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Peru Stater Fall 2008

Fall 2008 Vol. 53, No. 1

Johnson Retires

Former President Proud of Peru ‘Renaissance’

After nearly 10 years and many successes, Ben Johnson retired as president of Peru State College in August. Johnson came to PSC in 1999, during a time of great turmoil and uncertainty at the College. Beginning in 1997, there was talk of moving Nebraska’s first college from its scenic setting in the hills overlooking the Missouri River to nearby Nebraska City. There were even those who argued that the College should be closed or turned into a prison. Although state senators voted in 1999 to keep the College in Peru, many people still believed it faced insurmountable challenges. Maintenance had been deferred for years, enrollment was dropping and the overall image of the College was negative. But Johnson wasn’t daunted. “I had faced all of these problems at one time or another and knew it was just a matter of breaking down

Presidential Search Underway, Page 2 the issues and dealing with them one at a time.” His efforts quickly paid off: news articles were more positive, enrollment began to climb and the Legislature began to allocate funds to upgrade and renovate buildings. “We completely turned the corner when Dr. Johnson came to Peru,” said Dr. Daryl Long, professor of science since 1967. “He had new ideas and a lot of energy. It really made a difference.” Dr. Todd Drew, vice president for academic and student affairs, said Johnson’s “entrepreneurial spirit” brought Peru State back from the brink. That entrepreneurial spirit led Johnson to begin implementing online programs. Peru State began offering the

Johnson in a contemplative mood near the Library. programs in 2000 and today offers numerous online undergraduate degrees and two online master’s degree programs. All are available at in-state tuition rates, regardless of where the student lives. Johnson also strengthened existing programs, created the Academic Resource Center, implemented professional development for faculty, updated technology, and improved campus infrastructure.

In an effort to reach out to rural students, Johnson initiated the “High School to College Transition Program,” which gave full scholarships to the entire junior classes of three rural schools: Shickley, Prague and Rising City. “I am proud of the incredible strides this ‘little college that could’ has made,” Johnson said. “I consider it a privilege to have been a part of its renaissance.”

The Peru Stater is Back--and It’s All About YOU! As you may have guessed by the item in your hands, the Peru Stater is back. We are excited about the opportunity this gives us to tell you about your alma mater, your classmates and other PSC news. But more importantly, we’re excited to offer a forum that allows YOU to tell us—and your friends—your good news. And we want to hear all about it: the birth of future Bobcats, landmark anniversaries and weddings, career and education advancement and recognition you

may have received. We also want to know about friends and alumni who have passed. Basically, we want to help you share your news with the rest of our devoted alumni. Although it’s been five years since the Stater was last published, we plan to pick up where we left off. There will be a few differences, however. For instance, Constance Walter, assistant director of the PSC Foundation, is the new editor. However, as the new executive director of the Foundation, Kent

Propst still will have a hand in all of this. You can read his message on Page 3 to learn more about his plans for both the Foundation and the National Alumni Association. You’ll also find a message from Stan Carpenter, Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System and President of Peru State College. He will be sharing his ideas regarding the future of Peru State. You’ll find stories about special alumni, athletics and even true love. And Scattered throughout the Stater, you’ll find updates on friends,

classmates and perhaps a couple of your old professors. Whether you browse the publication or read it cover-to-cover, we hope you find much that you enjoy. We have certainly enjoyed the journey of reviving this most beloved publication and are looking forward to hearing from you. Our goal is to write each Stater for you. Please send your story ideas, comments and suggestions to Constance Walter by e-mail,, or Stater Continued on Page 3


Peru Stater Fall 2008

PSC Moves Forward with New Leadership, Changes Greetings from the Campus of a Thousand Oaks! After a fiveyear hiatus, it is my pleasure to reintroduce the Peru Stater. I am pleased to see this publication return. It affords us a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with dedicated alumni, like you, who have made this institution so successful. You may notice a familiar name on the following page. Kent Propst rejoined Peru State College this fall as the executive director of the Foundation. He brings to the table extensive knowledge about PSC, tremendous enthusiasm and a positive vision for the future. His commitment to this institution and the surrounding area will serve the Foundation and you well, long into the future. We are excited to welcome him back to campus. This is an exciting time for Peru State. The College is thriving and our enrollment continues to grow. While the news is positive, I want to assure you that we have no plans to rest on our laurels. There are many opportunities yet to be explored at the College, and we’re going to use all of the creativity and resources we have at our disposal to ensure Peru State remains a force in higher

education for years to come. In that vein, we will be making a concerted effort throughout the next few years to build on-campus enrollments. We want to make sure that the physical college remains vibrant and relevant for years to come. This not only serves the interest of the citizens of Nebraska, but also increases the perception of quality for our online students as well. As part of that effort, the administration recently redesigned the college’s scholarship program to reward campus involvement and leadership. We also plan to consolidate more of our operations on campus so our employees can more directly interact with our students. Finally, we are in the early stages of a process to enhance our athletics programs (Go Bobcats!). Please visit our Web site at to get the most recent information about how the college continues to evolve. If you haven’t been ‘home’ for a while, I encourage you to visit. The transformation the campus has undergone during the course of the last 10 years, thanks in part to $36 million in renovations, is nothing short of spectacular.


Constance Walter (’08), Assistant Director

Assistant Editor

Cori Christiansen (’08). Alumni/Development Associate

College President Stan Carpenter

Foundation Executive Director

Kent Propst (’81)

College Begins Search for New President

Stan Carpenter, Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System and President of Peru State College, has a new plan to increase on-campus enrollment. Thank you for your unwavering support of this institution. I wish you the very best this holiday season. Sincerely

Stan Carpenter President

Graphic Design

Becky Johnson (’04), Graphic Design Artist, PSC


Constance Walter Becky Johnson


Constance Walter Troy Katen


Becky Johnson Dr. Bill Clemente, Professor of English Constance Walter Sandy Fisher, Development Officer Cori Christiansen

The Peru Stater is published by the Peru State College Foundation and printed at Suburban Newspapers, Omaha, NE. Send your comments, news items and address changes to: The Peru Stater, PSC Foundation, PO Box 10, Peru, NE 68421-0010. You may also call us at 402-872-2304 or email us at

Peru State College’s search for a new president began in August and President Stan Carpenter is confident it will end successfully within a short time. “We are very pleased with the quality of the applicants,” Carpenter said. “Because of that, I expect the search to conclude in February.” The search began shortly after Dr. Ben Johnson’s retirement took effect in mid-August. Johnson was President of PSC for nine years. Under his leadership, the College saw enrollment increase by nearly double and substantial campus renovation take place. Carpenter said the College will choose a new president who can build on past successes, while ensuring the College remains viable well into the future. To that end, the search committee is a mix of staff and faculty as well as community members; they are listed below. Peru State College representatives Angela Allgood (‘93, M’08), Office Assistant II, Athletics Mike Barger, Assistant Professor of Biology Bruce Batterson, Dean, School of Professional Studies Taylor Dunekacke (’09), PSC Student Representative to Board of Trustees Sheri Grotrian (’02), Assistant Professor of Business Dan Holtz, Professor of English Linda Jacobsen, Vice President for Administration and Finance Marie Meland, Tutorial/ADA Coordinator Jim Reynolds, Maintenance Supervisor Judith Ruskamp (’88), Assistant Professor of Education Dixie Teten, Registrar Micki Willis, Director of Admissions Community Representatives Pat Haverty (’08), President, River Country Economic Development Corp., Nebraska City Peggy Kuser (’89), CPA, Auburn Steve Lewis (’79), Hospital Administrator, Atlantic, IA Chuck Niemeyer (’65), Chair, Peru State College Foundation Board


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Back Again and Loving It

Propst Looks to the Future with Enthusiam list. We—the College and Foundation— have a wonderful story to tell. The amazing progress in the last decade— from a college fighting for its life to the thriving, beautiful, institution it is today—is something we intend to tell you all about in this and future issues of your new Peru Stater. But don’t just take our word for it. Come see for yourself—and jump on the bandwagon. We must maintain our momentum, and you have a role to play in that.

Time to face reality. I cannot stay away from Peru. Three times, I have either left a job in Peru or graduated from Peru State College and have departed. Each time I returned, filled with optimism and excitement. But never more than now as I return to head up the PSC Foundation. For those not sure, the Foundation is the private, non-profit corporation established to receive gifts for and support to PSC. Frankly, before my job interview last summer, I wasn’t sure I wanted to come back. It’s a complete change from public relations, my career for the last 30-plus years, and the prospect of starting anew at my age was daunting. Additionally, my wife Becki (Young, ’80) and I worked in one of the nation’s most beautiful places: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We had a great thing going there, and leaving was a tough call. Then I interviewed on my beloved

Campus of a Thousand Oaks. Something was different. Part of it was the physical plant: after many years of neglect and little state support for routine upkeep, the campus is gorgeous, thanks largely to former President Ben Johnson and PSC’s tireless supporters on—and off—campus. Yet there was something in the air, a buzz, an excitement I had not found as pervasive in previous visits. The pride is back, the enthusiasm and optimism are tangible. That feeling is shared by students, faculty, staff an even visitors. Al Wheeler Jr., back for the rededication of the Wheeler Center in September, noticed it immediately, too. One thing was missing, though; an important thing. It was clear that our alumni and friends were not as familiar with the “new Peru” as they should be. Through the years, PSC decreased its communication with this vital group. Literally thousands have joined our dreaded “lost alumni”

Paul Fell Designs ‘Bob’

Longtime Supporter Gabus Dies in Iowa

The Bobcat you see throughout the Stater was designed exclusively for the PSC Foundation by Paul Fell (‘67), co-chair of the National Alumni Association. Visit his Web site at: http://

Stater, from Page 1 telephone, 402-872-2308, or by post to Constance Walter, Peru State College Foundation, PO Box 10, Peru, Neb. 68421. Class notes or In Memoriams information can be submitted online by going to If you are not a member of the Online Community, you’ll need your ID number to register. You’ll find that on the mailing label of your Stater or contact us to get yours. You may also send your class notes to Cori Christiansen, assistant editor, at or by calling 402-872-2240 or by post to Peru State College Foundation, PO Box 10, Peru, Neb. 68421.

After a visit to Peru State College in 2004, Charles “Charlie” Gabus wrote a letter thanking the College and the Foundation for their “outstanding” hospitality and “great” food. “I can Charile Gabus only say good things about Peru State.” The visit took place shortly after most of the renovations begun in 2000 had been completed. The grass was green again, the wing for the Hoyt Science Building was open, the Academic Resource Center was up and running in the old library, and the old gymnasium had been turned into a library for the 21st Century.

Go Bobcats!

Kent Propst Executive Director

Kent Propst worked for more than 20 years at Peru State College, overseeing public relations and marketing. He returned in September in a whole new role with big plans to help PSC students.

Charlie loved the beautiful, muchmany worthy causes, including Peru needed changes to his alma mater. In State College, and rarely sought fact, he had a hand in many of them, public recognition,” Propst said. though not many knew about it. “Charlie was a great man in the true Charlie graduated from PSC in sense of the word, and he will be 1940. His mother, father, two aunts missed.” and a brother all attended the College. After graduation, Charlie taught for So did Frances (Hardy, ’38), his wife several years in Nebraska, Wyoming of more than 57 years. He fought and Iowa. He then turned to selling along with many other alumni to appliances and, finally, cars. In 1967 keep Peru State open and in Peru and he bought his first car dealership in Des Moines, Iowa, which he built into cheered every success. A champion an empire. for PSC’s every success, Charlie According to the Des Moines donated more than $1 million to the Register, Charlie’s annual revenues College over many years. were estimated at around $150 Charlie died Oct. 23, 2008, in Des million, with a great deal of it going Moines, Iowa. He was 90 years old. to charity. One such charity was the “Like so many Peru Staters, Charlie Urbandale, Iowa, library. But there came from humble roots in rural were many others, including Peru Nebraska. But despite the successes State, a place he cared about and he and Frances worked so hard to loved deeply. achieve, he never forgot it,” said Kent Charlie and Frances were married Propst, executive director of the PSC in 1939. They had three children: Foundation. daughter Patricia and sons Jan and “He was a delightful, Gene. curmudgeonly man who supported



all it, “Extreme Makeover, Peru State College Edition.” Except this one didn’t star Ty Pennington, there was no camera crew recording every hammer stroke, and the project wasn’t completed in a week. It did, however, have lots of drama. For more than a year, students, staff, community members and others watched as Peru State College’s Al Wheeler Activity Center was stripped to its rafters then rebuilt from the inside out. Trucks hauled away debris and brought in bricks. A crane lowering the new walkway balanced precariously on Park Avenue. And as the date for the rededication neared, it was uncertain whether the landscaping would be done. But when the dedication of the new-and-improved Wheeler Center premiered Sept. 16, it went off without a hitch. Fresh sod graced the sloping hills around the building while newly planted flowers lent a festive air. With more than 600 people at the ceremony and barbeque, you could say the event swept the ratings. “This facility will benefit not only the students who engage in athletic endeavors, it will also be a great recruitment tool for Peru State,” said Stan Carpenter, Chancellor of the Nebraska State College Board and President of PSC. Al Wheeler Jr., Peru native and son of the building’s namesake, was the keynote speaker at the rededication. He said he hoped students would enjoy the “fantastic facility.” He also praised faculty and administrators for the progress that has been made over the past 10 years at PSC. “It was wonderful that Al returned for this event,” Carpenter said. “He speaks highly of Peru State and has been a strong supporter of our athletics programs. And we think

Peru Stater Fall 2008

Extreme Makeover Above: Al Wheeler Jr. speaks at the rededication. Left: The College hosted a picnic for students, faculty, staff and all members of the surrounding communities.

Wheeler Center Reopens after Renovations very highly of him as well.” Named after PSC’s most beloved football coach, Al Wheeler Sr., the Wheeler Center was initially dedicated on Oct. 4, 1980. Because of funding cuts, however, plans were scaled back and many features eliminated. The long-empty A.D. Majors residence hall, already in disrepair, was transformed into a functional but less than adequate space for locker rooms and coaches offices. That building is now being razed to make way for a new parking lot. The Wheeler Center features a

brick façade to match other PSC buildings and now houses athletic department offices, a student health center, training facilities, new locker rooms, and a competitive wood court. A new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, an elevator and more accessible entrances, enhanced lighting, and new bleachers with seating for more than 2,000 people are included. The total cost of the project was $6.5 million. The Sept. 16 festivities included a brief ceremony in the new gymnasium, tours of the facility and a community barbeque, during

which the PSC Jazz Band provided entertainment. That evening the Bobcat women’s volleyball team played its home season opener. Carpenter welcomed the crowd to the “new and improved home of the Bobcats” before introducing several statewide dignitaries, including State Sen. Lavon Heideman and former State Sen. Floyd Vrtiska. While the building was under construction, Bobcat basketball and volleyball teams used the surrounding high schools for practice and “home” games, President Carpenter noted. “The rededication of the Wheeler Center is an opportunity for us to thank our neighbors for their unwavering support of this institution and our student athletes,” Carpenter said.

Dribbling for Dollars: A Crazy Idea Turns a Dream into Reality You know how it is. You’re anxious and can’t sleep. Your mind keeps drifting back to what’s bothering you—no matter how many times you push it away. Then, suddenly, it hits you like a. You know exactly how to solve the problem, the question then becomes, “How do you sell it?” In 1978 Jerry Joy, then-athletics director and head football coach at Peru State College, had such a night.

The college desperately needed a new athletics facility, but couldn’t get the funding. Nor could it get the attention of the legislature or the press. But at 3 a.m., Joy was struck by a “crazy” idea. “I thought, ‘we’re going to dribble a basketball all the way to Lincoln and to the capitol. Then we’ll pass it back and forth on the steps of the Capitol and hand it to the

governor,’” Joy said. Four days later Joy’s crazy idea was put into action. It was a fete that to this day still amazes Steve Lewis (’79). “He (Joy) had this vision and four days later we were dribbling a ball to Lincoln. If we had had time to think about it, we wouldn’t have done it.” More than 200 students and other community members participated in the “Bouncing Bobcat Dribble

Drive,” in which students took turns dribbling a basketball from Peru to Lincoln. When they reached the State Capitol, the ball was passed to thenGov. Jim Exon. The publicity stunt worked. Less than two years later, ground was broken on the new facility and in 1980, the building now known as the Al Wheeler Activity Center was dedicated.


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Save the Date For Class Reunions

Several alums are busy planning the 2009 spring reunions. The dates have been set so it’s safe to add them to your calendars. Omaha Chapter Alumni CoPresidents Charles (’57) and Elaine (Spier, ’58) Krumme said the Annual Alumni Dinner and Auction is set for Thur., April 16, at the German American Society Club, 120th and I Streets in Omaha, Neb. More details will be released as the date approaches. Omaha Chapter Executive Committee members: Monty (’63) and Judy (Adams, ’62) Allgood, Jack (’50) Beth (Propst, ‘82) Mierau and Robert and Nancy (Hardy, ’51) Hallstrom, “Red” Wilson (‘51) at the Northern CaliJim (’86) and Theresa (Polsley, ’85) fornia reunion. Krajicek, and Harry (’59) and Eileen Please take part in these wonderful Weichel. opportunities to see your fellow The Northern California Chapter college-mates. Who knows who you will have its annual “Bobcat Rendezvous” at Travis Air Force Base may run into? in Fairfield, Calif., April 25, 2009. Krajicek Hopes to Revive Merry Holliday-Hanson (’91) Kansas City Alumni Chapter and Robert “Red” Wilson (’51) are If you live in the Kansas City area, organizing the event and will share then you may be interested in helping more information early next year. out Robert “Gus” Krajicek (’75), who The May Reunion, honoring PSC’s is trying to revive the Kansas City 50-year alumni, is scheduled for Alumni Chapter. Commencement weekend, May 8-9. Show your support for Peru State This year the Class of 1959 will be the College and reconnect with alumni in honored group, while the Class of your area. To help Gus, e-mail Cori 1960 will be special guests. As always, Christiansen, Alumni/Development the event takes place on the Campus Associate, at cchristiansen@oakmail. of a Thousand Oaks.

Where in the World are You? The search is on for missing alumni from several classes. If you can provide a current home address for any of the people listed here, we will be grateful—and so will they, especially when they start receiving the Stater again. Send information about missing alumni to Cori Christiansen at, call her at 402-872-2240, or mail your information to her at PSC Foundation, PO Box 10, Peru, NE 68421.

Class of 1938

Dorothy Barta William Bischof June (Armstrong) Carr Arthur Dreesen Bertha (Smoots) Drennen Wilma (Hunzeker) Gilliland Helen (Mullen) Gore

Beth (Harms) Jennings Merna Jensen Maurice Martin F. Anne (Hespen) Means Leah (Morehead) Morgan Avona (Heinz) Moss Don Nauman Mary Norris Donald Noyce Blanche (Freeman) Parker Lester Reutter Marjorie (Meade) Riensche William Ring Wilbur Shields Ruth (Hungate) Slemons Harold Snyder Rose (Placek) Stastny Frieda (Koch) Stroemer Richard Turner Doris (Otte) Weber William White Ruth (Hill) Williams

1920s Marie (Beebe) Coupe (’28), Falls City, Neb., celebrated her 100th birthday Aug. 28.  

1940s Ruth (Clare) Wunderlich (’41), Roca, Neb., celebrated her 90th birthday Aug. 11. Gertrude (Biendenweg) Runyan (’47), Falls City, Neb., celebrated her 80th birthday Aug. 16. Jim McCoy (’49), Auburn Neb., directed a ‘Tribute to the Beatles’ on Sept. 20 at Legion Memorial Park in Auburn. The event marked the 18th year in which Dr. McCoy has directed musical programs in Auburn. Katy (Thomas) Billings (’07) performed in the show.

Texas. He is also the director of the UT Health Science Center’s aging program, founded the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging, and is a senior research scientist in the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. Jerry Joy (’64), Stella, Neb., challenged incumbent State Sen. Lavon Heidemann in an August debate in Auburn for the District One State Legislative seat. Mayor Bob Engles (’73) helped moderate. Janet (Nixon) Kirkendall (’74) was instrumental in scheduling the debate.   Lonnie Bohling (’67), North Bend, Neb., retired in 2008 after 41 years of teaching mathematics. He spent his first two years in Treynor, Iowa, and the last 39 at North Bend Central.  


Michael Guilliatt (’67), a financial advisor in Fremont, Neb., was Edwin Hanna (’50), Oakland, Neb., accepted into the nation’s most celebrated his 60th year playing exclusive group of financial saxophone in the Tommy Bishop advisors—Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Band in 2008. Advisor Group. Mike is a member of C. Carlos Harrison (’51), Shenandoah, PSC’s National Alumni Association Iowa, celebrated his 80th birthday Board of Directors.  Oct. 1. Carlos serves on the board of James O’Donoghue (’68) retired directors of PSC’s National Alumni after 38 years as a coach, teacher, and Association. administrator in Worcester, Mass., Donna (Kunc) Knoche (’51) was public schools. Jim and his wife, inducted into the Lewiston, Neb., Dr. Susan O’Donoghue, have eight Hall of Fame, an organization children and are looking forward honoring Lewiston High graduates to their ninth grandchild. He asks who achieve high levels of standards that all of his friends stay in contact, in their chosen professions and earn fame and respect. Donna was an Charles Mizerski (’69) returned to elementary and adult educator for 53 PSC to coach the Bobcats’ defensive years in Nebraska and Illinois and line after 37 years in coaching. received many distinguished awards Mizerski served for 27 years as from both states.  She graduated in the head football coach at Lincoln 1947 graduate. Southeast High School.


Arlan Richardson (’63), San Antonio, Texas, received the 2008 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction from the American Federation for Aging Research. The award is the Federation’s highest; it includes a $2,500 cash award and an invitation to deliver the Wright Award Lecture. Dr. Richardson is a professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology and holds the Methodist Hospital Foundation Chair in Aging studies at the University of

Linda (Dieckhoff) Vogel (’69), Auburn, Neb., traded in her red pen for golf clubs in celebration of her retirement from teaching after 36 years.   David Zumbahlen (’69) was named the new superintendent of Rock County Public Schools in Bassett, Neb. His experience includes 14 years as a K-12 principal at Centralia schools in Kansas and 11 years as K-12 principal/superintendent at Cheylin schools in Bird City, Kan.


1970s Tom Mikkelsen (’70), San Diego, Calif., who holds an FCC general class commercial license, was named Broadcast Facilities Inc.’s new chief technology officer.   Linda Morris (’70), Grant, Neb., retired this spring after 36 years of teaching at Perkins County Public Schools and South Platte Schools.   Judy (Green) Grotrian (’72), associate professor of business at PSC, received the Mountain-Plains Business Education Association Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding University Business Teacher of the Year, 2008. The award is presented annually to a senior college or university business teacher who has made significant contributions to the field of business education.   Bob Winter (’74), CEO of Distribution Inc. of Lincoln, Neb., announced the company’s expansion with two facilities for food grade products. The company’s main warehouse in Lincoln now has 30,000-50,000 square-foot facilities that meet foodgrade cleanliness storage. Bob and son, Michael Winter (’08), continue to grow the company that Bob’s father started 50 years ago. Gary Lesoing (‘75), Hickman, Neb., received an Achievement Award from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents during the 2008 Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference in Greensboro, N.C. He was one of several honorees selected by their peers and the director of extension.   Ted Harshbarger (’77), Humboldt, Neb., was recognized by PSC with three awards for student service: The longest-ever serving member of the National Awards Program Committee for the Future Business Leaders of America and Phi Beta Lambda organizations; a Nebraska FBLA Honorary Life Member, bestowed by the organization’s Board of Directors; and the 2007-08 Barb Lewellen Award, which was giving by the PSC Student Senate. The award is given each year to a PSC community member who provides outstanding service to the students and the College.  

Peru Stater Fall 2008

Kenneth Musil (’79), Shubert, Neb., was recognized in August for 25 years of service to the Nebraska Public Power District. Mark Shively (’79), Omaha, Neb., was re-elected to represent Nebraska on the National Education Association Board of Directors. In 2007 he represented the NEA in Berlin, Germany, at the Education International Congress; and at the National Union of Teachers Conference in Manchester, England. He teaches in Omaha.   

1980s Norman Parish (’81), Oak Park, Ill., is the new night editor for the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. He previously worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.   Kent Propst (’81), Peru, Neb., was named executive director of the Peru State College Foundation. Previously he worked at North Idaho College as Vice President for Community Relations.   Mark Watton (’82) will coach the Cedar Bluffs, Neb., boys’ basketball team, as it enters the Nebraska Frontier Conference. He will also continue to teach math at Wahoo High, as he has since 1986.   Laurie (Graham) Schulte (’83) teaches elementary music (K-5) at Auburn Public Schools in Auburn, Neb.   Cary Culler (’84) was named head boys basketball coach and assistant football coach at Fort Calhoun (Neb.) High School. Previously, Culler taught and coached for nine years in California and nine years in New Orleans.   Twila Fickel (’84), Chadron, Neb., is the head of Chadron State College’s health professions program. Fickel recently retired from private practice in Nebraska and South Dakota.   Christopher Cerveny (’85) is the new plant manager at Nebraska Public Power District’s Sheldon Plant near Hallam, Neb. Cerveny joined NPPD as an auxiliary operator in 1988. He will lead 95 personnel and supervise the Beatrice Power Station and NPPD’s peak facilities in Hallam, Hebron, and McCook, all in Neb.  

Left: Sid and Nancy Brown received a football signed by the football team in honor of their unwavering support for the program and the College. The football was presented by Pres. Stan Carpenter. Right: The Browns served as Grand Marshals at the Homecoming Parade.

Alum Brown Honored at Homecoming Sidney “Sid” and Nancy Brown of Batavia, Ill., longtime supporters of the College, served as grand marshals of the college’s 88th annual Homecoming parade in October. Sid is a Peru native, a 1955 Peru Prep graduate and 1959 PSC alum. He received his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago, Ill. While at Peru State, Sid was an active member of the football team. He and Nancy recently made a generous gift to the PSC Foundation to support the Bobcat football program. At half-time of the Homecoming Game, President Stan Carpenter presented Sid with a football signed by the team. Sid said, “I love the game of football because of the many lessons it teaches you. If it had not been for football, I might not have gone to college. I owe everything to the town of Peru and Peru State College.”

PSC Hosts Economic Summit Nearly 100 people attended the second Southeast Nebraska Regional Economic Development Summit in August at Peru State College. Stan Carpenter, President of PSC and Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System, said it was important that Peru State was involved in the summit because the College contributes greatly to the economic landscape of the region. “This institution is a vital part of southeast Nebraska’s educational and economic landscape and has a $50 million economic impact every year. It is quite obviously a driving force in the local economy,” Carpenter said. The Summit examined several issues affecting southeast Nebraska: economics and the environment; population and workforce recruitment; entrepreneurship; business development; youth and leadership development; and water

Dr. Todd Drew, VP for Academic and Student Affairs, taught at the summit.

issues and opportunities. Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy, who gave the opening address, told participants that there are reasons for Nebraska to be optimistic about its economic future. “More than 160 companies applied for incentives in Nebraska,” he said. If all of those companies received the incentives requested, “it could create up to 14,000 jobs,” many in rural Nebraska.


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Friends Share an Evening of Fun, Conversation at the Vineyard

Penny Coonce (’85), special education teacher at Omaha Benson West Elementary School, was one of 15 teachers in the Omaha Public Schools district to receive the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award for 2008.   Lori (Kimball) Gottula (’87), Falls City, Neb., received the Outstanding Community Leader Award in 2008.

Kent Propst, executive director of the Foundation, Arlene (Borcher, ‘67) Fell, Lora (Lunzmann, ‘77) Black, Shirley Snyder (‘78) listen as Donna Fenske (‘70) tells a story at the Vineyard event. A gregarious group of about 50 Peru State College administrators, staff, faculty, and alumni gathered Oct. 2, at the Schilling Bridge Winery and Microbrewery in Pawnee City, Neb.. The Peru State College Foundation and the National Alumni Association organized the event to raise funds for the Foundation’s scholarship programs. It was an enjoyable way to

celebrate the conclusion of a beautiful autumn day in southeast Nebraska. After brief speeches by Kent Propst ‘(81), executive director of the PSC Foundation, Stan Carpenter, president and chancellor of the Nebraska State College System, and Paul Fell (’69), co-chair of the NAA, everyone enjoyed an evening of excellent Nebraska wines, microbrews, food and fellowship.

Where in the World are You? The search is on for missing alumni from several classes. If you can provide a current home address for any of the people listed here, we will be grateful—and so will they, especially when they start receiving the Stater again. Send information about missing alumni to Cori Christiansen at cchristiansen@, call her at 402-872-2240, or mail your information to her at PSC Foundation. PO Box 10, Peru, NE 68421.

Class of 1948

Catalino Arrocha Phyllis (Maxwell) Becker Jerry Beutler Robert Brammer C. Carter Paul Crawford Robert Dana H. Davis Robert Draney

Hazel (Hosfelt) Dyer Giles Floyd David Graham Joan (Hadley) Graham Joann Gustafson P. Hillman Oleta (Mueller) Hobson Shirley (Balfour) Johnson Eleanore (Jakub) Kobza Joyce (Norris) Kolsky John Lester Leo Livengood George Luce Melvyn Meister Wanda (Bowers) Miller Alice Preston Virginia (Reagan) Riches James Sugden Eva (Hainline) Sweetland Janet (Watkins) Taylor Hilda (Krueger) Vortman Oscar Weidler Glen Wendt Clare Wishart

Katherine (Flanagin) Mercure (’87), Tecumseh, Neb., received a 2008 State Farm Insurance Company Outstanding Educator Award at the Gold Star Salute for educators, sponsored by the Lincoln Public Schools Foundation. Kathi has been an educator in the district for 17 years. Bruce Knaak (’88) completed 20 years of teaching at Lyons-Decatur (Neb.) where he taught math and served as the athletics director and head girls basketball, golf, and junior high school football coach.  

1990s Rick Adams (attended ’90 and ’94), Falls City , Neb., was named one of Southeast Nebraska Community Action’s 2008 Employees of the Year. Rick joined the agency five years ago as a housing specialist II in the weatherization department. Two years later he was named director of the department, which covers Richardson, Pawnee, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Cass, and Sarpy counties. Ellen (Wenzel) Arthur (’90), an environmental research scientist at Bayer Crop-Science in Stillwell, Kan., was elected vice-cohair of the Agrochemicals (AGRO) Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).   Sandra Hilding (’91), originally from southeast Iowa, became principal of Shenandoah High School.  Ann Cosimano (’93), Johnston, Iowa, General Counsel for ARAG (a global legal insurance company), was appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Prepaid Legal Services Institute (API).   Jonathan Molzahn (’93), Fremont, Neb., accepted a position at Logan View Public Schools. He taught for eight years in Amarillo, Texas,

and was a technical coordinator in Sutherland, Neb., for seven years. He and his wife, Lori (Leth), have four children. James Daubendiek (’94) of Omaha, Neb., accepted a sales position at Hun Tel Communications Inc. Toni Vollmer (’95) teaches prekindergarten at St. Andrew’s in Tecumseh, Neb. Vollmer previously taught at Falls City (Neb.) Middle School and Falls City Sacred Heart for 10 years. Cari (Ortmeier) Thomas (’97) teaches kindergarten at Auburn (Neb.) Public Schools. Previously, Cari taught at Rock Port (Mo.) Schools.   Jamie Rathbone (’97), who has been teaching for 11 years, is a third grade teacher at St. Edwards in Albion, Neb. He has two children, 5 years and 6 months.

2000s Terry Zessin (’00) is the new principal at Wood River (Neb.) Middle/High School. He is a former seventh through twelfth grade social sciences teacher at Tri County Public Schools near DeWitt. Terry and his wife Heather, Schroeder (’00), have three children. Andrew Davis (’02) teaches band at West Elementary and Pine Bluffs Elementary in Pine Bluffs, Wyo.   Erica Medina (’02), Omaha, Neb., teaches at DC West Elementary in Title One. This is her sixth year teaching.   Tammie (Robinson) Runions (’02) teaches English at Holdrege (Neb.) High School. She previously taught English at Hayes Center Public Schools.   Tyler Armagost (’04) is the physical education teacher and strength and conditioning coach at Auburn (Neb.) Public Schools. Previously, Tyler was employed by the Columbus School District.   Lora (Reynolds) Burki (’04), Papillion, Neb., was sworn in on Sept. 16 as a licensed attorney. Nikki (Moody) Hayes (’04) is the K-12 Guidance Counselor at JohnsonBrock (Neb.) Public Schools.


Heath Baumann (’04), Arlington, Va., was named a partner in the Hasenberg Group within Citi Smith Barney’s Global Wealth Management Division. Heath is working toward an MBA in Finance from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. Brian Maher (’04) is the new athletics director, head football and head baseball coach at Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Mo. Brian recently graduated from Williams Woods University with a master’s degree in athletics and activities administration. Brian’s wife, Christy (’05), teaches first grade at Hatton McCredie Elementary school in Kingdom City, Mo., and is working on her master’s degree through the University of Missouri. Shannon Cole (’05) teaches first grade with Auburn (Neb.) Public Schools. Shannon will also serve as assistant high school softball coach, and freshmen girls’ basketball coach. Previously, Shannon was employed at Tri-Center Iowa Community Schools.   Daniel Conway (’05) teaches English at Beatrice (Neb.) High School. He previously taught high school English at Twin River Public Schools in Genoa.  Wendy (Alexander) Fulton (’05) teaches third grade and is the middle school volleyball coach and assistant middle school girls’ basketball coach at Auburn (Neb.) Public Schools.   William Hayes (’05), Brownville, Neb., is a member of the 1848 Venture Crew, Company C, 1st Nebraska which participated in the Gettysburg battle reenactment in Gettysburg, Penn.   Brandi (Ramer) Knapp (’05) teaches at Madison (Neb.) Public Schools. She previously taught first grade for three years at Schuyler Community Schools. Her husband Jared (’01) teaches and coaches at Madison as well.   Chad Peterson (’05) became a police officer in Otoe County (Neb.) after attending a 14-week instructional course at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Center in Grand Island. Peterson was referred by the civil service commission in March. He

Peru Stater Fall 2008

has served in the U.S. Army and is a member of the Nebraska Air National Guard.   Heath Christiansen (’06) was appointed to serve on the Auburn (Neb.) Planning Commission through July 2010. Tanya (Rice) Crotty (’06) teaches third grade at Johnson (Neb.) County Central Schools. Tanya and her husband, Kent, live in Auburn, Neb., and have three children and three grandchildren. Ryan Odle (’06), Air Force Airman 1st Class, graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Gary Schaeffer (M’06) teaches prealgebra, algebra, advanced algebra, and algebra III at David City (Neb.) High School. Previously, he taught at Louisville Public Schools for seven years and Bishop Neumann in Wahoo for 12. He has four stepdaughters with his wife, Denise. Kathleen Brown (’07, M’08) is the softball coach at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Va. Brown played softball for four years with the Bobcats and was an assistant coach for one season. She also coached Auburn High School and the Omaha Quakes.   William Comley (M’07) is the new principal for grades 2-4 at Schuyler (Neb.) Community Schools: West Ward and North Ward Elementary. He spent one year at Omaha Public Schools and eight years in Fort Worth, Texas. Bill and his wife, Katie, have two children. Bristol Kelsay (’07) teaches firstgrade and is the seventh-grade volleyball coach at Auburn (Neb.) Public Schools. Previously, Bristol worked in the Humboldt-Table RockSteinaur School District.   Dana (Rodwell) Overfield (’07) is the K-12 vocal and instrumental instructor at Johnson-Brock (Neb.) Public Schools.   Shannon Corfield (M’08) was recognized for setting a great example of life learning by Garden County Schools. Shannon, a resource teacher, received her master’s degree from Peru State in Curriculum and Instruction.

How to Get a Job 101

PSC graduates Joe Weiner (’98) and Brad Schernikau (’05), caseworkers at Tecumseh State Correctional Institute, and PSC students Samantha Ramos (’09) and Dan Swinton (’08), correctional officer interns, spoke on campus on Oct. 23. The four discussed careers, job application, interviewing processes, basic training and daily routines. They were invited to campus by the Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice club. Front row from left: Weiner; Swinton; Doug Hayes (’09), president PSCJ; and Schernikau. Back row: from left: Dr. Kelly Asmussen, co-advisor; Ramos (’09); Candice Ekwall (’10), vice president, PSCS; and Dr. Greg Galardi, co-advisor.

Where in the World are You? The search is on for missing alumni from several classes. If you can provide a current home address for any of the people listed here, we will be grateful—and so will they, especially when they start receiving the Stater again. Send information about missing alumni to Cori Christiansen at, call her at 402-872-2240, or mail your information to Cori Christiansen, PSC Foundation. PO Box 10, Peru, NE 68421.

Class of 1958

Gladys Baird Jim Bennett Janet Brotzman Dale Brown Myrtle Cook Elaine (Edmunds) Daly Sandra (Short) Ellis Richard Gall Velma Giesel Lawrence Gilmore

Mary (Knight) Gray Nellie Honing Florence (Morris) Kibler Sondra Kirkendall Ann (Gehringer) Kraus Doris Kritenbrink Joanne (Gruber) McKay Marjorie Moyer Julius Mueller Judy Neuvirth Joann (White) Rademacher Donna (Schuster) Ressell Virginia Ricketts Ruby Riley Judy (Cole) Roberts Ann (Carter) Robinson Barbara Schulte Marjorie (Peckham) Scribner Mary (Settell) Anderson John Smith Jann (Hoffman) Spencer Ardath (Moore) Sydor Betty Taenzler Mykell Dorothy (Carnahan Wallace Edward Williamson


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Calling All Bobcats It may be one of the most important calls you get in 2009. The annual PSC Foundation phone-a-thon will take place in February. While this campaign has been taking place for years, the focus is changing. For the past several years, alumni have been asked to support the Academic Resource Center at PSC. That effort has been extremely successful, thanks to the benevolence and support of thousands of Bobcat faithful. This year, the campaign will focus on student aid. With all of the economic difficulties plaguing society, PSC students are feeling the pinch and needsupport to attend and stay in college. “Financial need has long been a characteristic of a majority of PSC students,” said Krystal Nolte (’04), who coordinates the campaign for the PSC Foundation. “The Foundation, through the generosity of our alumni and friends, can make the difference in whether students

make it or not.” The goal of the campaign is not to acquire big gifts from a small number of donors, but to get as many Peruvians as possible to make financial donations of a moderate size, Nolte said. “We realize the economy is pinching our alumni just like everyone else; times are challenging for everyone,” Nolte said. Yet it is during difficult economic times that our students need our help the most.” In addition to changing the campaign focus from ARC to student aid, one other change has been implemented. In recent years, the Foundation has staged both a spring and a fall phone-a-thon; in 2009, alumni will only get one chance to answer the call, as the fall phone-a-thon has been eliminated. When the call comes, please answer it with a yes. It may make all the difference in the world to a deserving PSC student.

• Dr. Sara Crook, professor of history, was appointed by Gov. Heinemann to the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission. The Hall of Fame honors people who were born in Nebraska, gained prominence while living in Nebraska, or lived in Nebraska and whose residence in Nebraska was an important influence on their lives and contributed to their greatness. The Commission evaluates nominees and chooses recipients. • Dr. Dan Holtz, professor of English, was the featured performer at the Missouri River History Conference held in September. The conference was held at Ponca State Park in northeast Nebraska and was co-sponsored by the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission, the National Park Service, the Missouri River Institute of the University of South Dakota and the Better Ponca (Nebraska) Foundation. • Dr. Greg Galardi, assistant professor of criminal justice and a retired Papillion, Neb., police lieutenant, has been appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of the American Criminal Justice Association. Among his duties are editing and reviewing articles and photos for publication in the Journal, and board member oversight of the journal publication. • Dr. James R. Nevitt, associate professor of psychology, was named the college’s 2008 Teacher Excellence Award Winner. He was honored during PSC’s 2008 graduation ceremony, which was held May 3 in the Auburn High School Gymnasium.

Heather Hurst (’08) is a junior kindergarten teacher at Shenandoah Community Schools in Iowa. Her fiancé, Bryan Diekmann (’08), also teaches there.

Gina (Schechinger) Stutheit (’08) teaches kindergarten and first and second grade at St. Andrew’s in Tecumseh, Neb. This is Gina’s first year teaching.

Juline Mosser (’08) teaches fifth grade at Gretna (Neb.) Elementary School.

Glade Goings, friend of PSC, gave his 200th unit of blood July 21.


son, daughter, daughter-in-law, and a new grandson to help them celebrate.

Lois (Helmick) Van Deventer (‘46) and husband A. Ray of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The two were married Aug. 1, 1948, at Coryell Chapel in Brock. Lois is retired from the Nebraska State Health Department.   1950s John Garrison (’56) and wife June of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 24, 2008.   Joan (French) Sterns (’58) and husband Lance, of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 10, 2008. Lance retired from UPS. Joan retired from Southeast Community College in Milford.   Robert ’59) and Mary (Riley ’66) Bohlken celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sept. 1, 2008. They have two children and four grandchildren and live in Maryville, Mo.

1970s George Hanssen (‘71) and wife Karan of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary Aug. 9, 2008. They were married at the North Branch Church in Avoca.

1980s Kent (’81) and Becki (Young) Propst (’80) of Peru celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in August.   Shane Alexander (’89) and Janice Baier were married April 6, 2007, in Las Vegas. They live in North Platte, Neb.  

1990s Cary Petersen (’91) and wife Marge of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated 30 years together this year. The couple has a

Jason Cullison (’95) and Jessica Pittman were married June 30, 2007 at St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice, Neb.   Jennifer (Olsen) Bearer (’98) and Michael Bearer were married in August 2008 in Mead, Neb. They live in New Hampshire. Susan Picray (’98) and Randy Crimmins were married March 15, 2008, in Urbandale, Iowa. Susan teaches for Des Moines Public Schools. They live in Des Moines.  David Reilly (’98) and Jenny Thieman were married May 31, 2008, at St. Michael’s in Spalding, Neb., where they live.


Adam Miller (’00) and Jessica Nyberg were married June 9, 2007. They live in Broomfield, Colo. Jamie Liberty (’00) and Chance Vonderschmidt were married Nov. 17, 2007, in Falls City, Neb. Jamie is an elementary special education teacher at the Brown County Kansas Special Education Cooperative in Hiawatha, Kan. Sara Glathar (’01) and Eric Martin were married July 27, 2007, in Omaha. Sara works for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Aviation Institute as a student services specialist and adjunct instructor. The couple lives in Omaha Jessica (Joe) (’03) and Doug Effle were married July 19 in Lincoln, Neb. Jessica works at Pfizer and Doug works for Rentech Biolers.   Carrie Alexander (’03) and Justin Geyer were married Aug. 30, 2008, in rural Auburn, Neb. Carrie is a personal lines underwriter with State Farm Insurance.



f you turn the number 8 on its side, it becomes the symbol of infinity— something that is endless. The number and the symbol hold special meaning for Cori (Harmon, ‘08) and Heath Christiansen (’06). The two were married at Peru State College in front of the library, which at one time was a chapel, on Aug. 8, 2008 (08-08-08). When Cori walked down the “aisle” at 8 p.m., the temperature had reached 88 degrees. Overhead a Peru blue sky stretched endlessly with nary a cloud in sight. Their walk to the altar began while they were in high school. Six years later Heath asked Cori to marry him. It was a proposal made for television that took a lot of planning. Two days after they closed on a home— and while Cori was fast asleep after an exhausting day of moving—Heath scattered rose petals from the bedroom to the living room. In the middle of a white sheet was a heart made of tea lights surrounded by rose petals. That’s where Heath was standing when he called Cori on her cell phone and told her he had something important to discuss. “When she came down the stairs, I could only think about how much I loved her,” Heath said. Then he knelt before her and asked her to be his wife. “I just cried and nodded my head,” she said. “Then we sat and talked.” They chose the Campus of a Thousand Oaks as the wedding site because it has been such an important part of their lives. Not only

Peru Stater Fall 2008

are they alumni, they both work on campus. Heath is a digital graphic design artist with the marketing department and Cori is the alumni/development associate at the PSC Foundation. “We love the students, the faculty, the atmosphere,” Cori said. “It is perfect for us.” As twilight stole over the campus, and with the people they love all around them, the two pledged their unending love for one another. A perfect ending for a new beginning.

Cori walks down the aisle with her father, Lyle Harmon.

Peru Stater Fall 2008

11 Clockwise from left: Cori and Heath say “I Do” as Pastor Larry Block looks on. Cori and Heath face their guests as husband and wife. Cori cuts into the wedding “cheese” cake as Heath eargerly awaits a bite. The wedding party poses on the steps of Jindra Fine Arts Building (from left, back): Jari Wehmeier (‘07), Tom Dunekacke (‘06), Heather Christiansen (sister of the groom, ‘09), Jordan Rethman (brother of the groom), Nikki (sister of the bride) and Brian McKim, Cori and Heath, Taylor Dunekacke (‘09). Front: Hannah Harmon (cousin of the bride), Daniel Fritz, Crystal Ellis (‘07), Rex Harmon (cousin of the bride), Stacy Fitch (‘09) and Alexander McKim (nephew of the bride). Several photos courtesy of the groom’s mother, Jeannie Rethman.


Nathanael Sims (’03) and Emily Loberg were married June 28, 2008, at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne, Neb. Nate is a K-12 teacher, head girls basketball coach and head girls track coach at Laurel-Concord Public Schools. The couple lives in Wayne. Rachel Bilslend (’04) and Nate Alloway were married Aug. 18, 2007, in Lincoln. Rachel is a marketing coordinator with TierOne Bank.  

Peru Stater Fall 2008

(’04) were married June 23, 2007, in Auburn, Neb. Tia is a second-grade teacher at Auburn Public Schools. Reed is pursuing a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.   Lindsay Messner (’05) and Heath Stanley (‘98) were married Sept. 20, 2008, in Stella, Neb. Lindsey works in Auburn, Neb.

Heath Christiansen (’06) and Cori Harmon (’08) were married Aug. 8, 2008, on the Peru State College Brenda Sindelar (’04) and Steve campus. The ceremony was followed Grigsby were married Aug. 16 in with a reception in the Student Howells, Neb. Brenda is a case Center; the dance took place on the manager at Marillac Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in Overland Park, Spirit of Brownville in Brownville, Neb. Heath is a Web developer at Kan. Peru State College, while Cori is the Benjamin Simpson (’04) and alumni/development associate at the Stephanie Weaver were married Sept. PSC Foundation. The couple lives in 22, 2007, in Falls City, Neb. Ben is a Auburn, Neb.   maintenance engineer at Lions Gate Joanna Hays (’06) and Braden Apartments in Lincoln.   Cielocha were married Aug. 16 in Sunshine Mikkelsen (’04) and Columbus, Neb. Joanna is finishing Ryan Taylor were married June her master of science in biology at 21. Sunshine is an accountant at Sam Houston State University in Godfather’s Pizza. Huntsville, Texas. Tammy Walters (’05) and Eric David DeMello (’06) and Stephanie Blobaum were married July 25 in Pollard were married June 30, 2007, in Nebraska City, Neb. Tammy teaches Kenosha, Wis. David is a department secondary science at Johnson-Brock manager at Uline Supply Specialists (Neb.) Public High School and is Company.   pursuing her master’s degree at the Kelly Uithoven (’06) and Russell University of Nebraska at Kearney. Harms were married Oct. 6, 2007, in Rebecca Johnson (’05) and Nicholas Filley, Neb. The couple recently left Dittmer were married June 9, 2007, in Beatrice and are are making their Lincoln, Neb. Rebecca is an ExCite home in Virginia. preschool teacher with Lincoln Public Gregory Hill (’06) and Caroline Schools.   O’Hanlon were married Sept. 27 in Joseph Herold (’05) and Josie Omaha. Greg is a sales associate at Hackworth were married July 28 Info USA in Papillion.   in Oregon City, Ore. Joseph is head Andrea Pierson (’06) and Landen assistant strength and conditioning Koopman were married Sept. 2, 2007, coach at the University of Idaho in in Lincoln, Neb. Andrea is a sales Moscow. representative at GTECH Corp. Wendy Alexander (’05) and Eric Lindsey Baumgartner (’06) Fulton were married Aug. 25, 2007, and Chris Lindner (’05) were in Auburn, Neb. Wendy teaches at married March 29. Lindsey is a Auburn Public Schools.   revenue auditor with the Nebraska Jeremie Larkins (’05) and wife Department of Revenue. Chris is a Michelle of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated certified public accountant and an their one-year anniversary Sept. 8. audit senior with BKD, LLP.   Brandon Luebbe (’05) and Kristine Matt Ankerson (’07) and Jessica Roit were married May 24, 2008, in Mertens were married July 25 in Seward, Neb. Brandon farms in Lincoln, Neb. Matt is a realtor with Seward County.   HOME Real Estate. Tia Gottula (’05) and Reed Miller

Andrew Tynon (‘98), C130 Air Force Pilot, currently of Port Arkansas, Texas, spoke to students, faculty, and staff Oct. 13. Tynon’s talk focused on “setting and achieving goals.” Among his ten rules was, “refuse ‘no’ as the final answer” and “do it with pride.” He is pictured here with his sister, Kelly (Tynon, ‘90) Bequette, the new director of Student Success Services at Peru State College.

Where in the World are You?

The search is on for missing alumni from several classes. If you can provide a current home address for any of the people listed here, we will be grateful— and so will they, especially when they start receiving the Stater again. Send information about missing alumni to Cori Christiansen at, call her at 402-872-2240, or mail your information to PSC Foundation. PO Box 10, Peru, NE 68421.

Class of 1978

Gary Allis Connie Knudson Sue (Lamberies) Lacy Kevin Perkins Duane Skiles

Class of 1983 (25 year)

Denice (Dominic) Brown Kraig Casey Pamela Fox Larry Lieneman Katherine Brewer Richard Wood

Class of 1988

Pamela (Armstrong) Donohue Julie Arp Christine (Simmonds) Bennett Michael Butkus Brian Carey James Driskall Kristi (Buller) Jensen Tamra Philbrook L. Craig Stevens Kelly Townsell

Class of 1998

Mara Russell Kristine Sorenson Diane Hardy Jennifer Gentert Charles Lanning Timothy Moore Tonia (Boller) William Cyndee (Ruegge) Coudeyras Angela Guinn Troy Sedam Seren Humburg Mohammad Sarker William Porter

Class of 2008

Keri Frankl


Peru Stater Fall 2008

NAA Board Meets to Reload

The National Alumni Association (NAA) Board met on Homecoming day to refocus and re-energize. The NAA has had limited activity beyond the Online Community (www.bobcatalumni. com). However, that is about to change as the Board prepares to capitalize on the strength of its members and other PSC alums. Present at the October NAA Board meeting were Co-Presidents Paul (’67) and Arlene (Borcher, ’67) Fell, CoSecretaries Nick (’87) and Laurel (Smith, ’87) Harling, Ed Ankrom (’91, M’97), Mike Guilliatt (’67), and Carlos Paul and Arlene Fell serve as co-Presidents Harrison (’51). The Board has agreed of the Peru State College National Alumni to focus on more activi- Associaltion. ties and events that will bring alumni together parents, offering refreshments in the and involve current students. “The lobbies of Delzell, Mathews and MorAssociation is working out the details gan halls. With temperatures well of a possible chili feed between a into the ‘90s, the lemonade and water home, men’s and women’s basketball were much appreciated. game. The event could take place in In addition, alumni handed out February,” said Cori (Harmon, ‘08) Bobcat mementos and offered inforChristiansen, alumni/development mation about joining the NAA. associate with the PSC Foundation. “This is the type of thing the AssoAnother activity is expanding the ciation needs to continue,” Fell said. NAA’s role in New Student Weekend, To see what new and fun events the during which students move into the NAA is working on, be sure to check dorms. This year, Fell, Harrison, and the NAA website at www.bobcataRich Daly (’68) greeted students and

Get more News in the eNewsletter The quarterly eNewsletter comes out in December! Get on the mailing list by sending your email adress to Cori Christiansen, alumni/development associate, at, or mail to PSC Foundation, PO Box 10, Peru, NE 68421-0010. Or, update all of your information by going to and clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. In the eNewsletter you’ll find… • Alumni Spotlights • Current PSC and Alumni News • New and Exciting Website Updates In past newsletters, we have spotlighted Bob Bohlken (’59) and Amanda Volkmer (’97). Look for more alumni spotlights, such as Captain Andrew Tynon (’98) in the future. To see past eNewsletters, go to

Melissa Bando (’07) and Gregory Rowh were married Oct. 2, 2008, in Nebraska City, Neb. Melissa is a case manager for Pawnee Mental Health in Beloit, Kan.

Crystal Meyer (’07) and Jonathan Gibson were married June 7, 2008, in Nebraska City. Crystal teaches 2nd grade at Northside Elementary School in Nebraska City.

Katrina Sypal (’07) and Ryan Baumgartner were married June 14, 2008, in Lincoln. Katrina is an educator at Seward (Neb.) Elementary Public Schools.

Joshua Johnson (’07) and Jennifer Hohenfeldt were married July 28, 2007, in Lincoln, Neb. Joshua is a football coach at PSC.  

Crystal Ellis (’07) and Taylor Dunekacke (’09) will be married May 30, 2009, in Humboldt, Neb. Crystal is an admissions representative at PSC and is attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Taylor will graduate from PSC in May 2009 with a degree in elementary education and elementary special education. Lacy Adams (’07) and Riley Gerdes were married in August 2008 in Auburn, Neb. The couple will live in Auburn with Riley’s four-year-old son, Hayden.  

1980s Bruce Knaak (’88) and Diana, of Oakland, Neb., proudly announce the birth of their son, Kaden Alexander, on April 7, 2008.   Bradley Smith (’89) and Andrea proudly announce the birth of daughter Keaton Inez, born Jan. 24 in Omaha, Neb.

1990s Branden Bender (’95) and wife Tesha proudly announce the birth of son Beaux Gavin, born, Sept. 5 in Lincoln, Neb. He joins big brother Daxx, 18 months. Charles Wake (‘96) and Julie announce the birth of daughter Emerson in May. Chuck and Julie have three other children and live in Frazee, Minn., where Chuck teaches physics.

2000s Sara (Glathar) Martin (‘01) and Eric proudly announce the birth of daughter Megan Marie, born April 4, in Omaha, Neb.  

David Nielsen (M’07) and Allison Cheetsos were married June 7 in Elmwood, Neb. The couple lives in Elmwood.   Kory Huppert (’08) and Shelley Fisher were married April 12, in Falls City, Neb. Kory teaches English at Falls City Middle School.   Allison Stockstell (’09) and Michael Gregg will be married May 30, 2009, in Hamburg, Iowa. Amber Aufenkamp (’10) and Christopher Ryan were married Oct. 4, 2008, in Auburn, Neb. The couple lives in Aurora, Neb.

Vanessa (Ward) Sherman (‘03) Scottie, of Peru, announce the birth of daughter Addison Lorene, born Dec. 27, 2007.   Lee (’04) and Meghan (Scanlan) Jennings (03) proudly announce the birth of son Hudson Dean, born Aug. 20. Meghan works at Seacoast Medical, a pharmaceutical company in Omaha, Neb. Lee teaches social studies at Fremont Middle School and serves as head coach of the freshman football team. Jeromy Jones (‘04) and Sherry proudly announce the birth of son Bryson Matthew Jones, born July 9. Bryson was welcomed home in Peru by his big brother Treyton, 3.   Jara Tharp (‘05), of Nebraska City, Neb., and Kevyn Moore announce the birth of son Xavier Charles Moore, born Aug. 6. Stefanie (Castle) Wenz (‘07) and her husband, Dan, announce the birth of son Noah James Wenz, born Aug. 18 in Falls City, Neb. Noah was welcomed by his big brother Dylan, 9.


1920s Laura (Lyon) Hinrichs (’27): The PSC Foundation received notice in 2008 that Laura died.   Louise (Cemore) Grasso (’29) died in Las Vegas, Nev., May 12, 2006.   Emily (Woods) Mumm (’29) died in Fremont, Neb., July 14.   Mary (Gray) Ziegenbein (’29): The PSC Foundation was notified in 2008 that Mary died.  

1930s Elsie (Nuss) Carmichael (’30), died in Memphis, Tenn., April 27.

Peru Stater Fall 2008

Foundation was notified in 2008 that Elizabeth died.   Julia (O’Brien) Slagle (’35): The Foundation was notified in 2008 that Julia died. Wayne Riggs (’37) died Sept. 1, 2006. Wayne was named to the PSC Hall of Fame for his multiple accomplishments, especially track and field. Blanche (Watton) Casey (’37), 91, Falls City, Neb., died Oct. 7. Mary (Murphy) Miller (’38) died May 28, 2008, in Hamburg, Iowa, Dorothy Stevenson (’38) died Feb. 16, 2008.  

Margaret (Majors) McIninch (’30), Brownville, Neb., 98, died Oct. 17. She was preceded in death by her son, William B. McIninch (’53), and daughter, Margaret Jean. She is survived by her daughter Phyllis McIninch (’52).

James Powers (attended in ’39), Clarinda, Iowa, died May 16, 2008. He served in World War II in the U.S. Army as a radio operator.

Opal (Riensche) Wright (attended in the early 1930s), 94, Tecumseh, Neb., died Sept. 17, 2008.

Lawrence Freude (‘39) died March 22, 2008, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

George Kuhl (’31) died in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 2. George and his wife, the late Vivian (Hawkins) (’36), were married in 1936. George entered Civil Service during WWII. In 1957 he became chief instructor in procurement and training at Randolph Air Force Base; later advancing to technical data manager of the U.S. Defense/Space Systems. He worked with the Apollo Space Program and in 1969 was named “Federal Employee of the Year.” He also received the Department of Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

H. Sterling Bottcher (’39) died Jan. 4, 2007.  

Marvel (Lucas) Dodson (’39), Downey, Calif., died in October. She was a former teacher and past president of Soroptimist International in Downey.

1940s Dale Close (’40): The PSC Foundation was notified in 2008 that Dale died.   Marvin Schacht (’40) died Sept. 7, in Syracuse, Neb. Schacht was a retired teacher and superintendent and a member of several community clubs, including the Syracuse Lions Club. He was preceded in death by his wife Vivian (Vermule) (’62).

Ellen (Meisinger) Stoehr (’31) died May 21, 2007.  

Lorraine (Bowen) Boos (’41), Sedro Woolley, Wash., died July 21, 2008.  

Dortha (Chambers) Kesterson (’32): The Foundation was notified in 2008 that Dortha passed away.  

Arlene (Tesar) Hromadka (’41): The PSC Foundation was informed in 2008 that Arlene died.  

Myreta (Sugden) Nicholls (’32): The Foundation was notified in 2008 that Myreta passed away.  

Woodrow Lambelet (’41) died July 14, 2007. He taught business education at Grand Island (Neb.) Senior High until retiring in 1983. He was a major supporter of the Academic Resource Center at Peru State. Graveside Services were held at Lafayette Cemetery in Brock, Neb.  

Dorothy (Keys) Iversen (‘33) died Feb. 20, 2007. She taught for 30 years before retiring. Lila (Ashwood) Miller (attended in ’33) Kingston, Wash., died March 10, 2008. Elizabeth (Barting) Kahler (’35): The

Ruth (Anderson) Raymer (’43) died in Omaha June 26, 2007.

Good-bye A.D. Majors

A.D. Majors Residence Hall opened in August 1960 to a great deal of excitement. Home to more than 80 male students, the hall had air conditioning, a solarium and patios that overlooked the Oak Bowl. Less than 20 years later, however, a portion of the building was condemned when it was discovered that it was slowly sliding down the hill. The other half of the building housed a health center and the athletics offices, which have since been moved to the newly renovated Al Wheeler Activity Center. The demolition of A.D. Majors began in fall 2008 and is expected to be completed by mid-November. The building will be replaced by a parking lot. The entire project is expected to cost $791,410; it is being funded with state and federal monies.

Where in the World are You?

The search is on for missing alumni from several classes. If you can provide a current home address for any of the people listed here, we will be grateful—and so will they, especially when they start receiving the Stater again. Send information about missing alumni to Cori Christiansen at, call her at 402-872-2240, or mail your information to PSC Foundation, PO Box 10, Peru, NE 68421.

Class of 1968

Donald Armstrong Michael Barsi Terry Bentley Donald Cook Albert Cooper Roger Daggett Gregory Dickinson Norman Flesher Mary (Mowry) Foreman George Geenen

Joseph Hansen Gloria (Dasher) Harris Mary Helm Richard Hodes Nancy (Hood) Reidy Linda Hrbek Barbara Huston David Kennedy Ken Kreisher Richard McDonald Mary McMunn David Meyer Mary (Bowman)Nehrig Joseph Oh D. Pratt Judy (Wright) Pratt Ray Roderic Bernard Scott Irma (Behrends) Serluca Mary Shriner J. Albert Smith Curtis Stahr Lois (Monsees) Swain Hester (McCoy) Thornhill George Tracy


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Mary (Jimerson) Johnson (’43) died in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 10, 2007. Her father, Dr. John A. Jimerson, was dean of PSC until he was recommissioned in World War II. Mary served on the Fort Worth City Council and received several honors during her career.   Ellen (King) Shively (’44) died Feb. 4, 2007.   William Kerr (’45) died Aug. 10, 2006. Ila (Dell) Olmstead (’45): The Foundation was informed in 2008 that Ila passed away.   Erma (Auker) Broers (’47): The Foundation was informed in 2008 that Erma died. Lucille (Tibbetts) Clark (’47) died Jan. 31, 2007. She had a long career teaching elementary school. Anna Margaret (Lewis) Bauer (’48) died in North Platte, Neb., Jan. 10. She married the late Merle “Hoot” Bauer (’48). Anna taught for 20 years. Services were Jan. 16 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Platte.  

“Jindra Fine Arts” is one of hundreds of paintings depicting scenes of Peru State College that Dr. Leland “Shorty” Sherwood has painted over his many years at the campus.

Celebrating Sherwood

A celebration honoring alumnus and longtime PSC faculty member Dr. Leland “Shorty” Sherwood (‘57) is planned for Sat., April 18, 2009, at Peru State College. Sherwood, who was on staff from 1963-93, lives in Peru with his wife Karlene (Dougherty ‘65). An open house featuring PSC art facilities in the A.V. Larson Building, a reception, dinner, and an art sale all will be part of the program.  To be on the guest list for an invitation, contact Krystal Nolte at the PSC Foundation by calling 402-872-2304, writing her at P.O. Box 10, Peru NE 68421, or by e-mail at

Oscar Everett Cahill (attended in ’47), Peru Prep, died July 10, 2008, in Auburn, Neb. Oscar served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and earned the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal. Services were held in Auburn. Hubert Rosenblum (’48) died in the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home in Omaha May 23, 2008. He moved from San Francisco, Calif., to Omaha, his hometown, late in his life to be close to friends and his daughter.  

Houston, Texas.   Kenneth Gardner (’50) died Sept. 17, 2008, in Lincoln. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Nebraska City, a 60-year American Legion member and a member of the Masons and Shriners. He was president of Kiwanis and served five years as president of the Nebraska Education Service Unit. William Vossen (’50) died Jan. 12, 2008. He was honorably discharged from the military in 1946. William received his master of education degree from the University of Nebraska in 1955 and was a school principal for more than 30 years. Max Cupp (’51) died Oct. 7, 2007. Max graduated from Thurman School in 1946 and attended Tarkio College in Tarkio, Mo., before Peru State.   Cecil Anderson (’54): The PSC Foundation was notified in 2008 that Cecil passed away.   Margaret (Meier) Schrepel (’55) died July 2, 2008.   Mary (Geyer) Zabel (’55) died July 4, 2007. Betty (McGrew) Schroeder (’57) died in April 2008. Services were held in Malvern, Iowa.   Neil Trabert (’57) died March 5, 2008. Dan McNeely (’58) died in April 2007.   Duane Oosting (’58) died April 4, 2007.   Kenneth Sand (’58) died July 27, 2008. Ken was a teacher and superintendent for several years. He retired in 1991 and became a complaint investigator for the Iowa Board of Education Examiners.  

Dee Jarvis (’48) died in Auburn, Neb., Feb. 27. He taught industrial arts at PSC from 1948 to 1978. He enjoyed 1960s traveling to Oregon to visit his daughter Nancy and loved gardening, Camilla (Haskins) Banks (’60) beekeeping, fishing and photography.   died in Auburn, Neb., July 20, 2008. Memorial services were July 24 at the Oliver Joiner (’49) died Oct. 4, 2007 Stella Community Church. in Monroe, Iowa. He received his

Dr. Leland Sherwood

master’s in education from Drake University and was a superintendent for 27 years.

Nancy (Kunkel) Broers (’60) of Lewellen, Neb., died July 15, 2008, in Fort Collins, Colo.


Daniel Jones (’60) died March 6, 2008. Funeral services were held in Omaha. Survivors include his wife, the former Jean Birdsley (’54). They were active in the Omaha Alumni chapter.

Robert Clark (’50) died Aug. 30, 2007. He was active in the Society of Exploration Geophysics and was married for 64 years. Services were in


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Lillie (Rawson) Able (’61) died July 19, 2007. Services were at Bethel Community Churchm Auburn, Neb.

Juliann (Moerer) Gauchat (’88), died June 30. Services were held in Auburn, Neb.  

Juanita Germann (’61): The PSC Foundation was notified in 2008 that Juanita passed away.  


Oscar Bretthorst (’62), Lincoln, Neb., died April 25, 2008. Oscar served in the U.S. Army after WWII at Fort Belvoir, Va.   James Bohlken (’63) died April 30, 2008. Services were at the Peru Community Church in Peru. Graveside services were at Mt. Vernon Cemetery.   Esther (Masheter) Carpenter (’64): The PSC Foundation was notified in 2008 that Esther passed away.   Nellie Sasseen (’64) died Aug., 30, 2008, in Syracuse, Neb. She was a teacher. Shirley Rodgers (’66) died July 22, 2007.   Nancy (Jarvis) Scriber (’67), Mt. Angel, Ore., died June 29, 2007. She was the daughter of longtime PSC professor Dee Jarvis (’48).

1970s Carroll Johnson (’71), Spokane, Wash., died July 1, 2007. He was a salesman for more than 30 years and worked in 25 states. He was also a basketball coach. Jack Weyers (’71) died in Lincoln, Neb., Aug. 21, 2008. While at Peru, he was named an NAIA All American in track and cross country from 1967 to 1970. He was inducted into the PSC Hall of Fame in 1990 and the National NAIA Hall of Fame in 1984. Services were held in Sterling, Neb.   Kathleen (Johnson) Alberts (’72) died June 10, 2008, in Hastings, Neb. Myron Fangmeyer (’72): The PSC Foundation was notified in 2008 that Myron passed away.   William Pruett (’75) died June 1, 2007. He and his wife owned and operated the Logos Plus Screening/Printing in Blair, Neb.  

1980s Scott Blanchard (’85) died Aug. 15, 2008, in Steinauer, Neb.

Alicia (Rowell) Adams (attended in ’95) died July 1. Alicia’s first loves were her children, Kyla and Seth. Services were held in Falls City, Neb.

2000s Andrea Walters (’01) died Aug. 7, 2008, at her home in Nebraska City, Neb.

Friends of the College Johnnie Allgood, Peru Prep, 86, died Jan. 12, 2008, in Bellevue, Neb. Services were near Watson, Mo. Ruth Bath died Aug. 27. She was active in her church and community throughout her life. Services were in Auburn, Neb.   William Jack Downey, former employee of PSC, died Sept. 1, in Auburn, Neb. Jack lived in southeast Nebraska all of his life. Services were in Nebraska City. Dean Duerfeldt, Peru Prep, 90, died Feb. 3. Services were in Nebraska City, Neb.   John Grafton, Peru Prep, 96, Auburn, Neb., died April 3. Services were in Auburn.  Mildred (Able) Groff , Peru Prep, 90, Auburn, Neb. died Oct. 6, 2007. Services were at Bethel Community Church.  She was a longtime employee of Peru State. Belva (Sayer) Hensley, Peru Prep, San Andreas, Calif., died June 1, 2007. Lola (Hays) Mertes, Peru Prep, 97, of Peru, died Jan. 29. Services were at the Peru Community Church.  Louis Niemann: The Foundation was informed in 2008 that Louis died. Mildred (Campbell) Ruyle, Peru Prep, 91, of Auburn, Neb., died Oct. 7, 2007. Services were in Auburn.  Merle Umland, Peru Prep, of Auburn, Neb., died March 26. Jim Whisler, “The Whis,” Peru Prep, died June 5, 2007. Services were in Peru.  Ruth Van Zant: The PSC Foundation was notified in 2008 that Ruth died.

David Norris(‘10) of Beatrice and Carmen Schwiger (‘12) of Bellevue as Michael and Agnes in “I Do! I Do!” The musical comedy had a three-day run over Homecoming weekend.

“I Do! I Do!” Draws More Than 200 to PSC Theater For the first time in many years, theater was once again part of the Homecoming festivities. “I Do! I Do!” a musical comedy writen by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones drew more than 200 alumni, faculty, students and staff over a three-day run. The play ran for more than 20 years on Broadway. PSC English and speech instructor Mark Klemetsrud directed the musical, which was sponsored by the newly formed Speech and Theatre Club. David Norris, a junior music education major from Beatrice, and Carmen Schwiger, a sophomore music education major from Bellevue, had the lead roles of Michael (HE) and Agnes (SHE). Mike Casavant, a freshman from Lincoln, was the stage manager.

Peru Stater Fall 2008


ming Roundup

17 Homecoming Roundup (from left): the Bobcat Cheerleaders pep up fans near the Student Center; Ted Harshbarger prepares for his role in “Leader of the Pack” for the Talent show then stars with (below, from left) Dr. Sara Crook, Brenda Trail, Dr. Bill Clemente and Dr. Tammy Trucks-Bordeaux. Below: Homecoming Royalty: Lindsey Husen (‘09) of Alda, Neb., and Courtney Kidd (‘09) of Omaha, Neb.

Above: Kiss fans (from left), Gregg Wiebusch (’09), Zach Greunke (’10), and Ian Cassidy (’11). The Peru Area Ladies (PALs), including Jackie (Baker, 81) Williams and LeeAnn (Kadel, ‘92) Clifton, and Cheryl Cotton “star” in “Grease.” Left: Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding on “Saved by the Bell”) visited campus. He is pictured with Taylor Dunekacke (‘09). Far left and above right: Although they played hard and had a huge crowd cheering them on, the Cats lost the homecoming game to Northwest Oklahoma, 45-21.


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Baseball Team Fifth in MCAC

The 2008 season started well for the Bobcat baseball team with a threegame series sweep over Paul Quinn College. The team is led by head coach Jason Cronin. Unfortunately, the team let losses creep up on them in the middle of the season and found themselves at 13-13-1; still, the team was in a good position in the MCAC with an 8-4 The Bobcats square off against Northwest Oklahoma during the 2008 Homerecord. Then a long slide brought an coming game. The Cats lost 45-21. end to the campaign. The team finished the season fifth in the MCAC with an overall record of 14-27-1 and 8-15 in conference play. Receiving all-conference honorable mention were Gary Hall ‘Cats pulled off a win against Iowa The Bobcats ended the 2007 season (‘09), outfield; Jonathan Harder (‘11), Wesleyan in Mt. Pleasant, with a with a 6-5 record behind a senioroutfield; Will Hayes (‘09), first base; score of 21-20. The second win came laden squad. Although the 2008 team and Mark Houck (‘08), short stop. against Waldorf College in Forest City, won’t see that kind of success, the Additionally, senior Joakim team is working hard to turn the pro- Iowa, with a score of 47-21. Claesson (‘08), from Stockholm, With numerous freshmen and other gram around. underclassmen seeing substantial At the time the Stater went to press, the Bobcats, led by Coach Terry Clark playing time, the ‘Cats fortunes look bright in years ahead. (‘92, M’06), were 2-6 overall on the Follow the team at season with two games remaining. athletics and hear broadcasts. After losing the first three games, the

Turning Things Around

Future Looks Bright for Young Football Team

Pitcher Joakim Claesson (‘08) Sweden, was named MCAC Scholar Athlete of 2008. Follow the team at athletics.

No. 5 Laura Kjar (‘09), and No. 17 Alyssa Mangum (‘10), watch as catcher Jessica Sorensen (‘11) waits for the ball.

Mizerski Joins Football Staff Chuck Mizerski (’69) started his football career at Peru State, where he played offensive and defensive line for the Bobcats. He lettered in the sport and received allconference honors his senior year, then moved on to teaching and coaching. His career spanned more than 37 years, 27 of which were spent at Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast High School, before he retired in 2008. Now he’s come full circle. The legendary coach returned to PSC this fall to coach the Bobcat defensive line. During his time at Southeast, Mizerski coached the Knights to six Nebraska State High School Championships and three state runner-up finishes. Mizerski was named Coach of the Year by the Omaha World Herald in 1992, by the Lincoln Journal Star in 1992 and 2002, and the KFOR Radio Coach of the year in 1990.

Mizerski was recognized nationally as a finalist for the National High School Coach of the year in 2001 and 2002. He received the Nebraska Coaches Association Coach of the year in 1992 and also spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Lincoln Capitols and Mizerski Lightning of the Indoor Football League. Prior to his days at Lincoln Southeast, Mizerski coached at Plattsmouth (Neb.) High School and taught and coached in his hometown of Granite City, Ill., at Granite City South and Granite City North High schools. Mizerski also lettered in baseball as a catcher and first baseman while playing for the Bobcats.

Lady Bobcats Finish Strong In their opening week, the Lady Bobcats traveled to the annual spring break tournament in Tucson, Ariz. They soon found themselves with a 7-7 record and a week full of memories. The streak continued into late March; the team had a record of 12-12 before pulling ahead and clinching third place in the MCAC. The team finished the 2008 season at 25-22 overall and 9-3 in the MCAC. Their success was reflected in the personal achievements of several players, including five who were named to the MCAC first team:

Nicole Goodrich (‘11), Nicole Mercer (‘09), Alicia Mangum (‘10), McKayla Clark (‘10), and Jen Siedlik (‘09). Three players were named to the second team: Marie Poole (‘08), Brittany Fry (‘09), and Liz Cunningham (‘09). Three received honorable mention: Laura Kjar (‘09), Dani Metzler (‘08), and Jamie Wolbert (‘09). Mark Mathews, veteran head coach, said, “We never gave up on any game.” Follow the team at athletics.


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Season Should be Exciting The 2008-09 basketball season looks to be a fun and exciting one for the Lady Bobcats, led by Maurtice Ivy, who is in her second year as head coach at Peru State College. Returning to the team this year are Alyssa Mangum (‘10), Emma Pedro (‘10), Brianna Triplett (‘11) and P.J. Miller (‘10).  An indicator of how much this team has changed this season, Alyssa played post last season and is now a perimeter player. With only four players returning from last year and only three of them with experience, new players will be counted on to mature early. The Lady Bobcats have more size and athleticism this year, as well as players who know how to play hard, Ivy said. In addition, several players can handle multiple positions on the floor.  With all of that, the Lady Bobcats will be fun to watch, and the coaching staff is counting on hard work, dedication, and discipline. What you see over this season and the next few years will hopefully be history in the making—a new era in women’s basketball at Peru State. Follow the team at athletics. Right: Toni Ratliff (‘11) shoots for two.

Team Ranks Fourth in NAIA Despite losing two of its top players, the 2008 Bobcat volleyball team started the season on fire, winning seven of its first eight matches. As of press time, the team’s record was 16-9 overall and 8-3 in MCAC action. Coach Lexie Turnbull isn’t surprised. “Being back in our gym with homecourt advantage has been a big plus,” she said. Last season all “home” games were played out of town due to the renovation of the Wheeler Center. In addition, returning players are picking up the void left by 2007 standouts Ashleigh Ravnikar (‘08) and Keshia Selko (‘08), and “several new players can play different positions,” she said. Senior Afton Burr (‘09) was named MCAC Libero of the Week twice this season with senior Allison Slager (‘09) receiving offensive player of the

country and basketball at Peru State for four years. Last season Tennal eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for her career, finishing with 1,354 points, fifth all-time at Peru State. In addition, her 166 made three pointers ranks No. 1 all-time for the Bobcats. Tennal, of Morrill, Kan., is majoring in art and physical education. She has maintained a 3.9 gpa. Jesse Haynes, a graduate of Omaha Benson High School, is majoring in physical education. A four year member of the basketball squad, he was named All-MCAC honorable mention after a senior season that saw him average 13.4 ppg in league play. Haynes ended the season with 80 steals (fifth all-time at PSC) and 170 career steals (third all-time) . Haynes is also successful in the classroom and carries a 3.1 gpa.

week. The team ranks fourth in the NAIA in blocks per game (3.6), while Kaitlin Morrow (‘10) is sixth in the NAIA in blocks per game (1.72) and Jerlyn Cummins (‘09) ranks eighth in the nation (1.49) Follow the team at athletics.

Men’s Basketball Sees many Changes The Peru State Bobcat men’s basketball team has seen many changes over the summer. New head coach,

Students Recognized with Bert Swenson Awards Each year since 1925 outstanding student-athletes have been recognized at Peru State College with the Bert Swenson Award. The award looks at participation in athletics, character and personality, and service and loyalty to PSC. Bert Swenson was a PSC football great who graduated 1909. Some distinguished recipients from the past include Mark W. Delzell (‘25, the first recipient), Jack Mcintire (‘69), Patrick Rooney (‘45), Omer Meeker (‘51), Jack Weyers (‘71) and Barry Reed (‘74). In 1983, the first female received the award: Glevon Covault Stephenson (‘84). Beginning in 1999-2000, awards were given to both a male and female student athlete. The 2008 recipients were Leisha Tennal (‘09) and Jesse Haynes (‘09). Tennal has been active in cross

Allison Slager and Jerlyn Cummins.

Joe Mews (‘08) was the captain and made the MCAC first team in 2007-08.

Troy Katen, welcomes 11 new faces and five veterans to the newly renovated Al Wheeler Activity Center. Last season’s team finished fourth in the MCAC with an 8-23 season. This year, the Bobcats look to improve in every area. “It was important that we bring in quality players who are eager to learn more,” Katen said. Players returning this season are Julius Durant (‘09), who averaged 12 points and six rebounds; Matt Ryan (‘09), who started in 12 games; and subs Ryheem Drakeford (‘09), Kyle Knoche (‘09), and Daniel Nutt (‘09). “We have our work cut out for us,” Katen said. “It’s my philosophy that in order to be the best you have to beat the best.” Follow the team at athletics.

Cross Country has Strong Season Women’s cross country at Peru State College enjoyed a good 2008 season, culminating in a fourth place finish in the Midlands College Athletic Conference tournament. Leading the effort for Coach Johann Murray’s team were four dedicated seniors whose careers ended this fall: Allison Stockstell (‘09), Leisha Tennal

(‘09), Lindsey Poole (‘09) and Brittany Schaefer (‘09), “will be sorely missed after their years of dedication,” Murray said. Earlier in the season the squad earned a third place finish at the Haskell Invitational in Kansas. Follow the team at athletics.


Peru Stater Fall 2008

Campus Events

a December 7-Band Concert, College Theatre, 3 p.m. 12-13 Madrigal Dinner, Student Center, 6:30 p.m. January 20-Winter Dance, 9 p.m.-midnight February 17-Faculty Recital, Jindra Fine Arts, 7:30 p.m. 18-High School Business Contest 22-Choirs in Concert, College Theatre, 3 p.m. 24-Honor Choir Concert, College Theatre, 6:30 p.m. 25-Annual PSC District History Day 26-27-Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Celebration March 10-Water Celebration 18-Jazz Festival, College Theatre For more events or updates, go to: Tristan Bassinger (‘09), a music major, performed in last year’s Madrigal Dinner.

Misty Blues Hits a High Note at Festival The Misty Blues gave their first performance of the year at the Show Choir Festival, which has been held at Peru State College for 37 years. Twenty-six middle and high school show choirs, from Auburn to Grand Island, participated in this year’s festival. The groups receive tips on how to better their shows. Pictured (back row): Bret Tincher(‘12), Megan Katz (‘10), Eric Uher (‘12), Nicholas Miller (‘10), Mary Trecek (‘09), Kelley Scanlan (‘09), Brandon Prater (‘09), Carla Eickhoff (‘10), Carmen Schweiger (‘12), Jordan Prange (‘11), Joshua Gibs (‘09) and Victoria Brown (‘12); (front row): Xavier Gibson (‘12), Michael Casavant (‘12), Courtney Meyer (‘10) and Tristan Bassinger (‘09); Michael Parde, drums, and Denis Plutalov, piano. The group is led by Dr. Thomas Ediger.

… And much, much more about people you know! Pages 18-19

Bobcat Sports

Page 17

Homecoming Highlights

Pages 10-11

Love and Marriage on Campus

Address Service Requested

Al Wheeler Center Rededication Page 4 Johnson Retires

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