Page 1

Red& Gold

The Mater dei High School Magazine

Volume 29, Number 2 • Summer 2013

Saluting Mater Dei’S VeteranS Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve page age 16

MD strategic Direction: one Year review LaDY wiLDcats BasketBaLL state chaMps earLY Donors to Mater Dei: part two

in this issue celebrating Fr. nunning’s ministry in catholic ed

enter to learn, go forth to serve Our most sincere thank you to all alumni and friends who have served in any conflict for protecting our country and the freedoms we continue to enjoy.

The MD community extends their deepest appreciation for all the he has done for MD and for Catholic education.

Meteorologist Jeff Lyons forecasts sunny days for MD “Our Mater Dei experience has been terrific. I know we have made the right decision for our family,” says Jeff.

excellence for tomorrow: one year review

early donors to Mater Dei, part ii This continues our article on how money was raised to build a west side Catholic high school. We share the efforts from 1985 to present that support our mission.

Much has been achieved towards securing that MD will be a strong, vibrant Catholic educational institution for years to come.

Red& Gold

The Mater Dei High School Magazine • Vol. 28, No. 2 • Summer 2013

The Red & Gold is published twice a year by the Mater Dei High School Office of Institutional Advancement, to encourage understanding and support of the mission of Mater Dei High School. Through the Red & Gold, Mater Dei’s 9,000+ alumni, as well as the school’s many friends, continue to strengthen their relationships with each other and become better informed about the many ways Mater Dei strives for excellence through its spiritual, academic and extracurricular programs.

red & gold staff Editor: Carol Nurrenbern Art Director: Alan Inkenbrandt ’89 Photography Contributors: Straub Photography Office of Advancement Staff Sarah Kelley ’12, Andrew Roberson & Yearbook Student Staff Contributors: Timothy Dickel, Andrew Roberson, Sarah Wagner ’88

Send alumni news & address changes to Andrew Roberson, Database Manager,

Mater Dei high school Board of trustees Chair: Terry Clements Vice-Chair: Judy Blankenberger


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Secretary: Matt Folz ’91 Ex-officio Member: Fr. David Nunning Ex-officio Member: Andy Goebel ’65

Ex-officio Member: Timothy A. Dickel Theo Boots Heather Hertel ’92 Daniel Hoefling ’78

Tim Klingler JoAnn Laugel ’66 Andrea Mann Dan Niemeier ’80 Phillip Stolz ’91

Mater Dei today evansville Museum high school art show winners Congratulations to freshman Lauren Martin for winning the top prize, Best of Show, in the Evansville Museum High School Art Show. High schools from Evansville and the surrounding area compete in this annual competition.

Congratulations to other Mater Dei winners: senior Bryan Roales, First Place mixed media; senior Kelsey Allison, Second Place mixed media; and senior Leo Scheller, the Bishop Shea Merit Award winner.

AT LEFT: Freshman Lauren Martin displays her Best of Show award at the annual Evansville Museum High School Art Show for her watercolor “Sink” displayed in the background. Pictured with Lauren is Art teacher Mrs. Toni Wallace.

Don’t text and Drive program combats distracted driving Students at Mater Dei participated this past semester in the Don’t Text and Drive program sponsored by St. Mary’s Trauma Center. St. Mary’s provided a simulator that was placed in the media center for two weeks and students were encouraged to take a turn on the simulator at least once during this period and experience texting while driving along with the distractions of a nagging passenger and dogs, cats, deer and people jumping out into the street in front of them. St. Mary’s sold t-shirts promoting the program in the cafeteria during lunches. The project concluded with a program in the auditorium for all students. According to Sgt. Todd Ringle of the Indiana State Police, in 2012 in Vanderburgh County distracted driving, which includes not just texting but also talking on cell phones, resulted in 2,477 collisions, 639 injuries and nine traffic fatalities. With drivers 15-18 years of age, 404 collisions, 138 injuries and one fatality were due to distracted driving. Sgt. Ringle stated, “The number one distraction for all drivers is the cell phone.” The cell phone regulation, an Indiana state law, states that all drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited to talk on their cell phone when driving. Sgt. Ringle visited the Mater Dei Media Center and presented the statistics to students that reflected accidents while driving and texting

Junior Haley Hatcher is texting while driving and discovering how difficult it is to drive safely while taking her eyes off the road to text a friend.

and driving and talking on a cell phone. He also talked with the students about their driving habits. Senior Lauren Karcher shared “My experience with the simulator was pretty realistic. I hit some deer and I was texting right before I hit them. I didn’t see them because I was busy texting.” Jessica Hunt, also a senior, complained about the passenger riding with her. “The nagging passenger kept telling me what to do and where to turn. It was very distracting.”

Senior Alex Springer summed up his experience with the simulator stating, “It really helps educate kids on what they need to be doing while they are driving. They need to pay attention to driving and not their phones.” Mater Dei was the first school in Evansville to have the simulator along with a follow up program. According to Principal Chris Tanner, “If this impacts just one of our students, it is well worth the effort to potentially save a life.”

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 3

Mater Dei today supermileage team energetically sets another record The Mater Dei Supermilage Team set another record at the Shell Ecomarathon Americas in Houston, Tex. Their urban concept car won the competition at 849.2 miles per gallon of fuel, exceeding the record by 200 mpg. According to team advisor Dan Ritter, the team built the urban concept car this year. “It is a whole new design. It is much longer and more aerodynamic than the old car.” Their prototype battery electric car achieved 600.1 miles per kilowatt hour earning them first place in that category. “This year, solar cells were incorporated into that class,” Ritter said. “So we actually built a solar panel that would capture the energy from the sun as we were driving. They measured how much energy was generated by the sun and how much we used.” The Mater Dei team set the record in this class last year, but this year they exceeded their own record by 200 miles per kilowatt hour. In the prototype

gasoline competition, Mater Dei finished second improving their 2012 results by 200 miles per gallon. They also finished second in the alternative fuel category with

1,416.2 mpg. Mater Dei was among 38 high schools and 48 universities competing. Congratulations to the Supermileage Team for another very successful year!

Senior members of the Supermileage Team pictured with the Supermileage cars. From left, Ethan Head, Natalie Harpenau, Joe Ritter, Jack Weinzapfel, Emily McAtee, Sam Goad, Joe Hayden, Adam Berendes.

Right to Life oratory winner: Our duty is to protect unborn Congratulations to senior Katelyn Klingler for winning first place in the Vanderburgh County Right to Life Oratory Contest. She received a $1,000 scholarship and the

opportunity to read her speech at the Right to Life Banquet this past spring. Below is an excerpt from Katelyn’s award-winning essay:

“The land of the free is being fooled into believing that because a child has not been born, that child somehow does not count. By no faults of their own, these children are denied those inalienable rights that we so often cite for our own sake but do not grant to our unborn counterparts. The unborn are the most innocent and vulnerable among us. Isn’t it our duty, not just as Christians or Americans, but as fellow people, to protect them? To ensure that no harm comes to them? To share with them the love and blessings that have been bestowed upon us?” — Katelyn Klingler


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Mater Dei today “Classics for Credit” program exposes technologically in touch grant for Mater Dei students to great music This past school year, Mater Dei received a grant funded by the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana and Mead Johnson that partnered the Mater Dei English Department and the Evansville Philharmonic

English class. The paper was included in the students’ English portfolios. Many students provided positive comments and stated they appreciated the opportunity to attend the concert. Several faculty and staff

“Many students provided positive comments and appreciated the opportunity to attend the concert.” Orchestra to provide Mater Dei students and faculty with two free tickets to a concert. The program was called “Classics for Credit,” which involved Mater Dei students’ attendance at one of six concerts. The students then wrote a reflective paper about the concert for their

members attended each concert also. The most popular concert was the March Orient Express Concert, which was attended by over 200 individuals from Mater Dei. The concerts began in September with the Bolero Concert and ended with the April Concert, Verdi’s Requiem.

resource program

Marian Educational Outreach (MEO) has teamed with MD to implement a premiere cumulative project that combines proven assistive digital devices for students in the Resource Program. Technologically in Touch promises to promote independence and self-confidence among students for educational and vocational success beyond high school. Kurzweil, a unique computer software program that allows textbook, Internet and literature to be input, read and highlighted to supplement independent learning, is one of many components of this initiative. Additional components include training for teachers and educational programs for parents. Technology in Touch is being funded by a Welborn Baptist Foundation grant.

ABOVE: Emily McAtee, center, received the University of Southern Indiana West Side Nut Club Foundation Scholarship. Emily is pictured with her parents, Jennifer and David McAtee and the West Side Nut Club officers, back row from left, Matt Wannemuehler ’75, vice-president, Tim Mitsdarffer ’76, treasurer, Keith Frank ’80, secretary and Bryan Zeller, president.

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 5

Mater Dei today robotics team takes first place at vex robotics challenge Congratulations to the Mater Dei Robotics team for capturing first place at the Vex Robotics Novice challenge. The competition was sponsored by Ivy Tech and ALCOA.

Jared Becker, Grant Glaser and Jacob VanBibber (operators of Karen, the other robot) and “expert advisors” Mitch Meeks, Adam Berendes, Matt

Becker, Craig Wilmes and Aaron Costlow. Faculty sponsors are science teachers Mrs. Donna Richardson and Mrs. Buffy Wannamuehler.

The Mater Dei team had two robots competing with the X-force robot taking first place. Both robots tied for first in the on-table competition earning 17 points each. The challenge included both an on-table competition and a presentation section and the X-force’s team members’ presentation was the deciding factor in their victory. A total of 24 teams from area schools and organizations competed. Team members included Grant Wilmes, Jake Stratman, Levi Weiss, Adam Koewler (operators of X-force),

Retiring Kathy Scott will be absent from attendance desk Kathy Scott began her career at Mater Dei in 2002 as the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni coordinator. Two years later, she became the Attendance Secretary for the school. She retired at the end of this school year after 11 years of service. Kathy shared, “Interacting with our students has been the most rewarding part of my job throughout the years. I will miss that the most!” And she will be greatly missed by staff and students alike. Best wishes in her retirement!

english teacher kathy weber closes another chapter at MD After 16 years of teaching English at Mater Dei, Kathy Weber announced her retirement this past spring. She shared that before coming to Mater Dei, she had taught in six different schools, but once she began teaching at Mater Dei, she knew she was “home.” “The faculty and staff make this place so special. It has been an honor to teach here. And I am so happy and grateful that all four of my kids graduated from here. Thank you for making the last part of my teaching career a joy.” The Mater Dei community wishes Kathy a happy and blessed retirement!


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Mater Dei today Journalism Dept. wins big at Media Day The Journalism Department took home several awards at the University of Southern Indiana Media Day event this spring. Congratulations to the school newspaper, Wildcat Hi-Lights, staff and the yearbook staff for an outstanding effort with the school’s publications. YEArbook AwArDS best overall Yearbook: Third Place best Photography: Second Place best organizations Section: First Place best Community Section: Second Place best Sports Section: Third Place

NEwSPAPEr AwArDS best overall Newspaper: Second Place best Newspaper Page Design: First and Second Place best Editorial: Olivia DeWeese, Second Place best Feature Photo: Mallorie Will, First Place best Sports Photo: Mallorie Will, Second Place best Sports Story: Dana Hunt, Third Place best Headline: Briana Schoettlin, Second Place best News Photo: Alexa Bueltel, Third Place

Annual Ave Maria Society breakfast The annual Ave Maria Society Breakfast took place April 26, 2013 on the school campus. The morning began with a rosary led by Deacon John McMullen, Theology teacher, followed by Mass celebrated by Fr. Ray Brenner in the school chapel. A reception followed in the Media Center. The Ave Maria Society was created to provide long-term financial viability for Mater Dei High School through planned giving and endowments. There are currently 59 members of the Ave Maria Society. For more information about the Ave Maria Society, contact Sarah Wagner at swagner@evvmaterdei. org or Timothy Dickel at tdickel@

New chairs for the cafeteria were purchased and delivered to Mater Dei during this past school year. Gone are the multi-colored chairs of red, yellow, orange and many other shades that were part of the cafeteria ensemble of chairs for decades. The new chairs are a cardinal red that matches the color in the flooring and the new chairs have provided a new, clean look to the cafeteria. The chairs were purchased with funds raised through the Mater Dei High School Annual Fund. Thank you to all who donate to the Annual Fund each year and make possible these wonderful new improvements in the school.

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 7

preparing students for college and careers Since 98% of Mater Dei graduates attend college, preparing students for higher education becomes a primary focus from the time they enter Mater Dei as a freshman until they leave as a graduate. Introduced this year to the Mater Dei curriculum was Preparing for College and Careers, a class that was required for all freshmen students. According to Wynn Mitchell and Allison Garrard, instructors of the class, at the beginning of the semester surveys are administered to students that explore their interests and gifts and talents. Once a possible career path is established, students determine how best to arrive at their career goal. Their assignment is to interview a person who is in their field of interest. Guest speakers are invited and a visual, up close and personal account of a job is provided so students can assess a “day in the life” of a job. Once a career path is established, students begin exploring the cost of higher education. Students learn early on that college is expensive. Class time is spent discussing financing a college education with grants, scholarships, and loans available. They calculate the cost of textbooks, create a college schedule, and learn about campus life. They also learn that while in high school studying, making good grades, and maintaining a high grade point average is paramount

The Class of 2013 • Offered $5.3 million in scholarships • 62% of the Class of 2013 was offered a scholarship • Class members will attend 24 different colleges in nine states


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Senior Abby Braun reviews scholarship information from the Vanderburgh Community Foundation with Assistant Principal Darlene Quinlin and Mrs. Shea Reneer, Guidance Counselor. Abby was an alternate for the Lilly Scholarship and will attend IUPUI as a volleyball walk-on in the fall.

to being admitted to a college of their choice and to attaining scholarships. This class teaches students how to study and be responsible for their course work. In addition to the Preparing for College and Careers class, a SAT/ ACT prep class is offered to help students prepare for these college entrance exams. The college preparation course is only the beginning of college readiness. The Guidance Office works closely with students preparing for college, particularly during their junior and senior years. Each academic year, approximately 35 colleges and universities visit Mater Dei to speak with seniors, juniors, and sophomore students. Information is published monthly by the Guidance Office with SAT/ACT testing dates, information about the vast array of scholarships available both nationally and locally and

• Mater Dei seniors earned the top dollar scholarship at the University of Southern Indiana and the top dollar Presidential Scholarships at Purdue University, Indiana University, Indiana State University and the Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing Scholarship

encouraging college visits. Guidance Counselors also work closely with students who request assistance to make a financial plan for college, and they work with area agencies and colleges to help secure financial assistance for students. Each year, the Guidance Office hosts a Financial Aid Night for senior parents to assist in completing the FAFSA form. Students are made aware that colleges are looking for students with high grade point averages and rigorous coursework, strong SAT/ACT scores, and those who are involved in their school and community. In addition, social media has taken on a very important role. Students need to be cautious how they portray themselves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts because colleges explore social media to learn more about the students who are applying to their school. Choosing a college and financing a college education are very important issues. Students and parents need to be well equipped with the necessary information to make these decisions, which is the reason that preparing for college has become a vital part of the Mater Dei curriculum for all students.

Mater Dei HiGH ScHool StrateGic Direction

Full of Grace

Excellence for Tomorrow: One Year Review By t im oth y Dickel, p resiD ent

in 2011, one of the first tasks i confronted as the newly appointed president of mater Dei high school was establishing a strategic direction for the high school. After several meetings with different groups of constituents, goals were determined to continue the mission of mater Dei high school for future generations. the following is an overview of the goals and their objectives and

Goal #1: lay a solid faith foundation in support of long-term spiritual growth


• Developed an assessment for students’ knowledge of the faith and spiritual practices that is agreed upon by the West Deanery pastors • created survey for alumni on their spiritual practices • Designed an annual retreat for faculty and staff • Future plans • Administer survey for alumni • survey parents of incoming freshmen on their expectations for their children’s spiritual development • survey parents of graduating seniors on their children’s spiritual development

what has been accomplished to date. Also listed are future plans to meet the success of each goal. much has been achieved in a year by many committees and individuals who will continue to work toward the goals that have been set, all with the focus on securing that mater Dei high school will be a strong, vibrant catholic educational institution for many years to come.

Goal #2: increase enrollment to 650 students by 2025 Accomplishments

• Added an enrollment manager staff position in 2011–12

• enrolled the largest freshman class in 2012–13 in several year • held the best attended open house for prospective students in school history in the fall of 2012 • promoted international exchange program to attract new students to mater Dei • marketed the voucher program and enrolled 12 students through the program in 2012–13 • presented at deanery parishes in 2011–12 and 2012–13

• enhanced student ambassador program to create more visibility in all feeder schools • created regular communication plan for feeder school parents and students • improved student retention from freshman to senior year • increased financial aid for families that qualify • Future plans • increase the percentage of feeder school students that enroll in mD from 70-85% • enroll more international students • increase financial aid • Attract additional students through the voucher program

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 9

Goal #3: increase endowment to $10 million by 2025 Accomplishments

• increased number of endowments from 18 to 31 • increased balance of endowments from $671,648.80 in December 31, 2010 to $1,102,623.26 in December 31 2012 • increased the number of the Ave maria society: the planned Giving and endowment society of mater Dei’s members to 56 individuals and couples • hosted annual meeting for the Ave maria society

• created annual newsletter for the Ave maria society • hosted an Ave maria society meeting in naples, Fla. in 2012

Goal #4: advance academic excellence by setting standards for student and faculty achievement

• Future plans


• establish a working Ave maria society committee

• identified key metrics for academic success

• partner with parishes and pastors to educate the community about endowments and planned giving

• increased the percentage of honors diplomas granted from 46% in 2010 to 60% in 2012 • increased ecA pass rates from 94% of students passing english and 82% of students passing math in 2010–11 to 97% of students passing english and 92% passing math in 2011–12 • increased college scholarship money received by graduating seniors to $5 million • established 15 dual college credit courses • Future plans • establish plan for improved Advanced placement scores • Fund increased faculty development in content specific graduate coursework

Goal #5: Develop strategic alliance with MD feeder schools Accomplishments

• Future plans

• promoted school choice programs throughout the feeder schools and mD

• hosted feeder school students at mater Dei for various events

• pursue joint purchasing and cost savings opportunities with feeder schools • pursue technology plan for k-12

• created elementary/middle school summer musical

Goal #6: Provide $600,000 annually in financial aid to support enrollment goal by 2020 Accomplishments

• increased tuition assistance from $160,000 in 2010–11 to $200,000 in 2012–13 • increased financial assistance from endowments • Future plans 10

Red& Gold Summer 2013

• continue to increase financial assistance income from endowments and planned giving efforts • communicate the success of financial aid recipients • explore tuition and pricing philosophy for k-12 catholic education

Goal #7: Develop and fund a facilities plan to meet long-term needs of school Accomplishments

• Developed facility plan for the next five years • increased volunteer support • identified priorities for capital campaign • created a five year technology plan • Future plans

• improve curb appeal by razing convent and creating a more attractive entrance to the school • install a digital marquee on harmony Way by 2015 • Add additional signage for entrances to the school

Goal #8: enhance alumni & Friends engagement through 40% annual Fund participation by 2025 and enhanced volunteer support by Mater Dei community Accomplishments

• increased Annual Fund donations from $600,808 in 2010–11 to $754,452 in 2011–12 • Added young alumni class chairs • Future plans • increase number of email addresses

• Annual Fund participation to 25% by 2015 • Visit catholic high schools with high Annual Fund participation rates • establish an unpaid volunteer coordinator position and supporting committee to support volunteers and fundraising

Goal #9: launch capital campaign to support plan by 2012 with completion by 2014

• Accomplishments

• conducted a feasibility study in 2012 • established priority projects • recruited a capital campaign cabinet • Began silent phase solicitation • Future plans • launch a public phase for the capital campaign • leverage relationships from capital campaign to advance planned giving goals • host public kick-off meetings in other cities

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 11

Mater Dei sports recap SPort


Girls Basketball


Boys Basketball


Girls Swimming


Boys Swimming


Girls Track Kiersten Record: IHSAA State Qualifier 300 hurdles


Luke Neitzke, Jace Hartz, Jacob Hartz, Julian Weidner: IHSAA State Qualifier 400 M Relay


Red& Gold Summer 2013


Girls Tennis


Doubles Team of Emily McAtee and Jenna Smith: IHSAA Sectional Champions


Boys Track


Boys Golf 7th in Sectional







Wrestling Mahlon Parkinson (160) IHSAA State Qualifier Ashton Forzley (152) IHSAA State Qualifier


winter/spring 2013

Senior members of the girls’ basketball team, Laura Greenwell, Aubrey Goebel, Jenae Gries, and Beth Fischer, hold the game ball and the Class 2A state championship trophy.

MD girls win back-to-back state championships The girls’ basketball team won the Class 2A state championship title for the second consecutive year. After winning both sectional and regional titles, the team defeated #2 ranked Heritage Christian 56–49 in overtime to advance to the state title game. The Lady Wildcats, ranked #1 all season, clinched the Class 2A state title by defeating Eastern High School, Greene County, 62–42. They finished their season 28–2. Coach Steve Goans commented, “It’s just a great feeling. I think it has finally sunk in that we have won back-toback state championships! I am so proud of our team!”

Girls’ basketball Awards Maura Muensterman: 1st team All SIAC, Junior All Star Core Team, IBCA Underclassmen 1st team, All State, AP, 1st team All State (top vote-getter) tori Schickel: 1st team All SIAC, IBCA Underclassmen 1st team, All State, AP, Honorable Mention All State beth Fischer: Honorable Mention All SIAC, IBCA Senior Honorable Mention All State, IBCA Academic All State Honorable Mention Jenae Gries: IBCA Academic All State Honorable Mention

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 13

Early Donors to Mater Dei Mater Dei High School continues to be supported by parishioners and parents committed to Catholic education Editor’s Note: This article is a continuation of an article published in the Winter 2013 Red & Gold that discussed how money was raised to build a Catholic high school on the west side of Evansville. We continue to share the efforts from 1985 to present that support the mission of Mater Dei High School.


fter opening the doors to Mater Dei High School, the school continued to flourish over the next several decades with strong enrollment numbers and academic and athletic successes. Over these years, efforts to raise money for specific projects and upkeep continued. The building remained as built in 1949 until 1985, when the first addition took place. The first known capital campaign for Mater Dei took place in 1985 to raise funds for a “multi-purpose building” addition to the gym which included a full size basketball floor, practice wrestling room, a band/chorus room, a classroom for computer classes, Athletic Office, coaches office and restrooms. It was the first addition to the school building since constructed 35 years earlier. Sister Mary Carmel, who had completed her tenure as principal in 1981, commented about the new additions in 1985: “The need for both expansion and renovation is obvious and long overdue. No thinking, reasonable individual can regard these as luxuries. If Mater Dei is to attract students, it must give evidence that it plans to be in existence for many years. Mater Dei must manifest in word and fact that it is a viable Catholic educational institution.” The necessary funds were raised and the first building addition project was completed in its entirety, adding much needed space in the athletic area. Twelve years later, Treasure the Tradition capital campaign kicked off in 1997. The $11.2 million capital campaign raised funds for renovations and expansions at both Mater Dei and Memorial high schools. This campaign was lead by general chair, Mr. Greg Kempf and co-chairs of the Planning Committee, W. C. “Bill” Bussing and Melvin “Butch” Feulner ’66. The Most Reverend Gerald A. Gettelfinger, Bishop of Evansville, served as the honorary chair. The impetus for this campaign was a 1995 building study of


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Cutting the ribbon for the new gym addition is Bishop Francis Shea, and standing in the background left is Principal Walter Bowman and Harold Kempf, right.

both Mater Dei and Memorial conducted by Indiana State University that assessed enrollment trends, curriculum and facility needs. The study concluded that in order for continued enrollment growth, facility expansions and renovations were necessary at both schools. Mater Dei’s enrollment was 114% of capacity and the mobile classrooms outside the gym entrance attested to the overcrowding at the school. Increased enrollment, additional sports programs and a greater need for computer courses increased the need for facility upgrades. As a result of this campaign, Mater Dei’s expansion provided the Koch Science facilities, the Kempf Auditorium, Monsignor Michael Wolf Chapel, computer labs, a new main office suite, a new main entrance to the school, new windows and air conditioning. By 2005, plans for another capital campaign, Continue the Tradition, was introduced to the Evansville Catholic community to once again raise money for both Catholic high schools. James Muehlbauer and Andrew Goebel provided leadership for this campaign serving as cochairs; Butch Feulner and Wayne Henning served as associate co-chairs; and Bishop Gettelfinger once again

Part Two {

“If Mater Dei is to attract students, it must give evidence that it plans to be in existence for many years. Mater Dei must manifest in word and fact that it is a viable Catholic educational institution.” —Sister Mary Carmel, Principal


Pictured at the groundbreaking ceremony in 1985 for the addition of the new gym area are left to right, Chris Knapp, Mayor of Mater Dei-ville, Norman Moutoux, Principal Walter Bowman, Harold Kempf, Ron Hollander, Evansville Mayor Michael Vandeveer and Bishop Francis Shea.

was the honorary chair. Projects targeted in this campaign for Mater Dei included a new boiler, replacement of the original gym floor, installation of an elevator, wireless infrastructure, new gym windows, a new lift station and to establish a financial aid endowment to provide access to Catholic education for more families and to provide a perpetual income source for financial aid. Also included in this campaign was debt retirement from the previous capital campaign. Although over $11 million was raised with Treasure the Tradition, this amount could not fully fund all of the improvements necessary at both high schools. After much consideration, the decision was made by Bishop Gettelfinger, campaign leadership, the school board, the Diocesan Finance Council, the Diocesan Building Commission and design counsel that moving ahead with the construction of an auditorium at Mater Dei and an auxiliary gym at Memorial was necessary. Contractors

were on site and prices of building materials would only increase in the future making both structures dramatically more expensive to construct at a later date. A debt of $3.4 million was incurred and this amount was added to the total monies needed for Continue the Tradition capital campaign. The goal of Continue the Tradition was $6.5 million and supporters of the Evansville Catholic High Schools generously enabled the schools to exceed that goal with $6.75 million raised. Forward to the present and Mater Dei High School continues to be supported by hardworking parishioners and parents to provide a Catholic education to youth through contributions to the Mater Dei High School Annual Fund and the Ave Maria Society, a planned giving organization, tuition, fundraising efforts and volunteer hours. The Mater Dei community and its feeder schools know that it truly “takes a village” to educate children in the Catholic faith. Summer 2013

Red& Gold 15




an r e et


enter e nter to learn, go Forth to SerVe


g ou V r MD

Forty years ago, the United States began to withdraw troops from Vietnam, a Cold War military conflict that became the longest war the United States has been involved in to date. American troops were sent to Vietnam in 1955 and the U.S. involvement ended August 15, 1973. The actual Vietnam conflict ended after the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. The war escalated during the years of 1965–68 when thousands of casualties occurred. By the war’s end, 58,220 American soldiers had been killed, more than 150,000 had been wounded and 21,000 had been permanently disabled. The average age of a soldier

By Carol Nurrenbern

killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years. Many soldiers landed in Vietnam by way of “the draft.” From 1948 until 1973, during both peacetime and periods of conflict, men were drafted to fill vacancies in the armed forces which could not be filled through voluntary means. A draft number was assigned to 18year-old males when they registered for the Selective Service. On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States conducted a lottery to determine the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War for men born from 1944 to 1950 based on the order their birth date was drawn. The lottery was first implemented in

1970. The United States’ involvement in Vietnam was highly unpopular and the lottery only encouraged further resentment of the war and the draft. Many alumni from Mater Dei High School fought in Vietnam and in the conflicts that followed. To our knowledge, Mater Dei lost only one member of their family in Vietnam. His story follows as well as some stories from other alumni who served in the military. Our deepest, most sincere thank you to all alumni and friends who have served in any conflict for protecting our country and the freedoms we continue to enjoy.

tom McBride ’67—Some gave all Thomas Leo McBride was born November 12, 1949, in Evansville. He attended St. Philip Catholic School and Mater Dei High School graduating in 1967. He joined the United States Marine Corps following high school, something he had wanted to do since he was in the fifth grade. Tom was the oldest of eight children and according to his sister, Cathy McBride Jefferson ’80, he volunteered for the Marine Corp because of his “strong sense of duty and responsibility for others.” Tom saw the threat of communism spreading and believed it was a very real danger to the way of life and the freedoms that our country enjoyed. He had planned to get married and become a respiratory therapist once he returned from military service. Lance Corporal Tom McBride, a weapons specialist, was on a mission June 5, 1968 in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, when his unit was ambushed. There were many dead and wounded. When they asked for volunteers to retrieve the wounded, Tom volunteered. Cathy shares, “One of his friends was shot in the leg and when he went out to get him, Tom was shot in the chest and shoulder and died in his friend’s arms.” Tom was 18 years old. He was a member of A Company, 1st BN, 27th Marines, 1st Marine Division, III MAF and served a total of 18 months in the military. He lived only four months in Vietnam. He was awarded a medal from the military of South Vietnam in recognition of his service for protecting and defending their country. He also received a marksmen medal and a Purple Heart. Cathy adds, “Tom was a good Marine, friend, son, brother and a true hero sacrificing his own life for others.” And heroes are never forgotten. Tom’s classmates from Mater Dei, the Class of 1967, decided at their 25th high


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Bill Stocker ’55 Bill Stocker possessed a serious desire to fly, so after graduating from Mater Dei in 1955 he attended Evansville College and enrolled in the ROTC program. When he graduated from college in 1959, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Little did he know that he would eventually rise to the rank of Colonel logging more than 4,300 flying hours. In 1965, Bill was selected for pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas. He was assigned to the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand as an F-4 pilot. From March 1967 to October 1967, he flew 109 combat missions, 100 of those over North Vietnam. He later attended B-52 Combat Crew Training School followed by an assignment to the 367th Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Wing. While assigned to the 367th, Colonel Stocker flew five temporary duty tours in the western Pacific in B-52s, completing 317 combat missions against targets in North and South Vietnam. He was interviewed by Harry Reasoner, ABC journalist, in the spring of 1972 about B-52 bombers. During the Linebacker II operations in December of 1972, Colonel Stocker

school reunion in 1992 to plant a tree in front of the school and place a plaque in memory of Tom. The tree and the plaque were moved to another location on campus when construction began in 1998 to build an addition to the front of the school. This past June 5, 46 years after the Class of 1967 graduated and the 45th anniversary of Tom’s death, his classmates re-dedicated the tree and placed a new plaque in Tom’s memory. Cathy stated, “His Mater Dei classmates have never forgotten him and always include us (Tom’s family) in their reunions. We are grateful for the Class of 1967. They have been wonderful to us!” Visitors to Washington, DC, can see Tom’s name listed at the Vietnam memorial, The Wall Monument. His name is located on panel 60W Line 024. Tom was laid to rest in St. Philip Church cemetery. Semper Fi!

Bill Stocker is presented with the Silver Star for leading the Linebacker II mission in North Vietnam December 1972.

Bill arrives at his home base, McCoy AFB, Orlando Florida from Guam. After six tours of Vietnam, the war was finally over for him. Pictured from left to right, his son, Joe, Bill, his wife, Carol, his daughter, Laura, his wing commander and his son, Eric.

flew four missions against key military targets in Hanoi, North Vietnam. He was wave and strike leader on the largest bombing raid conducted during Linebacker II operations consisting of 118 B-52 sorties. Linebacker II led to the peace accord being signed in Paris ending the Vietnam War. Bill did six tours in Vietnam from 1967 to 1973 for a total of 426 air combat missions. He retired from active duty in September 1986. Among his many military awards and decorations are the Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit Award, Distinguished Flying Cross one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal 24 Oak Leaf Clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal two Oak

Leaf Clusters. Bill shared, “I left my sweetheart behind several times—always at Christmas. Through it all, we had four children and are still married 56 years later.” Bill is married to the former Carol Sue Halbig, also a 1955 Mater Dei graduate. For the remainder of Bill’s military career, he served as an Operations officer, Deputy Commander of Operations and as Director for Combat Operations and Chairman Contingency Steering Group, Headquarters Strategic Air Command. Reflecting back on his days at Mater Dei, he added, “I thank all the nuns, coaches and classmates for their prayers and guidance they gave me to achieve my goals.”

On June 5, 2013, the MD Class of 1967 rededicated a tree planted several years ago and a new plaque in memory of their classmate, Tom McBride, on the 45th anniversary of his death in Vietnam, with Fr. David Nunning leading the dedication ceremony.

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 17

                 Jack Funke ’57 Jack Funke ’57 graduated two years after Bill Stocker ’55 from Mater Dei, both joined the military and both participated in the Linebacker II Offensive in December of 1972. After Jack graduated from Mater Dei in 1957, he attended Evansville College for a year, but he loved flying and had earned his private pilot’s license while in high school and wanted a career in flying. He decided to quit college and pursue his dream of being a pilot. He joined the United States Air Force and applied to a program for pilots and navigators. When he was ready for pilot training school, the classes were full, so he attended navigator school with the hope of eventually getting into pilot training. By 1964, he had received an officer’s commission and was admitted to pilot school. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical studies and a master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Jack served two tours of Vietnam— in 1968–69 and again in 1972. He flew 369 air combat missions over North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Some of his most indelible memories are of the combat experiences of both combat tours. “The scariest was flying F-111 night low level bombing runs at 200–400 feet in North Vietnam during the Linebacker ll Offensive in December ’72,” Jack shares. “My primary job was a pilot crew member, but as one progresses in rank and experience, there are many other jobs and responsibilities. My career highlight was as a Squadron Commander of the 391st Tac Ftr Sqdn, F-111’s, at Mtn Home AFB. My Highest rank was Lt. Colonel. I was dual rated as a Command Pilot and Navigator/Wso,” he adds. He married Judy Schmitt, a 1957 Memorial graduate, after he was commissioned in October 1960. He and Judy will celebrate 53 years of marriage this year and have raised four children. They were stationed in 17 different locations during his Air Force career. Jack’s military awards and accolades are numerous and include the Distinguished Flying Cross two Oak Leaf Clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal 20 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Jack Funke in Phan Rang in 1968 next to his fighter plane.

ron hickman, MD Media Specialist Ron Hickman’s draft number was 127 in 1970. To avoid being drafted into the United States Army, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1970. He considered four years in the Air Force a better deal than two years in the Army. In June of 1972, Ron married his high school sweetheart. A month later he received orders for combat duty and left that September for Southeast Asia. He was gone for 365 days. Staff Sergeant Hickman was stationed at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Ubon Thailand. He was assigned the job of aerial combat documentation photographer. Ron flew as a documentation photographer on search and rescue missions, flew combat missions on C-130 Spector gunships and flew bomb damage assessment missions on OV-10 aircraft. Ron was a photographer on the photo team assigned to cover the release of prisoners of war (POWs) from Hanoi. He also photographed the ceremonies when Da Nang Air Force Base, Vietnam, was turned over to the authority of the Vietnamese. After returning stateside from Southeast Asia, Ron was assigned to Instructional Systems Development providing photography for audio visual instructional materials for C-5 pilot training. According to Ron, “This ultimately led to a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development and a position as Media Specialist at Mater Dei High School.” 18

Red& Gold Summer 2013

                 Bobby Wathen ’66 In 1969, Bobby Wathen was safely enrolled in college at Indiana State University-Evansville as a full time student. Then he dropped a class which reduced his status to a part-time student and he immediately lost his 2-S status (registrant deferred because of activity in study) or also known as a college deferment. Bobby received orders to leave for the Army in October 1969, but the lottery was introduced during that period and his orders were cancelled. His number in the lottery turned out to be a low 27 and he was called up for basic training four months later on February 8, 1970. Bobby served in the Army and was assigned to the 3rd Brigade 9th Infantry Division located at the time in Tan An, South Vietnam. From there he was reassigned to the 1st Calvary Division located in Bein Hoa. His first assignment was clerical support when the 3rd Brigade was being deployed back home to the U.S. When he left the military, he was a Specialist 4th Class.

“Coming home was not as it is today. At least now we recognize those who fought and are fighting for our freedom.” While serving his country, Bobby was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal 60 Device, Vietnam Campaign Medal 2 Stars, Army Commendation Medal two Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Palm. Bobby reflects, “As you know, the Vietnam War was very controversial and rightfully so. I went because I was drafted and opting to Canada was not an option as I wanted to see my family again.” “Coming home was not as it is today. I truly believe the Vietnam Conflict was something everyone wanted to treat as though it never happened. Unfortunately, some 58,000 American lives were lost for nothing. At least we have learned from this big mistake. At least now we recognize those who fought and are fighting for our freedom.”

A Chinook helicopter making a drop during Vietnam.

ed Folz ’66 and larry Schenk ’66 Having a low draft number of 48 was just bad news in 1968. Ed Folz was attending Indiana State University– Evansville campus part time and working part time at Kent Plastics. Being a part time student, he was classified as 2-A which indicated he was eligible to be drafted. Ed was called up to serve Ed Folz ’66 June 3, 1968 and reported to Fort Knox, Ky. Ed’s draft number was assigned by the Selective Service prior to the lottery draft in 1970. Following basic training at Fort Knox, Ed was sent to radio school. He was part of the 1st Air Calvary in Vietnam and his mission was repairing radios in Chinooks helicopters as they flew. Ed, Specialist 5th Class, was awarded two Bronze Stars, Air Medals, Army Accommodation Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. While at Fort Knox in August of 1968, Ed heard that a neighbor and former classmate, Larry Schenk, was also there, so Ed looked him up and he and Larry visited a couple of times. Larry went on to infantry training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Ed left for Vietnam in April of 1969 and Larry arrived in Vietnam in May of the same year. Larry Schenk ’66 Ed and Larry grew up together in Howell (west side of Evansville) and were classmates at St. Agnes grade school and Mater Dei. Ed explained, “Letters from home said Larry was in the 1st Air Calvary also, so I looked for him at every landing zone I went to. The middle of June 1969 I found him talking to two Red Cross girls on the perimeter of a landing zone on the edge of Cambodia. When we saw each other, we just laughed and turned around and the doughnut dollies were gone! I never saw U.S. girls again the whole tour.” Ed and Larry met again in August 1969 at Quan Lai. At that time, the Viet Cong were attempting to overrun an air strip. Early in 1970, Larry was wounded and sent to Quan Lai to ship Chinook loads out to landing zones. Ed reflected, “We were as close there as in Howell growing up two blocks away. It was a very long year, but it helped knowing someone from home. And Larry Schenk was the best friend any person could have.” Summer 2013

Red& Gold 19

                 Band of Brothers: Jim Knapp ’68 and Jerry Knapp ’68 Jim Knapp ’68 served from 1970– 72 in the United States Navy as a signalman aboard the USS Midway. Jim’s motivation to join the Navy was the fact that his draft number was low enough that he would have been drafted into the Army. Although Jim did not see any combat action, the carrier ship he was on made two cruises to the Vietnam combat zone for six months each time. Jim completed his military career as a Third Class Petty Officer and received the Military Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. Jim shared, “The time spent in the military expanded my views of the world and helped me to appreciate that the freedoms we enjoy are not without cost.” Jerry Knapp ’68, Jim’s brother, was drafted following high school graduation, reporting for basic training in September of 1968. By February of 1969 he was serving in light weapon infantry in Vietnam where he would remain until April 8, 1970. Once back in the states, he was placed on inactive

Jim Knapp ’68 reserve until September of 1970. Jerry left behind his high school sweetheart, Judy Englert Knapp ’68. They began dating as juniors in high school and were engaged in the early summer of 1968. They were married in April of 1971 and celebrated 42 years of marriage this year. While serving in Vietnam, Jerry was awarded the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry,

Jerry Knapp ’68 Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, the Bronze Star and Air Medal. Jerry has no recollection of family members commenting about having two sons/two brothers both serving in Vietnam. Jerry states, “I don’t remember anyone talking about that, but it had to be hard on Mom and Dad not knowing if their sons would come home.”

Frank Buerger ’69—Desert Storm When Frank Buerger ’69 reflects back on his 30-year career in the military, he often ponders what the initial spark was that sent him in that direction. “I think back to asking Sr. Mary Terrance a flippant question that young teenagers are apt to ask. ‘Sister, what is the secret to happiness?’ She sternly looked at me for a long time and then her face softened and she said, ‘Frank, you will never be happy unless you are serving others.’” Frank was safely in college during the Vietnam draft, enrolled in the MBA program at Indiana University Business School, when one of his professors told him that he was going to receive an A- for his management course, but the professor questioned if Frank really wanted to be in business. “I was a bouncer at a local bar and played fall and spring rugby. I would often show up at class in my practice uniform with my cleats around my neck. As it turns out he was a former Naval Aviator that got his doctorate in the Navy and got out to teach. All he said to me was, ‘I think you are made to fly in the Navy, ’” Frank explains. Frank enrolled in Aviation Officer’s Candidate School where he was taught to fly by Marine drill instructors who were “hard and tough” and most had returned from combat in Vietnam. He flew in the back seat of a F-4 Phantom and later transitioned to a F-14 Tomcat. He was selected as an instructor and taught new F-14 crews how to fly and fight the Tomcat. Each instructor had a specialty or expertise and Frank’s was taking new pilots to the “boat”—landing the plane on an aircraft carrier. Frank served in Desert Storm where he flew over 30 missions. He recalls, “The invasion of Kuwait in 1990 took us all by surprise and in three days our Aircraft Carrier, USS John F. Kennedy, was on its way to war. After rounds of negotiation, word came down that we were going to war. I was the Operations Officer of VF-14, the ’Top Hatters,’ and we were ready. I was designated fighter mission commander for one of the first daylight raids.”


Red& Gold Summer 2013

                 Frank Drone ’66—agent orange Frank Drone ’66 survived his tour in Vietnam even after being wounded, but he did not survive being exposed to Agent Orange, the herbicide and defoliant the United States used in the jungles of Vietnam as part of chemical warfare. Frank enlisted in the Marines on March 14, 1967, and several months later landed in Southeast Asia. He was part of the Marine infantry, and his entire tour of Vietnam was spent on the front lines. Frank was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 1993. According to Frank’s wife, Donna, his doctor told him that this type of cancer was the result of being exposed to Agent Orange, and the Veteran’s Administration has confirmed a solid link to Agent Orange and CLL. Frank lost his battle with this cancer in 1998.

Sergeant Frank Drone was the recipient of the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. He was also the recipient of a lot of love from his family and friends.

   a Prayer for Veterans We ask for blessings on all those who have served their country in the armed forces. We ask for healing for the veterans who have been wounded, in body and soul, in conflicts around the globe. Bring solace to them, o lord; may we pray for them when they cannot pray. We ask for an end to wars and the dawning of a new era of peace as a way to honor all the veterans of past wars. hear our prayer, o Prince of Peace. amen.

  

Frank received orders to assume command of the United Nations Airbase in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in charge of a 1,000 people, flying Russian, French and Canadian helicopters. Following his tour in Cambodia, he attended the Japanese War College for senior military officers and was selected as the Defense Attache to Japan, the Department of Defense senior officer in the US Embassy. As Frank was moving closer to retirement, he received orders to his final posting as the Defense Attache to the Netherlands. Frank shares, “We moved to a huge white house in Hague that once housed the German Gestapo General and staff during World War II. While we were there, they commemorated the liberation of the Netherlands and the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII. There were many functions we attended that I represented the United States. I was touched and humbled by the young and old thanking me for the sacrifice and courage of the U.S. soldiers that liberated them. They pass down to each generation that American soldiers fought and died to liberate them. The cemeteries where U.S. soldiers are buried are beautiful and kept in immaculate condition. Children and families adopt a soldier’s grave and try to learn all they can about the soldier to keep his memory alive.” After his retirement from the Navy, Frank joined the Defense Intelligence Agency and served in Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2011.

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 21

Fr. david Nunning’s ministry has laid a solid foundation for the future of Catholic education


uring the early years of organizations, and encouraging Mater Dei, priests served an administrative structure that as superintendents and would include development and as members of the faculty and as marketing components. such, were very instrumental in the In recent years, Fr. Nunning day to day education of students. has been less involved because As the number of priests declined, of the presence of multithe clergy began to disappear from layered leadership in the school Catholic schools. Today, although communities. “Today, the role and Mater Dei does not have a priest on ministry of the Catholic high school staff, we do have a priest who is very are much better understood and active in the ministry of Catholic the sense of ‘ownership’ more education at Mater Dei. pronounced in the community. Fr. David Nunning, pastor at St. There are many volunteers and Agnes Catholic Church and Sacred people on staff who contribute not Heart Catholic Church, has been only to their particular role in the involved with Catholic education high school community, but help to in the Diocese of Evansville for shape the overall effectiveness of nearly 45 years, which is as long the school and advance its cause.” as he has been a Looking ahead priest. Today his to the future role is to serve of Catholic There is a tendency to think that in a modern world education, as the Bishop’s representative good things come easy. Mater dei is too good to exist Fr. Nunning on the Mater Dei reflects, “There without effort. It will require sacrifices for the families is a tendency to High School Board of Trustees. think that in a who want great Catholic education for their own Ordained in modern world children and it will require sacrifices from people like 1969, Fr. Nunning good things come me who want it for the good of our community. became involved easy. Previous in Catholic generations education when had to sacrifice he taught Religion individually and at Reitz Memorial High School. collectively for those things that Commissioner of Education and While teaching at Memorial, he was matter. Mater Dei is too good to served as the chief officer for both invited to join the Administrative exist without effort. It will require schools and catechetical formation Team in 1971 which addressed the sacrifices for the families who want in the diocese. administrative and global needs of great Catholic education for their While serving as the the school beyond curriculum and own children and it will require Commissioner of Education, Fr. instruction, including development sacrifices from people like me Nunning implemented the first and marketing. who want it for the good of our computer system for the diocese He was then appointed to the community.” that was primarily for school tuition diocesan office as Director of Fr. Nunning will be ending accounting and the development of Religious Education. During his tenure as the Bishop’s the Grants-in-Aid program, and he that time, Fr. Nunning worked representative on the Mater Dei worked closely with the then newly with the late Fr. Raymond Kuper Board of Trustees in July. The established Catholic Education in consolidating the offices of Mater Dei community extends their Foundation. He was named Dean education, which included both the deepest appreciation for all that of the West Deanery in 1995 which Catholic Schools Office and the he has done for Mater Dei and for included responsibilities for the Office of Religious Education, and Catholic education. Fr. Ed Schnur Evansville Catholic high schools. eventually establishing the Catholic will replace Fr. Nunning as the He worked as part of the team Center at its present location. priest delegate on the Mater Dei that initiated the capital fund In 1977 he assumed the office of Board of Trustees. drives, the promotion of the alumni


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Meteorologist Jeff Lyons forecasts sunny days for Mater Dei community


eff Lyons, a meteorologist for a local television station, strongly identified with the “other west side high school” while growing up in Evansville. His father, Larry Lyons, was an outstanding teacher and football coach at Reitz High School for 25 years, and Jeff is a third generation Reitz graduate. But today Jeff finds himself a Mater Dei parent and a convert to the Catholic Church. Jeff’s journey to Catholicism began when he met his wife, Kate. He was impressed with her deep faith and strong convictions about the importance of God and the Catholic Church in her life. Kate was the primary influence in Jeff converting to Catholicism by her example of “living the faith in a joyful and purposeful manner.” She never asked him to join the Church or made it a condition of marriage. It was through her example that he aspired to be like her and her family. As he came to know her family, he became aware of the strong bond and central role that the Catholic faith played in their everyday lives, not just for an hour on Sunday mornings. He attended church with her and began to ask more questions. “When we decided to marry, I determined that I wanted to raise my children with a solid foundation of faith in the Catholic tradition. It just felt right to me at the time, and it still does today,” Jeff explained. When Jeff began working in Terre Haute as a meteorologist, the TV station was across the street from St. Benedict Catholic Church. He became involved in the music program, and it was in casual conversations and at gatherings that he began to see a common thread of a strong faith and deep belief in the Catholic tradition. He began the RCIA process in Terre Haute and completed it at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Evansville when he relocated to take a job at WFIE Channel 14. Jeff wondered what his family would think of his decision to convert to Catholicism, thinking this would be the most difficult part

of his decision. As it turned out, his parents and the rest of his family were extremely supportive and encouraged him in every way. According to Jeff, “I think one of the things that appealed to me about the Catholic Church was that nobody ever pressured me to join. There was no ’membership drive’ or hard-sell preaching to make me sign up. The Church is there for everyone, but you must take the first step. It must come from within.” Jeff works toward his own personal harmony in his faith and in his life. He believes that God comes first, and that all we have is a gift from God. “Prior to my conversion, I believed that we were all self-made and that anything we achieved was only tied to our individual and sometimes selfish pursuits. I’ve come to understand, through the teachings of Jesus Christ, that we, indeed, must take responsibility for our decisions and our lives, but with the understanding that we are all children of God, each blessed with different gifts. We have a moral responsibility to share our time, treasure and talent and to help lift up those less fortunate. I believe that when we truly put God first, everything does indeed fall into place according to His plan. I have spent 24 years learning this very basic but important tenet of Catholicism, and I am still learning every day.” “Our oldest son, Patrick, has special needs. Because of my faith, I can look past his disability and see the gifts and meaning he has brought to my life and our family. He has the gift of music, and is able to share his conducting skill at church with the choir every week. I believe that God is working through him to show us all what is possible when we trust in God.” The decision for Jeff and Kate to send their children to Catholic schools was an easy one for them. Although Jeff believes Reitz is an excellent school with a deep tradition and strong family ties, they wanted their children to have the one missing element in public

Jeff with his wife, Kate, and his children, Patrick, Justin and Natalie.

schools—religious education. Jeff noted “I have visited hundreds of schools in my career, and am always impressed with the discipline and atmosphere in a Catholic school.” Jeff and Kate’s son, Justin, is a junior at Mater Dei, and their daughter, Natalie, will be a freshman this fall. Jeff comments, “Our Mater Dei experience has been terrific. I know we have made the right decision for our family, because I see it in my kids’ achievements, activities and friends. The Mater Dei community is truly a family in the sense of a caring and nurturing environment. I think the demanding curriculum will also be a great asset as Justin and Natalie prepare for college.” Jeff has embraced the Catholic Church with a very solid perception of how the Church can work in our lives, and he provides an inspired definition of the Catholic Church: “The Church offers wonderful structure to our lives as we move through the liturgical seasons. With the hectic world we all live in, the Church is like this steady, swinging pendulum on a clock that keeps a steady beat and a constant focus on God. Our faith allows us to tune out the noisy world and reflect on all the gifts that God has given us, and how we might share them with others.”

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 23

Friends & alumni news 1950s ron wannemuehler ’56 was inducted into the Memorial High School Athletic Hall of Fame this past January. Ron was the boys’ head basketball coach for 21 years winning Memorial’s first IHSAA sectional and regional titles in 1966 and again in 1970. He also served as Athletic Director for 25 years before retiring in 2003 after 42 years at Memorial. Ron also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the SIAC in August 2012. Ron served as the SIAC’s secretary/treasurer for 25 years. Ron is married to Liz Dewitt ’57. They have three children and six grandchildren and will be married 55 years this August.

Ron Wannemuehler ’56 was inducted into the Memorial High School Athletic Hall of Fame this past January.

operators of Arrowhead Custom Lawn Care. They enjoy watching their daughter, Jenna ’13, play tennis and their daughter, Micah ’15, play volleyball and softball at Mater Dei.

1990s kellie Scott ’95 is a police officer with the New York Police Department in New York City, N.Y. She was recently promoted to lieutenant. She has been on the NYPD force for seven years, and her goal is to join the mounted police. Kellie was on the equestrian team in college at Murray State. She is the daughter of Earl Scott ’63 and Ruth Ann Scott.

1980s Carol (Dunkel) Smith ’84 and her husband, Glenn, are the owners and

Peter Helfrich ’99 and Shay Grasso Helfrich ’00 welcomed their fourth child, Molly, on October 10, 2012. Peter and Shay live in Evansville where Shay is an accountant for Berry Plastics and Peter is an Associate Broker at Helfrich Realty.

Members of the Ave Maria Society prayed the rosary, followed by Mass in the Mater Dei Monsignor Wolf Chapel at the annual breakfast held this past April.


Red& Gold Summer 2013

Friends & alumni news 2010s


Scott will ’10 has earned a place in the top Varsity Heavyweight Eight boat on Purdue University’s crew team. Scott and his rowing team competed in the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, the largest nonNCAA intercollegiate regatta in the United States held in Philadelphia and the National Championship Regatta in Atlanta this past May. The crew team is the oldest and largest club at Purdue.

the Class of 1973 will hold its 40th class reunion Saturday, August 31,

2013. Contact Jim Dewig at jim. or call (812) 909-2300 for more information.

Friends Congratulations to tad and Andrea Dickel on the birth of their son, Jacob Anderson. Congratulations also to big brother James. Tad is President of Mater Dei High School and Andrea is principal at St. Philip School. Congratulations to Mater Dei English teacher Crystal roberson and her husband Andrew, database manager in the Mater Dei Office of Advancement, on the birth of their son, Beckett Alan. Beckett has two sisters, Findley and Libby Kate.

Pictured is Scott Will ’10, right, and Matt Fischer ’10 who met at a regatta in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Matt rows for Murray State University.

congratulations to the class of 2013! Best wishes to our newest alumni!

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 25

in Memoriam James L. will, sr. ’51 Mater Dei lost a great friend and supporter when James L. will, Sr. ’51 passed away May 25, 2013. Jim and his wife, Eileen berendes will ’51, were currently serving as the Honorary Chairs of the Mater Dei Full of Grace Capital Campaign and had worked diligently toward its success. He was also an active member of the Mater Dei Ave Maria Society and the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association. Jim was a long time westside businessman. He founded the James L. Will Insurance Agency and retired from

The Mater Dei community remembers those alumni, parents and friends who have passed. May they rest in eternal peace.

Samantha Mullen ’57, of Glenmont, N.Y., Dec. 12, 2012

Anthony D. “tony” kiesel, of Cynthiana, Ind., Dec. 12, 2012

Julie A. (Elpers) otis ’01, of Baldwinsville, N.Y., March 1, 2013

Joe koewler, of Evansville, June 2, 2013


Carol Sue (Hamel) roth ’55, of Evansville, April 16, 2013

Constance “Connie” Vernon, of Evansville, April 21, 2013

Harold t. weinzapfel ’53, of Mount Vernon, Ind., May 18, 2013


richard “Zeke” Zirkelbach ’63, of Evansville, March 2, 2013

John G. beckman, of Evansville, Feb. 10, 2013

Maurice James “butch” Duncan ’58, of Evansville, August 6, 2012


Malcolm “Mac” Glaser, of Evansville, April 17, 2012

kenny Joe Hoefling ’66, of Patoka, Ind., Jan. 12, 2013

Michael D. brown, of Evansville, April 22, 2013

Agnes regina “Jean” (Lynn) klingler, of Evansville, March 16, 2013

william koester ’56, of Evansville, Jan. 12, 2013

Diane Clausheide, of Evansville, March 9, 2013

Mary L. Lewis, of Evansville, April 7, 2013

Jerry P. krack ’59, of Newburgh, Jan. 6, 2013

Martin Greaney, M.D., of Evansville, Dec. 5, 2012

Albert “Dick” richard Lee ’62, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., Jan. 5, 2013

betty L. Hamilton, of Evansville, Dec. 23, 2012

James L. will, Sr., ’51, of Evansville, May 25, 2013 barbara “Jean” bruce ’58, of Evansville, Feb. 11, 2013


there in 1999. He was also a founder and senior partner of Freeman, Will and Niemeier Financial Services. He was very active in the Evansville community, serving on the University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees, the USI Foundation Board, and the Varsity Club Board. He served as chair of the USI Board of Trustees from 1991 until 2002. Jim and Eileen were awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Southern Indiana for distinguished and extraordinary service this past spring. Jim was a member of the West Side Nut Club, and a former member of the Evansville-Vanderburgh Airport Authority Board, Area Plan Commission, Cemetery Board, Citizens National Bank Board, and West Side Business and Professional Men’s Association, and Resurrection Catholic Church. Jim is survived by his wife, five children, Lynn reed ’78, Leann Sander ’82, Lauri koster ’84, Lesley bertrand ’87 and James, Jr. ’76, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Red& Gold Summer 2013

Please email Carol Nurrenbern at cnurrenbern@evvmaterdei.or or call 812-421-5727 to share the passing of MD alumni, parents and friends.

please support our fine sponsors! roYaL goLD sponsors

LoYaL reD sponsors

ALtStADt PLUMbING SErVICE, INC. David Altstadt ’75 & Chip Altstadt ’03

GALLAGHEr NIEMEIEr INtErIorS, INC. Madonna Niemeier ’65

EDwArD JoNES Roger A. Nurrenbern ’96 FEHrENbACHEr CAbINEtS, INC. Bob ’71, Mary Kay ’71, Peter ’97 Zachary ’00, Patrick ’03 & Sarah ’05 FrEEMAN, wILL & NIEMEIEr, INC. FrEEMAN, wILL, NIEMEIEr & HEStoN, LLC Patrick B. Freeman ’65, P. Evan Freeman ’90, Elissa Freeman Higgins ’94, M. Ethan Freeman ’00, Emily Freeman ’02 & Jordan Raben ’05 HELFrICH rEALtorS Clem Behme ’69, George P. Helfrich ’69, Sally Helfrich Green ’78, Stephanie Helfrich Freeman ’94, Peter D. Helfrich ’99 & Shay Grasso Helfrich ’00 Jeremy Kempf, Bill Long MUENStErMAN’S AUto SErVICE Tom ’73, Steve ’76, Jerry ’79, Mark ’83 & Bob ’87

HILLtoP INN Don & Lanette Snyder kEMPF’S DoNUt bANk Harold ’54, Chris ’77, Lindsey ’81, Ben ’85 & Joe ’91 LAPPE HEAtING & A/C Ed Lappe ’82, Dan Lappe ’77 & Dave Lappe ’03 Morrow MECHANICAL SErVICES, INC. Tony Morrow oHIo VALLEY INSULAtIoN CoMPANY, INC. Scott ’80, Beth ’80, Dustin ’05, Logan ’08, Faith ’10, Brooke ’11 & Joel Slaton ProFESSIoNAL EYECArE ASSoCIAtES Todd Niemeier, O.D. ’91, Andrew Moore, O.D., Morgan Hussmann, O.D. kArEN L. SCHENk & ASSoCIAtES, LLC (Formerly roselle weinzapfel Certified Public Accountants) Karen Kaffenberger Schenk ’79 SCHULtHEIS INSUrANCE AGENCY, INC. Steve Moore ’65 & Kevin Moore ’91

PIErrE FUNErAL HoME Gary ’61 & Susie ’62 John ’88, Jim ’89 & Lori ’89

SoUtHwESt GrAFIX & APPArEL INC Rose Ann ’60, Mary ’82, Mike ’83, Michelle ’85, Mark ’89, Schelly ’89, Julian ’15, Brendan ’16

SCHIFF AIr CoNDItIoNING & HEAtING, INC. Jim Sr. ’69 & Jan ’69 Angie Schiff Happe ’93 Jim Jr. ’96 & Casi Jost Schiff ’97

StrAUb oUtDoor PowEr Scott ’90 & Kendra ’90

SIEMErS GLASS Jane ’81 & Mark Weinzapfel ’80 Jake ’06, Mac ’08, Ali ’11 & Jack ’13

wILDErMAN ENtErPrISES, LLC dba St. wENDEL AUto PArtS & SErVICE Dennis Wildeman ’68

MArk A. torNAttA, DDS Mark A. Tornatta ’69

Summer 2013

Red& Gold 27

Mater Dei High School

NoN-Profit org. U.S. PoStage PaiD evaNSville, iN Permit 1689

Office of Institutional Advancement 1300 Harmony Way • Evansville, IN 47720 Return service requested


MD named a Four star school Mater Dei High School was named an Indiana Four Star School by the Indiana Department of Education. Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz informed the administration at Mater Dei, “This is an accomplishment that should make you, your staff and your school community very proud.” The IDOE established the 25th percentile cut score for

combined passing percentages of English/Language Arts and Mathematics as well as the percent of students passing both for all grades tested. In addition to meeting these criteria, all Four Star Schools must meet the 95 percent student participation rate. “The fact that your school met these high expectations is evidence of the hard work demonstrated daily by your staff and students,” Ritz added. A total of 14 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Evansville were named Four Star Schools.

Red and Gold Summer 2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you