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The Magazine

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C o mmem o rati v e ses q uicentennia l e d iti o n


| president’s message

Extraordinary history n this issue of the Simpson Magazine, we celebrate 150 years of extraordinary history and tradition. We look back to appreciate and recognize a timeline of our strengths and we look forward to the growth and continued excellence that we will surely realize in the years to come. In the early days, Simpson College was little more than a frontier outpost. Founded in 1860, just 14 years after Iowa achieved statehood, Simpson was small and unheralded, but earnest. As a college, it had aspirations to educate mostly the sons and daughters of the state’s farmers and merchants. On a fall day in 1890 a young man walked 25 miles from Winterset, Iowa to Indianola and presented his academic credentials in the hopes of being admitted to Simpson. He had earlier been granted admission to a college in Kansas but was barred at the door, not because he lacked academic training but because he was African-American, born into slavery during the Civil War. So it was that George Washington Carver’s college career began at Simpson College, where he initially aspired to become a painter and pianist. Profoundly impressed by his talents and great love of plants, his art professor, Etta Mae Budd, recommended that Carver continue his education at what is now Iowa State University. Carver went on to become arguably the most influential scholar ever to study at Simpson and ultimately established himself as one of the most celebrated scientists and humanitarians of the 20th century. One can only speculate about all that would have been lost to the world had Simpson not accepted him that day. We are undeniably proud to have been the college that looked beyond the color of George Washington Carver’s skin and his humble beginnings in order to nurture his extraordinary potential. Carver once said, “I owe to Simpson College my real beginning in life.” His famous quote reminds us that every student who comes to us, regardless of their background, deserves the opportunity to succeed. Who knows which of them will become the next great scientist or humanitarian? What we do know is that for 150 years Simpson has been committed to the belief that every student should have the opportunity to reach their full human potential. It is this belief that has guided the college for its first 150 years and it is a commitment I know we will continue to honor in the years ahead.




conten ts

The Magazine Simpson College President John Byrd Editor Bonnie Harris Senior Writer & Researcher Elizabeth Ford Sports Editor Bryan Geelan ’07


Art Director Leslie Byars Diehl ’03 Photographer David Peterson Web Architect Missy DeYoung Touring the Years Editor Sara Thompson


Copy Center Manager Jenifer Mertes Contributing Writers Alan Batchelder ’60 Danette Griffith Leslie Midget Held ’86 Walter Lain ’81 Bob Lane ’81 Rosemary Link Jennifer Ross Nostrala ’85 Emily Schettler ’10 John Sirianni Deb Oswald Tierney ’79 Office of Alumni Relations Leslie Midget Held ’86 Director 515-961-1544 Office of College Advancement Bob Lane ’81 Vice President 515-961-1549

demonstrate the fundamental ideals of Simpson College in the world of family, work, service or scholarship


8 Faculty Pursuits - The Atomic Force


The generous support of alumni and friends defines the Simpson Experience

- Where Are They Now? - Faculty Accomplishments


Bonnie Harris Director of Communication


6 Investing in Simpson

The Simpson magazine is published quarterly by the Office of Marketing and Public Relations. Letters to the Editor and story ideas are welcomed. Send correspondence to Bonnie Harris at themagazine@


4 This is Simpson Inspiring stories about people who

Unforgettable campus places

14 CHAPLAIN’S CORNER 15 Cover story

Building on Our Traditions

- A Life Changed - Professional Successes - Meints/Larsen Retirement


DID YOU KNOW… Simpson was founded the same year Abraham Lincoln was elected president. The college’s namesake, Matthew Simpson, gave the eulogy at Lincoln’s funeral.

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| this is simpson

Denny and Jane Whalen stand with their son, Jeremy, and daughter-in-law, Nicolle, in front of the Whalen Gate at Buxton Stadium.

We see the integral role Simpson plays in the community, and we value that.



so much to

appreciate B y E m i ly S c h e t t l e r ’ 1 0


enny ’75 and Jane ’90 Whalen’s commitment to Simpson College is strong, much like their commitment to family. In fact, the two go hand-

Both are Simpson graduates along with their son Jeremy ’99 and daughter-in-law Nicolle ’98 (Nelson), who is now an assistant professor in the Department of Sport Science and Health Education. Denny and Jane have long believed in the importance of giving back to the school they say has given them so much. Most recently, the Whalens provided financial support for the entrance arch at the southeast corner of the stadium, which is now known as the Whalen Gate. The gate was the first step in a series of structural upgrades for Bill Buxton Stadium. “When we first came when Denny was a student, there was a tarp around the fencing. You couldn’t even see into the stadium,” Jane said. “We always thought it would be nice if it was gated. That’s been a discussion for a long time.” The stadium is particularly special to Denny. He was a cocaptain of the football team and ran track before graduating in 1975. He coached the Indianola High School team there and watched his son earn football All-America honors on that field. Over the years, he’s grown more appreciative of what Simpson was able to provide him. “It’s just like anything else,” Denny said. “The older you get the more you appreciate. And with Simpson, there’s so much to appreciate. For myself, back in the old days, we still had athletic scholarships so I went to Simpson for free basically, and I received a good education. I need to give something back.”

financial services industry evolved, and in 1990 she was one of the first students to graduate from Simpson’s evening and weekend program. They have had opportunities to move away but chose to stay in the community, and their contributions to Simpson have been numerous. Jane is an active member of the Simpson Guild, which sponsors scholarships for students. The Whalens are also involved in organizing the annual Wayne Carse Storm Athletic Benefit, a primary fundraiser for the athletic department. Jane cites Simpson’s role within the city of Indianola as another incentive to stay involved. “We see the integral role Simpson plays in the community, and we value that,” she said. “Volunteering is important, and so is reinvesting in your community. You need to take an active role in that.” They have enjoyed watching the school expand and develop over the years. Denny remembers living in rental houses and parking in gravel parking lots when there were only a handful of buildings on campus. “We’ve been able to watch the campus evolve,” he said. “When I was here, there were probably under 1,000 students. It’s been neat to watch the programs grow.” Since they first arrived at Simpson, their roles have changed, but that’s what makes it exciting, Jane said. “That’s the thing about Simpson, it spans the ages,” she said. “You can be real active and other times you can pull back a little bit, but there is always something you can do to be a part of the community.” ■

After graduation, Denny went on to teach in Martensdale and Indianola for more than 30 years. Jane’s career in the

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| investing in simpson

the show begins impson College broke ground on the expansion of the Blank Performing Arts Center during Alumni Weekend in June. Simpson President John Byrd welcomed the crowd by saying, “We are gathered to celebrate the start of construction on a wonderful new facility for Simpson College, for all of central Iowa and for the lovers of theatre and music everywhere. This is a project that has been a long time coming, and a number of people have played a vital role in helping bring us to this moment.” Many of those individuals were on hand for the groundbreaking, including former Simpson President Kevin LaGree, whose vision helped shape the expansion project, and Simpson Trustee Fred Lorber, who worked tirelessly over many years to help raise funds. Other major contributors were also recognized at the event, including: Myron Blank; the Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Family Foundation; the Des Moines Metro Opera Foundation; the Gardner and Florence Call Cowles Foundation; Morley Ballantine; Linda and Tom Koehn; Barbara and Michael Gartner; the Principal Financial Group Foundation; and the U.S. Department of Education. Congressman Tom Latham, who spoke during the ceremony, said the event was a “great, great day for this state and the whole region.” “This facility is something that statewide is very positive,” he said.

Fred Hubbell, chairman of the Simpson College Board of Trustees, echoed Latham’s sentiments, adding that the widespread support for the Blank expansion demonstrates the community’s enthusiasm for Simpson College. “This is a great opportunity to celebrate the growth of this community and school,” Hubbell said. The 17,000-square-foot expansion of the Blank Performing Arts Center — which is home to the Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO) in the summer — will benefit Simpson College students as well as community members. The project will add an elevator, expanded and accessible restrooms and increase handicapped seating in the facility to allow everyone to enjoy the performances held at Blank. The expansion will create new classrooms and labs for directing, lighting and costuming that will allow Simpson’s faculty to teach at an entirely new level. “I cannot begin to emphasize how these changes will enhance the curricular program of the theatre department,” said Steve McLean, professor of theatre. Additionally, improved lighting in Pote Theatre and larger preparation spaces will enhance productions put on by Simpson’s theatre and music students as well as professionals in the DMMO. ■

In May 2010, the Simpson College Board of Trustees approved a plan for the renovation of the Brenton Student Center. The plan includes a large addition that will connect the current student center to Cowles Fieldhouse, nearly doubling the size of the space. The new facility will have more open gathering, meeting and performance spaces as well as a larger dining area. Construction is slated to begin in May 2011. To keep track of construction progress, visit



transformative giving or Bob ’63 and Ardene Kildal ’62 Downing, a lifetime of giving back to Simpson College started with a modest donation. They were just out of college when the late Bill Buxton ’28, a former Simpson trustee, called Bob and asked him to give to the college. At first, Bob said no. He didn’t think they could afford to give. Buxton was persistent and suggested the Downings give just $10. They agreed. “We’ve given to Simpson every year,” said Ardene. “At the beginning it wasn’t much.” Bob and Ardene met at Simpson on a blind date. He needed a date to a fraternity event, and a friend told him to call Ardene. When he went to pick her up at Hopper Gym after a basketball game (she was a cheerleader), he still didn’t know what she looked like and had to ask a friend. “Third one from the right,” he told him. They married in December 1961 when Ardene was a senior and Bob was a junior. The day after his graduation, Bob opened an insurance and real estate business in Indianola, and the Downings made their home in the community. In 1966, he opened his construction business, and as it — and their family — grew, so did their commitment to the college. “Simpson is an important part of our community and our family and our life,” said Bob. “That’s why we [give back].” Over the years, Bob and Ardene’s contributions to the college have been numerous. Bob joined the Simpson College Board of Trustees in 1977 and is currently its longest serving member. He has chaired or served on several committees and was chairman of the board from 1999 to 2003. Last fall, Bob was inducted into the Alpha Tau Omega Hall of Fame for his contributions to Simpson’s chapter. Ardene has been actively involved in her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and the Simpson Guild for years. Currently, she is house corporation president for Simpson’s Pi Phi chapter, and she just finished her term as president of the Simpson Guild. In addition to their work for Simpson, the Downings are active in the First United Methodist Church. Since both are business owners in the community, Bob and Ardene are also

involved with organizations that promote Indianola. Bob has served as president of the Indianola Development Corporation, and Ardene is past president of the Chamber of Commerce. Bob and Ardene say they can’t imagine living in a town without a college because of the many opportunities it presents. They enjoy getting to know new students each year and following their successes after graduation. “Seeing a new group of students each year is invigorating,” Bob said. During their years in the community, Bob and Ardene have been proud to see the college grow — they believe strongly in the transformative power of a liberal arts education — and as the college enters into its 150th anniversary year, they say they have high hopes that it will remain “strong, vibrant and current.” ■

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| faculty pursuits use his sabbaticals to learn about unfamiliar areas of chemistry. During his sabbatical in the fall of 2007, Warnet studied at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. and Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia, to learn the principles of nanoscience and gain experience with the equipment needed to teach it in his classroom. “This isn’t in my field at all,” he said. “I’m an organic chemist, but it’s a fascinating topic. I think this is a great example of how sabbaticals benefit the college.”

ron warnet

Professor of Chemistry Professor at Simpson since 1969 Education: • B.A., Hope College, 1965 • Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 1970

Six Questions for RON

the atomic force

Book I think everyone should read to their kids: Parents can ask their town librarian for suggestions for books. What I want parents to buy their kids is a gyroscope. It is a fascinating toy; it gives kids an entry into physics and our understanding of the atom. So get them one, and they will be a step ahead of their clueless friends.

ore than four decades ago, Ron Warnet began teaching chemistry at Simpson College. Forty years later, there is still no place he would rather be. “When I am in my classroom, the world is right,” said Warnet. Over the years, Warnet’s enthusiasm for teaching and learning has not paled, and he remains committed to expanding scientific study at Simpson. In January, Warnet and Frank Curti, assistant professor of physics, received a grant that will open a whole new field of science to Simpson students. The grant, from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, provided Simpson with the funds to purchase an atomic force microscope. The microscope, which arrived on campus in late May, will be used extensively during Warnet’s course on nanoscience — a first at Simpson. The microscope will allow Simpson students to view biological, physical and chemical samples at the atomic level, which is not possible with an optical microscope. With the equipment, students and faculty members can conduct experiments on individual molecules, creating many new research opportunities. For example, Warnet is interested in studying the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease and said the new equipment will allow him to watch the proteins move and assemble over time. “Undergraduates often don’t have a chance to play around with [atomic force microscopes], but here they will,” said Warnet. Nanoscience is still relatively new to Warnet himself. Warnet has always liked to



The strangest thing in my office is: A George Washington Carver finger puppet that Sal Meyers (professor of psychology) gave me years ago and which I treasure.

One thing people wouldn’t know about me: I got indoor plumbing in 1995 after 20 years of living with an outhouse. My inspiration is: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who went back to Germany in 1939 so he could help his country recover from Nazism and in the process became a man of deep faith. He ended up being killed in a concentration camp days before liberation.You really should read his book “The Cost of Discipleship.” If I wasn’t a professor, I would be: A geologist. I love rocks and the stories they tell us. And besides, I once outran a guard at a quarry while carrying a 40-pound hunk of amethyst. If I won the lottery, I would: Loan it to women entrepreneurs in third world countries to start small businesses. It seems to be the most effective way of raising a family out of poverty.Those women amaze me with what they can accomplish with small amounts of money. ■

where are they now? B y Les l ie mi d get he l d ’ 8 6

rom South Padre Island with Joe and Barb Moody in the last issue of the magazine, we head back to Indianola for a visit with one of Simpson’s most beloved professors, Dr. Joe Walt. Generations of Simpson students have taken at least one of his classes, traveled with him or been under his guidance. Today, as emeritus professor of history, you can still find Walt on campus each day — sometimes giving a guest lecture, perhaps even in German. He continues to serve as advisor to Sigma Alpha Epsilon and hosts international students in his home. After growing up in California, how did you find Simpson? My parents met at the University of Nebraska and moved to California. I attended Beverly Hills High School along with some movie stars of that era. I hoped to go to Harvard but World War II had begun, and my father didn’t want me to go so far. So instead, I went to UCLA for three years before transferring to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. It was there that I learned the value of small classes and the impact of relationships with your professors. I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Knoxville and chose Northwestern for my doctorate. At Northwestern, my advisor and mentor, Franklin Scott, introduced me to Simpson’s president, William Kerstetter. Dr. Scott assured me that Simpson was a good place for me to start my teaching career, having taught here himself. I arrived in 1955 and for the first few years, lived in Barker Hall as the house father. I didn’t plan to stay long but thoroughly enjoyed a setting where I could get to know my students and the other faculty personally. It’s fun to watch students start a class with no idea of what they will get out of it and by the end of the semester, see them respond. Beneath the Whispering Maples is a detailed account of Simpson’s history. How long did it take you to write it? A few summers. I’ve been asked if I’ll write an update, but I think I’ll leave that for someone else to tackle since I have another book I’m working on.

Joe walt Can you tell us more? In 1946, I went to Switzerland on a mission for my church and lived there from 1946 until 1949. I discovered the tiny principality of Liechtenstein had many Walts residing there. I wanted to learn more, so I visited and started my research at the post office. Coincidentally, the postmaster was a distant cousin. He introduced me to other Walts who remembered my great grandparents before they immigrated to the United States. I became fascinated with the history of the principality, which had never been recorded, so I’m writing a book. Each year, I travel over for a week, and I stay up-to-date with their daily newspaper. What advice would you give to a high school senior today? Find the best college you can for your academics. Size doesn’t assure quality. Some small colleges, like Simpson, are well done. ■

DID YOU KNOW… Entrepreneur Harry Hopper, Indianola’s first millionaire, refused to look at any of the construction costs when he agreed to finance Hopper Gymnasium. While there was much speculation about the price of the building, Carl Brown, who paid the construction bills, never revealed the final cost, and to this day, it is unknown.

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faculty accomplishments John Benoit, professor of music, served as a judge and performed in an exhibition ensemble composed of other judges at the 39th annual Hoover JazzFest held at Hoover High School in Des Moines. In March, Benoit’s Ballyhoo Foxtrot Combo supplied an afternoon of Jazz Age music for a community reception at the Des Moines Art Center in celebration of the Edward Hopper art exhibit. Heidi Berger, assistant professor of

mathematics, received a grant from the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics to study the population parameters of the housefly. With Clint Meyer, assistant professor of biology, Berger received a grant from the Iowa Science Foundation to conduct lab and DID YOU field experiments to KNOW… determine the growth The price of rate of houseflies. tuition when The projects will Simpson opened on involve undergraduate September 24, 1860 Simpson students. ranged from $3 to Jackie Brittingham, $8 for a term of 13 associate professor of weeks, depending biology, received a on the field of study. grant from the Iowa Three terms a Science Foundation to year were offered. assist undergraduate Approximately 185 research in biology. The students studied at research will explore Simpson during its the regulation of gene expression during the first year. starlet sea anemone’s development and regeneration. Dave Camwell, assistant professor of

music, received a grant from the Iowa Arts Council for a recording project. He was recently awarded directorship of the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Region 3 Conference, which will be held at Simpson in March 2011.

Marci Carrasquillo, assistant professor of English, was awarded a $40,000 postdoctoral fellowship by the Ford Foundation and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.



The funding will enable Carrasquillo to spend the 2010-11 academic year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, completing the research for her first book project. Carrasquillo’s host will be UCSB’s Department of Feminist Studies. Bill Friedricks, professor of history, spoke at the Iowa City Public Library during the Irving B. Weber Days celebration. His talk was titled, “An Accidental Iowa Historian.” Fred Jones, professor of sociology and

criminal justice, was the outside review consultant for the University of Evansville’s Sociology Department in March.

Rosemary Link, associate vice president

for academic affairs, flew to Slovenia in April to visit the University of Ljubljana. She is working with colleagues at the university to create a student exchange program.

Tim McMillin, director of choral activities, led the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble in an intergenerational, collaborative concert with the Valley Singers of Valley High School. The Valley Singers are directed by Linda Vanderpool ’79. The groups combined forces under the baton of guest conductor Matthew D. Oltman ’97.

Professor of Education Steve Rose presented at the Future Educators of America/Phi Delta Kappa Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in February. Rose discussed his sabbatical research on how colleges and universities teach and promote appropriate dispositions (habits of heart and mind) in their preparation of teachers-to-be. Tom Schmidt, associate professor of management, has been elected as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees for Leadership Iowa University. Nancy St. Clair, professor of English,

served as discussion facilitator at the 2010 All Iowa Reads Book Discussion at the Indianola Public Library in April. The book discussed was Driftless by David Rhodes.

Professor of Theatre Arts Tom Woldt directed the production “Expecting Isabel” at the Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo, Minn., during his sabbatical. Kayla Dvorak ’09 acted in the play, and several others who assisted with the production had Simpson ties. ■

Professor of Philosophy John Pauley’s essay, “Faulkner’s Tragic Realism and the Impossibility of Theodicy,” has been accepted in Janus Head, an international, peer reviewed journal in philosophy, literature and the arts. James Poulsen, instructor of music,

recently completed a new jingle for MaidRite Corporation. It can be heard on TV and radio in 10 states.

Nick Proctor, professor of history,

attended the regional “Reacting to the Past” conference at University of Georgia in April. Proctor presented a project that he is working on titled, “Modernism v. Traditionalism: Art in Paris, 1888-89.”

David Richmond, associate professor of art,

displayed photographs in a one-man show in March in the Northern Galleries at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.

Brian Steffen, professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, received the 2010 Teacher of the Year award from the Small Programs Interest Group (SPIG) of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Steffen was nominated by Simpson graduate Nicole Cleveringa ’08. Cleveringa said Steffen’s passion for teaching was what made him her favorite professor. “Brian was and is my mentor, my professor and my friend,” Cleveringa said. “Education is his calling. I honestly cannot think of anyone who deserves this award more than him.”

Alan Batchelder ’60 and Senior Advancement Officer Chris Goodale ’86, plant a maple tree during Alumni Weekend.

Alpha Chi Omega annual luncheon.

ph oto by mar k bassett

Presidents’ Picnic.

ALUMNI WEEKEND ’10 B y A l a n B at c h e l d e r ’ 6 0

n 1879, Trustee George Griffith, aware that Simpson College stood on barren land, offered some soft maple seedlings to President Alexander Burns. Accepting the gift, Burns called each young man of the student body to plant the trees around campus. The maple saplings formed the basis for what became a Simpson hallmark and provided that memorable last line of our alma mater, “When beneath the whis’pring maples, we flaunted the Red and Gold.” Eleven years later, my grandparents, Samuel Stanley and Florence Hatfield, were attending Simpson College. Their love of Simpson eventually encouraged me to attend the college and led to a series of events that would allow the Red and Gold to be flaunted under the whispering maples once more. As you may know, a horrendous windstorm in 1953 severely damaged or blew down most of the massive maples, creating chaos on the campus and causing the loss of a fundamental element of the college’s presence. That same year, the Korean War draft called me to service in the Army Security Agency. Upon my release, I worked with the Convair Atlas Missile project in San Diego, drawing a most welcome $100 weekly wage. To my Stanley grandparents, the lure of such riches was a potential barrier to my obtaining a college degree. They made me an offer difficult to refuse: I would apply for and attend Simpson College and they would pay the first semester’s tuition. Within days, my other grandfather Eugene C. Batchelder called, saying he knew of the Stanleys’ offer and wanted me to know that he would pay my second semester’s tuition.

On Labor Day weekend in 1956, I set out from Lemon Grove in my ’49 Chevy. Five days later, I drove into an especially friendly Iowa town. Many people waved at me as I cheerfully drove three sides of the Indianola town square — the wrong way! Eye-opening, complex years followed. In spring of 1960, as managing editor of The Simpsonian, I wrote a column about the absence of enough maples to create a whisper. It stimulated the college’s purchase of a hundred trees as an early element of the Centennial celebration the following fall. A second event also occurred during that celebration. A new Simpson College flag that I designed — paid for by my Stanley grandparents and my great aunt Marcia Stanley Crellin — was first presented, making the flaunting of the Red and Gold a reality. I am proud to be a member of the Centennial Class of this incredible college and pleased to have had the opportunity to return to Simpson 50 years later, during Simpson’s Sesquicentennial year, for Alumni Weekend. For the Class of 1960, it was an opportunity to realize how much of our Simpson Experience we have carried with us for 50 years. For me, it was also the opportunity to resolve some unfinished business. I was able to symbolically plant a new maple tree, heralding a significant replanting in celebration of Simpson’s Sesquicentennial this fall. I told my classmates the story of Simpson’s ceremonial flag and handed that flag to the college in their name. ■ For more alumni weekend photos, visit THE MAGAZINE | S U M M E R 2 0 1 0


| a simpson space

college hall B y E mi ly S chett l er ’ 1 0

or many, it is the first thing they notice when they step foot on campus. Its regal bell tower and stately architecture make College Hall a focal point of Simpson College. But it has not always been that way. College Hall, known to some as Old Chapel, was one of the very first buildings constructed at Simpson, and completing the project proved challenging. It was scheduled to be completed in October 1868, but the contractor went bankrupt and was not able to finish the project. Under new direction, the building was completed two years later and the formal dedication took place on October 2, 1870. It served as an academic building and chapel for the flourishing school. However, over time, the oldest building on campus began to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance. It was deemed uncomfortable and even unsafe for classes, so in 1980, the windows were boarded up and heavy beams barricaded the front doors of the abandoned building. Students, faculty and alumni were determined to return the building to its former glory. That too was a challenge; opponents of the idea cited cost and the impracticality of renovating the building. Determination prevailed, however, and the building was rededicated on October 25, 1986. Today, College Hall is home to Simpson’s financial aid office and several meeting rooms on the second and third floors. The first floor houses the admissions office, where the grand building greets admiring prospective students day in and day out. Sigler Tower: The majestic bell tower is named in recognition of Luther L. Hill, Jr. and Sara Carpenter Hill for their dedication and financial support during the restoration of College Hall. The tower is named in honor of Sara Hill’s grandparents Frederick Carl and Sara Sigler. The Siglers were also strong supporters of the school. Bishop Simpson: One of many remembrances of the school’s namesake, a cast iron likeness hangs outside the Matthew Simpson Room on the second floor.



Spiral Staircase: The view of the main staircase is as breathtaking as the staircase itself with its rich wood flooring and bold red carpet runner. The stairs are also the source of one of Simpson’s oldest legends. Student Mildred Hedges died after taking a tumble from the top of the staircase 75 years ago. Many believe her spirit remains in the building. Honoring Service to Country: A bronze plaque on the third floor recognizes the nearly 200 men “who left Simpson’s halls to serve in the World War.”

College Hall has long stood as an iconic symbol of Simpson College.

Bedroom Set: The antique bedroom set tucked away in the Red and Gold Room was donated to Simpson by the estate of Matthew Simpson in the 1930s. It was last used in the president’s home as guestroom furniture by President Robert and Lue McBride. When President Stephen Jennings moved into the Sigler House, he needed the room for his family and the set was moved into College Hall.

Honor Roll of the Names that Live at Simpson: A 10-foot granite wall mounted on the north side of the Matthew Simpson Room is a permanent reminder of Simpson’s most distinguished faculty, alumni and benefactors. New names will be added during Simpson’s Sesquicentennial celebration. ■ For more pictures of College Hall, please visit

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| chaplain’s corner


SIMPSON COLLEGE. 150 years. Wow. So I found myself wondering . . . how does a college get named Simpson? uring my first year here, there have been several occasions when questions about history arose. I’ve learned to turn to the Simpson bible, Joe Walt’s Beneath The Whispering Maples. A little reading revealed origins that had much to do with the move of Methodists into the heartland and the deep connection between the faith of those settlers and the Methodist commitment to education.

DID YOU KNOW… The first Commencement at Simpson College was held in 1870. Six students graduated that year with Bachelor of Arts degrees: Brenton H. Badley, Emma M. Cary, Leonard B. Cary, Louisa Anderson, Imogene Hallam and Martha Posegate. Commencement addresses were given in Latin.

Here in Iowa this took shape during the 1850s at the Iowa Methodist Conference meetings, culminating with the decision to raise commitments to fund higher education. On August 1, 1860, those present at a meeting in Indianola about establishing a school pledged $1,800 to make it happen. The Western Iowa Conference of the Methodist Church decided later that month to also support this. On August 26, 1860, the officers of the Board of Trustees for the new Indianola Male and Female Seminary were elected and a fall term determined to begin. Did you catch that? The Indianola Male and Female Seminary. Okay, then how did we get to Simpson College?

We can thank Sam Vernon, according to Joe Walt. When Vernon returned to Indianola at the conclusion of the 1867 annual conference, he had the “one prize he had sought there.” The conference had renamed the Indianola school Simpson Centenary College. It was still an awkward name. Ultimately, eighteen years later, it was shortened to Simpson College, a name we now treasure. The Simpson in Simpson College was one Matthew Simpson, a Methodist Episcopal clergyman. Along with Henry Ward Beecher, Matthew Simpson was arguably the most well-known clergyman in the mid-1800s. It was a time when America celebrated its preachers.



In 1852, at the age of 40, Matthew Simpson was elected bishop at the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Simpson was known by and socialized with officials in the highest levels of the U.S. government. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his wife attended a wedding of one of his daughters. Bishop Simpson was the official orator at President Lincoln’s funeral in Springfield, Ill. Simpson, along with much of the Methodist leadership, strongly believed in education and the founding of schools. Sam Vernon had latched onto this for the school in Indianola. So what truly is in a name? Matthew Simpson only visited the college that bears his name once, in 1882, for the college’s Commencement. Since then, Simpson has come to describe an experience that yields well-rounded, responsible, global citizens. I imagine he would be pleased. ■

cover stor y |

A lot has changed in the last 150 years, but through it all, Simpson College has persevered. ertainly, we owe much to those who came before us, to the people who have kept the college alive and well in the face of significant adversity. It is because of their hard work and dedication that Simpson stands, better than ever, ready to help students meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. As we enter Simpson’s Sesquicentennial year, we are reminded that what we do today will help carry the college through the rest of the 21st century and beyond. In the pages that follow, five Simpson alumni, now in leadership roles at the college, reflect on their experiences at Simpson and discuss their hopes for its future.

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Jennifer ROSS ’85

pro fess o r o f theatre arts an d c o - chair o f the S es q uicentennia l C o mmittee

arly in the process of developing plans for the 150th celebration, the Sesquicentennial committee realized that while it was important to recognize and honor our past, it was essential that we acknowledged our 150-year history by also looking toward the future. One of our first official acts as a committee was to choose a theme for the year. It is never easy creating a theme for a Sesquicentennial celebration. Themes that try to sum up 150 years of experiences tend to sound, at best, overly clever or, at worst, trite and interchangeable. In true Simpson fashion, the committee members forged ahead and settled on a theme we felt best celebrated the past and present success of Simpson College while keeping an eye to the future: “Building on Our Traditions.” If I am being completely honest, I must acknowledge that I had a personal stake in the theme “Building on Our Traditions.” It was important to me because it alluded to the potential for changes to the buildings on campus.



As the committee began the process of planning the Sesquicentennial, we were edging ever closer to completing the fundraising campaign for the renovation of and addition to the Blank Performing Arts Center. As a member of the theatre department, I longed for the day when we could teach our students in classrooms (rather than the lobby) and make the space accessible for those with limited mobility. Oh, I was also imagining a future that included an office with windows. I am pleased to report that a groundbreaking ceremony was held during Alumni Weekend that launched the building phase of the project. So yes, at Simpson College, throughout our 150th celebration of “Building on Our Traditions,” we will have a physical symbol of growth for the future of Simpson. The building is also a very visible reminder of the determination of many in the Simpson community to make something happen even, or particularly, when the process is difficult.

I am hopeful for the future of Simpson College. We have made it through many turbulent times but somehow the institution has been able to thrive. I think this is because there have always been people associated with Simpson — faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, board members, benefactors and students — who have been willing to work hard and do more with less. These people have cared about each other and the college enough to push on toward the next goal. I don’t think we are terribly flashy at Simpson (and perhaps we could do with some more flash every now and then). What Simpson is, who we are, are people who sincerely care about creating valuable experiences for our students so that they can build on their education as they move into the world.

THE MAGAZINE | S U M M E R 2 0 1 0


ph oto by Pat T ierney ’ 1 1 .

Deb Oswald ’79

v ice presi d ent f o r enro l l ment

t is difficult for me to believe it has been 30 years since I returned to Simpson to start my “new” Simpson Experience as an admissions counselor. Thousands of recruitment miles, phone calls and visits to high schools and college fairs have transpired since then. Each and every day I have the privilege of seeing how a Simpson education enriches the lives of so many. One of the intrinsic rewards of my job is to watch how the Simpson Experience unfolds for each student. Over the years, names and faces have changed, more stateof-the-art buildings now grace the campus and technology has become a mainstay in the academic and social fabric of the institution. But the heart and soul of the Simpson Experience remains much the same and continues to have a lasting and powerful impact upon students. The very best aspects of the Simpson Experience have endured throughout the generations, and there is comfort in knowing many of the time-honored traditions continue. At the same time, there has never been a more exciting time to be a part of Simpson College than right now. Today, students have opportunities and experiences that would have been hard to imagine years ago. Undergraduate research experiences, internships, study abroad courses, community service options and leadership programs provide unique opportunities for involvement in the classroom and beyond. These opportunities are as varied as the students who seek them and contribute to Simpson’s vibrant academic and student life environment. The day new students arrive on campus in the fall and Commencement in the spring are two of my favorite events at the college. To be a part of the excitement when new students begin their Simpson Experience is energizing. It is a wonderful 18


reminder that Simpson attracts outstanding students, each bringing their own talents and gifts to Simpson. I also enjoy Commencement and marvel at the impressive accomplishments students achieve during their years at Simpson. It is a time for reflection on what continues to make Simpson such a special place. I keep this quote from Simpson alumnus Ira Hatfield ’27 by my desk because I believe it captures Simpson’s legacy and also what will endure for future Simpson students: “…at Simpson I got the vision that life could be astounding, filled with dreams and accomplishments.” Here’s to the next 150 years and the dreams and accomplishments of future Simpson students!

ampus diversity means more than the fact that Simpson College admitted George Washington Carver when other colleges and universities wouldn’t. Campus diversity takes multiple forms and evokes consciousness and understanding of others for students, faculty and administrators alike. The Simpson Experience represents people of different identities and backgrounds who all have contributed to making Simpson what it is. Simpson’s mission statement demands that we acknowledge the need for social justice in our community and in our world. Following the 1960s, Simpson’s campus climate was influenced by students from diverse ethnic identities and broad geographical backgrounds. The campus experience reflected these differences. For me, as an 18-year-old Simpson student coming from an all black community, my consciousness was raised by becoming aware of other cultures on Simpson’s campus. Some avoided these experiences, but I welcomed them and grew because of the influence of diversity at Simpson during that time. Over the past few years, we have increased our student population of underrepresented groups. Despite that accomplishment, the goal of creating a diverse campus climate is still important today and must be continued. Some of the ways we utilize diversity at Simpson today include travel courses, service-learning courses and diverse campus activities. Supporting ethnic identity on campus remains an important goal. The purpose of the Office of Multicultural and International Affairs is to provide a structure of support to help students grow in their Simpson Experience by offering encouragement and ways of involvement. This leads to increased retention and graduation rates for underrepresented groups and enhances the quality of the college experience for all students. A current project of Simpson’s multicultural affairs office is to establish mentoring programs for underrepresented students because they can help students develop their own successes. Mentoring programs are an effective way for students to get to know each other and other professionals. These programs allow students to create intellectual challenges and establish channels of frequent and consistent communication. One of the things Simpson needs to continue to work on is a coordinated student support system for diverse student populations. Continued greatness comes from the ability to understand ourselves in our own identity as well as the contributions of others in our collective diversity.

walter ’81

A ssistant Dean F O R M u lticu ltura l an d I nternati o na l A ffairs

THE MAGAZINE | S U M M E R 2 0 1 0


leslie midget ’86 Directo r o f A l umni R e l ati o ns

Many of you may remember the Grade Cup, which remains one of the most coveted awards on campus. Each semester, the cup is given to the men’s and women’s housing units with the highest cumulative GPA for the previous semester. The competition for the cup these days is nothing short of fierce. I’ve discovered students studying on Saturday nights with the goal of winning in mind.

t was probably better I didn’t realize as a high school senior that my choice of a college would set the stage for how I would spend the rest of my life. It would influence my selection of friends, my beliefs, where I would choose to live and whom I would marry. I was naïve enough to think I was simply choosing how I would spend the next four years. Fortunately, I chose well: a great school where getting involved was as easy as raising my hand. At graduation, I assumed my Simpson Experience was complete. Little did I know, it was just beginning. When I returned to campus nearly three years ago as director of alumni relations, I looked forward to renewing friendships and making a contribution. In addition, I’m discovering a deeper appreciation for Simpson, our history and the traditions that connect us. Beloved traditions like Campus Day, in the early days called “Flunk Day,” have created fond memories for multiple generations of Simpson alumni. The camaraderie between students, staff, faculty and alumni during Campus Day is just as evident today as it was when I was a student. 20


Other memories that take our alumni back include Miniature Orpheum, All College Sing and Homecoming competitions. At one time pinnings were announced in The Simpsonian, much like engagements, and always justified a serenade. How many of our older couples met in Chapel? Surely, we all stole kisses beneath the whispering maples. Many of these traditions remain an important part of the Simpson Experience, even as new ones evolve. My class, the Class of 1986, placed a bronze seal in the sidewalk in front of Old Chapel (now College Hall) to celebrate its reopening. We had no idea that future generations would believe stepping on it was bad luck and would cause them to fail their next test. Many students skip over it on their way across campus. The College Gates were a gift from the Class of 1912. In the 1990s, they sparked one of our most touching traditions. Each fall, on Move-In Day, first-year students gather with their families in the quad for a ceremony. In the midst of a hymn, the students rise and hug their loved ones goodbye. As a class, they walk through the gates together to begin their journey as students. Four years later, on Commencement Day, members of the class walk back through the gates in the opposite direction to symbolize the completion of their journey as students. Little do they know, their Simpson Experience has just begun.

s I reflect upon my relationship with Simpson and those whom I have come to know as a result of my Simpson Experience, I have realized it is a relationship that has grown over the years and has a multitude of layers. Whether as a student in the late 1970s or most recently as a vice president for the college, my Simpson Experience continues to mold and shape my life, much like it has done for many Simpson alumni. I arrived at Simpson in the fall of 1977 knowing only a handful of people, most of whom I had met during my campus visit my senior year of high school. Little did I know then that many of these people would continue to be my friends, family and colleagues throughout the rest of my life. In fact, like more than 2,700 alumni, I met my spouse beneath the whispering maples. My Simpson Experience took on new meaning when I returned to campus six months following my graduation to work as an admissions counselor and as a coach. I was given the rare opportunity to give back to the college and provide other prospective students with the same opportunities I had as an undergraduate. The impact this would have on me was far greater than the impact my work would have on Simpson. I moved from admissions into the Office of College Advancement and, once again, I was given a unique opportunity to repay my alma mater for the education, friendships and opportunities it had provided me. I had a wonderful mentor in then-President Robert McBride and am grateful for the influence he had on my ever-evolving Simpson Experience. It wasn’t until this point in my life I realized how much the future of Simpson meant to me as an alumnus and how the college’s reputation had significantly improved compared to when I arrived on campus as a freshman. As the layers of my relationship with Simpson deepened, so did my responsibility to give back. Nearly four years ago, yet another layer of my Simpson Experience came to pass as my daughter chose Simpson. Now, as the parent of a recent graduate and a current student (my son), my appreciation for and pride in Simpson has taken on a whole new perspective. Whether your own Simpson Experience is that of a single layer or multiple layers, please know the college has grown and prospered over the last several years due to the support of its alumni and friends. The future of Simpson will most assuredly be bright if we honor Simpson with our own layers of support. ■

bob ’81 Vice P resi d ent f o r C o l l ege A dvancement

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| athletics


tradition B y J o hn S irianni | d irecto r o f ath l etics

he history and tradition during the early years of Simpson College athletics speak loudly about the quality of athletes and programs that established the landscape of what would become the Simpson athletic experience. Some stand-out moments from the early years include: the tremendous success of the men’s track teams with nine conference championships from 1936 to 1947; the six football championships in the 1920s and 1930s; the basketball successes of the early 1940s; the Mineral



Water Bowl experience in 1969; and the 1958 conference champion baseball team and its run in the NAIA National Championships. Simpson Hall of Fame athletes like Kenneth “Moco” Mercer ’28, Joe Blake ’71 and Laurie Sanky Wood ’85 were coached by outstanding people like Hap Miller, Les Deaton ’47, Frank Casey, John Sullivan and John Curtin. In the mid 1980s, President Robert McBride made a strong commitment to re-establish athletic strength at Simpson. Throughout the decade and beyond, Simpson reintroduced itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Iowa Conference. After winning only four IIAC championships from 1960

Some of Sirianni’s Favorite Moments athletics | • Jim Williams leading the Simpson football team to four IIAC titles and five NCAA Division III Championship appearances from 19872001, making the national semifinals in 1997. • Jerry Fitzsimmons leading the women’s cross country team to four conference titles from 1986-90. • Track & field decathlete and 2000 Olympian Kip Janvrin ’88 winning five national titles, including three in the decathlon. • Football running back Deric “Ricky” Gales ’94 receiving the National Small College Player of the Year award in 1989. • Head coach Shelley Scott (O’Meara) winning two IIAC championships in softball and six in volleyball from 1985-98. • Head coach Bob Darrah leading the wrestling team to an IIAC title in 1991 and winning seven titles in women’s golf. • The 1991 baseball team becoming the first Division III program in Iowa to advance to the NCAA World Series. • Bruce Wilson ’76 winning the men’s basketball team’s first conference title in 42 years in 1992. • The success of Henry Christowski and the softball team, who won national championships in 1997 and 1999 and saw Kelly Schade (Fry) ’99 win the 1998-99 Honda Division III Athlete of the Year award. • Nick Ackerman ’01 becoming the first NCAA Division III wrestler to win the Hodge Award for the best wrestler in the nation in 2001. • Ron Peterson and the Simpson wrestling team placing in the top 10 at nationals three years in a row, from 2004-06.

through 1985, Simpson won 44 during the next 15 years.

indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships in 2010.

Since the turn of the century, Simpson’s women’s sports have moved to the forefront. Brian Niemuth and the women’s basketball team have won six Iowa Conference titles, appeared in six consecutive NCAA tournaments and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2007 and 2008. In volleyball, head coach Lana Smith won a pair of conference crowns and made three trips to the postseason while Henry Christowski’s softball teams made three NCAA appearances and captured the conference crown in 2010. Bob Darrah and the women’s golf team won conference titles in 2002 and 2006, while Dave Cleveland coached the women’s track and field team to top-20 finishes at both the

On the men’s side, the baseball team made an NCAA regional appearance in 2004 and won the conference championship in 2006. The football team went 9-1 and made a playoff appearance in 2003. As Simpson heads into its next 150 years, President John Byrd has committed to continuing to make athletics a part of the outstanding Simpson Experience. To ensure that our studentathletes have a phenomenal experience, we continue to improve our support programs in academics, life skills, athletic training, strength and conditioning and career preparation. ■ THE MAGAZINE | S U M M E R 2 0 1 0


The father and son duo reflect on their time as members of two distinctly different eras in Simpson’s football history.

DID YOU KNOW… Members of the Council of Independent Colleges were on campus during Campus Day in 1987. The members watched as the campus community, including President Robert McBride, worked together to clean up campus and relay brick walkways, and they heard much praise about the college’s growth. As the CIC members left the next morning, one remarked, “You know, this is one hell of a place.”

What position did you play?

Fred Jones: I started as a guard on offense and defensive tackle and middle linebacker on defense during my freshman year at Simpson. I played most of my freshman year with a chain attached to a belt around my waist and to my wrist. I still played every game even though my left arm was not usable. I went out my sophomore year but reinjured my shoulder. For the last two years at Simpson, I helped with practices and on game days. Jason Jones: I was recruited as a center but ended up playing right guard.

How many players were on the roster when you played at Simpson?

FJ: When my twin brother, Floyd, and I reported to football as freshmen there were 33 on the roster. By the end of the year we did not have enough healthy people to scrimmage in practice. JJ: My freshman year we finished the season with right around 100 players.



What were the crowds like? Did the team have a lot of support?

FJ: Simpson had the longest losing streak in the nation at the time. I think it was 60-plus conference games in a row that Simpson had lost. We had about as many people in the stands as we had on the roster. JJ: Football was popular when I played. The crowds were great. As a team, we had a lot of success. That added to the crowds and the fun. How does today’s football program compare to the program during the years you played?

FJ: The game today is much more scientific than when I played, and the athletes spend far more time at football than when I played. There is much more film review. The playbooks are far more sophisticated and the athletes are far better today. When I see what the athletes have in Cowles for off-season workouts, I am amazed. They have a weight trainer that sets a lifting schedule that is designed to help them become better athletes. In my day at Simpson you were just told to lift weights but there was no program. I am sure that much of what we did with weights did us no good on the field. We had no trainers; in fact, we often taped each other’s ankles. JJ: I don’t believe the time commitment today is greater than what we were putting in, but I do not know the ins and outs of the program now. Coach Jim Glogowski has done a great job of trying to bring the football alumni back into the program. I am grateful for that. I think Coach Glogowski is doing all the right things to keep Simpson football at the top of the Iowa Conference. ■

ph oto submitte d.

red Jones’ knowledge of Simpson football spans nearly five decades. Since 1970, he has counseled numerous student-athletes in his role of professor of sociology and criminal justice, but he has also been an athlete and a fan. In 1962, Jones ’66 played at the college when Simpson had one of the longest losing streaks in the nation, and he watched his son, Jason, play during some of Simpson’s most successful football seasons in the early 90s.

ph oto submitte d.

Football history

a champion s far as great moments go, it was one for the history books. Not only would alumnus Nick Ackerman’s national wrestling championship title go down as one of the crowning moments in Simpson’s athletic history, it would also be remembered as the greatest moment in the history of collegiate athletics. Ackerman ’01 defeated the reigning national champion from Augsburg, Nick Slack — who had a 60-match winning streak — 13-11 in the final match of the Division III Wrestling Championships in 2001. His victory over Slack has been named one of the 25 most defining moments in NCAA history by ESPN and the No. 1 most dramatic NCAA Championship victory by NCAA Champion Magazine. Former Simpson Wrestling Coach Ron Peterson called the victory “stunning.” “For six or seven minutes, Nick dominated the match,” Peterson said. “It was unbelievable to see him go out there and compete like that.” The victory itself was impressive, but what caught the nation’s attention was that Ackerman was a double amputee. Having lost the lower half of his legs to bacterial meningitis as a baby, Ackerman wrestled on his knees. During his Simpson wrestling career, Ackerman received many accolades, including the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Medal of Courage and the Hodge Trophy, the Heisman Trophy of college wrestling. Ackerman said at Simpson he was “given the tools needed to be successful by the coaches around me.” “My first two years at Simpson were met with limited victories and learning lessons, one grueling practice after another,” Ackerman said. “I would get beaten on in tournaments but was also given the opportunity to improve. Ron Peterson and the entire coaching staff at Simpson turned me into a national champion in 2001. I beat an undefeated returning national champion in a match I wasn’t supposed to win, or for that matter, even be in. Simpson College taught me many things, but ‘surround yourself with good people, and good things will happen’ is one that I will never forget.” Now a certified prosthetist, Ackerman works for American Prosthetics and Orthotics in Davenport. In 2008, he married his wife Rachel and in 2009, the couple had their first child, Mason — one of the happiest moments in Ackerman’s life. “I was told after winning the national title that it would be the most memorable thing in my life,” he said. “Man were they wrong.” ■ THE MAGAZINE | S U M M E R 2 0 1 0


After a long journey, Erika Amfahr celebrates on her graduation day.

| extra!

a life changed rika Amfahr was a junior at Simpson when her life, as she described it, “turned upside down.” Driving home to Grundy Center in a winter storm in January 2007, Erika was involved in multi-car accident. Her vehicle was hit head-on.

Through all the ups and downs, Cathy said the family never gave up hope Erika would get her life back. “Every time we’d wheel her past the doors [at On With Life], we told her she would be walking out of there,” said Cathy. “And she did. She is a tough little cookie.”

Erika and her family never gave up on the goal of her The accident left her in a coma, unresponsive and unable returning to Simpson, either. to move the left side of her body. She was hospitalized in the ICU at Mercy Medical “I just wanted it back to how it used to be,” I got the Center in Des Moines with a traumatic brain Erika said of her desire to finish her degree at injury, and doctors warned her parents she information for Simpson. might never recover. Yet, a little over three years later, Erika walked across the stage at the Simpson College Commencement to receive her diploma. Her mother calls her “a miracle.”

graduation, and I started to cry because this is just a dream. - Cathy Amfahr

“[Graduation] has been a goal of hers, and she is just so proud,” said Cathy Amfahr. The journey, of course, hasn’t been easy. After spending about five weeks at Mercy, Erika was transferred to On With Life, a brain injury rehabilitation center in Ankeny, where she spent the next five-and-a-half months. Though Erika has little memory of her accident or recovery, her mother said it was like starting life all over again. Erika had to relearn even the most basic skills.



After leaving On With Life, Erika continued to work toward that dream. In the fall of 2008, she enrolled in one class at Simpson before moving back to campus in the spring of 2009.

Last semester, she took two classes and worked three internships — at Victoria’s Boutique in Indianola, in the sports information office at Simpson and at the Residence Inn in Des Moines — to finish the credits needed to graduate. Erika isn’t sure what the future holds but said she would like to begin a career in retail in Des Moines. For now, she is taking it one day at a time, moving forward with a newfound appreciation for the little things in life. “Looking back on that, it was a devastating thing that happened, yes,” she said. “It completely changed my life, but it also made me value and appreciate the things I hadn’t in the past.” ■


Pulitzer prize impson College alumna Christine Willmsen ’93 was one of the recipients of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting. Willmsen, who majored in communication and media studies at Simpson, was part of a team of Seattle Times reporters that received the Pulitzer for the Times’ coverage of the tragic shooting deaths of four Seattle-area police officers and the subsequent manhunt for the former convict suspected of the crime. Willmsen called the award “a huge honor for our newspaper, for me, for our staff.”

Z enith , 1 9 0 5 .

In addition to coverage of the initial shootings, the Times’ staff worked to create a complete profile of the troubled past of suspect Maurice Clemmons, who evaded authorities for more than 40 hours before being shot and killed by a police officer. “Covering this tragedy was really a team effort on the part of the Seattle Times newsroom,” Willmsen said. B y Ros e m a ry L i n k | asso c i at e v i c e p r e s i d e n t f o r ac a d e m i c a f fa i r s

experienced students hen we examine the early student histories more closely we realize that their story is the story of Simpson College – a place where, as the mission says, we “serve students of all ages” and embrace the idea of lifelong learning. From the earliest editions of the Zenith we see students of varying ages. It seems as though economic depression and the two world wars were the periods when the student populations and age ranges fluctuated the most. In 1946, the efforts to understand the impact of war on the student population were noted in an essay in the Zenith: “A lot of our friends were called into active service. I don’t think we fully realized just what was to happen … such a change was abrupt and hard to take. When the fall of 1946 came, we began to see a lot more familiar faces, but we couldn’t get used to the fact that they were usually two classes behind.” Since that time the college literary journal, the Sequel, has charted the waters of experienced students. While the Evening, Weekend & Graduate Programs has only been officially established since 1980, we celebrate 150 years of offering our welcome to younger students, experienced students and students who look to Simpson to inspire, renew and build their careers and communities. ■

Willmsen’s reporting career began as a member of the Simpsonian staff while attending Simpson College. Willmsen said the communication courses she took at Simpson, particularly courses that covered ethics and news reporting, are “one of the things that helped me be where I am today.” “I also wouldn’t be here celebrating this great achievement without the education and guidance I received at Simpson College,” she said. Willmsen has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times in her career, once at the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and twice at the Seattle Times. ■

president & CEO eter Galanis ’88 was named president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Corporation in March. Galanis is responsible for all aspects of HP operations in Canada, as well as business development initiatives, such as alliances and partnerships, to increase HP’s presence in the country. Galanis, who joined HP in 2006, has more than 18 years of IT industry and enterprise experience. In addition to his undergraduate degree from Simpson, Galanis received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa in 1996. ■ THE MAGAZINE | S U M M E R 2 0 1 0


Decades of dedication r. Robert Larsen, professor of music, has retired from his role as a full-time member of the Simpson College faculty. He will continue to teach for the college on a part-time basis. Larsen ’56 joined the Simpson College faculty in the fall of 1957 and served as chair of the music department from 1965 to 1999. During his tenure at the college, Larsen helped to build the college’s national Dr. Robert Larsen reputation as an excellent undergraduate institution for music and opera studies. Larsen also played a major role in shaping the music and arts scene in central Iowa with the founding of the Des Moines Metro Opera in 1973. Until this season, Larsen served as the DMMO’s artistic director and provided stage and musical direction for every production for 37 years. Under his leadership,

any would describe Dr. Cliff Meints as stern, yet easy going. Fifty-two years at Simpson haven’t affected his sense of humor, and his personality is as colorful as the bow ties he wears to class each day. On the eve of transition to a part-time faculty member, he jokingly told the student newspaper his reason for teaching part time was that if he collapsed, it would be easier for Dr. Cliff Meints the department to replace him than if he was still teaching a full coarse load. But when the George Washington Carver Professor of Chemistry delivered the annual Watson Lecture in April, he was all business. “Let’s not forget that a liberal education does not mean that an individual has gained the freedom to act boorish or even oblivious of those around himself,” he reminded those in the audience. “You are a part of the American public and must play a supportive role in that civilization.”



the DMMO grew to be an internationally recognized summer opera program that has attracted people from all over the world. Building such a renowned opera company in an unlikely location was a remarkable feat, said Michael Egel ’96, director of artistic operations for DMMO. “There are a lot of people who try such things but not many people accomplish them,” Egel said. In addition to his work at Simpson and the Des Moines Metro Opera, Larsen has worked as a conductor, pianist, stage director and accompanist and has taught master classes around the country. Larsen has received numerous honors during his illustrious career, including the Iowa Governor’s Award for musical contributions to the state in 1974 and the Iowa Arts Award in 1999. He was also a two-time recipient of Simpson’s faculty award for distinguished research.

For example, he said the school used to provide etiquette training in which students would learn the appropriate way to greet faculty and how to behave at a dinner party. He encouraged students to be polite and pay attention to their grooming and dress, as students had once been required to do, saying it would help “raise the civility level on our streets and in our politics.” It is this same attention to detail that students said made Meints such a great professor. “Although his classes were challenging, I always knew that he really did care about whether or not we learned the material,” Randy Olson ’94 said. “Looking back, that’s one of the things that I most appreciate about the instructors that I’ve had that are memorable.” Meints joined the Simpson faculty in 1957 after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and his master’s degree from Ohio University. He completed his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma the same year. Meints was appointed as the George Washington Carver chair in science and has been the only professor to receive such recognition. ■

upcoming events |

On Our Calendar August 2-6 Iowa Private College Week 28

Move-in day for first-year students


Fall semester begins



Simpson Theatre presents “Betrayal”


Fall Opera

november 4 “Mary Poppins” event at the Des Moines Civic Center

september 2 Fall Convocation


Simpson Theatre presents “Learned Ladies”


Fall Visit Day for prospective students


Matthew Simpson Lecture

Wayne Carse Storm Athletic Benefit


Simpson’s 150th Birthday Celebration

Presidents’ Society Dinner


Simpson College as an honored community at Warren County Log Cabin Days

February 18-20 Spring Opera


Simpson Sunday at First United Methodist Church, brunch to follow with the unveiling of additions to The Honor Roll of the Names That Live at Simpson

june 24-25


McBride Lecture and Carver Symposium

october 1 Simpson Athletics Red & Gold Celebration 2-3

december 4-5 Madrigal Dinners 12

Lessons & Carols

Alumni Weekend

For details and a complete schedule of events, go to or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 515-961-1544 or 800610-6369.

Homecoming & Family Weekend

Amy Robertson ’21 donated the largest gift ever given to the college. Robertson — described by Joe Walt as a “woman of courage, fiercely independent, an earthy pioneer, strong-willed and given to forceful opinions” with an “entrepreneurial spirit” — became the seventh woman to ever sit on the board of trustees in 1951. For years, Robertson declined to give money to the college, but in 1980 donated $600,000 for the new music building. When she passed away on May 31, 1992, at the age of 94, she left her estate, valued at nearly $10 million, to Simpson.

the honor roll of the names that live at Simpson Every five years, we are honored to add names of distinguished alumni, faculty and benefactors to the granite wall, known as the Honor Roll of the Names That Live at Simpson. Located in the Matthew Simpson Room of College Hall, the Honor Roll is a permanent reminder of the significant contributions made by those listed. We are pleased to announce that the following names will be unveiled during our Sesquicentennial celebration: Robert Larsen ’56, Distinguished Alumni E.G. Booth, Distinguished Faculty

Wayne L. Hammerand, Honored Benefactor Fred & Charlotte Hubbell, Honored Benefactors Richard & Ruth Root, Honored Benefactors Simpson will honor these individuals Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. in the Matthew Simpson Room. On Sept. 26, Simpson Sunday will be celebrated at the First United Methodist Church in Indianola featuring Dr. Bruce Haddox. For more details, go to To make a reservation for brunch, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 515-961-1544 or

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| touring the years CLASS NOTES Winifred Heaton Cox ’40 is retired and living in Aptos, Calif. She keeps busy with volunteer activities for the Methodist Church, YWCA thrift shop, and hospital. Beverly Shelgren Lauderdale ’59 lives in Martinez, Calif., with her husband, Bob. Beverly is self employed as a writer. Her latest novel, “In Franklin’s House,” was recently released by Oak Tree Press. Billed as a paranormal story, the book, a grand prize winner in Oak Tree’s annual contest, is set in contemporary Iowa and California. Martha Hann Jordan ’62 is retired after 33 years of social work. She and her husband, Grant, manage a small farm that has been in the family for four generations. Martha and Grant live in Winterset with children, Pendy, Zoe and Matthew. Tom Murr ’63 was selected by the Iowa Girls Athletic Union to receive “The Golden Plaque of Distinction to the Superlative Iowa Coach.” Tom was the 69th girls coach to be recognized by the Iowa Girls Athletic Union. H. Roger Grant ’66 recently had his 27th book, “Twilight Rails: The Final Era of Railroad Building in the Midwest,” published by University of Minnesota Press. Roger resides in Central, S.C. Laurence Kunstler ’66 is retired and lives in Indio, Calif., with his wife, Mary. Dave Hodgson ’69 and his wife, Susie, reside in Sandwich, Ill. Dave took an early retirement after four years in the Navy, 23 years with Walgreen’s Company and 13 years with Phillip’s Flowers. Dave and Susie now enjoy traveling throughout the U.S. Steve McGraw ’69, basketball coach at Waterloo East, was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame during the state tournament in March.



FIRESIDE CHAT Patricia Murphy Steege ’69, recently retired from teaching, was honored in February at the PTA Founder’s Day by the Hackettstown, N.J. PTA and given an honorary life membership in the N.J. Congress of Parents and Teachers. Janice Wohlenhaus Ratcliff ’72 is retired and resides in Ankeny with her husband, Randall Ratcliff ’73. Cindy Carlson ’75 is a realtor for Prudential First Realty in West Des Moines. Nancy Kaye-Skinner ’75 has been appointed Elkhorn Valley District Superintendent for the United Methodist Church in Nebraska. James Ernst ’76 is owner of Northern California Thermography Clinics and resides in Benicia, Calif. Jennifer Goldman del Pino ’77 is the new director of career services at Simpson College. Steve Hoskins ’78 is vice president, life and agency operations, for Pharmacists Mutual Companies. In 2008, he received his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from the American College. Steve was recently recognized as the American College “Wealth Hero” on its daily Wealth Channel segment. Steve, his wife, Sandy, and their three children reside in Algona. Louis Gralewski ’79 resides in Oconto, Wis., with his wife, Nancy, and adopted nine-year old son, Austin. Louis and Nancy have enjoyed nearly four years with Austin. Diane Hayes ’79 has a private voice studio in Indianapolis, Ind. She is starting her 9th year teaching for The Music Playhouse (early childhood music education) and has two sons who are very active in music and fine musicians in their own rights. Steven Johnson ’81 is president/ chief operating officer at Careview Communications in Lewisville, Texas.

You are cordially invited to attend “A Fireside Chat with President John Byrd. “ As a special part of Simpson’s Sesquicentennial year, President Byrd will visit 15 selected cities representing the 15 decades of Simpson. Alumni and friends will have a unique opportunity to visit with President Byrd in a local home over a cup of coffee as he answers questions and shares his thoughts and dreams for Simpson. President Byrd looks forward to seeing friends of Simpson in the following cities in 2010-2011: Atlanta Dallas Iowa City/Cedar Atlantic Denver Rapids Boston Des Moines Minneapolis Chicago Indianapolis New York City Council Bluffs/ Indianola Ottumwa Omaha San Francisco Details will be announced on and in Simpson’s monthly electronic newsletter, Simpson Connections. To subscribe, make sure Simpson has your current email at connected/update.html.

Jack Jetmund ’83 is chief of the Office of Workforce Services for the U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington, D.C. He recently received his Master of Public Administration degree in executive leadership from American University. Jack is a member of the public administration honors fraternity, Pi Alpha Alpha, and finished his thesis/action learning project, “How do we create a robust, rolling intern program that produces qualified entry-level employees and fosters placement of them throughout the organization?” The project will create a lasting legacy of learning for the Bureau of Economic analysis as it churns out newly minted entry-level employees, filling a gap previously identified by management as a deficiency. Stephen Kimball ’83 is a supply technician for the U.S. Army ROTC at Western Illinois University. Stephen received his BBA from the University of Management and Technology in 2009. Stephen and his wife, Viola, reside in Macomb, Ill.

Steve Mokate ’83 works in sales for San-J International in Texas. He is also a part-time actor, completing three films this year: “Hanna’s Gold,” “Devolved” and “Losing Faith” and also several commercials. Steve lives in Garland, Texas, with his wife, Jan, and children, Travis, Taylor, Shannon, Erin and Blake. Bob McGranaghan ’85 lives in Kansas City with his wife, Nancy, where he is self employed. Paul Muench ’86 lives in Sandy, Utah, with his wife, Kirsten. Paul is president of Molina Healthcare of Utah in Midvale. Michael Lowe ’87 and Suzanne Garrison Lowe ’90 celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in May. Edwin Vazquez-Trujillo ’98 lives in Merida, Yucatan, with his wife, Nelda, and daughters, Nelda and Karen. Edwin is a seafood exporter. Susan Parks Francis ’91 is a patient services coordinator for the National Marrow Donor Program in Minneapolis, Minn.

Dave Teske ’91 has been promoted to sales manager of Carroll Coolers, Inc. In his new position, he will manage the customer service and sales departments. Dave, his wife and three children reside north of Carroll. He and his wife, Dayna, have established a non-profit organization, Dreams Made True, Inc., dedicated to enhancing the lives of girls with special needs, ages 5-25, and giving their families an opportunity to connect and learn from each other. To learn more about this organization, contact Tom Galbraith ’92 has been named assistant commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in Birmingham, Ala. Tim Kluender ’93 and Sherry Kent Kluender ’95 recently moved to Manchester from Iowa Falls. Tim accepted a position as executive vice president with F&M Savings Bank in Manchester, where he oversees a staff of 20 employees and serves as the agriculture and commercial lender in the office. Elizabeth Carlton Gomez ’94 is a bilingual counselor for the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston, Texas, where she resides with her husband, William.

In August, Jodee Junge ‘94 will begin a two-year contract teaching 5th grade at the Casablanca American School in Casablanca, Morocco.

Kellie Schmitz Hodgson ’98 is an assistant controller for Centura Health in Denver, Colo. She lives in Parker with her husband, Wesley, and sons, Cade and Bennett.

Ed Leighton-Dick ’94 is a database administrator for GreatAmerica Leasing Corp. in Cedar Rapids.

Andrew Paugh ’98 is medical services coordinator for Logistics Health, Inc., in La Crosse, Wis.

Donn Stanley ’95, a veteran Iowa strategist, is taking a leave of absence from his current position in the Iowa Attorney General’s office to become the new manager of the Culver/Judge campaign. Chad Timm ’95 recently accepted a tenure-track position as an assistant professor of education at Grand View University in Des Moines. Travis Richter ’97, Baton Rouge, La., is an adjunct professor of music at Baton Rouge Community College. He performed the role of Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore for Nevada Opera in February and returned to the Des Moines Metro Opera this summer to perform the role of Little Bat in “Susannah” and Don Basilio in “The Marriage of Figaro.”

The first Simpson Athletics Red and Gold Celebration will be held Friday, Oct. 1 in Great Hall to honor the following: 2010 Simpson Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees Clint Head ’99, football Deanne Wischmeier Parrott ’98, softball Hannah Willenborg Wickham ’00, golf Guy Leman ’99, football Alicia Vegas Sams ’00, soccer DOUBLE S AWARD WINNERS Mitch Anderson ’82, wrestling Geoff Christy ’92, baseball Jeff Hartung ’92, baseball and football dick buxton award winner Allison Fleming, Trustee For more information on the inductees and award winners, please visit

Christian Guenther ’99 recently accepted a new football coaching position as defensive coordinator at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. Emily Roush-Summers ’99 is marketing director for Westview Care Center in Indianola. Michael Edwards ’01 is campaign director for Defeat Poverty D.C. in Washington, D.C. Megan Jameson Hardin ’01 graduated with her master’s degree in student affairs and higher education from Indiana State University in May. Sara Detlefsen Lloyd ’01 and her husband, Tom, graduated from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas. They recently relocated to West Des Moines and are currently practicing at Enhanced Health Chiropractic. Leah Van Maaren Carolan ’02 is director of worship at Cedar Hills Community Church in Cedar Rapids. She and her husband, Rick, are active in missions and worship in venues across eastern Iowa. Leah recently launched to record their musical journey. Brett Clark ’02 resides in Shawnee, Kan., with his wife, Bobbie, and two sons, Colton (4) and Carter (2). Lisa Glick Darling ’02 is vice president at BlackRock in New York, N.Y. Mark Gelbman ’02 is an associate wealth management advisor for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. in Des Moines. He recently passed the March 2010 certified financial planner exam. Lindsey Masters McKay ’02 lives in Deming, N.M., with her husband, Christopher. Both work for the Department of Homeland Security.

Steve Tyler ’57 of Houston, Texas, and Don Heins ’68 of Omaha, Neb., met for the first time aboard the Oceania “Regatta” en route to Casablanca, Morocco in March, 2010. They are pictured with their wives Martha and Jean. Lindsey Wood Taylor ’02 will be graduating from her emergency medicine residency in August. She will then start her new job in Kansas City, Mo., in emergency medicine. Jennifer Reschly Piffer ’03 teaches kindergarten for Indianola Community Schools. Tim Reuter ’03 is director of education for Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity. In March, he presented research at the annual meetings of the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) and ACPA (College Student Educators International) with his programs titled, “A Values Based Student Development Initiative: An Empirical Study” and “A New Fraternity Legacy: Movement to Combat Hegemonic Masculinity.” Teresa Sines ’03 is a regulatory data analyst at RenRe North America, Inc., in Plano, Texas. Kate Oltrogge ’04 is a clinical pharmacist for the medical intensive care unit at Aurora St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wis. David Venables ’04 received his MBA and law degree from Drake University in 2007. He is an attorney with Slominski and Associates in Oregon. Jill Toombs Whitson ’04 is Central Iowa Area Health Education Center executive director at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines. Michael Donnenwerth ’05 graduated from Des Moines University with his Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine.

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Janelle Claiborne Duffy ’05 is a senior commercial and surety underwriter for Allied/ Nationwide Insurance in Des Moines. Tracy Loynachan ’05 is a research and policy analyst for the American Bar Association in Chicago, Ill. Tessa Murphy ’05 is a land projects associate at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in Des Moines. She will be helping track progress of the land they receive as a private, non-profit land conservation agency. Angela Barickman Wagner ’05 is an applications consultant for Farm Bureau in West Des Moines.

DID YOU KNOW… The Women’s Resource Center at Simpson is named after alumna Kate Shelley, class of 1884. As a 15-year-old girl, Shelley risked her life to warn a station agent that a passenger train was speeding toward a bridge that had collapsed. The Iowa General Assembly awarded her a gold medal and $200 for her bravery. Jon Bailey ’06 is serving as the associate pastor at Centenary United Methodist Church in Beatrice, Neb. Mara LeHew Bailey ’06 is serving as the campus minister at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Carrie Brannen ’06 completed her MBA at Drake University in December and is now working as chief financial officer for the city of Windsor Heights.


Randy Metzger ’06 recently received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from Des Moines University. Grant Peterson ’06 recently received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and is now a doctor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. Jennifer Tyler ’06 received her Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2009. She is currently serving as a missionary in South Africa as the spirituality and health facilitator for SHADE, a non-governmental organization seeking to empower individuals and communities affected by war, poverty and violence throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Christopher Kern ’07, Scott Krueger ’07 and Halie Stalzer ’07 recently received their Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees from Des Moines University. Joan Ritho ’07 is working on her doctorate in cancer biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. Megan Schonhorst ’07 teaches first grade for the Liberty Public School District in Kansas City, Mo. Lucas Iburg ’08 is a pc customer service representative II for Nationwide Insurance in Des Moines. Kimberly McGriff ’08 received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from AT Still University in 2008. She is employed as a physical therapist at Sport & Spine Physical Therapy in Winona, Minn. Liz Norton ’08 is a legal assistant for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Des Moines.

Aaron Fichter ’06 is employed by Pleasantville Community Schools. He teaches high school English, coaches and is the school’s curriculum coordinator.

Jessica Shively Shwery ’08 is a substitute teacher for the Waukee and Urbandale Community School Districts and girls’ soccer coach at Urbandale.

Rachel Doty Fichter ’06 teaches first grade at Whittier Elementary in Indianola.

Amanda Brown ’09 is a preschool teacher for Perry Community Schools in Perry.


Dillon McKelvey ’09 and Lindsey Maas McKelvey ’09 recently moved to Sioux Falls, S.D., for Dillon’s new job as actuary at Sammon’s Financial Group. Lindsey is media coordinator for Lawrence & Schiller in Sioux Falls.

Chris Carr ’10 is working on his Master of Music degree in vocal performance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Matthew Olson ’09 is a consumer loan underwriter for Wells Fargo Financial in Des Moines.

After spending the summer working as a camp counselor at the Science Center of Iowa, Mike Christensen ’10 will be teaching 5th grade at Eason Elementary in the Waukee Community School District this fall.

Sarah Aasheim ’10 is pursuing her Master of Divinity at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Jeffrey Alger ’10 works for L&L Insulations in Ankeny as an estimator and project manager.

Tara Christensen ’10 is working on her MBA at the University of Phoenix.

Marchelle Clark ’10 is a senior benefit analyst for Principal Financial Group in Clive.

Toma Anthony ’10 is a team leader for Genesis in Indianola.

Michelle Cowles ’10 is a paramutual teller at Prairie Meadows in Altoona.

Alexandra Atha ’10 is marketing production manager at Wells Fargo Financial in Des Moines.

Olivia Crall ’10 is teaching 3rd grade for the Fairfield Community School District.

Marcy Baker ’10 is soy nutrition accounting coordinator at West Central Cooperative in Ralston.

Ames Cross ’10 is a student at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.

Mike Berg ’10 is a merchandiser at PepsiCo.

Sara Crouse ’10 is a communication assistant for the Iowa Clean Cities Coalition (Iowa Office of Energy Independence). She plans to attend Drake University in the fall of 2011 to pursue her MPA degree.

Mark Beshear ’10 is an underwriter at Marsh in Urbandale. Jennifer Bessman ’10 is a concessions supervisor for Ovations Food Services in Des Moines and will be taking graduate classes at Simpson College. Kyle Bochart ’10 is a nonequity actor for The New Theatre Company. Stephen Bracker ’10 is an agent for New England Financial in West Des Moines.

Allyssa Cusimano ’10 is teaching 3rd grade at Prairie Heights Elementary in the College Community School District in Cedar Rapids. Scott Danielson ’10 is working at Hy-Capacity in Humboldt.

Jeremy Britton ’10 is director of bands at Harris-Lake Park Schools in Lake Park. Whitney Bryant ’10 is working on her doctorate degree in genetics at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Lauren Bucklin ’10 is studying speech therapy at the University of Iowa. Lauren Burgers ’10 is a respite assistant for ChildServe in Des Moines while studying school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa.

Save the Date! Alumni Weekend 2011 will be held on June 24-25 as Simpson celebrates its final Sesquicentennial events. Celebrating reunions for the classes of 1941, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961 and 1970-71-72.

Wayne Carse

Athletic Benefit September 23, 2010 Echo Valley Country Club Norwalk, Iowa 12:30 p.m. Storm Golf Classic 6 p.m. Dinner and Auction Join Simpson for one or both events! For more information visit events or call the athletics office at 515-961-1617. Willis Auto Campus is a proud supporter of the Wayne Carse Storm Athletic Benefit through this year’s Lexus Champions For Charity program. Auction items include a trip for two to Pebble Beach Resorts to compete in the Lexus Champions for Charity National Championship and a $100,000 charity purse. Purchase a raffle ticket to win a trip for two to Disney World. Travel for both sponsored by Allied Travel & Cruises. Andrew Dau ’10 is working as a statistician for National Agriculture Statistics Service in Madison, Wis., before studying applied statistics at Texas A&M in the fall. Carl Davidson ’10 is interning at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources this summer before attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue an advanced degree in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. Courtney Davis ’10 is comanager of the aquatic center in Coon Rapids. Baron Davis ’10 is studying at Indian Hills Community College to become a physical therapy assistant. Ruud de Jonge ’10 is a business information technician for Nationwide in Des Moines.

DID YOU KNOW… Melissa Deer ’10 is working as a research assistant at Des Moines University while she pursues her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Brett DePue ’10 is store manager at RAYGUN, LLC in Iowa City. Casey Dunning ’10 is an accountant for AEGON USA Investment Management. Jayde Duysen ’10 is pursuing her law degree at the University of Iowa College of Law. Christie Earley ’10 is a teen resident counselor for House of Mercy in Des Moines and plans on attending law school in the fall of 2011. Jamie Eddy ’10 is lead classroom teacher at The Village Daycare. Amanda Esdohr ’10 is an auditor for Shull and Company, PC. Scott Ethell ’10 is assistant recreation director at the Knoxville Recreation Center. Alicia Fischer ’10 is studying nursing at Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines. Steven Fisher ’10 is a sales associate for Iowa Realty in Des Moines. Nicole Foster ’10 is an autism associate at The Homestead and is studying nursing at Des Moines Area Community College. Amy Garbett ’10 is a senior project manager at Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Des Moines. Chantel Gieseke-Palmer ’10 is a supervisor III at Nationwide Insurance in Des Moines. Nicole Goemaat ’10 is studying political science at Virginia Tech. Leah Grothe ’10 is teaching American government and Asian/ African history at Norwalk High School. Erin Hagelberg ’10 is employed by the Waukee School District and is working on her MBA at Drake University. Stacey Hale ’10 is working toward her MBA at Drake University and is employed as a payroll tech for the VA Central Iowa Health Systems in Des Moines.

Lauren Hallberg ’10 is a barista at Caribou Coffee in Des Moines. Jing Hao ’10 is an internal auditor for Hormel Foods Corporation. Sarah Harl ’10 is director of programming at Trail’s End Camp in Bean Lake, Pa. Lauren Hartmen ’10 is working toward her advanced degree in vocal performance and literature at the University of Illinois. Shateau Hartney ’10 is a sales associate at Midwest Heritage Bank in Indianola. Mallory Heggen ’10 is teaching kindergarten at Immanuel Mission, located on a Navajo Reservation in Teec Nos Pos, Ariz. Sebastian Hoffmann ’10 is studying internal relations at the University of Potsdam in Germany. James Holloway ’10 is a phone banker II and new hire mentor at Wells Fargo Financial in Des Moines. Mary Houston ’10 is compliance manager at Principal Financial Group in Des Moines. Rachel Jackson ’10 is a district administrator for Medtronic. Evan Johnson ’10 is a crew member for the Conservations Corps of Iowa in Ames. Steffani Johnson ’10 is a youth counselor at Forest Ridge Academy. Paige Jones ’10 is teaching 8th grade math at Wilson Middle School in Council Bluffs. Beau Kaplan ’10 is working toward his physical therapy assistant certification at Mercy. Lauren Katch ’10 is a teacher at Sylvan Learning Center in Urbandale. Melissa Kauffman ’10 is an account manager at Jester Insurance Services. Adam Kern ’10 is studying East Asia history at SAOS, University of London.

1879 was almost the last year of Simpson College. Despite tireless fundraising efforts, the college was still short the money needed to stay open. President Thomas Berry and the Reverend Felix Vinson made a passionate plea for the final $1,200 needed to pay off Simpson’s debts at the 1879 baccalaureate service. One by one, members of the crowd — largely students, parents and community members — pledged money, and by the end of the event, Simpson has raised $1,210. The next day, the newspaper headline read, “Simpson College Saved.”

Jennifer Klein ’10 works in sales and design for Royal Flooring in Altoona. Bryce Klinker ’10 is an application developer for Pioneer Hi-Bred. Miranda Knake ’10 is attending the University of Northern Iowa while working toward her Master of Social Work. Chanda Koher ’10 is senior account manager at Holmes Murphy & Associates in West Des Moines. Brock Konrad ’10 is a retail wireless consultant for U.S. Cellular. Maren Landers ’10 is an interpreter-Tangen House assistant at Living History Farms. Allison Lane ’10 is working as a research assistant in the biochemistry department at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Brynn Leonard ‘10 is teaching preschool in Knoxville. Megan Letizia ’10 is a senior associate – technology project coordinator for Pioneer Hi-Bred in Ankeny.

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Mason Lundy ’10 is a collector at Wells Fargo in Des Moines. Katie Luzum ’10 is working on her master’s degree in athletic training at the University of Northern Iowa.

Matt Wandell ’10 is a claims adjuster for Nationwide Insurance.

Lauren Schroeder ’10 is employed by People’s Bank as a teller.

Jeremy Ward ’10 is working on his doctorate in physics at Wake Forest University.

Michelle Mathews ’10 is finance manager/network administrator for First United Methodist Church in Des Moines.

Becir Selimovic ’10 works in recovery collections for Wells Fargo and is pursuing an MBA at Chadron State College in Nebraska.

Kristin McClure ’10 is a human resource analyst at Pioneer HiBred in Johnston.

Paige Shelton ’10 is working toward her Master of Social Work at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

Corey Miller ’10 is general manager at The Soccer House in West Des Moines. Nishi Mohabir ’10 is a claims representative for Nationwide Insurance in Des Moines. Kayla Mohr ’10 works at Target in Des Moines as a member of the human resources team. Ben Murga ’10 is a game coach for Brad Taylor’s Game Truck. Zach Murgia ’10 is a police officer in Iowa City. Emily Pearson ’10 is a chiropractic assistant at Waukee Wellness and Chiropractic. Katheryn Pearson ’10 is attending Drake University for her law degree. Jordan Peterson ’10 is planning to attend medical school in the fall of 2011. Amy Peterson ’10 works for Cambridge Investment Research. Hannah Pickett ’10 is a morning reporter for KMTV-Action 3 News in Omaha, Neb. Jonathan Piziali ’10 works in traffic control for Iowa Plains Signing Company. John Richter ’10 is working toward his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at AT Still University. Elvia Rodriguez ’10 is a quality assurance supervisor for Hormel Foods in Austin, Minn. Neal Rolwes ’10 is pursuing his Doctor of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport.


Sarah Schlitter ’10 is an auditor for Ernst & Young in Des Moines.


Katherine Simpson ’10 is band instructor at Bishop Garrigan Schools in Algona. Kristin Simpson ’10 is studying international affairs – national security at Texas A&M – Bush School in College Station, Texas. Nathaniel Simpson ’10 is a procurement specialist for Citigroup. Emily Smith ’10 is working on her master’s degree in health, physical education and recreation at USD. Matthew Steil ’10 is pursuing an advanced degree in criminal justice at Simpson College.

John Wardenburg ’10 is studying applied physics at the University of Northern Iowa. Chadwick Warfield ’10 is a store supervisor for Lunds Food Holding, Inc.

Leah VanMaaren ’02 and Rick Carolan, March 2010, Bethel Museum Chapel in Kellogg. Tracy Loynachan ’05 and Jason Funke, May 29, 2010, Pella.

Andrea Werger ’10 will be teaching at Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs this fall. Jared Wertenberger ’10 is a technical support specialist at Wells Fargo Financial. Nick White ’10 is pursuing his master’s degree in math education at the University of Iowa. Kristine Wilson ’10 teaches language arts at Clarinda High School. Matthew Winegard ’10 is working on his Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Iowa. Jacqueline Wollenburg ’10 works at Pioneer Hi-Bred.

Rebekah Neary ’06 and Dijon DeLaPorte, May 30, 2010, Jester Park Lodge in Granger. Pictured above left to right: Amy Templeton ’06, Zack Rapp (student), Rebekah Neary ’06, Scotty Schuknecht ’09 and Zach Rus ’08. Jessica Shively ’08 and Josh Shwery, Aug. 1, 2009, West Des Moines.

Jodie Stewart ’10 is a subrogation supervisor for Nationwide Insurance in Des Moines.

Kyle Yarkosky ’10 is pursuing his master’s degree in exercise and sports science at Central Missouri State.

Jacqualynn Storm ’10 works as a coder at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.

William Young ’10 is an officer in training for the U.S. Military in Fort Jackson, S.C.

Mia Addison Galbraith, March 4, 2010, to Thomas J. Galbraith ’92 and Janelle Galbraith, Madison, Ala.

Kara Strabala ’10 is an accounting specialist II for Wells Fargo in Des Moines.

Candace Zak ’10 is working in the costume shop for the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, Mo.

Hannah Katherine LeightonDick, May 24, 2010, to Edouard L. Leighton-Dick ’94 and Heather Leighton-Dick, Amana.

Jonathan Sukut ’10 is an auditor for Deloitte in Des Moines. Stevie Trevathan ’10 is teaching kindergarten through 6th grade music at Wilton Elementary School in Wilton.

marriages Andrew Paugh ’98 and Jaime Paar, Dec. 19, 2009, Onalaska, Wisc.

Ryan Twedt ’10 is self employed and taking website design and music theory classes at Des Moines Area Community College. Stephanie Vampola ’10 is working on her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.


Zachary Alexander Shriver, March 4, 2009, to Ryan D. Shriver ’94 and Heidi Swann Shriver ’96, Rochester, Minn., joins siblings, Nate, Alison and Gillian. Lindsey Masters ’02 and Christopher McKay, Jan. 1, 2010, Mimbres, N.M.

Sophie Mae Eblen, March 3, 2010, to Jennifer Main Eblen ’99 and Christopher Eblen, Papillion, Neb., joins sister, Rachel (3).

Blake Henry Allen, Feb. 25, 2010, to Nathan S. Allen ’02 and Kristin Herberger Allen ’03, Indianola.

Coby William Guenther, March 9, 2010, to Christian M. Guenther ’99 and Kimberly Fritz Guenther ’99, Canton, Mo., joins big brother, McCoy. Cale Michael Sorenson, Aug. 29, 2009, to Shane M. Sorenson ’99 and Jodi Sorenson, Pleasantville. Dylan Steinkamp, Feb. 4, 2010, to Kelly Hall Steinkamp ’99 and Shawn Steinkamp, Des Moines. Caroline Mae Ferak, April 29, 2010, to Andrea Ferry Ferak ’00 and John Ferak, Omaha, Neb., joins Libby (5) and JD (2).

Brody Eric Maehl, Dec. 15, 2009, to Ryan R. Maehl ’02 and Rachel Thompson Maehl ’02, Fort Dodge, joins sisters, Lainey and Lyndey. Nathaniel Aden Taylor, Aug. 31, 2009, to Dr. Lindsey Wood Taylor ’02 and Clay Taylor, Centerville, Ohio, welcomed by big sister, Alyssa (2). Hailey Christine Wise, May 11, 2010, to Jennifer Meyers Wise ’02 and Brian Wise, Mitchellville. Braylon John Leeper, Feb. 16, 2010, to Anna Reinsch Leeper ’03 and Welby Leeper, Clarence. Kylie Marie Piffer, April 16, 2008, to Jennifer Reschly Piffer ’03 and Corey Piffer, Indianola.

Deaths Ruth Coffin Ringleb ’30, Feb. 7, 2010, West Des Moines. Lois Barrowcliff James ’33, March 19, 2010, Johnston. Lawrence E. Wright ’41, Aug. 2, 2009, San Anselmo, Calif. Virginia Thurlow Buechler ’42, May 24, 2010, Sanger, Texas. Helen Davis Dockery ’42, Jan. 20, 2010, Sparks, Nev. Neta Gorham ’42, April 14, 2010, Troy, Mo. Doris Snider Henry ’42, March 11, 2010, Ankeny. Marjorie Overton Williams ’42, April 11, 2009, Hawthorn Woods, Ill. Beulah Taylor La Follette ’43, July 15, 2009, Des Moines. Helen Bott Knox ’45, March 31, 2010, Indianola. Max E. Whitlock ’45, May 31, 2010, Jewell. Dr. Mildred Romedahl Steele ’46, April 16, 2010, Omaha, Neb. Jean Burrows Herzig ’47, April 14, 2010, Gulfport, Fla.

Rhys Joseph Bender, Jan. 18, 2010, to Stephen R. Bender ’01 and Samantha Sailor Bender ’04, Wellman, welcomed by brothers, Grant (5) and Mason (3). Ella Sue Kleinmeyer, Oct. 22, 2009, to Blake C. Kleinmeyer ’01 and Ann Gosnell Kleinmeyer ’04, Williamsburg. John Robert Lloyd, June 11, 2009, to Sarah Detlefsen Lloyd ’01 and Thomas D. Lloyd, III, West Des Moines, joins older brother, Tommy.

Adam Myers Blomme, March 3, 2010, to Amber Dickey Blomme ’04 and Nathan Blomme, Manhattan, Kan. Quintin Roscoe Scott, March 17, 2010, to Maegan Johnson Scott ’04 and Jeremy E. Scott ’06, Coralville. Eden Ann Whitson, Feb. 2, 2010, to Jill Toombs Whitson ’04 and Stephen G. Whitson, Johnston.

Dean M. Roe ’49, May 23, 2010, Stuart. Norman R. Proffitt ’50, June 12, 2010, Knoxville. Peggy Dougherty Tilford ’50, Feb. 18, 2010, Las Vegas, Nev. Jean Hancock Yungclas ’51, Nov. 19, 2009, Urbandale. J.C. Brown ’53, Dec. 19, 2009, Johnston.

Cameron Allen, March 13, 2010, to Bradley J. Allen ’05 and Laura Sellers Allen ’05, Ankeny, joins Caleb (20 months).

Harold E. Brokaw ’55, April 18, 2010, West Des Moines.

Kinsey Violet Overton, Feb. 16, 2010, to Stephanie Fisher Overton ’05 and Kyle Overton, Indianola.

Dr. Richard W. Myers ’57, June 19, 2010, Knoxville.

Nolan James Fichter, November 2009, to Aaron J. Fichter ’06 and Rachel Doty Fichter ’06, Indianola. Kai McGraw Kohles, Nov. 7, 2009, to Ashley McGraw Kohles ’06 and Micah Kohles, Palmyra, Neb. Carter Clark, October 1, 2007, to Brett Clark ’02 and Bobbie Clark, Lenexa, Kan., joins Colton (4).

Phyllis Crews ’49, June 10, 2010, Muscatine.

James D. Knauer ’57, Feb. 6, 2010, British Columbia.

Delmar L. Hoffman ’60, Dec. 1, 2009, West Des Moines. Moneta Allred Perkins ’61, Feb. 25, 2010, Newton. Francia Epperly Bennett ’64, March 11, 2010, Holiday Island, Ark.

Opal Louise Miller, wife of R.G. “Hap” Miller, passed away on April 1, 2010. During the 1950s, Opal served as Warren County Deputy Recorder while Hap coached football and baseball at Simpson College. Opal was well known at Simpson and could often be found mending or washing Simpson uniforms. In addition to raising six children, she was elected for two terms as State Representative for Iowa District 47, one of few women legislators in the 1970s, and later in her life traveled the world as a volunteer in missions. She was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her children, Carrie Miller Hall ’58 and husband Joe Hall ’58, Lola Miller Rundle ’61, Opal Rae Bigham, Kathy (Jay) Eaton, all from the Des Moines area, Johnny (Donna) Miller of Tulsa, Okla. and Sue (Willy) Lorance of Hillsboro, Ore.

Gordon E. Brown ’68, June 4, 2010, Menasha, Wis. Marilyn Peppmeier McCall ’69, Feb. 6, 2010, Fontanelle. Rodney P. Ritenour ’69, April 21, 2010, Waterloo. Kathryn Joyce Hindman ’72, Jan. 29, 2010, Carroll. Gerald L. Rugger ’77, April 4, 2010, San Antonio, Texas. Katherine Tagtmeyer ’77, Feb. 26, 2010, Chattanooga, Tenn. Michael D. Klemashevich ’79, Feb. 21, 2010, Blasdell, N.Y. Samuel G. Langstaff ’01, May 23, 2009, Indianola.

Avery J. Menefee, III ’64, Feb. 24, 2010, Panora.

THE MAGAZINE | S U M M E R 2 0 1 0


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SIMPSON SPIRIT Jane Warren Harrison ’68 and Bob Harrison ’66 have lived in Waverly, Iowa for 26 years and flaunt the Red & Gold every chance they have, even including this picture on their Christmas card. Barb says, “Now we can show our red and gold Simpson pride everywhere we go. Our Simpson friendships continue to be among our strongest, and we regularly spend time with the friends we met there.” If you live in Iowa and are interested in a Simpson license plate, visit Already have one? Send us a picture! We’ll show off the most creative in our next issue. Take a picture of your plate from a distance of two feet and email to Thanks to all who responded to our trivia question in the last issue. Most of you knew The Oxford Stone pictured is located in Smith Chapel.The stone is from Christ Church in Oxford and represents the relationship between Christ Church and Simpson.

Summer 2010  
Summer 2010  

Simpson Magazine: Building on our Traditions