Page 1

Winter 2016 Vol. 61, No. 2

Delzell Hall: More Than a Residence Hall for Generations See story on page 11

Help us plan the next 150 years at Peru State College Dan Hanson, Ph.D. Peru State College President

Student Engagement College of Choice Increased Prominence I hope you recognize some of these phases as important pieces of Peru State College’s goals during the past seven years. 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of Peru State, but it will also be the end of the college’s strategic plan. In preparation, the college is working to again explore what it means to be a regional education leader and a “college of choice.” The college has formed a strategic planning committee and that committee has spearheaded our efforts to examine the past seven years, our sesquicentennial history and our hopes for the next seven years. Almost seven years ago various interests around campus and from our constituent communities met to decide how

to best express our combined hopes for the campus. The group, including myself, began to share an understanding that the role of Peru State with its students and with the region culminated in the need for essential engagement. In 2011 we wrote of our essential engagement proposal, “It suggests a new way of learning for students, a new way of interacting for college employees and a new way for the college to interact with the community and society.” Those principles have taught us many valuable lessons, but there is still room for growth, for improvement and for new ways – ways we will determine together as we move forward to 150 more years. Over the past seven years, we have seen the direct results of the plan in improved facilities, faculty initiatives and resources, and student successes both on campus and nationally. It is clear to me that the most important factor in our success has been that the community that worked so hard to create this strategic plan worked even harder to implement it. Some of the faces have changed, but the commitment to Peru State’s students remains. I believe firmly that the greater the stake involved in the plan’s creation, the greater the involvement in the plan’s

PSC Foundation Board of Directors Larry Green (’71) Chairman – Miramar Beach, FL Jim Desbien (’73) – Plainville, KS SaraBeth Donovan, Vice-Chair (’85), Pierre, SD Joyce Douglas, Secretary – Lincoln, NE Mike Guilliatt (’67) – Fremont, NE Cindy (Plantenga, ’82) & Tim (’84) Hoffman, Treasurers – Lincoln, NE Al Urwin (’82) – La Vista, NE PSC National Alumni Association Board of Directors Paul (’67) & Arlene (Borcher, ’67) Fell, Co-Chairs – Lincoln, NE Ed Ankrom (’91) – Beatrice, NE Dan (’76) & Cheryl Cotton – Peru, NE Elton (’88) & Connie (Sims, ’87) Edmond – Lincoln, NE Nick (’87) & Laurel (Smith, ’87) Harling – Falls City, NE Carlos Harrison (’51) – Shenandoah, IA

1 The Stater

better understand our future. Your help is essential to this understanding. The themes of essential engagement, being a school of choice and increas- Dan Hanson ing prominence still ring true to me. I don’t think we’ll abandon those efforts, realization. Consequently, this time but we may integrate them into the new we plan to involve more faculty, more strategies and priorities we identify in community members, more students our strategic planning process. and more alumni. The new strategic plan will shape I want to thank Joyce Douglas and Peru State College for not just the next Mike Gerdes for representing the Foun- seven years, but for the next 150 years. dation and Alumni Association, respectively. They are providing a critical perAll the Best, spective on our regional role and our continuing purpose as a college. We’ll continue to seek external viewpoints by visiting with leaders in our neighboring cities: Auburn, Falls City, Dan Hanson, Ph.D. Nebraska City and Rock Port. I hope President that many of you can join us as we speak to these communities. If you are a part of the Alumni Association’s e-mail distribution list, you should have received a survey on planning topics this past November. We want to know why you chose Peru State College and remind us why Peru State continues to be important to the region. New ideas will come out during the course of those meetings too. The purpose of examining our history is to

“We want to know why you chose Peru State College and remind us why Peru State continues to be improtant to the region.”

Chuck (’69) & Alice (Massoth, ’69) Mizerski – Lincoln, NE Frtiz (’74) & Char (Lutz, ’74) Stehlik – Omaha, NE Angela Rohwer Steiner (’90)- Sabetha, KS Kim (’90) & Kris (Kubert, ’94) Vrtiska – Falls City, NE College President: Dr. Dan Hanson Editor: R. Todd Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, PSC Foundation Managing Editor/Writer: Deborah Solie, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, PSC Foundation Graphic Design: Chelsea Allgood (’08), Graphic Design Artist

Contributing Writers: Ted Harshbarger (’77), Associate Athletic Director/ Sports Information Director Jason Hogue, Director of Marketing Rebecca Jewell, Advancement Officer, PSC Foundation Deborah Solie, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, PSC Foundation Photography: Bill Clemente, Professor of English Ted Harshbarger, Associate Athletic Director/Sports Information Director Brandi Hull (’14), Graphic Designer Jason Hogue, Director of Marketing Tereza Kamenar, Office Assistant III, Campus Services Rebecca Jewell, Advancement Officer, PSC Foundation

Peru State College: Changing Lives Todd Simpson CFRE Chief Executive Officer, Peru State College Foundation

“Peru State gave me more than an education … it prepared me for life!” I have heard that statement more than once. I cannot help but smile every time an alumnus makes a similar comment. Working with the Foundation and National Alumni Association gives me the opportunity to visit with alumni and friends of the College every day. In fact, the alumni interaction is the best part of my job! So, you can imagine how special it is when an alumnus like

Karen (from the 80s) shares how important Dr. Eckert, Dr. Harper and the Theatre program was to her career in theatre. “Dr. Eckert made sure we knew all the aspects of theatre. Set design. Lighting. Wardrobe and makeup. Everything it takes to put on a production. He liked to tell us ‘you won’t be on stage for every production, but your involvement is critical for every production.’ Understanding a process continues to be a theme among Peru State professors to this day. When current criminal justice professor Danny Hayes says “to really be effective as a criminal justice professional, you need to have a feel for all aspects of the system. Law enforcement, corrections, the courts, counseling, diversion, health and human services, etc.”

I can hear echoes of professors from the past. At Peru State, education is more than preparing students for a career, it is about enabling students to be the best they can be in all walks of life. And preparing students for life is where Peru State truly shines. Peru State’s hands-on teaching style and experiential educational opportunities continue to produce students ready for their next challenge! Whether that education comes from working with professors on critical science or education research (the College has fostered several nationally recognized, award winning student researchers in the last few years), or traveling internationally to participate in service learning community development projects, or tak-

ing advantage of SEE Grants (Student Engagement Enhancement) or the Snyder Experiential Fund for off campus seminars or conferences, growth of the ‘whole’ student is the end to be achieved. Of course, this is where you and the Peru State Foundation are so important. Your gifts to the Foundation support scholarships and educational programs that increases student engagement, student awareness and student success. The College simply could not fund all the educational programs and opportunities on tuition and fees alone. Your help continues to be needed. I am very appreciative for all you do. In the end, my friend Butch (from the 60s) said it best, “I’m so proud of my Peru State education. The College is doing great things!”

Upcoming 2017 Alumni Events February 4: National Alumni Association Annual Chili Feed in conjunction with men’s and women’s basketball games March: Arizona Alumni and Friends Gathering (additional details to follow) March 27: Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Vijay Gupta on Peru State College’s Campus April 22: Alumni and Friends Gathering in conjunction with the Blue and White Scrimmage

April 28: Northern California Alumni and Friends Gathering May 6: Commencement and Sesquicentennial Year-Long Celebration Kick-Off June 16-18: All-College Reunion on Peru State College’s Campus June 20: Charter Day Sesquicentennial Celebration on Peru State College’s Campus For additional information on each of these events, including times and how to RSVP – go to

DOWNLOAD THE PSC ALUMNI APP TODAY! Use the app to learn about upcoming events, read the Peru Stater and plan your next visit to campus! Search “Peru State College Bobcat Life” in the Apple or Android stores to download the app. Be sure to allow location and notification settings for the app when installing. Click “Login as Alumni” Once login is created you will remain logged in to the app.

Enjoy! The Stater 2

The year in photos...

7. Becky Gauchat (‘85) and John Patterson (‘67) enjoyed Bobcat football this past season, with family, friends and the PSC Football Booster Club. The Football Boosters work to provide the Football Student-Athletes improved facilities and equipment, meals, clothing, and much more. They also provide the coaches with funds for recruiting and scholarships.

1. As students prepared for a new academic year at Peru State College, they were welcomed back to campus by residence hall advisors, faculty, staff and alumni. Approximately 500 students live on Peru State’s campus each year. 2. Jerry Joy (’64) and Al Urwin (’82) (member, Foundation Board of Directors) gathered with friends and family during the recent football season. The overall Bobcat football record this year was 5-6. 3. More than 250 new students, faculty and staff gathered on the first day of class in the Al Wheeler Activities Center for Convocation. Speakers addressed students including Connie Edmond (’87) who majored in accounting and business administration. She served fourteen years as an auditor with the Nebraska State Department of Revenue before becoming a managing partner at WRL CPA in Lincoln. 4. PSC Athletic Hall of Fame inductees were honored during halftime at the October 22 football game. L to R: Dan Hanson (President) and Elaine Hanson (First Lady). DeAnna (Bauer) Driggs – accepting the honor on behalf of her father, Merle Bauer; Jill (Parker) Scanlon (’97), Monte Scott (’02), 1996 Volleyball Team – Kellie (Vallinch) Solomon (’99), Kendra (Cory) Koehler (’98), Tracy (Cochran) Malcom (’97), Jaisa (Kappas) Poppleton (’98), Stacy (Fitch) Stinson (’98), Kendra (Jacobsen) Craven (’99), Renee (Moss) Howe (’99), Julie (Nykodym) O’Brien (’98), Heather (Schroeder) Zessin (’00), Dana (Stube) Townsend, Todd Jensen (Head Coach). For a full list of details visit foundation.peru. edu/stater





9. Kansas City Royals Tailgate and Game: More than 50 Peru State College alumni and friends gathered at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City to celebrate the Royals! Pictured from L to R: Brenda Lutz (’07, ’09), Ashleigh Eickhoff (Admissions staff) and Adam Eickhoff.




5. Alumni and friends gathered together for fellowship in Fort Collins, Colo. From L to R: Bill Voegtli (’51), Stephen Gay, Joseph Fauver (’13), Todd Simpson (Foundation CEO), Shane Loyd , Lainey (Cross) Loyd, Becca Jewell (Advancement Officer), Taylor Litz, Beth (Propst) Mierau (’82), Jon Mierau (’00), Jan (Korber) Hightower (’60), Karen (Coover) Gay, Deborah Solie (Alumni Relations). 6. Beth (Propst) Mierau (’82) and Jan (Korber) Hightower (’60) connect at a recent alumni and friends event in Colorado.


3 The Stater

8. On October 21 and 22, four individual athletes and one team were inducted into the Peru State Athletic Hall of Fame for their superlative achievements and contributions to PSC’s rich athletic tradition. From L to R (back row): Todd Jensen, Garland Shafer (’83), Jill (Parker) Scanlon (’97), Renee’ (Moss) Howe (’99), Kendra (Cory) Koehler (’98), Dana (Stube) Townsend, Tracy (Cochran) Malcom (’97), DeAnna (Bauer) Driggs. From L to R (front row): Kendra (Jacobsen) Craven (’99), Monte Scott (’02), Kellie (Vallinch) Solomon (’99), Stacy (Fitch) Stinson (’98), Elaine Hanson (First Lady), Dan Hanson (President).




10. Where the action is! Alumni and friends wave from the Kansas City Royals game. This event is scheduled again for 2017. From L to R (front row): Kent Propst (’81), Elaine Hanson, Becki Propst (’80) and Ken Kamman (’73). From L to R (second row): Brenda (Wilkinson) Schaefer (’82) and Scott Schaefer (’80). From L to R (third row): Todd Simpson (Foundation CEO), Marcus Ackley (’09), Amanda (Stuckeymeyer) Ackley (’08). 11. Six-time Olympic gold medalist and national sports announcer Amy Van Dyken spoke on Peru State College’s campus in November. The record-breaking swimmer came back from a shoulder injury to win a pair of gold medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics — adding to the four she had already won in 1996. Fourteen years later, Van Dyken was in an ATV accident that severed her spine. Van Dyken survived and told her story of breaking records, beating the odds and loving life. Pictured L to R: Mark Mathews (PSC Head Softball Coach) Amy Van Dyken, Renee Mathews (PSC Business Office).

The Stater 4

... Continued

12. Homecoming 2016 was a great success with thousands of alumni and friends gathering on Peru State’s campus. The day included a parade with floats, a band and lots of candy. Pictured is the City of Peru firetruck driven by volunteer firefighters carrying Bob the Bobcat and the PSC cheerleaders.

17. As the 2016 Homecoming Grand Marshal, Jackson Howard, performed the coin toss for the Bobcat football game vs. Baker University. 18. A Homecoming highlight was the reunion reception hosted by the President and First Lady on Friday, September 30. Alumni and guests gathered from the Classes of 1965, 1966, 1967, 1985, 1986 and 1987. Pictured from L to R (front row): Adrian Bartek (’66), Mary Bartek, Jack Rinne (’66), Mary Rinne, Todd Simpson (Foundation CEO), Charles Caverzagie (’64), Paul Fell (’67) (National Alumni Association Co-Chair) and Arlene (Borcher) Fell (’67) (National Alumni Association Co-Chair).

13. The Toughest Mile is a Peru State Homecoming tradition with brave alumni and friends running up the hill affectionately known as the “gut buster”. Pictured are Mark Shively (’79) and his furry companion who ran the hill and were still smiling afterward. 14. Homecoming Court announced during halftime of the Homecoming football game. Seniors Chelsea Reznicek and Robbie Gilbert of Omaha were crowned Peru State College’s 2016 Homecoming king and queen. Pictured from L to R: Josephine Tennant, Emily Hausmann, Marisa Pribnow, Kelsey Young, Jackson Howard (Grand Marshal), Tristen Nelson, Mona Beach, Tanner Fischer, Robbie Gilbert (Homecoming King), Chelsea Reznicek (Homecoming Queen), Elaine Hanson (First Lady), Dan Hanson (President), Chelsea Turek (2015 Homecoming Queen), Charleen Marsh, Holly Kurz, Morgan Zurek, John Ostrander and Zakarias Ruei. Not pictured: Eric Morrison-Smith, Gunnar Orcutt and Ryan Zuhlke. 15. The Peru State College Student Senate selected Jackson Howard of Provo, Utah as the grand marshal of Homecoming. He attended Peru State College in 1943 as part of the V-12 program and rose to the rank of Captain during his tenure with the U.S. Navy. He is one of the most experienced lawyers in Utah and has earned the reputation of being among the top attorneys in the state. Howard and guest, Mona Beach, attended all Homecoming festivities including the reunion reception hosted at the President’s home. Pictured from L to R: Dan Hanson (President), Mona Beach, Jackson Howard (Grand Marshal), Elaine Hanson (First Lady). 16. Homecoming Class of 1984 and 1985: Peru State’s Homecoming brought many alumni back to campus for the parade, tailgate and game. A group from the 1980s gathered and reenacted a photo from their time in school. Pictured from L to R: Stefanie (Ahern) Shaw (’85), Alice (Andersen) Sabye (’84), Colleen (Chapman) Childers (’85), Georjean (Schimke) Perez (’85) (pictured in the top photo: Molly Steadman) and Carla (Frauen) Steadman (’84).

5 The Stater







19. Homecoming Reunion Attendees: The Friday before Homecoming, Graduates from the 50-year and 30-year reunions gathered together for a reception, banquet and other reunion activities. Pictured from L to R (front row): Sharon Bender (’66), Mary (Sautter) Caverzagie (’66), Elaine Hanson (First Lady), Dan Hanson (President), Kathy (Francis) Nunnery (’66), Barbara (Thompson) Weiss (’66), Mary Fritch and Becky Gauchat (’85). Pictured from L to R (second row): Paul Fell (’67), Arlene (Borcher) Fell (’67), Julie Gottula (’86), Charles Caverzagie (’64), Mike Guilliatt (’67), Lori (Hackbart) Cook (’86), Sandy Bradley, Carol Gobber (’86), Brian Bradley (’86), John Rinne (’66), Mary Rinne, Ken Boatman (’66), Larry Eden (’66), Adrian Bartek (’66), Mary Bartek, George Weiss (’65), Gary Fritch (’66), Marion (Butch) Miller (’65), John Patterson (’67), Barbara (Lasko) Miller, Betty Barrett and Clyde Barrett. 20. The PSC Foundation took to the road this fall with a stop in Denver to visit with alumni and friends. Pictured from L to R: Becca Jewell (Advancement Officer), Deborah Solie (Alumni Relations), Ellen (Hunzeker) Hajek (’62), Ann (Fellows) Moore (’56), Dale Moore (’54) and Todd Simpson (Foundation CEO). 21. PSC alumni attending reunion activities proudly rode on the reunion celebration float as part of the Homecoming parade. Pictured from L to R: Larry Eden (’66), Arlene (Borcher) Fell (’66), Ken Boatman (’66), Jack Rinne (’66), Mary Rinne, Mary Bartek, Adrian Bartek (’66) and Tim (Sarge) Gilligan (’67).





The Stater 6

Vandeberg and Douglas Dedications - Sept. 3, 2016

Above: The Douglas Entrance Plaza was dedicated thanks to the generous financial support from Farmers Bank of Cook and the Douglas family in honor of the family’s commitment to civic and philanthropic leadership. Jud passed away in 2014, but Joyce continues his dedication to Peru State College. Pictured from L to R: Elaine Hanson (First Lady) Alexandra Douglas, April Douglas, Justin Douglas, Jacquelyn Douglas, Joyce Douglas and Dan Hanson (President).

Below: Douglas Plaza Dedication: Joyce and Judson “Jud” Douglas were recognized for their commitment to the City and Campus Entrance project, which assures a safe and appealing entrance to Peru State’s campus. In addition to serving more than a decade on the Foundation board, the Douglas family has served the city of Peru and surrounding areas for generations through their family-owned Farmers Bank of Cook and the Bank of Peru Branch. Pictured from L to R: Dan Hanson, President and Joyce Douglas, PSC Foundation Board Member, after revealing the plaque dedicating the campus entrance plaza in honor of the Douglas family’s contributions.

Below: Rodney P. Vandeberg was remembered for his leadership and generous financial support of Peru State College and the Park Avenue renovation project. Rod was the driving force behind the project among the Peru State College Foundation Board members. He was determined to provide a safe pedestrian route for students along Park Avenue. Rod lost his fight with cancer in 2015, but his vision for Park Avenue and the pedestrian walkway is reflected in the entrance Peru State enjoys today. Pictured from L to R: Dan Hanson (President) and Jim Parrish (‘84) (Rod’s son-in-law) reveal the plaque dedicating the walkway in Rod’s honor.

Jordan Johnson, PSC Phonathon Superstar

Jordan Johnson, Class of 2017

When you picked up the phone this fall and heard a pleasant voice on the end, it may have been Jordan Johnson, a senior majoring in psychology and criminal justice counseling, from Omaha, Neb. In fall and spring, students at Peru State College call alumni and friends to update them on PSC and ask for support of student scholarships, faculty and staff projects and the College. This past year Jordan raised the most funds of any phonathon student. What’s her secret to success? Experience. Jordan has worked for the Foundation as a student phonathon caller during her entire PSC career. Learn more about Jordan and why she loves calling alumni and friends. Q: Why do you participate in phonathon? Jordan: I originally started working for the Foundation because I needed ex-

New Faces Around Peru State’s Campus Peru State College has brought nine new faculty members to the region this fall. Faculty are hired through a rigorous recruitment and application process culminating in on-campus interviews with other faculty, staff and students. Dr. Timothy Borchers, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said, “We continue to attract tremendous candidates with excellent academic credentials refined by real-world experience.”

Left: The Rodney P. Vandeberg Memorial Walkway was dedicated to recognize Rodney Vandeberg – a long time Peru State College Foundation Board member, southeast Nebraska businessman, former Mayor of Falls City and commissioner of the Nebraska State Highway Commission. The dedication and naming was made possible due to generous financial support from Rod and the Vandeberg Family Foundation. Pictured from L to R: Dan Hanson (President), Elaine Hanson (First Lady), Lori (Vandeberg) Parrish (Rod’s daughter) and Jim Parrish (‘84) (Rod’s son-in-law).

7 The Stater

Above (L to R): Felicity Balluch (Assistant Professor of Education), Laura Lippman (Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts), Jeff Alessandrelli (Assistant Professor of English), John Gardner (Assistant Professor of Art), Shana Walsh (Assistant Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation), Justin Pfeifer (Assistant Professor of History), Jared Bartels (Assistant Professor of Psychology), Candy Blecha (Instructor of Education) and Amber Mahan (Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice).

tra money and I wanted a job on campus. Once I started though, I really started liking it. I learned more about how the funds we raise are used, and it’s cool to raise money for my school. It really grew on me and I kept coming back to work each year. Q: What has been your favorite part about phonathon? Jordan: The flexibility. And I really enjoy getting to talk to alumni. It’s amazing how many interesting, weird facts you learn about the College. You get to hear how campus has changed over the years and see PSC through the memories of alumni. I also have really enjoyed building relationships with alumni over four years of calling. I have had several alumni I speak to every year. Q: What has been your most interesting call? Jordan: It’s hard to say because I’ve had so many! I remember speaking with

one guy and we spoke on the phone for at least 20 minutes. By the end of the call, I heard all about his life and he had learned quite a bit about me! Q: Why should alumni support Peru State College? Jordan: After working here, it’s really good to give back and help students, support the College. Particularly, if they had a good experience here, which I definitely have, then alumni should support the college. We have all been supported some time when we have been in college; it’s time to pay it forward. Q: Plans after graduation? Jordan: I’m currently looking for a job in my field. I’m almost done with classes; I only have one online class in spring so I’m moving back to Omaha and kickstarting the job search process. I’ve loved being at Peru State and have incredible memories with my friends. It will be hard to graduate in May.

Calling All Alumni and Friends of Peru State College! Save-the-date postcards mail in Mark your calendars, contact your January and registration opens in friends and pack your bags – Peru is your destination next summer! Alumni and friends are invited to the first All-College Reunion as Peru State College celebrates its sesquicentennial. “This will be an event like no other,” said Deborah Solie, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “We are anticipating a big crowd of alumni eager to return to campus and relive memories. As a bonus, attendees will have the opportunity to stay in Morgan Hall and the Centennial Complex!” “Faculty, staff and students are coming together to make this a fun weekend for all,” said Solie. “We’ve heard from many alumni who have made plans to come back for this unique weekend from as far away as Arizona and as close as Peru.”

March.Learn more at www.peru. edu/150 and If you are interested in volunteering to contact classmates and help encourage alumni to return, contact Deborah Solie at or call (402) 872-2304.

Reunion highlights include: - 150th Peru State College Book Launch Party - President’s All-College Dinner - Newly renovated Delzell tours - Faculty presentations - Bobcat Block Party featuring a wine walk, music and food - Bonfire at Sapp Plaza

The Stater 8

Albury, Interim Volleyball Coach

Joan Albury

After a year away in Florida, Joan Albury returned to the Peru State athletic department in a different capacity. This time Albury is serving as the interim head volleyball coach. Albury is no stranger to the Bobcat athletic department since she served as the head women’s basketball coach for two seasons before her family returned to Florida to be closer to family. With Wayne Albury returning to become the Peru State baseball coach this summer, when this opportunity arose with the volleyball position, Coach Albury immediately was interested in serving as the interim head coach knowing the program had improved under the direction of Nathan Baker, the previous head coach. Also, Albury is no stranger to volleyball. Previously, she was a head coach at the collegiate level for eight

years. While at Union College in Barbourville, Ky., Albury was given the task of starting the volleyball program. During her four years at Union, the program went 91-67. Albury coached four years at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee. During her time as a head coach, Albury’s players have earned NAIA honors, both athletically and academically. Albury commented, “I was honored to be selected as the interim head volleyball coach at Peru State College, especially knowing its recent climb in respectability and talent. I am excited to build upon this solid foundation that has been established by Coach Baker.” Concluding, she said, “As always, I will continue to stress strong academic standards, a solid work ethic, and high character – both on and off the court.”

Peru State Winter-Spring Student-Athletes Recognized As has become tradition, Peru State student-athletes from the winter and spring sports were recognized at halftime during the game with Missouri Valley. Student-athletes from cheer, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, softball, golf, and baseball were honored. President Dr. Dan Hanson and the First

9 The Stater

Lady Elaine Hanson, along with the respective head coaches, recognized those student-athletes who have excelled either academically, athletically, or both. Special recognition was given for men’s basketball player Corday Sims (Chicago), baseball players Jordan Silva (Lynnwood, Wash.) and Mark McGinnity (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), and golfer

Marisa Pribnow (Lincoln). Sims was recognized as a NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball All-America First Team. Silva and McGinnity were both named as CoSIDA Baseball College Division Second Team Academic All-America. Pribnow was the Heart of America Athletic Conference’s Dr. Leroy Walker Award winner.

Pribnow Named Heart A.O. Duer Award Winner

Marisa Pribnow

Peru State women’s golf student-athlete Marisa Pribnow (Lincoln) was named the 2016 Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) recipient of the A.O. Duer award. Pribnow noted she is honored to be named as the Heart’s A.O. Duer Award winner and nominee for national consideration. Pribnow said, “I have been blessed with having such an outstanding support system throughout my collegiate career with my family, coaches, teammates, professors, and friends.” In terms of her activities, Pribnow added, “It is very important to me to give back to the community and to serve others, especially when you are in a leadership role.” The NAIA’s A.O. Duer Award has been presented to one male and one female junior student-athlete in any sport who has excelled in scholarship, character, and citizenship. Peru State’s president, Dr. Dan Hanson, wrote this as part of his nomination letter for Pribnow, “Marisa’s life exhibits the Five Core Values of the Champions of Character program. She is a strong and positive leader on campus and will make an outstanding contribution throughout her life in the communities in which she resides.”

Bobcat Men’s Basketball 2016-17 Season Preview The Bobcat men’s basketball team looks to build off of the success from the past couple years despite only returning one player. Head coach Eric Behrens in his first two seasons has led the Bobcats to a 40-24 overall record. Last season, the program reached the National Tournament for the first time since the 1992-93 season. The coaching staff has high expectations for this talented group of newcomers to compete against a rugged schedule both in the Heart as well as non-conference.

When asked about the keys for success in the 2016-17 season, Coach Behrens stated, “Our top priority is to take care of the ball on the offensive end. While on defense, we must limit our opponents to one shot and play with discipline.” Even with several new players on this year’s team stepping into important roles, Behrens still is very optimistic that the Bobcats will continue their success. The complete schedule can be found at:

Bobcat Women’s Basketball 2016-17 Season Preview The 2016-17 Peru State Bobcat women’s basketball team is optimistic for a successful season. Ten newcomers have been working hard with four returners from the 15-16 team and are set on improving upon last year’s 6-25 overall and 3-19 Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) records. Second-year head coach Chuck Brewer has been pleased with the efforts of the

squad in practice and anticipates the Bobcats will fare better this season. Brewer, who is in his 13th year as a collegiate coach, has 33 total years of coaching experience. Brewer will be assisted this season by second-year assistant Katie Potter and new graduate assistant Kendyl Rizea. Potter is a former four-year Bobcat starter while Rizea comes to Peru State from Heart conference opponent Graceland.

To learn more about each player and the 2016-2017 schedule, go to:

2015-2016 Swenson Award Winners Recognized at Halftime During halftime of the Peru State-Evangel football game, the 2015-2016 Swenson Awards were presented to Shannon Liewer (volleyball) and Corday Sims (basketball). The Swenson Award is given to an outstanding senior female and male student-athlete in memory of Bert Swenson, Jr., a football great who graduated from Peru State in 1909. The award has been given annually since 1925 and since 1999, both a female and male have been recognized. Left (L to R): Joan Albury (interim head volleyball coach), Shannon Liewer, Dan Hanson (President), Elaine Hanson (First Lady), Kris Frazier and Eric Behrens (head men’s basketball coach). Bobcat head coach Eric Behrens and teammate Kris Frazier (Cleveland) accepted the award on Sims’ behalf since he is playing professionally in Larochette, Luxembourg, as a member of the BBC Arantia Larochette.

The Stater 10

Delzell Hall

More than a residence hall for generations

Above: Students gather in Delzell’s Great Hall to study, play games and socialize in 1940.

“Delzell is where I stayed up late solving the world’s problems with my buddies.”

- Paul Fell (‘67)

Built in 1939, Delzell Hall has housed thousands of young men and provided a place for them to grow. For Peru State College alumni, Delzell is more than a residence hall; it is where they made friends and memories that last a lifetime. “Delzell is where I stayed up late solving the worlds problems with my buddies,” said Paul Fell (’67), co-chairman of the National Alumni Association Board of Directors. “It’s where I studied (sometimes), where I lived and where I love to visit when I’m on campus and remember my college days.” While alumni enjoy reminiscing about their time in Delzell, the infrastructure of the building has not changed over the years. The Hall does not have air conditioning, the bathrooms have not been updated and the electrical wiring needs to be completely redone. “Facilities communicate a message about an institution. Delzell Hall did not reflect the quality education at Peru State College and a deep renovation

11 The Stater

History of Delzell: Excerpts from The Normal on the Hill, One Hundred Years of Peru State College by Ernest Longfellow, pages 47 and 48:

was needed to bring Delzell into the 21st century,” said Dan Hanson, President of Peru State College. “We had prospective students visit campus with their families and parents would say they would not allow their children to attend if they had to live in such outdated facilities.” To meet the needs of current and future students, a $9.9 million renovation of Delzell Hall began in the summer of 2016. The project was funded with $8,200,000 in bond funds and $699,257.26 in Contingency Maintenance Funds approved by the Board of Trustees. The renovation includes refurbished rooms with new sinks, cabinetry, paint, carpet, new windows and sound reduction between rooms. Additional renovation features include a complete remodel of the restrooms and showers, a new electrical system to accommodate information technology requirements and a new mechanical system which will incorporate a geothermal well for efficient heating and cooling. “The Great Hall in Delzell will be completely restored to its original design,” said Hanson. “It will be used for student gatherings and activities, just as

community in the Centennial Complex, the Resident Assistant staff from Delzell Hall was moved to the Centennial Complex for the 16-17 academic years. This has allowed our student staff to host additional events and have more one-on-one conversations with students. Many new and returning students chose triple rooms and the overall feedback Above: The Great Hall will be restored to from students and parents has been its original design and used as a gathering positive.” spot for students and a place to host Construction is currently on track for College events. reopening next year. Special tours will it has been since it was built in 1939.” be available for alumni during the All The renovation is scheduled to take College Reunion, June 16-18, 2017 and a a year and be completed prior to school dedication of the newly renovated facilistarting in August 2017. During the ty will take place during the 2017 Home2016-2017 school year, to accommo- coming on October 28. To follow the renovation progress, date students displaced by the Delzell Peru State’s Campus Services provides renovation, Director of Residence Life, regular updates and photos on their web Adam Neveau, employed some creative page, thinking. delzell. “With Delzell offline, the Centennial Complex, Morgan Hall, and the Oak Hill Apartments are above capacity. To accommodate the need for extra spaces, students were given the option to choose a triple room in the Centennial Complex at a discounted rate for the fall 2016 semester,” said Neveau. “In order to create and maintain a vibrant

Above: Delzell Hall is ahead of schedule on its remodeling. One dorm room will be completed as a model to show parents and students.

Above: The outside walls have been newly insulated and each room will have its own heating and air conditioning controls. Delzell Hall is ahead of schedule on its remodeling.

Do you have a Delzell story to tell? “In the evening after the girls were back in their dorm (they had a 10:30 curfew on weeknights), you would go back to Delzell and follow your nose to the source of the fresh popcorn smell. Everybody had a popper (you’d be amazed what you can cook in a popcorn popper). We’d pop corn and dump it out on newspapers spread on the floor. Popcorn and Cokes from the dorm vending machine were a nightly ritual. During Easter break, the guys from out of state who weren’t going anywhere for the 4-day weekend would organize a big room cleanup. We’d empty our rooms and clean from top to bottom. We’d even go so far as to break out the power floor polishers. All of that cleaning was usually preceded by a horrendous water fight, 9 fire extinguishers, buckets and trash cans full of water used as weapons. The battle would usually end with guys body surfing down the halls on the wet, slippery floors.”

– Paul Fell (’67) Do you have a Delzell story to tell? Please share your memories of Delzell Hall at and click on the “share your stories” link. Your memories will be shared in the Stater and at the Delzell dedication.

The crowning achievement of President Pate’s career came when the construction of a men’s residence hall, Delzell Hall, was authorized to start in November 1938. This building, to cost $189,000, was financed by revenue bonds and government loans under the P.W.A. program. It was completed in November 1939. Students who had applied for rooms, thinking that the building would be ready by the opening of school in September, were housed in the Gymnasium for two months. Delzell Hall was planned to house 124 men and was originally designed to be operated by the students themselves under the Student Union program. War clouds again rolled over Europe and President Pate offered the facilities of Peru State to train Army or Navy personnel. Upon investigation by a naval committee in 1943, Peru State was approved for the training of 200 to 300 naval cadets under the V-12 des-

ignation. The barracks were located in the new Delzell Hall and flight training was given by Melvin Powell at an airport built northeast of Peru. On July 13, 1943, Delzell Hall became a “ship”, when the first Navy V-12 unit arrived and brought Navy jargon to the Campus of a Thousand Oaks. The main entrance became the “main deck”, other entrances were “gangways”, stairways were “ladders” and windows became “ports”. Upstairs was “topside” and downstairs was “below”. During the war period nearly 500 trainees received college instruction at Peru State. Delzell hall was formally dedicated in 1942 in honor of W.N. Delzell who had matriculated at Peru Normal in 1891. He taught school in several places in Nebraska before being called back to Peru to assist in the Mathematics Department in 1905. In 1906 he organized the Commerce Department; he was appointed Dean of Men in 1921 after serving as Vice-President since 1918. Delzell retired as Dean emeritus in 1938.

Above: The original steam heat will be replaced by an energy efficient system with a new geothermal well field.

The Stater 12

Theatre Ghost Stories

Above: Proposed interior renovation as viewed from the stage looking out into the auditorium.

Theatre Project Moving Forward

Above: Exterior view of the renovated theatre showing the two-story lobby and main entrance.

$600,000 through other state funding. tunities to interact with topics that are The campus will direct $300,000 of its central to the human experience. Live capital improvement funds to the ren- theatre provides us ways to understand ovation. ourselves and, perhaps even more imPeru State College Foundation will portantly, to understand each other. It’s - Dr. Tim Borchers At its September 2016 meeting, the be seeking donations totaling approx- important for the students of the ColNebraska State College System Board imately $850,000-$1,000,000 from lege and the residents of the communiof Trustees gave formal approval to the clouds will be installed to improve the alumni and friends to raise the final ty to have opportunities to engage with design development documents for the acoustics. The stage itself will be examount needed to complete the reno- arts events. The renovated theatre will renovation of the College Theatre. The tended approximately two feet, and the vation. expand and enhance these important project is on track for the work to be- auditorium floor will be raised slightly The College Theatre is truly a hub opportunities,” said Dr. Tim Borchers, to reduce the height difference between gin in May 2017. of campus and community life, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. This major renovation will remove a the stage and seating. The stage will campus and community alike are excitFor more information on this projthree-story portion of the existing the- be refurbished to meet fire codes, and ed about this new era for Peru State’s ect, or to make an early gift in support atre along its south side which contains new equipment will be added including College Theatre. of the renovation, please contact the the lobby, stairways, restrooms and cos- a new rigging, lighting, projection and “The performing arts are key to a Peru State College Foundation, 402tume shop. This will be replaced with a audio systems, and sound and lighting liberal arts education. The arts, and 872-2304. larger two-story addition which wraps stations. All of this will improve the live theater especially, provide opporaround the building’s south and east performance production capabilities sides. The new addition will include and audience experiences at theatria main floor and second floor lobby, cal productions, musical performanccostume and prop workshop, dressing es, and other campus and community rooms, green room, and much larger events held in the College Theatre. Architectural Design Associates of restrooms located on both the main Lincoln is developing the architectural floor and second floor. The remaining areas of the theatre, plans for the renovation. The project primarily the auditorium, stage and will go out for bid later this year. The preliminary estimates suggest backstage areas will be fully renovata total cost of just over $7.8 million. ed. The auditorium will have about 625 new seats, some equipped with writing The majority of funding, $6.1 million, surfaces, and many that are fully ADA will be provided through the extension of bonding authority approved by the accessible. Wall treatments and acoustical Nebraska Legislature earlier this year. Peru State is pursing another nearly Above: View of the stage from the second floor auditorium seating.

13 The Stater

“Live theatre provides us ways to understand ourselves and, perhaps even more importantly, to understand each other.”

Steve Parker, (’63) Let me begin by saying, my theatrical experience at Peru was shortly after the dinosaurs roamed the earth…1959-1963 under the direction of the pipe smoking, smiling bear of a man named Professor Robert Moore. I still can see his bush of gray hair, chuckling laugh and pipe ash holes in his jackets. During my college experience plays were put on twice a year and I was in 7 of them, the eighth having only a female cast. Most of the plays were light in nature, melodramas or comedies, such as Arsenic and Old Lace…and I remember those times with a warm fondness. That is where my ghost story begins… There was always a rumor that there was a ghost present in the theatre and although I do not remember seeing the

specter, there were many times when doors would slam and unusual drafts would come through behind the scenes even though there was no air moving. We then laughed it off but now….even though I am not deceased, “Steve the Spirit” might just be me protesting the fact I did not get to play in that one all girl cast. If so, be kind to your ghost. Congratulations on the new theatre and may the “ghost be with you”. John Vanderford (’69) My class was the 100th graduation class (1969) and the Governor gave the commencement speech. During the summer of 1968 I worked for the construction company when the theatre was renovated the first time. We thought we had really done something great. I remember moving the Greek Sculptures on the back of a pickup truck and worrying that I might break them.

All went well though. I helped knock down the old ceilings and crawled into spaces not seen by many since the original construction. I didn’t see any ghost, but I may have stirred a few up! Chris Haussler (’91) I was not a witness to this happening. This is what was related to me the night it happened. I was part of the cast for the production of “Little Shop of Horrors” in 1986. As the set was designed, there was a scrim, or semitransparent curtain that came down just in front of the set. If the lights were on in the house, you could not see what was happening behind the scrim. Jeff Hinz, playing Mr. Mushnik, would go onto the stage 20-30 minutes prior to performance, getting into character and running lines in his head. Being behind the scrim, no one could see him but he could see people coming into the the-

atre when the doors were opened for the performance. One night, as he sat there, one of the doors allowing entry into the mezzanine opened and closed. A few moments later, one of the seats in the front center section flopped down. Just like someone entered the mezzanine, walked to their seat and sat. He kept an eye on the section as it got closer to curtain time. People came into the mezzanine and sat, avoiding the down seat, as if someone was sitting there. A bit before curtain, the seat popped back up. It was a good performance that night. I know of other stories, from creepy happenings in the costume shop at the top of the theatre, to someone walking back in to the backstage area after a late night rehearsal and feeling watched and seeing glowing eyes from center stage. In my day, the ghost was known as Ivan.

Holtz Releases Second Nebraska Album

Renovation Honors Dr. Royal Eckert

braska. A short narrative accompanies each song on the CD with additional historical background in an insert included with the album. The insert also Dan Holtz includes references for further study. “All Original, All Nebraska” was Holtz said, “The songs tell a varireleased this summer by Dan Holtz ety of stories about people, places and and Flatwater Highway. The album events in Nebraska history. The CD includes original songs celebrating and has songs about Nebraska’s natural commemorating Nebraska’s sesquicen- and frontier history, but also features tennial. songs which examine Native American Dr. Dan Holtz, retired professor of themes, the lives of strong women and English at Peru State College, wrote all the stories of immigrants who came to but one of the twelve songs about Ne- Nebraska seeking better lives.”

After a successful career as a theatre director/designer/actor and storyteller, and for nearly two decades, Dr. Royal Eckert played a starring role in Peru State theatre. Eckert taught speech and drama at Peru State from 1975 through 1994 and directed and assisted with theatrical productions throughout that time. Several alumni, including Karen (Coover) Gay (’84) who have gone on to have rewarding careers in theatre credit Dr. Eckert with teaching them how to work in the industry. Gay said, “He taught us that if we wanted to work in theatre for a long time, especially as actors onstage, we would need to understand how many roles are played backstage to create, manage and even market the show. Through his ‘learn by doing’ philosophy, he trained us how to do everything in the theatre, from set design and construction, costumes, make-

up, props, lighting, anything so that we could be employable and successful.” It worked for Gay. She has worked professionally in theatre ever since leaving campus in 1984, including a 16year career with Cirque du Soleil, first as a Company Manager for their flagship show, Mystere in Las Vegas, later as the head of Cirque’s social responsibility in the US. “I was honored to work for a company that supported the next generation of artists and youth,” Gay explained. Now, Gay is spearheading an effort to honor Dr. Eckert through gifts given to the theatre renovation. Gay is seeking other alumni and friends who might be interested in a helping to create a unique tribute honoring Dr. Eckert. To volunteer to be a part of this special effort, please contact the Peru State College Foundation at 402-8722304 or Karen Gay at 303-868-9355.

The Stater 14

Rotaract: Students Committed to Community

Alumni Spotlights A Peru State Legend: Lester Russell Beloved faculty member, mentor and friend, Lester Russell passed away on July 26, 2016 at the age of 89. “Lester positively influenced students during his tenure at Peru State,” said Dan Hanson, President. “His passion for the College led him to a variety of roles - faculty member, department chair and Foundation president. In each role, he put the students, the College and the southeast Nebraska community first.” Lester taught at PSC for 39 years, retiring as the Chairman of the Industrial Arts and Business Divisions and Professor of Industrial Technology and Education. Even after retirement, he was willing to step forward and serve as Foundation president from 1997 to 2000. Lester was also a driving force in the movement to keep PSC in Peru, when a local group lobbied to move it to a new location in Nebraska City. He devoted his time working countless hours with local groups, politicians, and the Nebraska Legislature to ensure the College remained at Peru.

15 The Stater

The Transformative Power of Philanthropy: Dorothy Allen Blount (‘37) A quiet woman, with a love for her community, education and helping others, Dorothy Blount’s name has become synonymous with philanthropy in Nemaha County, Nebraska.

Lester Russell

“Dr. Russell exemplified the best of Peru State College,” said Hanson. “The work he did ensured that the campus continues to thrive and grow, meeting the needs of students every day. His legacy is one of servant leadership, kindness and passion for Peru.” During a recent Celebration of Life reception, hosted at the Hansons’ home in Peru, more than 50 former students, colleagues and friends gathered to share their memories of Lester Russell. He may have passed, but his memory lives on in the stories told by friends, the legacy of Peru State College and his students.

“Her generosity strengthens the College and impacts students today and for generations to come.”

- Todd Simpson Dorothy passed away in 2015 at the age of 100 years and 10 months. She lived a full life, graduating from Peru State College with a teaching degree in 1937 and taught in Scotia, Neb. She married Harold Blount in 1941 and the couple taught in Chicago, Illinois and Iowa before retiring to Auburn, Neb. Dorothy made an impact on others during her life and is remembered fondly by those who knew her. “She was always the nicest, kindest lady,” said Heather Koeneke, Auburn Memorial Library director. “She would come into the library and read the newspaper. She was a faithful patron for many years.” Through her estate, Dorothy has made a lasting impact on her community – including the Auburn Memorial Library, which is building a new wing in her name – and Peru State College. Through her estate gifts, she has supported students, the Park Avenue entrance project and College programs and activities. She is transforming lives at Peru State through her philanthropy.

Dorothy Allen Blount

“Gifts like Dorothy Blount’s are so important to Peru State College,” said Todd Simpson, CEO, PSC Foundation. “Her generosity strengthens the College and impacts students today and for generations to come.” Dorothy loved Peru State College. During her time on campus, she participated in the Art Club, the YWCA, Early Elementary Club and Everett Literary Society. When Dorothy made the decision to include the Peru State College Foundation and other non-profits in her estate, she made the decision to help others. She will be remembered as a kind, caring woman who made her community a better place. If you are interested in learning more about gift planning and how to include the Peru State College Foundation in your estate, contact Todd Simpson at or by calling (402) 872-2304.

What can Peru State College students do? They can change the world. Since the Peru State Rotaract chapter was established in October 2011, students have raised thousands of dollars and volunteered hundreds of hours of community service. These students are changing Peru State’s campus, the local community and impacting global issues through education, philanthropy and leadership. “I’ve been involved in Rotary for many years and believe in its mission of service,” said Elaine Hanson, Peru State College First Lady and Rotaract co-advisor. “Rotaract, sponsored by local Rotary clubs, provides an opportunity for college students to become involved in the community and gain professional development and leadership skills.” Hanson identified leaders on campus and gained Rotary District 5650 approval and support for a chapter to be inaugurated on Peru State’s campus. The founding members, students from a wide-variety of backgrounds, immediately began planning events to raise community awareness and within a month planned Movember to raise awareness of prostate cancer and men’s health. “That first year we also focused on Invisible Children, founded to increase awareness of the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa and its leader Joseph Kony,” said Brooke Earnest, founding member of Rotaract and current Rotaract co-advisor. “We invited “Roadies,” representatives from Invisible Children, to campus to speak about the importance of ending the use of child soldiers and restore peace and prosperity to the region.” The Rotaract members of 2011-2012 hosted the visitors, took them to church, cooked for them and helped serve as their advocates on campus. “It warmed my heart to see our students showing hospitality to those in need,” said Hanson. “They truly believed in the impact they could make.”

Founding members, Where are they now?

Above: PSC Rotaract Alumni: Joseph Fauver with Elaine Hanson and four of the Peru State Rotaract members, Nathan Bianchi, Jon Kolman, Tyler Nutsch and Jake Hedden.

Rotaract continues to flourish on Peru State’s campus since its founding in 2012. Students lead a variety of programs throughout the year and continue the mission of service established by the founding members. “Never underestimate what a group of motivated young people can do,” said Joseph Fauver, founding member of Rotaract. Alumni and friends can support Rotaract activities in a variety of ways, including philanthropic support for annual fundraisers like Movember and by volunteering time to speak to students. To learn more about the PSC Rotaract, contact the chapter at perus- PSC Rotaract makes t-shirts to raise funds and awareness of issues like men’s health during Movember. Rotaract Student-Led Programs: - Movember – Raising awareness of prostate cancer and men’s health - Christmas Caroling on campus for current identified need (one hour raised $200.00) Rotaract is dedicated to community - Rotaract Retreat – Planned first annual reand international service. Individual treat for Rotaracts in District 5650 Rotary clubs sponsor Rotaract clubs - Polio Plus - Partnered with Auburn Rotary and offer guidance and support, making the Rotaract club true “partners in to raise money service” and key members of the fam- Adopt-a-Block – Clean a neighborhood ily of Rotary. block in Peru monthly PSC Rotaract Club is an interna- Nemaha County Backpack Program – tional service program and one of over Packed backpacks to provide food to those 3,000 in the world. Unique to PSC Roin need. taract, is the sponsorship of 5 area RoTo learn more about Rotaract student-led tary Clubs in southeast Nebraska. programs, go to

Who We Are

Joseph Fauver - Ph.D. candidate at Colorado State University studying Medical Entomology and Virology helping fight neglected tropical diseases. Recently spoke at the Rotary district conference in Lincoln. Jon Kolman – Enrolled at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine after completing two years of Professional Veterinary School at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Recently ran with the bulls in Pamplona and lived to tell the tale. Tyler Nutsch – Teaches in the Papillion-La Vista Public Schools as a 6th grade teacher at Walnut Creek Elementary and was recently recognized as the Papillion A+ Rookie Teacher of the Year. Also serves as assistant football coach at Papillion La Vista South High School. Jake Hedden – Earned a master’s degree in behavioral health and forensic science and is a Forensic Interviewer at the southeast Nebraska Child Advocacy Center. He plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Law next fall. Ryan Twehous – Majored in Criminal Justice and is currently deployed United State Marine Corps as part of the Scout Sniper Platoon. When he isn’t deployed he lives in Southern California. JD Faxon - Works as a 5th grade elementary school teacher with Grand Island Public Schools and coaches 7th grade football. He borrowed First Lady, Elaine Hanson’s special cookie recipe and people now call them Faxon’s favorite cookies. Gage Latscha - Majored in Criminal Justice and Counseling at PSC. Currently works at the Department of Health and Human Services with the State of Nebraska as a Child and Family Services Specialist.

The Stater 16

Helen (Wilberger) Schacht (’40) of Syracuse passed away on September 1, 2016. Helen taught for two and a half years, and then married. She became an active member in her church as a member of the Women’s Fellowship and quilting groups. She was also a member of Cook’s Women’s Club, Friendly Farmeretts, and Daughter of Union Veterans. FRIENDS


Josiah Benton of Mesa, AZ passed away on July 10, 2016. Josiah explored many career options. He served two years in the U.S. Army Corps, obtained a contractor’s license and built homes, obtained a realtor’s license, and farmed. He loved traveling, history, reading and films.

Ralph Good (’53) of Denver, CO, passed away on December 18, 2015. Ralph lived a wonderful life and is greatly missed. He is survived by his widow Ladonna Good.

Malcolm Berry passed away September 25, 2016 in Lincoln. Malcolm served 24 years with the Navy. Following his retirement from the Navy, he worked for Brinks Armored Cars before moving to Verdon and working at PSC as a campus security guard until his retirement. Donna Carothers of Beatrice passed away on June 29, 2016. Donna taught dance from her own studio while attending the University of Nebraska, earning a business degree. After meeting and marrying her husband, Peru State College graduate, Paul Carothers, she stayed home to raise their four children. She later got back into teaching dance classes and started a full service restaurant and catering business. Esther Corrin passed away on August 29, 2016 in Council Bluffs. After attending PSC, Esther taught country school. She enjoyed farming, gardening, and square dancing. Harmony L. (Pitts) Ford of Bella Vista, AR passed away on May 12, 2016. Harmony taught elementary school in Peru and Nebraska City. She retired in 1982 to Bella Vista, AR. She enjoyed golf, bowling, bridge, dance club, monitoring bluebird nesting and many old and new friends. Robert “Bob” Gyhra of Steinauer passed away on July 28, 2016. Robert was very active in the Steinauer community. He served as Mayor for 48 years, as well as a volunteer fire department member, and was a proud member of the board for the Bank of Steinauer, Pawnee Medication Foundation, Pawnee Hospital Board, and St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. He was very active, participating in many hobbies. “Basically, he loved going and doing ‘things!’” Alice Louise (Eubank) Henry of Davenport/Bettendorf, IA, passed away on November 30, 2015. Louise taught Home Economics at Peru until 1951. She then taught at the Davenport Community School District for 20 years. Flora Jens of Glenwood, IA passed away on August 21, 2016. She began teaching at the young age of 17, in a school just east of Silver City. After marrying, she worked on the family farm. Flora was active with the United Methodist Women and Mills County Farm Bureau. Rev. Dr. Joel Lundak of Nebraska City passed away on October 9, 2016. He taught at Peru State College for 23 years. When he wasn’t teaching he was actively involved in the community and loved gardening. He was responsible for planting over 13,500 daffodils at Arbor Lodge State Park. Rev. Dr. Lundak was named Volunteer of the Year by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Marylin Mertes of Peru passed away on May 7, 2016. She was active in the Peru community, helping the ladies prepare and serve many luncheons for funerals and other community functions. She is most remembered for her grace and mercy for everyone and her love and devotion to her children, family and her beloved dog Penny. Dr. David Mickey of Lincoln passed away on May 15, 2016. Dr. Mickey taught at Peru State College from 1948 to 1951. He served in the military during WWII. Following his service, he pursued education. His life philosophy was “I did the best I could.” Rita (Jones) Obermeyer of Auburn passed away on May 19, 2016. She was a member of St. Joseph Tabernacle Society, served as Deanery President, was a member and officer of Daughters of the American Revolution, was a charter member of the Auburn Women’s Club and was on the Extension board. Above all though, she was strong-willed and strong in her faith, always putting her family first. Vernetta Ruprecht of Concordia, KS passed away on July 2, 2016. She was employed as a communications instructor at the Kansas Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Topeka, KS for a few months before accepting the position of Rehabilitation Teacher for the Blind in the Kansas City, KS office. She served a six county area until she retired. Ruth Salomons of Sterling passed away on August 31, 2016. She taught in rural schools, until marrying. Ruth was a life-long member of St. Johns Lutheran Church of Sterling. She was a member of the Women’s group there and taught Sunday school for 40 years. She enjoyed going to her grandchildren’s activities, sewing, crocheting, crafting, drawing, and gardening. Dorothy Williams of Bettendorf, IA passed away on October 4, 2016. She worked as a teacher for more than nine years, then was a homemaker and raised her children. She was a member of the First Baptist Church, Camanche, and the Order of Eastern Star. Margaret (Casey) Williamson of Johnson passed away on May 14, 2016. Margaret worked at the First National Bank in Johnson for 34 years, retiring in 1982. She was always very involved in the community and enjoyed visiting with the people of Johnson. 1940s Donald Cacek (’43) of Superior passed away on July 25, 2016. Following graduation from Peru and with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Donald enlisted and served in Japan. Upon returning, Donald was active in his church and was always involved in his community. Joyce (Stark) Callan (’42) passed away on June 27, 2016 in Beatrice. Joyce lived most of her adult life in Odell, Washington D. C., and Fairbury. In Odell, she taught kindergarten. In Washington D. C. she was honored to entertain friends, family, and constituents of Nebraska’s Frist Congressional District, where he husband served. Hilda (Schacht) Gobber (’42) of Tecumseh passed away. She taught only a few years but kept in touch with classmates over the many years. Melvin Gottula (’41) of Adams passed away September 16, 2016. Melvin worked for Hoskins and Associates Consulting in Lincoln for nearly 30 years before retiring. After retiring, he enjoyed raising hogs. He enjoyed reading, watching Husker football, and spending time with his family.

Jerry Mullins (’57) of Ames, IA, passed away on June 8, 2016. Jerry had a colorful career in education before retiring in 1993 to Rogers, AK. They moved back to Ames, IA in 2001. He enjoyed fishing, high school athletics, and time with his family. 1960s Richard Connole (’67) of Millbury, MA passed away on November 7, 2016. Richard was a lifelong educator, retiring in 2005 after 35 years. After family, baseball was the second love of his life, having played for the Bobcats. John R. Cooper (’61) passed away on September 18, 2016 in Osage Beach, MO. John dedicated his life to education and served in many capacities throughout his career as an educator and retired as a Counselor and Director of Education after 36 years of service.

2000s Judy (Jackson) Lisle (’01) of Rock Port passed away on June 19, 2016. Judy worked as a waitress for many years at Trail’s End in Rock Port. She was a member of the Grace Church and was active in numerous ministries. Charles Owen (’02) of Hamburg, IA passed away on September 18, 2016. Charles served in the U. S. Army for two years, and then served in the Army Reserve for four years. He was an active member of the Hamburg community, serving on multiple boards. Charles had been a devoted member of the Hamburg Fire and Rescue and was inducted in the Iowa EMS Hall of Fame. Erin (Cannon) Rust (’08) of Aurora passed away on May 29, 2016. Erin was currently employed at Aurora Cooperative. Her and her husband enjoyed road trips in the country together, as well as traveling the world. She left an impression on everyone who knew her. 2010s Colton Harris (’11) of Lincoln passed away on June 28, 2016. Colton had a true passion for life and all things he could get into; nothing was off limit to Colt. He put his total self into everything he was involve in: school, work, family, friends, and his fiancée, Ana.

Dawn L. (Nebola) Daly (’69) of Lincoln passed away on September 13, 2016 peacefully with family by her side. She taught in Auburn and Grand Island Public for a total of 35 years. She is survived by her husband Rich (’68) and son Richard and daughter Courtney. She enjoyed her family and the shores of Cape Cod and Siesta Key. W. Harvey Fraser (’65) of La Vista passed away on December 22, 2015. He taught school for seven years and then became a business owner for 32 years in Humboldt. He later moved to La Vista, where his wife Maddie (’65) still lives. Harv enjoyed the past 10 years traveling in Europe and the United States. He also enjoyed dancing, playing cards and spending time with his family and friends. Ronald Grant (’65) of Madrid, IA passed away on June 5, 2016. He taught Social Studies and Physical Education for 28 years in the Madrid Junior High. Ronald also coached junior high football, wrestling, track, and girls’ basketball. He enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and sharing these adventures with his students. Bernard H. Jarecke (’66) of Fullerton passed away on May 24, 2016. After graduating from high school, Bernard enlisted in the U. S. Marines before attending PSC. Bernard was a shop teacher for six years before a 25 year real estate career. He enjoyed the outdoors, his horses, gardening, and cooking.

Beatrice High School as an adjunct professor of Peru State College. Dr. Christen has received many awards including the Entomology Society of America’s Presidential Award for Academic Excellence in the Secondary Classroom. Terry Clark (’92, ’06) is the new head football coach at North-West Nodaway (Missouri) high school. Terry Van Gundy (’93) recently showed his work at Peru State College. The exhibit, “Recent Work and More” features oil and clay monotypes (prints). Terry is also an adjunct faculty member at Peru State where he teaches art exploration, pottery, watercolors and printmaking. Rodney Wheeler (’99) was elected as the 37th Conservator of Prince Hall Masonry for the State of Nebraska. The Prince Hall Masonic family includes Masonic Lodges, the Eastern Stars and Shriners. Prince Hall Freemasons have been in Nebraska since July of 1919. Julie (Knowles) Wredt (’93) is the new secondary special education teach at Auburn Public Schools. Julie noted her goals “are to get students to become active in their classes while getting them to understand what school is about”. 2000s Dr. Kathleen Brown (’07) was recently hired by Marshalltown Community College (Iowa) as the school’s Director of Athletics. Dr. Brown said, “as a former coach and instructor, I’m pleased to be able to take a position where I can dedicate myself to the student-athlete experience.” Megan Brown (’07) accepted a new position teaching 7th and 8th grade special education classes in Syracuse. Megan said “It’s really awesome to see how much progress you can make with a student!”

1930s Dr. Moras Shubert (’34) was posthumously inducted into the Falls City High School Wall of Fame. Dr. Shubert was a renowned botanist, educator, conservations and competitive figure skater. He served in World War II, was a botany professor for 31 years at Denver University and was the principal founder of the internationally recognized Denver Botanic Gardens. 1940s Willard Hunzeker (’46) was recently featured in the Fremont Tribune for his recollections of World War II past missions. Hunzeker was a senior at Peru State when he and about 24 other young men, who’d enlisted in the Army Air Corps reserves, were called to Omaha and inducted into the service.

Travis Goracke (’00) ran and won the Tecumseh City Council position in Ward 2. Travis wants to help improve the city and see the town grow. He works for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Katie Helms (’08) is the new 4th grade teacher at Arapahoe Public Schools. Mark Hopkins (’01) is a new assistant professor of education at Buena Vista University. Tammy (Bruha) Kliewer (’03) recently joined the Glasgow High School staff (Missouri) as the 7-12 grade art teacher at the junior and senior high schools. Danielle (Metzler) Ryan (’09) recently began working at Central Valley Public Schools in Greeley as a 1st grade teacher. She is also coaching the Centura/Central Valley Diamonds High School Softball team.

Dr. Jerry Lunsford (’62) of Milford, IA passed away on July 27, 2016. He was a past president of OEA and taught for 32 years. His greatest accomplishment was hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 1997.


Cody Schilling (’00) and his family were recently honored for having three generations involved in Legion baseball in Columbus. The local family “has established a baseball legacy, impacting hundreds of youths through the sport”.

Richard Rains (’67) of Omaha passed away on September 17, 2016. He is survived by his spouse, two daughters and a grandson.

Jan DeMott (’65) of Bedford, IA received the O.G. Powell/Joan Ballantyne Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the Iowa Association of Realtors. She joined the real estate industry in the early 1980s.

Dustin Sealey (’09) is the new junior and senior high school strength and conditioning instructor at Logan View. He is also the new head coach of the Raider football team and assistant track coach.

Mary Ann Ruzicka (’64) passed away on August 13, 2016. Mary Ann taught in the Omaha Public Schools for 12 years before moving to Oregon in 1970. She taught middle school with the Portland Public Schools until her retirement in 1994. After retiring she enjoyed many hobbies from gardening to crosswords to stitchery.

Paul Fell (’67), nationally recognized cartoonist and Peru State College Artist-in-Residence, recently showed his work in the Peru State gallery. His show was called The 2016 Presidential Campaign and Other Foolishness and featured recent editorial cartoons.

Anna Tennal (’04) graduated with honors from Creighton University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program this past May. She is also pursuing her medical therapeutic yoga certification through Professional Yoga Therapy Institute as part of a grassroots movement to bridge healthcare with mindfulness.

Sherrie Smith (’66) of Sidney, IA passed away on September 16, 2016. She was employed as a special education art teacher at the Glenwood State School. Her passion, patience and love for her students and colleagues kept her working there until her retirement.

Louis Fritz (’66) was recently featured in Runners World as one of the original subscribers to the magazine. He’s run 77 full marathons including the Boston Marathon, Pikes Peak and the Heart of America marathon.

Elda Tegtmeier (’60) of Seneca , KS passed away on September 29, 2016. She worked many years as an accountant for Sears, in Lincoln, Omaha, and Des Moines, IA until her retirement in 2013. Mary (Neubauer) “Dolly” Wurtele of Nebraska City passed away on June 13, 2016. Mary taught school for many years and was a member of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority and was a life member of the National Education Association. 1970s Virginia (Kalous) Feurer (’71) passed away on July 25, 2016 in Tecumseh. Virginia taught in rural schools for over 40 years, retiring in 1999. She held great pride in her students’ accomplishments and awards they received. Virginia loved cooking for her family and baking kolaches for her grandchildren. Dennis “Denny” Heng (’70) of Nebraska City passed away on September 21, 2016. Upon retiring, Dennis owned and operated “Heng’s Lawn Care” with his wife and was also very active at his church. Mary Lynn (Bauman) Bachle Lindstrom (’75) of Omaha passed away on May 23, 2016. Mary taught school and enjoyed a successful 31-year career at Mutual of Omaha. She loved challenges, was committed to finding solutions and inspired those around her to do the same. Pearl (Allgood) Rainforth (’70) of Lincoln passed away on May 28, 2016. Her teaching career took her to Oakland, IA, Nebraska City Junior High and Lincoln, including over 20 years of substitute teaching in Lincoln and surrounding schools. Pearl loved taking care of her family, especially grandchildren, reading, playing cards, picnics and going to the casino. 1980s Mark Penney (’89) of Gretna passed away on May 29, 2016. Mark worked for the Union Pacific Railroad as the Senior Manager of Unit Train Service. 1990s Wayne Gerdes (’93) passed away on October 5 in Omaha. He was a member of St. James Lutheran Church near Humboldt and served on the Johnson Volunteer Fire Department. In his spare time he enjoyed gardening. Wayne will be remembered as a humble and giving man, and he loved his grandchildren. Monta (Wiltse) Mackey (’98) of San Antonio, TX passed away on June 11, 2016. She grew up on the family farm in Falls City, later moving to San Antonio where she was employed by United Behavioral Health. Anthony “Tony” Mitchell (’94) of Omaha passed away on September 11, 2016. He worked for The Omaha Public

17 The Stater

Power District for 28 years. He loved spending time with his family, whether attending or coaching sporting events or going on vacations.

Larry Poessnecker (’68) a longtime member of the Northeast Community College Board of Governors, recently stepped down from the Board. Dr. Michael Chipps, Northeast president, said Poessnecker has been a hard working board member for over two decades. He is a former public school teacher, counselor, principal and adult education coordinator, as well as a successful farmer.

For the complete list of Bobcat accomplishments, visit:

Dr. Patrick Venditte (’67) was featured in the Omaha World Herald for his nearly 40-year career in men’s fast pitch softball. He has earned a reputation as one of the finest catchers to ever play the game. Dr. Venditte served as Nebraska state senator from 1977-80, but said he “never missed a game during my service to Nebraska”. Bob Vogt (’69) retired after 47 years of teaching, 33 year spent at Norris. Bob coached at all of the schools he worked with varying positions in basketball, football and golf. 1970s Rhonda (Gobber) Burbach (’77, ’83) recently retired after 38 years of teaching, 33 of which were spent at Norris Middle School. Principal Mary Jo Lieninger called Rhonda a “cornerstone of academic instruction”. Rhonda has also coached volleyball, quiz bowl and history bee, as well as led students on study trips and educational tours. JoAnn Schultz (’78) recently retired from Perkins County School in Grant after 38 years. JoAnn said she always knew she wanted to teach and has taught all over Perkins County. She wants to travel anywhere in the U.S. that she has not yet had the chance to see. 1980s Kathi (Flanagin) Mercure (’87) is serving as the head teacher at St. Andrew’s School in Tecumseh this year. She is also teaching 6th grade math. Kathi looks forward to planning field trips for educational and religious learning experience for the students. Dennis Prichard (’87, ’06) is the head girls basketball coach for Lincoln East. Prichard recently guided the Spartans to a 23-5 record this season and the school’s fourth Class A State title. He was also The World-Herald’s Nebraska girls’ high school coach of the year. 1990S Sue Baumann (’98) began work this summer as the new veterans services officer for Otoe and Nemaha counties. Sue grew up in Nebraska City then left the area to serve nine years in the Air Force. Dr. Joan Christen (’96) was recently honored with the Alumni Achievement Award by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Alumni Association. Dr. Christen teaches dual-credit biology, physics, botany and zoology classes at

Caitlin Fett (’13) and Robert Wiedel wed on June 4, 2016 at United Methodist Church in Chester. Caitlin is a Special Education teacher at Schuyler Elementary School. Robert is a machine operator at Tenneco Automotive Inc. in Seward. Jenny Frisch and Erik Prenosil (’11) were married on August 6, 2016 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln. Jenny is employed by Pheasants Forever and the Natural Resources Conservation Service as a farm bill wildlife biologist in Fairbury. Erik is employed at NDEQ as a program specialist in Lincoln. Carly Heese and Greg Conry (’16) were wed on June 25, 2016 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Harlan, IA. Carly is employed as a math teacher at Sioux City North High School and Greg is a 2016 graduate from Peru State where he earned a degree in elementary education. Necole Krepcik and Jeff Miller (’11) of Brady were wed on August 27, 2016 at the residence of the future bride’s parents in rural Gothenburg. Necole is currently employed as an agent with First State Insurance and a realtor with Gateway Realty of Gothenburg. Jeff is a tax accountant with Miller CPA. Lindsey Legler and Brett Greer married on October 8, 2016 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Omaha. Lindsey attended Peru State College and is currently employed at First National Bank of Omaha. Brett is employed with Godbersen-Smith Construction in Ida Grove. Elizabeth Stauffer and Michael Stinman were wed on May 28, 2016 at First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, NE. Elizabeth is the staff accompanist for Peru State College and Michael is the K-3, 0-12 instrumental and Vocal Music Teacher at HTRS Public Schools. Tessa Way (’14) and Jacob Diedrichsen (’14) married in October 2016. Tessa majored in both Marketing and Fine arts at Peru State and Jacob majored in Wildlife Ecology with a minor in Biology.

The Stater 18

Do you remember the Peru State College Color Song?

The Peru Stater

PSC Foundation P.O. Box 10 Peru, NE 68421-0010


Practice for the All-College Reunion! Fling Abroad our college colors to the free Nebraska breeze, Blending heav’ns own white and azure with the soft green of the trees! While our loyal hearts and voices with pride and joy unite. As we sing Peru’s devotion to the pale blue and the white.


All-College Reunion Coming Summer 2017 Watch for your save-the-date!

The Peru Stater is published twice each year by the Peru State College Foundation. Send your comments, news items and address changes to:

Inside this Peru Stater you’ll find … Pages 3-6

Alumni Events and Photos

Pages 9-10

PSC Athletics and Basketball Preview

Pages 11-12

Delzell Renovation

Pages 13-14

Campus News

Pages 15-16

Alumni and Student Organization Profile

The Peru Stater PSC Foundation PO Box 10 Peru, NE 68421-0010 For more information about Peru State College, Nebraska’s first college, visit or find us on Facebook. For more information about the Peru State College Alumni Association and Foundation, visit or call us at 402-872-2304 or email us at

F2016 peru stater  
F2016 peru stater