10, 2011. He was 63. Marianna Vargas ‘MSE’82 of Kearney died February 28, 2010. She was 59. Leonard ‘Chuck’ Varvel ’66 of Granbury, Texas, died July 24, 2010. He was 70. Fern Waldmann ’73 of Ord died May 6, 2010. She was 94. She was a career teacher who graduated from UNK the same day as her daughter, Barbara. Zetha Mae Hendrickson Warren ’28 of Los Alamos, New Mexico, died May 7, 2010. She was a teacher who taught in Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico. She was 100. Gary Webster ’70 of Central City died October 25, 2010. He worked at Pinnacle (Farmers National) Bank from 1970 to 2004, becoming president in 1980. He was 64. Carla Wick ’94 of Kearney died November 5, 2010. She was 38. Dolores Damrow Wilkinson ’73 of North Platte died December 14, 2010. She was 80. Dan Young ’64 of Lincoln died November 24, 2010. He was an assistant football coach at Nebraska from 1983 until retiring in 2003. He was 69.

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At the 11th annual Gold Torch mentoring program in October, alumni mentors and student participants take a break from their learning sessions. This year’s Gold Torch Society will be held October 14 and 15. Not only is it a great opportunity for students to network with alumni and gleen more about career opportunities – it is also a chance for alumni to visit campus and see how much it has changed since they graduated. Fifty women in all enjoyed a weekend of socializing, careerbuilding and making friendships.

UNK Today Spring 2011 Issue  

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