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Fall 2011 Vol. 56, No. 2

Owen Zook (‘27)

A gift received from the estate of Peru State College alumnus Owen Zook, is the largest single donation in the history of the Peru State College Foundation. Zook graduated from PSC in 1927 with a bachelor’s degree and a professional teaching certificate. After teaching and serving as a principal in Exeter, he spent most of his career teaching in the Eugene, Ore., area where he passed

Strategic Planning Committee Finalizes Plan Peru State College’s strategic planning committee has finalized a plan to guide the school through 2017, the year of PSC’s sesquicentennial. The effort was led by a group of 14 dedicated individuals, representing faculty, alumni, students, administration and the Peru community, who met regularly since August 2010 to formulate a vision for the campus. Input from all the college’s constituencies, including students, was an integral part of the planning process. Ideas from online surveys, senate and departmental meetings, focus groups and town hall meetings helped to direct and develop the plan. PSC

President Dan Hanson said, “We wanted to be inclusive and as thoughtful as possible in creating a vision for Peru State College’s next six years of growth and development. Working together, I believe we have arrived at an ambitious and relevant, yet realistic and adaptable, vision for the college.” The strategic plan’s vision states: Peru State College will be a college of choice fostering excellence and student achievement through engagement in a culture that promotes inquiry, discovery and innovation. To achieve this vision, PSC will direct its resources and energy toward two trans-

away in 2010 at the age of tic and the reason he remem106. He also earned master’s bered Peru State. We’re lookdegrees from Colorado State ing forward to helping a lot of University and the University students with this gift.” of Michigan. PSC President Dan Hanson “When he was here, back in said Zook’s gift is a testament the 1920s, somebody made a to the college’s founding prinbig impact on his life,” said ciple of individualized educaTodd Simpson, executive di- tion focused on student sucrector of the Peru State Col- cess. lege Foundation. “That’s “Our focus on each of our what kept him teaching all students as individuals has those years, that’s the reason made the college what it is why he remained enthusias- today - a respected center for formational goals, creating excellence through essential engagement and increasing prominence. Strategies to achieve the first goal will shape the educational experience PSC provides students, and explore new ways to connect them with the world, eroding the artificial barriers between scholarship and practice. Outcomes may include establishing an Institute for Community Engagement, hiring additional full-time faculty, enhancing online instruction and providing extended learning opportunities. The second major goal will be addressed through strategies that increase the visibility and awareness of Peru State College and its engaging educational experiences. Outcomes will include a strategic marketing plan for the college and activities to raise its im-

engagement, inquiry, discovery and innovation,” Hanson said. “The time Mr. Zook spent at Peru State College clearly had a tremendous impact on his life for him to remember us in this way. His Bobcat pride never wavered, and his generous gift will ensure that future generations of PSC students have an opportunity to achieve greatness.”

age and awareness, such as is to create a sustainable longtelevision ads during Husker term growth strategy for PSC. games. They will also involve PSC Athletic Director Steve further developing high vis- Schneider, who served on the ibility campus facilities such strategic planning committee, as Delzell Hall, the campus said he believes the plan is entrance, Student Center, Oak comprehensive and will serve Bowl, TJ Majors and Centen- the campus well as a guide for nial Complex, and collaborat- its growth, both with internal and external audiences. “I look forward to the changes that will happen on “I look forward campus as we implement the to the changes plan,” he said. “For example, that will happen renovation to the Oak Bowl has been identified as a need on campus as for PSC since the late 1990s we implement and the master plan has been approved by our State board. the plan” Now is the time for us to support our strategic plan and ing with the City of Peru to move ahead with these imcreate a college/community provements.” integrated development plan The current version of the for revitalization and green plan is available online at space around the campus. Hanson indicated another focus over the next six years


Peru Stater Fall 2011

Greetings from the Campus of a Thousand Oaks

education. The growth of online programming gives many nontraditional students the opportunity to advance their education through engaging online courses. The recent completion of the $5 million renovation of the Jindra Fine Arts Building and the renovation of historic Morgan Hall, on track to be completed in fall 2012, add to the beauty of our campus. Since 1999, nearly $50 million has been invested in the college’s infrastructure. And, Dr. Dan Hanson of course, we continue to have outstanding students Dear Alumni and Friends: with the number of onAs I enter my third year campus students increasing as President of Peru State, 14 percent over the last four Elaine and I continue to be years. impressed with the college, This past year, the college our students, alumni, faculty, engaged in a strategic staff and friends. We are planning process which thankful to be part of this resulted in a vision for the college and its traditions. future through the college’s The strength of the 150th year in 2017. The college continues to be in theme of the plan, Essential its dedicated and highly Engagement, suggests an qualified faculty and staff active approach to teaching and in its commitment to a and learning, new ways of personalized, small college engaging with students, new

ways of interacting for college employees, and new ways for the college to interact with southeast Nebraska and beyond. Three strategies focus on enhancing the student experience through essential engagement and five strategies focus on increasing the prominence of Peru State. A copy of the plan is available at www.peru. edu/strategic-plan/strategicplan. The engaging education provided at Peru State is already leading to exceptional student achievement. This past year, senior Kate Trout of Tecumseh earned the Outstanding Undergraduate

Research Award from the attending campus activities Southwestern Association of and enjoying one or more of Parasitology. Two students, the Distinguished Speaker senior Will Fogle of Peru and events scheduled this year. junior Mike Mulroney of Fort You can keep up with what’s Dodge, Iowa, won first place happening on campus on awards at a national business our Web site, competition hosted by Phi It’s an exciting time to be part Beta Lambda. Megan Brown of such a vibrant institution. of Syracuse was named Go Bobcats! Outstanding Underclassman by the National Education Sincerely, Association. While we are proud of these successes, they are only the most visible examples of student achievement empowered by a Peru State education. Dan Hanson, Ph.D. Elaine and I invite you to President engage in Peru State College by visiting the campus,

Changes to the north facade of the Jindra Fine Arts Building

College President Dr. Dan Hanson

Editor R. Todd Simpson, Executive Director, PSC Foundation

PSC Foundation Board of Directors SaraBeth Donovan (‘85), Chair - Vienna, Va. Mike Guilliatt (‘67), Vice Chair - Fremont, Neb. Charles Niemeyer (‘65), Secretary - Ashland, Neb. Judson Douglas III (attended ‘56), Treasurer - Lincoln, Neb. Fred (‘73) & Pam Robertson - Westlake Village, Calif. Larry (‘71) & Sue Green - Westminster, Colo. Dennis Wittmann - Auburn, Neb. Rod Vandeberg - Falls City, Neb.

Graphic Design Kellen Sailors (‘12), Graphic Design Intern, PSC Marketing & Public Affairs

PSC National Alumni Association Board of Directors Paul (’67) and Arlene (Borcher, ’67) Fell, Co-Presidents - Lincoln, Neb. Carlos Harrison (’51), Vice President - Shenandoah, Iowa Ed Ankrom (’91), Secretary - Beatrice, Neb. Kim (’90) and Kris (Kubert, ’94) Vrtiska, Co-Treasurers - Falls City, Neb. Elton (’88) and Connie (Sims, ’87) Edmond - Lincoln, Neb. Dan (’76) and Cheryl Cotton - Peru, Neb. Mike Guilliatt (’67) - Fremont, Neb. Nick (’87) and Laurel (Smith, ’87) Harling - Falls City, Neb. Chuck (’69) and Alice (Massoth, ’69) Mizerski - Lincoln, Neb. Fritz (’74) and Char (Lutz, ’74) Stehlik - Omaha, Neb. Angelia Rohwer Steiner (’90) - Sabetha, Kan. Al Urwin(’82) - La Vista, Neb.

Contributing Writers Regan Anson (‘11), Director, PSC Marketing & Public Affairs Ted Harshbarger (‘77) Associate Athletic Director/Sports Information Director Photography Dr. Bill Clemente, PSC Professor of English Ted Harshbarger (‘77) Associate Athletic Director/Sports Information Director Rebecca Johnson (‘05), Graphic Design Artist, PSC Marketing & Public Affairs Kellen Sailors (‘12), Graphic Design Intern, PSC Marketing & Public Affairs PSC Foundation Staff The Peru Stater is published twice each year by the Peru State College Foundation. 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 Stater Fall 2011

Engagement Gaining Momentum

among students, faculty and staff, as well as community members. For Peru State to be the college of choice throughout Southeast Nebraska, we need engaged alumni and friends as well. Peru State needs the participation, advice and support of all our constituents. That engagement comes in many forms such as participation in Homecoming, class reunions, and regional receptions. In just the last seven months, five alumni recepR. Todd Simpson tions have been held - - in Nebraska, California, Missouri and Massachusetts. Two Greetings from Peru State! more receptions are planned The Campus of a Thousand before the end of the year! Oaks is a sight to see this Alumni and friend engagefall … changing leaves and ment can also come in the changing lives! form of mentoring students Great things are underway. or supporting athletic teams Students are active both and clubs. For example, the on campus and in the com- new E-Mentoring Program munity. A number have received national awards and accolades over the last six “Student months. Faculty and staff are also engagement is a doing wonderful things. Having just completed a stra- cornerstone of the new strategic plan tegic planning process, the College is now in early stag- and of President es of the demanding HighHanson’s vision for er Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation renewal Peru State’s future.” process. Accreditation, combined with developing and refining innovative educational programming like the retooled College 101 orien- started by PSC First Lady tation class and the Distin- Elaine Hanson and Coorguished Speaker Series, are dinator of Cooperative Prokeeping Peru State’s educa- grams Alice Holtz offers tional offerings relevant and alumni the chance to give interesting. PSC students real-world, Student engagement is a practical advice in their chocornerstone of the new stra- sen careers. And it makes no tegic plan and of President difference if the mentor is in Hanson’s vision for Peru Auburn or Alaska, since EState’s future. Thanks to his Mentoring uses the power of leadership and the enthusi- the Internet to connect menasm of the faculty and staff, tors and mentees, as well as PSC is enjoying a resurgence mentors to the Peru State in activity and involvement Campus.

Another example of advisory engagement comes in the form of boosters for sports teams or clubs. The Football Booster Club continues to provide funding and volunteer support on a regular basis. Other athletic teams, and even student organizations such as Jazz Band or the Peru Theatre Company (formerly the Peru Players), would also welcome the assistance of friends and alumni. Another important engagement activity is financial support. The Peru State College Foundation continues to provide the College with educational program funding, scholarships and grants totaling more than $400,000 annually. To increase that support or even to maintain the current level of support, Peru State needs your help. Your financial engagement helps ensure more and better educational opportunities for students. The process is simple. When you receive a letter on behalf of the annual fund from President Hanson or a phone call from one of our students (calling will begin in November) please give as generously as you can. Annual giving is just one form of financial support. Some will fund named scholarships or give tributes to persons who made a difference in their lives. Others will support renovations of buildings or the Oak Bowl. This type of support is generally larger, and can be made over a number of years. Today, many folks are using IRAs to fund these types of gifts because of the significant tax advantages that accompany IRA Charitable Rollover gifts. Still others, like our friend Owen Zook, will choose to remember Peru State in their estate plans. (Read more about Owen Zook and the

largest-ever gift to Peru State in this issue of the Stater.) A simple gift through a will or trust can make a significant difference to Peru State. Whether you choose to make annual gifts, more substantial gifts over several years, estate gifts or some combination of all three, your engaged support will truly help Peru State … your College of choice … to be-


come the College of choice in Southeast Nebraska. Thank you for all your care and support. Live Blue!

R. Todd Simpson, CFRE Executive Director Peru State College Foundation


Peru Stater Fall 2011

By Mr. Sharon Ocker '53 and '60 (Masters) Peru has had a lot of great football players over the years, but none was better than Bob Lade, the two-time Little All-American tackle from Vesta, Neb., by way of Tecumseh. Bob had only one speed – overdrive – no matter whether it was the game or practice. I have never liked the expression that someone gave “110 percent,” because no one can do better than 100. But if it were possible, Bob would be that kind of guy. Vesta was a very small school and didn’t have football. Bob was intrigued while listening to a Army-Navy game and also the Huskers on KFAB with Lyell Bremser. He transferred to T-Town in his junior year, and the first game he ever saw, he played in. He made all conference in his senior year. From then on, it was full speed ahead. When Bob came to Peru in the fall of 1950, he found a lot of good football players on Al Wheeler’s Bobcat team. Many of them were G.I.’s, and some had learned

to put out no more than absolutely necessary in practice. They’d say things like, “You take it easy on me and I’ll do the same for you.” That wasn’t how Bob felt. I was a sophomore, a pretty weak and inexperienced tackle (no high school football). Although he was a good friend, he would knock me down on almost every play – then pick me up. Harley Rector, a great tackle in his own right, said, “It was not fun practicing opposite from Bob. I would rather play Hastings or Kearney without pads than to practice against Bob in full gear.” That dedication rubbed off and changed the culture of our team so that we became a dominant force for several years, winning 28 games in a row. He was loved and appreciated by his teammates. One of them, Bill Gilmore, wrote that he had returned from the Marine Corps about 40 pounds overweight and was asked by Coach Al Wheeler what position he played. Bill said that he was a fullback. Al put him in and called for a dive play over right tackle. No one blocked for him and

Lade hit him so hard that when he woke up, he kept saying “I am a guard.” Al said “good” and Bob never realized that he had just deflated one of the best backfield prospects that Peru ever had.

as a partner, and it was serious business – he wanted to win. Later, I visited him in Tarkio, Mo., where he was a very successful football coach. He was teaching badminton that day, so he asked if I would play a game with him. I had never played before, but that didn’t matter. He dominated me, ran my legs off, and never let up for a second. Full speed ahead… Several incidents stick in my mind. Paul Gilbert, Bob’s Peru line coach who later coached with Bob at Tarkio College, told about playing Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln. Wesleyan had a play where the quarterback faked one way, spun, and handed the ball to a wingback coming around. They ran the Robert Lade (‘54) play successfully several times. They ran it again and That gung-ho spirit carried Bob recognized the formaover into other segments of tion. The quarterback spun his life. Although he had ter- and Bob grabbed the ball out rible eyesight (he was legally of his hand and ran about 40 blind), he was not going to let yards for a touchdown. In the academics slip. I recall his junior year, we accepted seeing him read his assign- a bid to a “bowl” game in ments with a huge bulb in North Platte, on a Wednesa lamp right behind his ear. day following a Saturday He loved to play pinochle game. We were really beat with his wife-to-be, Virginia, up, while Augustana (S.D.),

had no game that previous weekend. Bob was banged up, as were many of us, and we trailed at halftime by 2114. Bob wasn’t much of a “holler guy” but he told the team that we could rise up and get it done. And we did, led by Bob, to a 27-21 win. I also recall his attitude towards training. Although he liked an occasional beer with the guys, once the season began, he wouldn’t touch it. His drink of choice was Dr. Pepper. Bob played basketball at Peru for one season. He was a bear on the boards, but he was too fast for the game. I once asked him how he could see well enough to shoot the ball. He replied, “’Well, sometimes I see three images. I usually shoot at the middle one.” Full speed ahead… After college, Bob was drafted by the Baltimore Colts. He weighed 208 pounds at Peru – not the kind of size that linemen in the pro’s were expected to be. They wanted him to put on weight, but he was holding his own. In a pre-season game, a player poked him in his better eye. Bob took himself out and had to reveal his eyesight problems. They wanted him to sign a waiver in case he lost his eyesight so that they weren’t responsible. It was time for school to start, and he and Virginia were expecting a baby, so Bob said “no” and came back to Tarkio to coach in high school. Later, the Colts offered him a contract (without a disclaimer) to come back but Bob didn’t want to take the chance with the eyes. Bob was so fast and so smart on the field. We were playing Central College at Pella. Bob was playing left tackle and I was on the other side. They ran a reverse. Continued on page 6

Peru Stater Fall 2011



T.J. Carmichael (’99) and Kristin Pavelka were married on August 27, 2011.


Kara Frederick (attended’01-’04) and Basile Giorgakopoulos were married on September 24, 2011. Kara works as a Radiation Therapist at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Basile is employed as a residential HVAC tech for Thermal Services in Omaha. Starla Teel (’05) and Kyle Werkmeister were married on September 10, 2011. Starla works at Community Hospital in McCook. The couple reside in McCook. Aaron Sandine (’06) and Ariel Binko were married on July 23, 2011. The couple reside in Papillion.

PSC Student Ambassador, Madison Farris, leads a tour of the newly renovated Jindra Hall

PSC Celebrates Upgrades at Jindra Fine Arts Building On September 8, PSC held ing was named in honor an Open House to celebrate of Victor H. Jindra, profesa new and improved Jindra sor emeritus of music, who Fine Arts Building. The day served the college from 1923 marked a two-year, $5 mil- to 1961. Building upgrades lion code compliance up- include an elevator, new, grade made possible by the state-of-the-art classrooms, Nebraska State Task Force band and choir facilities, and for Building Renewal, which a black box theatre. Office provided the majority of space and windows have also been added throughout funding for the project. Constructed in 1966, the the facility. Other improvements to the V.H. Jindra Fine Arts Build-

facility are not as visible, but are just as significant: geothermal heating and air; controlled sound levels throughout the building; light tubes for natural lighting in second floor classrooms; the use of energy efficient products and low maintenance finishes. In addition, enhancing student safety, Benford Recital Hall is now also a FEMA-compliant storm shelter.

PSC Provides Missouri River Flood Relief Campus is usually a little who were impacted by quieter in the summer, but this historic flood. Their not in 2011. From late June staff and volunteers were to the end of July, Peru State amazing to work with, and College served as a refuge their compassion for those for those affected by the affected by disaster is Missouri River flooding. heartwarming. PSC partnered with the “While we couldn’t take American Red Cross to away the devastation establish a shelter on campus experienced by flood victims, to assist flood victims. we hope they felt a sense of PSC First Lady Elaine relief in knowing that the Hanson, who is a Red Cross Red Cross could take care of Board Member with the their needs here at PSC.” Blood Services Division in According to Seth Bingham, Omaha, said, “We were so Assistant Director of pleased to be able to assist the Residence Life, throughout Red Cross and our neighbors the summer more than 200

people were served at PSC in Neal Hall, Delzell Hall and the Centennial Complex. Morgan Hall was unavailable due to remodeling. “We helped shelter and feed displaced members of the National Guard, Cooper Nuclear Power Station employees, and even some residents of Peru, as they had called for the flood to come over the levy. Many of us also helped fill sandbags. It was a great community effort,” he said. “It was a summer we won’t soon forget.”

Saundra Gray (attended ‘06-’09) and Jason Lunzmann were married on August 6, 2011. Saundra is a Community Support Professional at SENDS in Auburn. Jason works at Cargill in Nebraska City. Jessica McKim (‘07) and Brian Miller were married in June 2010. Jessica and her husband teach at Falls City Public School. Jeni Adams (attended ’08-’09) and Nathan Seitz (attended ’07-’10) were married on June 11, 2011. Both attended Peru State College. Jeni currently works at Great Western Bank in Tecumseh. Nathan is employed at Westside Auto Supply NAPA. Bryan Miller (’08) and Halley Sup, both of Omaha, were married on July 23, 2011. Halley is a loss-prevention officer for Von Maur department store and Bryan is an officer with the Omaha Police Department. Brooke Ketter (’09) and Kirk Faulks were married on September 3, 2011. Brooke is employed as a quality control technician at Lortscher’s Agri Service, Inc. in Bern, Kan. Kirk is employed as a utility lineman with Board of Public Works in Auburn. Mark Rogge (’09) and Krystal Lewallen were married on June 25, 2011. Mark teaches at Seward Middle School and Krystal attends the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Jacob Thompson-Krug (’09) and Keri Davis were married on June 11, 2011. Keri works as an academic adviser at Bellevue University. Jacob is employed as a teacher with Millard Public Schools. Nikki Wollesen (‘09) and Dwaine Frenche were married on May 28, 2011. Lauren Ganow (attended ’09-’10) and Christopher Nelson were married on July 30, 2011. Lauren is a CNA for Clark Jeary. Chris is a correctional officer at the Nebraska State Penitentiary.


Peru Stater Fall 2011

Hutchison Honored with Nebraska State College System's Teaching Excellence Award Peru State Faculty Claim System-Wide Award for Third Straight Year

Jerry Joy (‘64) and Dr. Sherwood (‘57)

Retired Faculty Spotlight:

Dr. Leland Sherwood

Retired Professor of Art Dr. Leland Sherwood has fond memories of teaching art and advising Student Senate at PSC. Dr. Sherwood began teaching at the college full time in fall 1963 and retired in 1993. He still has an art studio on campus and remains close to many faculty and staff members. “It’s like home to me,” he said. “I spent most of my life as a professor at PSC.” Dr. Sherwood and his wife, Karlene (Dougherty) (’65) were long-time sup-

• • • • • • • • • •

porters of PSC. They were married 57 years, until Karlene passed away in spring 2011. He is proud of PSC because it teaches values to students, encourages them to make good decisions and is a community where people care and look after each other. Dr. Sherwood hopes these things will continue to make PSC the special place he has cherished over the years. “There is always room for improvement if this is your goal,” he adds.

Dr. Christy L. Hutchison, PSC Associate Professor of Business, was named the Nebraska State College System’s (NSCS) George Rebensdorf Teaching Excellence Award winner for 2011, marking the third straight year that the award has gone to a member of the PSC faculty. A campus Teacher Excellence Award is given annually to one outstanding fulltime faculty member at each of the three state colleges, Chadron State, Peru State and Wayne State. Recipients Christy Hutchison J.D., Associate Professor of Business of the campus award from the three colleges are final- excellence in teaching,” said August 2004, is recognized ists for the NSCS George Dr. Hutchinson. “I believe for active leadership in her Rebensdorf Teaching Excel- that preparing the next gen- discipline and in essential lence Award. eration to lead is critically initiatives like the accredita“What an honor and sur- important work, and I am tion self-study process. She prise it was when I learned thrilled to be a part of it at enjoys strong relationships of the award! It means a Peru State College.” with her students, charactergreat deal to me to be recogDr. Hutchinson, who ized by a genuine interest in nized by my colleagues for began teaching at PSC in their success.

Full Speed Ahead Cont.

Bob chased the play from be- the ball-carrier from behind, hind. I was set to make the crashing into both of us. I tackle when Bob ran down landed on my shoulder and suffered a near-separation. Thanks a lot, Bob! Bob had a very distinguished coaching career – Lincoln Area Alumni Meet and Greet– November 17, 2011@ 5 p.m., Hi Mark Golf Course, 8901 two years at Tarkio High and Augusta Drive, Lincoln, Nebraska 17 at Tarkio College until his untimely death at the age of Omaha Area Alumni Meet and Greet– January 19, 2012 @ 5 p.m., Tiburon Golf Club, 10302 South 168th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 43, a victim of bone cancer. That was the only thing that Des Moines Area Alumni Meet and Greet– February 9, 2012 @ 5 p.m. (location TBA) ever slowed him down. He Alumni Chili Feed – February 11, 2012 @ 4 p.m., AWAC, PSC taught physical education classes and was twice recOmaha Area Alumni Dinner – April 26, 2012 @ 5 p.m., Omaha’s German American Society, 3717 South 120th Street, Omaha, Nebraska ognized as the faculty member who helped the students Peru Prep Reunion – May 26, 2012 @ 6:30 Peru State Student Center: Hosted by the 50 year most. He also was voted Citgraduates. Contact John Patterson for more information (402) 872-7745. izen of the Year in Tarkio. Colorado Area Alumni Meet and Greet- May 31, 2012 @ 5 p.m. (location TBA) Bob was inducted into the Peru State Hall of Fame in PSC Golf Classic Tournament- June 1, 2012, Table Creek Golf Course, Nebraska City, Nebraska 1988 and also the Tarkio Hall PSC Reunion Honoring Class of 1962 (Class of 1961 & 1963 invited) - September 28 & 29 of Fame. Tales and Trails East Coast Tour- October 12-20, 2012. More info in Spring 2012 Stater He found time to teach

Upcoming Alumni Events

Sunday School for a number of years and worked with Boy Scouts as well. His three sons became Eagle Scouts. Bob and Virginia had four children – Bob, Jr., Tom, Darcie and Doug. All have been quite successful in their careers. Virginia later re-married and now resides in Rockport, MO. She also taught high school English and social studies. In my work as a college educator, I often gave motivational speeches to a variety of audiences. I always used Bob as an example of what can be accomplished if you give it everything you’ve got. Bob was winner in every way – and he always was going full speed ahead…

Peru Stater Fall 2011


Congratulations to Abby and Shane There’s something irresistible about Peru State College students… just ask Abby Hanson, daughter of PSC President Dan Hanson, who recently married Shane Mathis (’11). Abby’s mother, Elaine, actually introduced the couple on the PSC campus at Dr. Hanson’s inauguration on March 25, 2010. As student body vice-president, Shane was wearing a robe that day along with the faculty, and Abby initially thought he was a very young-looking professor. Abby and Shane were married May 29, 2011, which was also her parents’ 35th anniversary. The couple now resides in Fort Collins, Colo., where Shane is teaching third grade at Bacon Elementary School and Abby is pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy from Colorado State University.


Chelsea Ankersen (’10) and Justin Guiffre were married on September 17, 2011. Chelsea is employed as a jailer with the Gage County Sheriff’s Department and is a route driver with Route Relievers. Justin is employed as a lineman with Watts Electric. Michael Henrichs (’10) and Jenna Rickstrew were married on July 2, 2011. Jenna is a physical therapy student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Michael is a teacher at Calvert Elementary in Auburn.

Alyssa Mangum (’10) and Kyle Kidd (’10) were married on August 20, 2011. Alyssa is pursuing a master’s degree in management and is employed at West Corporation as a workforce management analyst in Omaha. Kyle is employed at Elster American Meter Company in Nebraska City as a quality assurance technician. Natalie Petersen (‘10) and Randy Whisler were married on September 17, 2011. Natalie is employed at QBE as a customer care representative. Randy works at Geis Steel Tech, Inc. in Seward. Whitley Siefford (’10) and Daniel Robbins were married on August 25, 2011.

Shane (‘11) and Abby (Hanson) Mathis

UNMC’s Rural Health Opportunities Program Expands to Peru State College Students in southeastern Nebraska wishing to pursue a career in pharmacy now have a wonderful opportunity to do so through Peru State College. The University of Nebraska Medical Center has invited PSC to participate in its Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP), allocating three seats in the pharmacy program to students entering Peru State College in Fall 2012. RHOP, which began in 1989, is designed to address the special needs of rural Nebraska by encouraging rural residents to pursue health care careers. It is currently available at Chadron State College and Wayne State College. According to Dr. Dennis

Welsh, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, pre-pharmacy advisor and RHOP Coordinator, this partnership is the result of the reputation PSC has built with UNMC by sending well-prepared students to UNMC’s pharmacy program, which is becoming one of the best in the nation. “Our participation in RHOP is an honor based on the past successes of PSC students, which speaks well of the quality and strength of our science program and the work of our five faculty members,” he said. “This relationship between Peru State College and UNMC will benefit our students, the college and rural healthcare in southeast Nebraska.” Students selected for the

program must be from a rural background, interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy and committed to practicing in rural Nebraska. If selected, students will receive a full tuition waiver while enrolled at Peru State College and guaranteed acceptance into the UNMC College of Pharmacy. Students also must maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average. Three additional students will be selected as program alternates. Applications for the 2012 school year, due December 1, 2011, are now available on the Peru State College website:

Melissa Sterkel (’10) and Brian Kruse were married on August 6, 2011. Melissa is the owner of Memories by Melissa, a professional photography studio in Creighton. Brian is a journeyman lineman at Cedar Knox Public Power. Kyle McCright (’11) and Courtney Ziesel were married on September 24, 2011. Courtney is a registered nurse at Methodist Hospital in Omaha. Kyle is a junior varsity baseball coach at Elkhorn High School and a special education teacher at Manchester Elementary School in Elkhorn. Promise Nelson (’11) and Adam DeBilzan (’11) were married on June 10, 2011. Promise works at the Peru State College Foundation and Adam is a student teacher in Nebraska City.


Jeff (’92) and Valerie (Vogel) Chmelka (’99) of Grand Island welcomed twins Connor and Claire on February 9, 2011.


Jeff Schwarz (‘09) and Apryl (Petersen) Schwarz (‘10) of Trenton had a baby boy, Avery Preston Schwarz, born on January 29, 2009. They had another baby boy, Henry Liam Schwarz, born on December 17, 2010. Jeff and Apryl celebrated their fifth anniversary on May 27, 2011. Marcus (’09) and Amanda (Stuckemeyer) Ackley (’08) welcomed a girl, Ella, on April 16, 2011.


Peru Stater Fall 2011

Kate Trout Earns Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award This spring, Kate Trout (’11) received the Marc H. Dresden Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research at the 44th annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Parasitologists (SWAP) in Willis, Okla. Trout’s presentation, Maintaining Gregarine Associations and Inducing Syzygy In Vitro, was the result of work she conducted assisting Biology Professor Dr. Rich-

ard Clopton as part of his National Science Foundation funded research. Trout, a biological science major from Tecumseh, collaborated with Clopton on his research of gregarines, which are microscopic parasites of insects, developing a technique for maintaining them outside of their host by creating a “glass-cockroach.” She used the new technique to study the effects of an

PSC students Will Fogle and Mike Mulroney receive a national championship reward

anti-parasitic drug on the gregarine life cycle. “It is an intelligent and creative piece of work that took Kate nearly two years of research to accomplish, but now we can use her technique in a wide range of future studies,” Clopton said. “The Natural Science program at Peru State College is unique in that we aren’t just teaching science, we are turning our students into scientists.” Trout praised the PSC science program, stating, “It is exceptional not only because of the specific classes that are Kate Trout (‘11) offered, but also because of the way instructors encour- my undergraduate career. I Cum Laude this May, plans age us to engage intellectual- left Peru State as a motivat- to continue her education ly and think critically - like ed, inspired individual fully in biological or biomedical a scientist. The knowledge prepared for my future and sciences, working toward a I have acquired through excited to continue scientific Ph.D. my research is more than I research throughout my life.” could have ever expected in Trout, who graduated

Fogle and Mulroney Earn Top Honors at National Business Competition Will Fogle and Mike Mulroney earned first place awards at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. in June. PBL is a state and national business association. The competition focused on a wide range of business-related tests, including subjects ranging from financial analysis and economic concepts to human resource management and business ethics. Will Fogle, a senior com-

puter management information systems major from Peru, won first place in the category of Database Design & Applications. He also won second place honors in the Computer Applications category. Mike Mulroney, a junior human performance systems management major from Fort Dodge, Iowa, earned first place in Justice Administration. According to Brad Griffin (’03), Instructor of Computer

Management Information Systems, these awards prove once again that PSC students are competitive against students at any college or university. “I am extremely proud of these two students, but also proud of the entire contingent that went to Nationals,“ he said. “Peru also had a large contingent that placed in the top ten in several contests. It is always exciting to see our students succeed.”

Peru Stater Fall 2011



Dean Meisinger (’55) will complete his year as the 2010 King of the Plattsmouth Harvest Festival in September 2011. He was named Alum of the Year in 2009 by the Plattsmouth High School Alumni Association. Dean retired in 1992 after 35 years of teaching, the last 25 as a counselor at Omaha South. He and his wife, Marilyn (Stoehr) Meisinger (’54), were married 55 years this past May. Marilyn taught for five years and now enjoys being a substitute in the Plattsmouth schools. Wayne Pressnall (‘59) received the Robert E. Gard Superior Volunteer Award. This award is presented to individuals above the age of 65 who have faithfully served community theatre on a non-paid basis for over 25 years. Wayne has been there for more than 37 years and people think of him as the “light guy.”


PSC student, Megan Brown, Early Childhood and Special Education major

Megan Brown wins Top Honors at National Education Association Student Leadership Conference Peru Student Education Association (PSEA) President and Newsletter Editor Megan Brown was presented the National Education Association’s (NEA) Jeffrey “J.D.” Miller Outstanding Underclassman Award at the organization’s National Student Leadership Conference in Chicago in June. Brown, a special education and early childhood education major from Syracuse,


said, “To have my dedication and leadership recognized at the national level is a tremendous experience. I am deeply honored to have received such a prestigious award.” Associate Professor of Education and PSEA Advisor Dr. Judith Ruskamp said, “We are extremely proud of Megan. Her work on the PSEA Newsletter over the past two years has been impressive, and her enthusiastic lead-

ership and willingness to contribute to the success of the Peru Student Education Association is deserving of national recognition. PSEA will continue to be an innovative and active campus organization under Megan’s leadership.” The PSEA chapter was also honored with the NEA’s Outstanding Local Newsletter Award.

roviding undergraduate students an opportunity to present their work at a professional conference is an example of Peru State College’s efforts to create unique opportunities for student engagement, while also opening doors that will benefit their future careers. The awards they receive are a tribute to the hard work of the students as well as the dedication of PSC faculty members.

Rick Connole (’67) of Millbury, Mass. retired after 36 years of coaching, teaching and counseling in Worcester, Mass. Rick was nominated for “Teacher of the Year” and is a Massachusetts licensed mental health counselor. He won many awards as a softball player and coach. James O’Donoghue (’68) has retired after 40 years in Education. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut. James was a U.S. Army Vietnam era veteran, a teacher, coach, administrator, and athletic director. He is married to Dr. Susan O’Donoghue and they have eight children and 12 grandchildren. James enjoys family, home, Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots, his horse, Mindy, and keeping in contact with my Peru friends for a lifetime. Janene (Lenker) Bartels (’69) has retired from teaching after 32 years. She taught first grade for the first 15 years and second grade for the remainder of her career.


Bob Engles (’73) of Auburn was appointed to serve on the Nebraska State College Board of Trustees by Governor Dave Heineman. Bob is a former president of the Peru State College Foundation.


Sheilla (LaMountain) Dea (’80) is the new Special Education instructor for Kimball Public Schools. Kent Propst (‘81) is the new Executive Director for Marketing Communications at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri. Kent worked at Peru State from 1983-2003 and again from 2008-10. His wife, Becki (Young) Propst (’80), is a loan administrator with Exchange Bank of Missouri in Fayette. She has spent most of her career in banking or related fields in Nebraska and Idaho. Mike Williams (’89) was named the new Superintendent/ Principal of Maywood Public Schools.


Kathy Quinlan (’92) is the second grade teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in York. Teresa Mertens (‘93) was named Elementary Educator of the Year.


Peru Stater Fall 2011

Tammy Schaefer (’93) is the new PK-5 Elementary Principal and Special Education director at Cross County Community Schools. Jeff Schawang (’95) has been promoted within the Premier operating unit of the Fiserv’s Lincoln based Bank Solutions group. Dr. Joan Christen (’96) and her husband Joe celebrated their 40th anniversary on July 3, 2011. Casey (’96) and Carrie Hakenkamp’s company, CJ Consolidated Enterprises, launched a new website along with new branding. Joy Huber (’99) is a public speaker, author, coach and songwriter. She is self-employed and has relocated her business to Hendersonville, Tenn. Joy was diagnosed with stage four cancer on March 24, 2010. She is currently receiving maintenance chemotherapy every eight weeks and is in remission. She is the founder of the brand “Cancer with Joy” and signed a book deal with Morgan James Publishing in New York City for a book, “Cancer with Joy,” that will launch early 2012.


Bob Hollis (’00) accepted a position with in Seattle. Bob joined their Kindle team, where he works with retailers in the US, UK and the rest of the world to sync up their order management systems so the Kindle can be purchased over the counter at retailers worldwide. He and his wife, Wendy (’01), worked at Girls and Boys Town as Family Teachers from 2002-05. Angelo Ligouri (’00) is the new city attorney for Auburn. Nikki (Moody) Hayes (’04) is the new teacher at St. John’s Lutheran Preschool. Joanna (Hays) Cielocha (’06) is a third year graduate student in at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. She received notification that her National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant proposal has been recommended for funding. Crystal (Ellis) Dunekacke (’07) was appointed to the Humboldt City Council. Jerlyn Cummins (’09) has joined Julie D. Bauman, CPA, PC as the Accounting and Payroll Clerk. Dustin Sealey (’09) is the new head football coach for the Arapahoe Warriors. He will also teach physical education and work in the Arapahoe Public School’s library. Morgan Shields (’09) graduated from PSC with a master’s degree and is now employed by Blair Schools for Special Education. Andre Kinder was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. Andre attended Peru from 2009-11.


Emily Fricke (’10) is the new vocal music teacher for grades 6-8 at Johnson County Central Schools in Cook. Brice King (’10) is a new 4th grade teacher in the Broken Bow Public Schools. Jordan Marr (‘10) will be teaching 7-12 History at ExeterMilligan Public Schools.

Nearly 90 persons are currently recognized as members of the 1867 Society, having notified the College that Peru State is included in their estate plans. Thanks to their special generosity, future generations will continue to benefit from the fine qualities of a Peru State education. Two of these persons are Maxine Remmers (’39) and her son-in-law, Mike Guilliatt (‘67). According to Maxine, PSC is important to the local community for many reasons. “Throughout my life it’s been a place to take classes, to swim, to go to events,” she said. “It’s exciting to see

the changes being made on campus. I want to see the college continue to thrive.” Mike, a PSC Foundation Board member and National Alumni Association Board member said, “We believe in the Foundation, in helping students, and that small schools such as PSC have a lot of good qualities. We wanted to help give students extra things that the budget won’t pay for, and to do that,you need a strong Foundation. “Maxine and I both simply designated Peru State College Foundation as one of the beneficiaries in our life insurance policies. This way, there was no imme-

1867 S P e r u

St a t e

C o l l e g e

F o und a t i o n


A planned giving society devoted to the future of Peru State College

diate cost, and the money won’t be missed, but we will pass on part of our estates to benefit students at PSC,” he explained. If you haven’t already, please consider including the Peru State College Foundation in your estate planning. When you have notified the Foundation that you have taken such formal action, you too will be a member of the 1867 Society, and with your permission will be included in the next public listing of members. Allowing your name to be included in the listing of members provides additional, tangible encouragement to others who are still considering if and how to extend beyond their lifetimes their expressions of support for Peru State. It’s a good, and satisfying, thing to do. Thank you. For additional information or assistance, please contact the Peru State College Foundation at 402-872-2304.

If You are 70 ½ years Young… You probably have heard that you can make a gift to the Peru State College Foundation from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). One major advantage is that the withdrawal doesn’t create extra taxable income on gifts of any amount up to $100,000. Even better, your gift can apply to your yearly

required minimum distribution from the IRA. Known as the Charitable IRA Rollover, Congretional permission for this popular method of giving expires in a few weeks, so act now. To qualify, IRA owners must be age 70 ½ or above, and transfers must be made by your administrator directly to the

Foundation before December 31, 2011. Consider supporting Peru State College by making your Charitable IRA Rollover gift today. Call the Foundation office at 402.872.2451 and we’ll guide you through it.

Peru Stater Fall 2011

(top left) Clarence (Chick) Stessman (’61), Kent Propst (’81), Beth (Propst, ’82) Mierau and Mark Johnson (’80) visit at the Fayette, Missouri Meet and Greet. (top right) Rodger (’66)and Deanna Langemeier at the Fremont Meet and Greet. (right) Robert (Gus) Krajicek, (‘75) Donna (Gerdes) Donovan (‘66) Paul and Arlene (Borcher)(‘67) Fell at the Kansas City Meet and Greet. (below) Reunion Honoring the Class of 1961: left to right, L. Allen Nelson, Ray and Myrna Meister, Jim Fisher, Raymond Plankinton, LaMar Gibson, Betty (Bebb) Plankinton, Kathy Francis, Chuck Francis, Donna Schwertley, Jack Head, Chick Stessman, Bob Buettgenbach, Keith and Virginia Hawxby, Robert Heng, Bonnie Zetterman, First Lady Elaine Hanson, Donald and Judith Neiman, President Hanson and Donald Schwertley



Peru Stater Fall 2011

Mertens Continues Family Legacy at PSC

PSC Bobcats Jake Mertens continues family legacy at PSC.

Senior Jake Mertens of Hastings is following in the footsteps of his brothers Mike (‘08) and A.J. (’06), and father Pat (’86), in attending Peru State College and playing Bobcat football. It all started when Pat’s high school football coach, Chuck Mizerski (‘69) (now Assistant Coach at PSC) talked to him about his alma mater. Pat visited the campus and decided to attend PSC, majoring in accounting and playing linebacker for the Bobcats. “I had a great experience at Peru,” said Pat. “Over the years, it’s turned into a home away from home. You know everyone.” Years later, his oldest son, A.J., had completed his freshman year of college elsewhere, but wanted to change schools. Pat brought him to

Patton Earns NFCA NAIA All-Region Second Team Honors Congratulations to Krista NFCA member coaches in Patton (’11) of Nebraska City, each of the five regions select who was named to the 2011 the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Louisville Slugger/National All-Region teams. Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Southwest Region Second Team. The senior outfielder for the PSC Bobcats was one of 160 student-athletes, representing 65 institutions, to be chosen for either a first or second team in each of the five NFCA regions. Patton had earned First Team All-Conference in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) while being among the Bobcat leaders which saw PSC finish second in the regular season and post-season tournament behind Bellevue University.

Krista Patton (‘11)

Peru for a visit, and A.J. made the switch. A.J. majored in marketing and played wide receiver and several other positions on offense. PSC then recruited Mike, which, according to Pat, was pretty easy since he had visited the campus many times to watch his brother and knew everybody. Mike majored in business and made the PSC top 10 list in rushing as a running back. He is 3rd in overall career yards at PSC. Then along came Jake, the last of the Mertens boys. According to Bobcat Coach Terry Clark, he is probably the best athlete in the family and was also recruited for the team. “We tried him at a few different positions his freshman year,” he said. “Then, sophomore year, we tried him as a

defensive linebacker, and he really blossomed.” The 6-2, 215 lb. linebacker was listed as a Preseason AllAmerican in the 2011 College Football edition of the Sporting News. This is the first preseason recognition for a Bobcat in recent years. Despite all he has in common with his brothers and father, Jake has departed from family tradition in his field of study. His major is exercise science. “All the boys have a great work ethic,” said Clark, “and even better, they were all, including Pat, Academic AllAmericans. We’re going to miss having a Mertens on the field next year.”

PSC Changes Athletic Conference Beginning this fall, the athletic teams at Peru State College are competing in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). The Heart of America Athletic Conference is one of the most highly respected conferences in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). It provides an opportunity for PSC’s football program to be part of the same conference as its other athletic teams, which had not been the case previously. PSC Athletic Director Steve Schneider said, “The HAAC prides itself as a conference where intercollegiate athletics is a mission driven activity reinforcing the values of its institutions and that of the NAIA. The high level of professionalism, focus on the student athlete, and the

quality academic and athletic programs provide a good fit for Peru State College’s Athletic Department. “Peru State Athletics is excited about the opportunity to be part of the HAAC. The member institutions are quality organizations led by people of integrity, and we welcome the opportunity to compete on the athletic fields and in the classroom.” Members of the HAAC, which was founded in 1971, include Avila University, Baker University, Benedictine College, Central Methodist University, Culver Stockton College, Evangel University, Graceland University, Lindenwood University, Mid-American Nazarene University and Missouri Valley College.

Peru Stater Fall 2011


Sanley and Patton Win PSC Bert Swenson Award Each year since 1925 outstanding student athletes have been presented with the Bert Swenson award in recognition of their participation in athletics, outstanding character, personality, service, and loyalty to Peru State College. The Peru State College Athletic Department selected Jon Sanley and Krista Patton (’11) as the 2010-2011 Bert Swenson Award winners to honor their many accomplishments on and off the field. Jon Sanley, a 2006 graduate of Rising City High School, is the son of Rick and Cindy Sanley. After being recruited by PSC and playing football for one year, Sanley decided to walk-on to the baseball team. He made significant contributions to the Bobcat pitching staff over his four years. His career record was 13-11-1 with a 4.90 era. He tossed 10 complete games, including two shutouts.

Sanley’s performances have entered him in the Bobcat record books. He finished tied for fifth in career appearances (48), seventh in career strikeouts (162), tied for seventh in games started (30), eighth in innings pitched (198.1) and tied for tenth in career wins (13). Sanley is currently student teaching in the Columbus Public Schools in Columbus, Nebraska. Krista Patton, a 2007 graduate of Nebraska City High School, is the daughter of Dave and Kate Patton. A centerfielder, Patton earned 147 total starts for her career. She finished with a batting average of .317 with a slugging percentage of .411. On the field, she had only seven errors and fielding percentage of .966. With these statistics, Patton earned numerous all-conference honors as well as NFCA all-region second team honors. In the classroom, she was twice named

a Daktronics-NAIA ScholarAthlete. She served as the first chair of the Athletic Department’s Student Athlete Advisory Council. This past May, Patton graduated with honors with a degree in human performance and systems management. Pres-

ently, she is enrolled in PSC’s masters program in entrepreneurial and economic development, and is working at State Farm in Lincoln as a claims adjuster. Sanley and Patton were presented their awards during halftime of the PSC-Cul-

ver-Stockton College football game on Saturday, September 10, by PSC President Dr. Dan Hanson, his wife Elaine, Bobcat baseball coach Wayne Albury, and Bobcat softball coach Mark Mathews.

(left to right) PSC Softball Coach Mark Mathews, Krista Patton (‘11), President and First Lady Hanson, Jon Sanley and PSC Baseball Coach Wayne Albury.

Former Bobcats Rodriguez and Kinder Playing in Minor League Baseball

The first two Peru State College Bobcat baseball players drafted by the Major Baseball League (MLB) are presently playing in various divisions of the minor league system. The Los Angeles Dodgers in the 27th round drafted Yimy

Rodriguez (Isla De La Juventud, Cuba) following his 2010 season. Andre Kinder (Albion, N.Y.) was drafted by the Philadephia Phillies in the 42th round of this year’s draft. After two years in the minors,

PSC Bobcat, Andre Kinder pitching a win.

Yimy Rodriguez pitching for PSC.

Rodriguez, a right-handed pitcher, remains steadfast in his journey to the majors. Rodriguez played for the Arizona League (AZL) Dodgers in 2010 and then moved up to the Ogden Raptors in the Pioneer League in 2011. He finished the season 3-3 with a 4.06 era. The Philadelphia Phillies recruited Kinder, a left-handed pitcher, during the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft. Since then, Kinder has been playing on the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League (GCL) Team, where he finished 1-1 with 31 strikeouts and a 2.92 era. Bobcat baseball head coach Wayne Albury said he is pleased to follow Rodriguez and Kinder’s progress. “It appears they are both representing PSC well,” he remarked.


Peru Stater Fall 2011

Alicia Miller (’10) will be teaching at Southern High School. She will teach Sophomore English, American Literature, and Senior Composition. She will also be one of the Sophomore class sponsors, will assist with plays, and will be the Assistant Coach for the Junior High Girls’ basketball team. Cynthia Hulshizer (’11) is a candidate for the next Box Butte County Veteran Service Officer. Andrea Powers (’11) is a special education teacher at Calvert Elementary School in Auburn, where she student taught last spring. Kate Trout (‘11) received the Marc H. Dresden Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research at the Southwestern Association of Parasitologists meeting.

Friends of the College

Dr. Christy Hutchison, Associate Professor of Business at Peru State College, was named the Nebraska State College System’s George Rebensdorf Teaching Excellence Award winner for 2011. Brent Melvin, Peru State College’s Head Athletic Trainer, was recently elected to serve as Vice President of the NAIA Athletic Trainers Association. Dr. Bill Snyder has retired after nearly 40 years at Peru State College.

PSC Professor and Leader Bob Lewellen Passes Away Robert M. Lewellen, a beloved professor, friend and supporter of Peru State College and the community, passed away May 22, 2011. An Assistant Professor Emeritus of Business, Lewellen began his long association with PSC in 1972 after earning his master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State. He and his family moved to Peru and Lewellen taught a wide variety of classes at the college, primarily in the areas of marketing and management. He developed many new classes as demands changed and kept busy with committee work, advising students and sponsoring student organizations. His involvement did not end there, however. Lewellen also spent decades serving on various boards for museums, churches and commu-

nity organizations. He was a city councilman in Peru, and served on the park board and bicentennial committee. He and his wife, Barbara, were named Peru’s Citizens of the Year in 1987. He was twice nominated as king of Old Man River Days, Peru’s summer festival. Peggy Groff, PSC Student Success Coordinator, had Lewellen as a professor his first year at Peru and later worked with him on campus for many years. “What I remember most about him as an instructor was his genuineness. A sincere and dedicated person, he engaged his students, making campus a better place,” she said. “Bob was also an outstanding community member of Peru and worked to make it better, too. He and his wife had a lot of

A large group of alumni gathered for the 2011 Cape Cod Reunion in Dennis Port, Massachusetts

Robert M. Lewellen ideas, and they weren’t just talkers – they were doers. He gave of himself for many projects here in Peru.” Lewellen retired from PSC in July, 1998. Eventually he and Barb moved to Omaha to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren. Lewellen is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters, Amy Collins and Allison Anthony; five grandchildren; a sister, Marjorie Graham; and brother, Clair Lewellen.

Peru Stater Fall 2011


Laverne Marshall (’28) of Wymore passed away on July 3, 2011. Owen Zook (’27) of Eugene, Orgen passed away in 2010.


Helen L. Shires passed away on June 4, 2011. She attended Peru State College in the 1930s. Corinne (Whitten) Brinkmeyer (’31) of Falls City passed away on July 10, 2011. She taught for three years in the rural schools of Richardson County. John A. Bath (’32) of Ames, Iowa, passed away May 23, 2011 at the age of 100. John graduated from Peru Prep High School and Peru State College before earning his Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Clara (Riggert) Stevens (’33) of Holdrege passed away July 11, 2011. She was an active member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and was a member of the Mosaic Advisory Board. Luella (Dreibus) McIntire (‘35) of Maryville, Illinois passed away on October 29, 2011 at the age of 95. Luella and her husband, Jack, served PSC and the community for many years. E. Virginia (Johnson) Marburger (’37) of Humboldt passed away on June 21, 2011. In 1963, Virginia and her husband took over Marburger’s Shoe Store, the oldest shoe store in the state of Nebraska. It is 132 years old. Luceen (Maag) Schmelke (’37) of Oroville, Calif., passed away June 23, 2011. Dorothy (Cawthorne) Shumard (’37) of San Carlos, Calif., passed away in February of 2011. Albert Skrabal of Beatrice passed away on August 7, 2011. Albert attended Peru State College for one year (’38) before entering the United States Army. Albert served his country during World War II. He also had served as the mayor of Diller at one time.


Betty (Cole) Cooper (’42) of Burlington, Iowa, passed away August 26, 2011. She was a school teacher and was involved in many organizations. Margaret (Applegate) Fitch (’43) passed away on August 21, 2011. Margaret was an adjunct professor at PSC from 1971-1990. Marcella Marie Geiger (’43) of Los Angeles, Calif., passed away July 26, 2011. Iva (Armstrong) Shaw (’43) passed away. Iva was a teacher at Peru State Teachers College. Elsa Glendora (Galloway) Rohrs (’44) of Omaha passed away on August 30, 2011. Stanley Warner (’45) of North English, Iowa, passed away on February 5, 2011.


Beulah (Holman) Scheele (’50) of Blue Springs passed away on August 6, 2011. She was a member of the Blue Springs Firebelles and served on the Blue Springs City Council for two years. Mabelle (Miller) Welch (’51) of Kansas City, Kansas, passed away May 6, 2006. Donna (Deroin) Lape (’54) of Falls City passed away August 14, 2011. She taught school in Stella, Maple Grove, Salem and Falls City Middle School before she retired in 1999. JoAnn Kalina (’57) of Lincoln passed away May 23, 2011. JoAnn became a


registered nurse and taught at schools of nursing in Lincoln and Phoenix. Eldon McCall (’57) of Harlan, Iowa, passed away on June 30, 2011. Loren Schuler (’57) of Golden, Colo., formerly of Auburn, passed away May 28, 2011 at the age of 76. Corwin Arndt (‘58) of Oshkosh passed away December 31, 2010. John O’Connor (’58) of Lincoln passed away August 19, 2011. John was in the Army National Guard from 1974-1992. He taught school for 14 years and retired from LPS. Faye (Specht) Brandt (’59) passed away May 4, 2011. Faye was head of the library at PSC until her retirement in 1985. Bruce Smith (’59) of Mesa, Arizona, passed away September 6, 2011.


Charles Tillman (’60) of Ogallala passed away on September 5, 2011. He was past commodore of the Yacht Club and a longtime member of the Ogallala Elks Lodge and Country Club. Joyce Carman (‘61) of Riverview, Florida, passed away on April 28, 2010. Ella (Biere) Penney (’61) of Papillion passed away on August 17, 2011. Elaine (Lambert) Hays (’62) of North Augusta, South Carolina, passed away on August 18, 2010 at the age of 94. Mable (Printz) Hunt (’62) of Dunbar passed away July 14, 2011. Gerald Martin (’62) passed away on July 3, 2011 in Omaha. He was 78 years old. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956. Gerald earned his Master’s degree in Education from PSC. James Brenn of Holdrege passed away on August 26, 2011. James attended Peru from 1962-68. Lyle Fritz of Verdon passed away on June 11, 2011. Lyle attended Peru State College in 1967 before he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. Linda Lois Emery passed away December 22, 2010. She attended Peru from 1967-1968. Linda had a 30-year career with Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company. Roxanne Hill of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, passed away on July 30, 2011. Roxanne attended Peru from 1968-1973. Doris Sherburne (’69) of Humboldt passed away on April 7, 2011. Elsie A Stemper, formerly of Peru, died Wednesday, July 6, 2011.


Margaret “Peg” Bennett (’71) of Plattsmouth passed away on July 25, 2011. Peg was the founder of Happy Paws in Plattsmouth and taught at Plattsmouth Public and Middle Schools for 31 years. Lois Maxine Kimpston passed away July 18, 2011. Lois attended Peru from 1971-75.


Marshia (Dean) Saathoff (’80) of Table Rock passed away on July 6, 2011. Marshia worked at the Nebraska State Home in Beatrice for several years and also worked for Region 5. She was working as a CNA in Pawnee City at the time of her death. James “Jimmy” Sughroue (’87) of McCook passed away on July 1, 2011. He was employed at Southwest Schools in Bartley and in the garden center at Wal-Mart. Harvey Dougherty of Martel passed away August 27, 2011. Harvey attended Peru from 1989-91.

The Peru Stater

Inside this Peru Stater you’ll find …

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

Alumnus Makes $860,000 Donation to PSC................... Page 1 Bob Lade: Full Speed Ahead............................................... Page 4 Upcoming Alumni Events..................................................... Page 6


UNMC’s RHOP Program Expands to PSC.......................... Page 7 PSC Students Shine at National Conferences.................. Page 8-9 Look At These Bobcats Go.................................................. Page 9 Mertens Continues Family Legacy at PSC........................ Page 12

Look for 2011 Hall of Fame in Spring Issue

Please complete the form below and send it to: Peru State College Foundation PO Box 10 Peru, NE 68421-0010 You may also email your information to Your Name: Maiden Name: Spouse’s Name: Address: Home Phone Your News:

Years Attended: Class Year (if PSC grad): City, State, Zip: Email:

For more information about Peru State College, Nebraska’s first college, visit For more information about the Peru State College Alumni Association and Foundation, visit Here, you’ll find more photos of the PSC campus and the latest information about alumni news and events!


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