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The Magazine of St. Ambrose University | Spring 2013

Our History Lives in Ambrose Hall ALSO INSIDE: Hope in the Hearts of War’s Youngest Victims

Scene The Magazine of St. Ambrose University


Spring 2013 | Volume XXXIX | Number 1 Managing Editor Linda Hirsch Editor Craig DeVrieze Staff Writers Jane Kettering Robin Ruetenik


Staff Assistant Darcy Duncalf Contributing Writers Susan Flansburg Emilee Renwick Ted Stephens III ’01, ’04 Designer Sally Paustian ’94 Photo and illustration credits: Greg Boll: inside front cover, pages 3, 26; John Mohr Photography: page 5; Kevin Schmidt: pages 20–21; Dan Videtich: front cover, inside front cover, pages 1, 6, 8–14, 16, 19, 26–27 . Scene is published by the Communications and Marketing office for the alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty and staff of St. Ambrose University. Its purpose is to inform and inspire through stories highlighting the many quality people and programs that are the essence of St. Ambrose’s distinguished heritage of Catholic, values-based education. Circulation is approximately 23,000. St. Ambrose University—independent, diocesan, and Catholic—enables its students to develop intellectually, spiritually, ethically, socially, artistically and physically to enrich their own lives and the lives of others. St. Ambrose University, 518 W. Locust St., Davenport, Iowa 52803

2 Under the Oaks The familiar oaks are getting a name, the Center for Health Sciences Education is growing, and making new new journalists is old news at St. Ambrose. And Owen Rogal’s office? It’s organized. Trust him.

12 33

26 Alumni Profile


12 Here’s To Our Historic Hall

22 ‘How they hope!’


If Ambrose Hall could talk, it would have 128 years

When Kari Hamilton ’12 MSW answered a childhood call to

of wonderful stories to tell.

serve in Africa, she found children who had been orphaned

Some long overdue exterior renovations are beginning this spring, and the changes should start the clock on the next 50 years for stately Ambrose and LeClaire halls.

by war, forced to join a rebel army, and victimized in unspeakable ways. And in the heart of those children, she found resilience, forgiveness and hope.

26 Alumni News


LeClaire gymnasium was once a beehive of activity.


We could have been part of Davenport’s Gold Coast

St. Ambrose led to a job with the worldwide leader

neighborhood, but an oak grove in the country called.

in sports; a growing community of alumni on the faculty

And Ambrose Hall, our oldest Ambrosian icon, still

and staff help St. Ambrose feel like home for us all; and

stands tall.

here’s a toast to Kathy and Dimitri Papageorgiou, who have

20 Hope for ‘Poor Kids’ Long before students at Eagle Ridge School were featured in a PBS Frontline documentary, members of

The learning opportunities Chris Hassel ’07 found at

helped turn wine into scholarships for more than a decade.

30 Class Notes

the St. Ambrose Master of Speech-Language Pathology program were there working to help poverty-challenged students succeed.


under the OAKS

For his

next act,

St. Ambrose Theatre Department graduate Anthony Stratton ’12 may be unexpectedly reprising the role of student. “I was pretty set on being done with school,” said Stratton, who moved to Chicago to pursue acting work shortly after commencement ceremonies last May. “I thought 18 straight years was enough.” Stratton’s talent has forced him to rethink that position. In January in Lincoln, Neb., he became the third St. Ambrose theatre student to win an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship at the Region 5 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In Lincoln, Stratton outperformed 325 current or newly graduated theatre students from a seven-state region. That earned him a chance to compete in April on the Kennedy Center stage in Washington D.C. with 15 other regional winners. Two $3,000 national Ryan scholarship awards will be on the line. Stratton and acting partner Morgan Griffin ’12 will spend the week of April 15-21 participating in master acting classes at the KCACTF National Festival. On April 19, he and Griffin will reprise their scenes from the plays Betrayal and Hard Candy, followed by a Stratton monologue from The Laramie Project. Beyond the Ryan awards, any number of other Master of Fine Arts scholarship opportunities could arise from Stratton’s week at the Kennedy Center.

“This has brought new opportunities,” the Oxford, Iowa, native said of his January success. “It opens a lot of doors for graduate schools as well as for networking with people who can really take you places.” Stratton follows previous regional winners Daniel Sheridan ’05 and current St. Ambrose Theatre Assistant Professor Daniel Rairdin-Hale ’04, MFA. Stratton was one of 18 current or former St. Ambrose students who participated in the regional event in January. Grace Allen ’12 and senior Stephanie Seward were semifinalists in the acting competition. An SAU tech team of seniors Kristen Jett and Daniel Conlin, junior Sidney Junk and first-year student Amanda Zweibohmer took first in the stage crew competition. Senior Kelsey Francis was a runner-up in theatre criticism writing. Read more about the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the St. Ambrose Theatre Department at

Theatre Grad Contends for Ryan Scholarship


under the OAKS

“I want to spend all day here.”

At SAU, Building New New Journalists is Old News As a fulltime student, editor of The Buzz student newspaper, an

crossover classwork. And it has done so since Sivell joined the

anchor/reporter/director/videographer on the SAUtv news team, a

faculty 26 years ago.

part-time video editor at WQAD-TV in Moline, Ill., a freelance produc-

“The idea is we want to give you a little bit of everything,” he said,

tion assistant for Mediacom-TV and an occasional columnist for The

“because you don’t know what the future is going to hold. Everything

Dispatch in Moline and the Rock Island Argus (pause here to catch

changes very fast in the communications industry.”

your breath), St. Ambrose senior Sara Clifton defines busy. “Every other Sunday is pretty nice,” the 22-year-old student from

Change has been dizzying in the news business over the past decade. The proliferation of web-based news and the advent of a 24/7

Coal Valley, Ill., said when asked when she might stop to catch her

news cycle is forcing TV reporters to write and newspaper reporters

breath. “That’s my ‘I’m-going-to-do-nothing-today day.’”

to produce quality video.

The following Monday, though, will find her back in the maelstrom, on the go from 9 a.m. until the late-night newscast at WQAD is finished or a basketball doubleheader she might be shooting for SAUtv has concluded.

“Her work ethic is unbelievable,” said Alan Sivell, a communication instructor and faculty advisor for The Buzz. “She is always there.

This multi-media multi-tasking has been called the new New Journalism. But here, building new new journalists is old news. With her double major in journalism and radio and television Clifton feels she will be ready for anything when she graduates in May. Anything, that is, besides leaving St. Ambrose. In junior college, she stacked her classes to “get in, get out, get

She is very bright. And everybody likes her, which isn’t always the

back home,” she said. And Clifton expected to feel the same way

case with the boss.”

about St. Ambrose. Instead, she said, she found a community and a

Clifton had little interest in broadcasting when she transferred to St. Ambrose from Black Hawk College in the fall of 2011. She fell in

sense of belonging. “I want to spend all day here,” she said. Here’s the buzz: She often does.

love with print journalism while serving as editor of her high school yearbook and envisioned working in a newspaper newsroom after college. But the SAU Communication Department doesn’t just offer students the opportunity to study all forms of media. It requires 3

under the OAKS


For the Kids

It was enough to make St. Ambrose junior Kelli Poole want to dance.

Poole is very familiar with the Children’s Hospital.

All night, in fact.

The nursing major from Bettendorf spent more than a

Poole couldn’t help but be elated when she learned

few of her childhood days there along with her parents,

her fellow St. Ambrose students had launched a Dance

Lonnie and Terry Poole, and her now 27-year-old sister

Marathon program last year. As a very young child, she

Chelsi. Money from the Iowa program provided games

experienced first-hand the relief the Children’s Miracle

to alleviate the monotony of hospitalization. Visits by

Network and the University of Iowa’s wildly successful

the dancers allowed her parents time away from their

Dance Marathon were able to provide her family and a

daughter’s side, time enough for a shower or a nap.

cancer-stricken sister.

For the healthy younger sister, the best memories were

The second annual SAU Dance Marathon to benefit

made at the Dance Marathons, where the ailing children

the Children’s Miracle Network will take place from 3 to

and their families were treated like stars. Poole remem-

11 p.m., April 6 in the Rogalski Center Ballroom. Poole will

bers being excited as dance day approached.

play a prominent role in keeping volunteer dancers on their feet as one of 12 morale captains. A year ago, St. Ambrose’s inaugural Dance Marathon

She dreamed of one day being a marathoner herself. Now, she is. With a year of concerted fund-raising efforts centered

came together in a matter of just 10 weeks. This year’s

around a website promoting its sponsors, Danner said

event will be the culmination of a yearlong effort to raise

the St. Ambrose contribution to the Children’s Miracle

money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Network will well exceed the $6,000 raised through last

As importantly, Dance Marathon organizers have spent the year helping the families of seven Quad City area

year’s hurried effort. Some 350 students, up from 200 last year, are expected

children who are fighting long-term illnesses through the

to participate April 6. Walk-ins are welcome and cost to

U of I Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.

participate is a $10 donation.

Hence, the Dance Marathon motto—FTK. “It stands for ‘for the kids,’” said Dance Marathon morale director Ali


Danner, a senior.

Read more about Dance Marathon or contribute to the event at

under the OAKS

‘Moeller Grove’

Honors Former Administrator

About Moeller Grove The grove consists of 54 bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) trees The species is native to North America in the eastern and midwestern United States and south-central Canada The most “senior” of St. Ambrose oaks are approximately 150 years old A very deep taproot makes bur oaks difficult to transplant Several years ago, the state of Iowa collected St. Ambrose’s bur oak acorns for a repopulation project

The iconic stand of majestic oaks in front of Ambrose Hall will be named “Moeller Grove” in honor of retired administrator Don Moeller on April 23. Moeller began his St. Ambrose career as a Theology Department faculty member in 1969. He went on to serve as academic dean, academic vice president and dean of faculty. He retired as provost in 2002, but continued to serve the university as an adjunct instructor through 2004. During his tenure, enrollment grew from 1,100 to more than 3,000. Moeller helped launch several academic programs, including the first graduate degree MBA program in 1977. He also helped the university obtain several significant grants. During his career, Moeller read the names of thousands of graduating students during outdoor spring commencement ceremonies. “Don spent considerable time under or near the oaks,” said retired Professor of Biology Richard Legg, PhD, “whether in his office in Ambrose Hall or during outdoor commencement ceremonies in the dappled sunlight created by them. Given their stature and dignity—and the richness our oaks endow upon St. Ambrose’s culture—it’s fitting to name the grove after someone who personifies our Ambrosian values.”


under the OAKS

Assistant Vice President for Admissions Meg Halligan ’89 is true to her school, an enthusiastic advocate for a St. Ambrose undergraduate education. It should come as no surprise, then, that she was a high school cheerleader who set a goal to know everyone—from all different student body groups. “I was very social and talked way too much,” Halligan admitted.

Who is SAU?

Meg Halligan

What is Admissions? “We are the hosts and hostesses of the university,” she said. “We share what St. Ambrose has to offer and we treat each student like they’re family.” Halligan sees a strong ethical component to her work. “This is a big investment for families; I want to make sure St. Ambrose is right for them.”

Lessons From a Department Store Mogul Halligan worked for the Von Maur department store during college and still runs into Richard Von Maur from time to time. “I tell him how much the Von Maur customer service policy shaped how I run admissions at St. Ambrose,” she said. The policy? Rule No. 1: The customer is always right. Rule No. 2: Refer to Rule No. 1.

‘Soup to Nuts?’ Meg-isms: • There is absolutely no typical day in admissions. • People who work in here are never bored; it’s soup to nuts. • There is a lot of urgency in our office. • We have a lot of fun here, but we take it very seriously.

“We are the hosts and hostesses of the university.”

Crunching the Numbers For “being such a people person,” Halligan admitted that she’s “really into numbers, statistics and data.”

In the End “We take our work to heart,” said Halligan. “Every person who walks in here is the most important person. I expect 100 percent customer satisfaction.”


under the OAKS


t. Ambrose’s growing role in educating health-care providers will be even more evident to the Quad City community this summer, when work begins on a 13,000-square foot addition to the university’s Center for Health Sciences Education at Genesis. Construction of a two-story addition to the three-year-old building will begin in midsummer. Work is scheduled to be completed by March 2014, in time to welcome the first cohort for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program in June. When completed, the addition will serve as another milestone moment for that important addition to the St. Ambrose curriculum. Sandra Cassady, PhD, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, and program director Clare Kennedy, MPAS, PAS-C, submitted an official application for accreditation in February to the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Evaluators from the commission are scheduled to make an on-site visit in April. Provisional accreditation could be granted in the fall. The new wing will be built on the north end of the building, and further signals the university’s intent to field a top-flight MPAS program. “The building was constructed so we could easily expand it when new programs came along,” said Sister Joan Lescinski CSJ, president of St. Ambrose University. “We are eager to move forward with this important new program.” The Center for Health Sciences Education was dedicated in August of 2010 to serve as home for the university’s academic programs in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Those growing programs also will benefit from the additional space. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program has grown by six students per cohort and the Master of Occupational Therapy pro-

gram has added two students per cohort since 2010, Cassady said. In addition, 70 first-year students enrolled this past fall with an interest in nursing majors. Transfer students also will increase the enrollment in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Mike Poster, vice president for finance, said the DPT and MOT programs also have impacted undergraduate enrollment, as firstyear students enroll with an eye on post-graduate degrees. “These are clearly flagship programs,” he said, noting the university’s profile in the health sciences has grown throughout Iowa and Illinois. “These are two states where the demand is significant for physician assistants and graduates of the other health care programs we have. We are educating professionals to fill those needs.” St. Ambrose will be the third university in Iowa to offer a physician assistant degree, and the need for physician assistants continues to grow. Kennedy said St. Ambrose is among nearly 60 schools nationwide now seeking accreditation. When complete, the new addition to the Center for Health Sciences (CHHS) will include a 78-seat tiered auditorium classroom that will allow the College of Health and Human Services to fill a growing need for inter-professional health-care education. “There’s a plan that our physician assistant students will take a class with the DPT students as part of both curriculums,” Cassady said of promoting a team approach to patient care. “We just want to do more toward bringing the different health sciences students into the learning experience together.” The new wing also will feature a 40-seat clinical lab, eight exam rooms, and a pair of rooms that will allow additional use of the six computerized mannequin simulators introduced by the CHHS over a year ago.

Health Center Expansion Paves Way For Physician Assistant Studies Program

To learn more about MPAS degree program, visit




What we do here is going to matter outside. This isn’t just an arbitrary requirement in gen ed. It can make life better.

Owen Rogal A Peek at What’s ‘Up There’ by Susan Flansburg


The third floor Ambrose Hall office of Owen Rogal, PhD, is­­—he insists—not a study in chaos. Despite the books, papers, notebooks and envelopes crowding his desk, filling the floor under his desk (maybe they didn’t fall off, but they look like it), lining the walls, and spilling over every other flat surface in his office, it is perfectly organized. To prove it, Rogal jumps up from the “dangerous” oak desk chair— he seats guests in an apparently lessmenacing side chair—to produce an article referenced in the interview from a box near the door. Wrong article. Never mind.

such classes as cowboy literature and disabilities literature. This semester, he is team teaching Holocaust literature with Matthew Coomber, PhD, an assistant professor of theology. Rogal’s goal? To make literature personal; personally relevant, personally significant. “My business isn’t just to teach Elliot or Dickens,” Rogal says, rocking on the edge of his chair. (It creaks.) “What we do here is going to matter outside. This isn’t just an arbitrary requirement in gen ed. It can make life better.” It can make life better—richer—by opening doors, enriching minds, sparking ideas. “I try to get them to write about how they feel about what they’re reading,” Rogal says. “In order to become excited about it, they have to have a personal

“Novels introduce the most incredible characters, incredible situations, incredible experiences.

To say English is boring is to say life is boring.” Rogal is self-deprecating, cheerful and erudite. While happily teaching Writing 101 alongside the Victorian literature courses he studied during his doctoral work, he also teaches—or has taught—


experience with it. When Dorothea Brooke (in Middlemarch) realizes she is part of the palpitating universe, connected to the whole world, that’s a moment that comes home to me in a very personal way. When Joe in Bleak House dies, that comes home to me in a really personal way.” Which is one of the reasons he teaches classes like cowboy, disabilities and Holocaust lit. He wants fiction to illuminate the truths in his students’ lives. He wants fiction to make a profound difference.

“Students will sometimes say they don’t like English,” Rogal says. “That’s like saying you don’t like life. Novels introduce the most incredible characters, incredible situations, incredible experiences. To say English is boring is to say life is boring.” Rogal began teaching in the English Department in 1986, a transplant from the East Coast. Several things surprised him: the friendliness of his colleagues and neighbors, the high quality of his students, the crucifixes on the walls. “I grew up in a Jewish enclave,” he explains. “I knew nothing about Catholicism.” He’s learned a lot since, and is especially appreciative of the Catholic milieu on campus. It fits with his own philosophy—the strong sense of family and community, the commitment to social justice issues, the rigorous intellectual tradition. Especially the rigorous intellectual tradition. “I have a fanatical belief in the importance of reading,” Rogal says. “I have a fanatical belief in the importance of writing. And I have a fanatical belief in the importance of talking.” All evidenced by an office that epitomizes the lived-in history of Ambrose Hall: the bookshelves crammed full (he collects the old Penguin paperbacks among several other imprints), the pens (he collects Paper Mates), the pencils (he

prefers to write with Blackwing), and five chairs to receive guests. “Oh, I’m organized,” Rogal tries again. He points at one bookshelf and then another. “Everything on that wall is 19th or 20th century. The bottom shelf there is general criticism. Over there is European lit. Cowboy lit. American lit. Writing.” Near the 19th century lit section, cowboy playmobil figures fight for space atop an old four-door steel file. A craft paper banner shouting Happy Birthday Daddy hangs above European lit. Birkenstock sandals lie kicked off under the desk. As for the state of his organized-ifdisheveled office? “You know, it’s like the natural world,” he laughs, motioning around the room. “Things erode. It’s like my digressive personality. I think this is actually a reflection of what’s going on up here.” (He taps his head). Fortunately for us all, Rogal is willing to share the treasure that’s up there.



Ambrose Hall could talk, what

Our Stories Live Through 1885, Ambrose Hall has fulfilled

stories do you think it would

a promise to inspire generations


of Ambrosians. It has made an

It has certainly been witness

ongoing mission of filling those

to Ambrosian moments too

students with the tenets of a

countless to fathom: The bash-

Catholic, liberal arts education,

ful guy awkwardly asking the

then watching them walk out its

popular girl out on a first date.

doors poised to enrich their own

The quiet prayer of a young stu-

lives and the lives of others.

dent in the Grotto searching for

Yes, in 128 years of existence,

peace after a difficult day. The

Ambrose Hall has rightfully

craziness of Last Blast, the relief

earned the title of campus icon.

after a class presentation, or the

Living legend. A face for our

attentive watch as a world event

esteemed university. But it

unfolds on a big screen TV.

would be the first to say it is all

Perhaps it would talk of the

these things only because of the

war protests of the 1960s, or the

people who have filled its class-

final outdoor commencement

rooms with curiosity and gener-

ceremony held under the oaks in

osity, its offices with creativity

May 2004. It likely would reflect

and kindness, and its hallways

fondly on the new families who

with hope and ambition.

entered its welcoming doors in

At face value, Ambrose Hall

search of the admissions office

is indeed just another building.

and the tears shed as St. Ambrose

Clay and limestone, wooden

legends left its comforting arms

staircases and ivied walls. And,

for the last time.

yes, OK, even some pretty tacky

With all it has witnessed, all the changes it has endured,

carpet. But because of you—because

Ambrose Hall watches over us

of the contagious laughter

still. Standing guard, ever the

you’ve shared, the conversations

quiet observer, with its soaring

you have provoked, the tears

steeple, large windows, winding

you have cried, the lessons you

wooden staircases and grand

have learned and the lessons

arching hallways.

you have taught—Ambrose Hall

Ambrose Hall stands tall to-

has a steady and still strong

day not just because it was built

heartbeat. It breathes with

well, but because it has lived

renewed vigor. It lives through

well, helping us to understand,

your stories. And it eagerly

in its own way, what it means

awaits the untold more that are

to live an Ambrosian life. Since

yet to unfold.



by Ted Stephens III ’01, ’04



Updates in Store For Ambrose, LeClaire

It took 128 years, but the original construction plans for Ambrose Hall finally may be completed this year. An ambitious exterior renovation of the building that has been central to a by Craig DeVrieze St. Ambrose education since 1885 may include a steeple clock. The timepiece apparently was called for in the original blueprints but never was installed. “It certainly appears a clock was planned,” said Mike Poster, vice president for finance at St. Ambrose. “There is even a timer that can be attached to the bell.” In reality, Poster said work begun this spring on both Ambrose and LeClaire halls has started the


clock on the next half century of the historic buildings’ steadfast service to St. Ambrose. “We are really talking about giving these buildings the next 50 years of their lives,” Poster said. “This will allow us to come in and do major work to the inside sometime in the future. We don’t want to do the interior until we know we have a tight envelope.” Plans for wholesale interior renovations are only in the talking stage, but ideally a modernized Ambrose Hall would become an academic centerpiece in the near future, Poster said. LeClaire Hall would become the university’s new administrative center. Opened in 1916, it originally housed the school’s auditorium, swimming pool and gymnasium. The physical plant was moved there after the PE Center was opened in 1983. Those operations will move next fall to the current location of the university bookstore and coffee shop on Harrison Street after the bookstore is moved this summer to the Rogalski Center. By fall, the coffee shop will be part of a new café style Beehive in the lower portion of Ambrose Hall. “We want to get the Beehive reinvigorated again,” Poster said of a meeting space that will serve pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads by day and become a student lounge by night. “We want it to be a place where students can hang out.” The exterior renovation could be finished as early as December. That includes replacing windows in both buildings, some of which may be more than a century old; replacing sandstone with limestone on the lower portions of Ambrose Hall; replacing crumbling brick and deteriorating mortar on both buildings; and replacing the roof on LeClaire. Work on the outside of Ambrose also will include removing false mansard roofing and returning the central tower to the way it looked in 1885, with a working bell that will be rung on special occasions, Poster said.

LeClaire Has a History All Its Own

Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Leonard

ning track that any roller derby star worth

ing facilities were regarded as among the

Czarnecki ’52 remembers a decided

her skates would love to put wheels on.

best in the state of Iowa.

homecourt advantage back when the

Leo Kilfoy ’51, PhD, served as head track

Along with the gym, the first floor

Fighting Bees hit the hardwood in the cozy

coach for more than a decade at the start

included a state-of-the-art auditorium.

gymnasium inside LeClaire Hall.

of his 58-year, multi-faceted St. Ambrose

The balcony was part of a rifle range that

Fans seated in the first of five rows of

tenure and said he enlisted that balcony

helped prepare St. Ambrose students for

bleachers stacked tightly around floor

track as a unique training tool. He would

the impending world war, said Rev. George

occasionally would put a leg inside the line.

have his athletes first run one direction and

McDaniel ’66, PhD.

“Oh sure, you could get tripped by some-

then the other on the hardwood surface that

one, which happened,” he remembered of a

banked 45 degrees. “You would strengthen

fate more likely to befall a visitor than a Bee.

the ankles on both sides,” Kilfoy said.

“Sometimes fans got a little excited.”

Kilfoy also taught physical education

LeClaire was the start of a growing institution that continues to grow today. “It was a critical time, the time we started to really become a college,” Fr. McDaniel

classes in LeClaire for 33 years, including

said of the addition of a second building at

as a storage center for items from across the

swimming classes in the basement pool. But

St. Ambrose.

campus. Even the balcony area that once

by the time he took the basketball reins in

provided a birds-eye vantage point for over-

1966, the Bees had been playing their home

flow basketball crowds is packed now with

games off-campus for several years.

These days, the gymnasium serves mostly

boxes and equipment. The occasional bare spot will provide a glimpse of the steep-banked, wooden run-

By then, LeClaire Hall’s age was showing. But when it opened in 1916 at a cost of about $100,000, the gymnasium and accompany15

By Ted Stephens III ’01, ’04

Ambrose HalL

A Great and Lasting Building As they walked along creaky wooden planks toward the imposing brick building tucked neatly behind a grove of oak trees on the far northern reaches of Davenport, the young students—all men—took in the towering magnificence for the first time. Leaves rustled beneath their feet as the students drew closer. They eventually ascended the stairway to the second story, the primary entrance of what would be known as Ambrose Hall. At the time, it must have seemed massive, this new place for learning. Yet one can’t help  but imagine that it immediately felt like home. For in this place, a foundation had been laid, a building had taken root, and an institution had staked its claim.  



When the Most Rev. Henry Cosgrove first envisioned a home for a Catholic academy in Davenport, a physical place that might “rear its turrets to the sky,” as he told The Catholic Messenger in 1885, he pictured it on a piece of land near Eighth and Ripley Street— across the street from what now is Palmer College of Chiropractic. Certainly, the St. Ambrose of today—and perhaps even the entire landscape of the Gold Coast Neighborhood of Davenport—might have been different had the bishop initially gotten his way. “Would it have made an economic and social difference for the city?” asked Rev. George McDaniel ’66, professor emeritus of history. Looking down upon our sentry oaks from his third-floor Ambrose Hall apartment, he ultimately decided, “It’s one of those things we’ll never really know.” If anyone would know, it would be Fr. McDaniel. He wrote the definitive history of St. Ambrose University, A Great and Lasting Beginning, to commemorate the institution’s sesquicentennial in 2007. Reaching deep into our history, Fr. McDaniel discovered that everyone around Cosgrove was interested in another location—an open space noted for a still young grove of oak trees north of Locust Street and east of Gaines. That location for an academic institution was called into question because, as Cosgrove worried, it was too far for students to travel to and from each day. Yet he set aside his reservations, and


The Ambrose Hall of today might best be described as a hodge-podge of charm and character… Yet what has endured is Cosgrove’s initial vision: A centerpiece building that can expand and adapt to the ever-changing needs of the institution.

with great zeal and foresight moved quickly to make his dream—and the dream of the late Bishop John McMullen—our reality. “Noel’s Grove did have its appeal, namely that its location out in the ‘country’ would keep students away from the temptations of the city,” Fr. McDaniel said. Victor Huot, a Frenchman who came to the United States in 1842, was immediately hired by Cosgrove to design Ambrose Hall. Known as a respected builder and architect of homes for some of Davenport’s most prominent families, as well as the then-named Mercy Hospital, Huot’s first plans for Ambrose Hall weren’t accepted. “This design is too small,” one can hear Cosgrove saying. “Try again.” Huot returned with renderings that brought Cosgrove’s vision to life: A four-story brick building, complete with a mansard roof and a central tower, with provisions for additional wings that could be added as they were needed. The “expandable building” was everything Cosgrove had hoped for and more. Classrooms, offices, storage rooms, a library, a study hall. Even a laundry room. It was a building ahead of its time. The opportunity for expansion that Cosgrove so desired was a mere, and somewhat ironic, foreshadowing of the future, said Fr. McDaniel.


The new building opened to 55 students in November 1885—three years after St. Ambrose Seminary had found its modest beginning in two rooms within the schoolhouse at St. Marguerite’s Cathedral in central Davenport and two years after college founder McMullen had died. The top two floors were left unfinished due to financing issues. Immediately, students began attending classes in the building, which provided the space and experience that Cosgrove had imagined, but it placed a financial strain on the Diocese of Davenport. Enrollment didn’t immediately increase as a result of the new building, as had been anticipated. Cosgrove believed it was because the institution wasn’t accepting boarding students. Remember, in the 1880s, Noel’s Grove was anything but easy to get to in Davenport—hardly the bustling city center St. Ambrose anchors today. The two upper floors of Ambrose Hall were completed in 1887, allowing the academy to take on boarding students. By 1891, only six years after opening the building, talks of a renovation abounded. This would begin a busy history of additions and renovations for Ambrose Hall—five additions, and renovations too numerous to count. Classrooms became offices, then residences and laundry rooms, only to once again return to classrooms. “The period between 1915 and 1916 was an important part of St. Ambrose’s history,” noted Fr. McDaniel. Original plans called for the academic portion of the college to be housed in yet another addition to Ambrose Hall, he said. Instead, then-president Rev. William Hannon decided that the college proper would be better located in a separate building. And so, LeClaire Hall came into focus. “For the first time St. Ambrose would be more than just Ambrose Hall—it would become a much bigger place, and attention would turn to new buildings,” Fr. McDaniel said. In 1976, a rejuvenation of Ambrose Hall began, giving the building’s façade much-needed attention to restore it to its original glory. Windows were replaced, brick and stone were removed and refurbished and the third-floor chapel was renovated into a boardroom that would “continue the process of nurturing young

minds with the eternal truth” that had been taught when it was a chapel, according to Msgr. Cletus Madsen, ’28, a St. Ambrose trustee and former student chaplain. Also of significance in 1976, Fr. McDaniel helped earn the building a designation on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ambrose Hall of today might best be described as a hodge-podge of charm and character, with its maze of winding, never-ending hallways from the admissions office to the president’s office. Yet what has endured is Cosgrove’s initial vision: A centerpiece building that can expand and adapt to the ever-changing needs of the institution. “Which is not unlike the Ambrose of today,” said Fr. McDaniel. “In many ways, Ambrose Hall is testament to the spirit of Bishop Cosgrove. It’s been a building—a place—that, when we needed something about it changed to use it better, it adapted. It adjusted to suit our needs. In 128 years, there’s never been a grand plan for the entire building.” Fr. McDaniel, who has lived in the building for more than 40 years, is pleased with the renovation plans, even though it means he’ll be living in a construction zone. “This building is our roots. Our heritage. It is where we began. I hate to use the word iconic—but that is what it is,” he said. “How many thousand cars go down Locust Street every day and instantly know who we are?

“It will be fun to watch. And frankly… it’s more than about time,” he added, chuckling as he acknowledged the historian in him. When the cornerstone to Ambrose Hall was laid, a young student wrote that upon completion of the building there would “gather within its walls a larger number of students than before, wherein heart and will working in a happy unison will generate true wisdom into good. Our hopes for the next year are of the highest order. With a new and commodious institution, we can predict a proud and successful year.” How right that student was. What was once a single building towering above the young oak trees of Noel’s Grove has now become the core, perhaps the soul, of a great and lasting Catholic, liberal arts university that stands tall, proud and mighty today. Special thanks to Rev. George McDaniel for generously sharing his research and writing in A Great and Lasting Beginning, which is the primary source for this article.


“Thanks to St. Ambrose, we’re getting the resources we need to help students improve their scores. With their help we will be able to close the achievement gap much more quickly than we would otherwise have been able to do.”

Giving Poor Kids Another Chance Eagle Ridge School serves some

Tim and Elisa Green

by Susan Flansburg

The country learned of this pocket of

of the poorest students in the Quad City

poverty last November, when a documentary

area. Located in Carbon Cliff, Ill., most of

called Poor Kids—shot partly in Carbon Cliff

its students live in substandard housing.

and at Eagle Ridge—was broadcast on the

Many don’t get enough to eat. Some

PBS show, Frontline.

come to school telling of parents’ arrests,

But SAU Master of Speech-Language

nonpayment of rent and neighborhood fights

Pathology students and instructors already

severe enough to bring the police. It’s hard

knew how poverty was impacting students in

for the students to focus on school when

that small community east of Silvis, Ill. By the

they face so much uncertainty at home.

time the documentary aired, they had already

Principal Tim Green said it is not atypical for an Eagle Ridge kindergartner to sleep on a pile of blankets on the floor because he has

been working with Eagle Ridge kindergartners for three months. The collaboration between SAU and Eagle

no bed. He might wear the same clothes to

Ridge began as Principal Green participated

school day after day because he lacks clean

in a school strategy meeting last summer.

ones. And almost certainly, he will eat his

Once again, Eagle Ridge would face an

breakfast at school or go hungry.

overwhelming number of incoming kinder-

A 20-minute drive from the SAU campus,

gartners with academic deficiencies that

Eagle Ridge is home to 278 students, 93 per-

would—without intervention—permanently

cent of whom qualify for free breakfast and

impair their school success. He texted his

lunch. Of that 93 percent, the vast majority

wife during the meeting. Did she have any

come to school with academic deficits that


may never be corrected. Poverty is a major predictor of academic

She texted back, “I do!” A clinical instructor in SAU’s Master of Speech-Language

deficits. Research shows children from low

Pathology program, Elisa Green had been

socioeconomic groups are less likely to enjoy

looking for ways to provide her students with

verbal interaction with their parents and

more clinical experience.

more likely to contend with malnourishment,

Elisa Green’s idea was to place two

lack of access to health care and threats to

SAU speech-language pathology graduate

their personal safety. Low cognitive growth

students at Eagle Ridge to assess and treat

and reduced academic success can be the

the children at no charge. This would give


the SAU students needed experience while improving the kindergartners’ chances of academic success.


Speech-Language Pathology program have been helping Quad Cities youngsters overcome communication problems since the post-graduate degree

“Speech therapy addresses everything

program debuted in 2009.

from here up,” she said, gesturing to the area above her neck. “It’s about talking, reading,

The program at Eagle Ridge

writing, thinking. Speech-language therapy

School is one of many opportu-

can help correct academic deficiencies.”

nities for MSLP students to gain practical clinical experience.

Camille Ponce and Pamela English were the first MSLP students to provide services at

had not received therapy by as many as 11

More than half of the current

Eagle Ridge. They began by assessing the in-

percentage points.

MSLP cohort work off-campus

coming kindergarten children last fall. Ponce

“This has been extremely successful,”

at least twice weekly at schools,

and English were shocked when they found

Principal Green said. “I’ve seen kids make

pre-schools, daycare clinics and

that just 10 of the 40 students were ready for

huge gains in reading and in math as well.

after-school facilities. And all

kindergarten. The rest struggled to identify

Thanks to St. Ambrose, we’re getting the

of the students gain experience

their letters and the sounds they made. Many

resources we need to help them improve

working with young clients at

couldn’t understand basic concepts ranging

their scores. With their help, we will be able

the SAU Children’s Campus.

from quantity to time to opposites.

to close the achievement gap much more

“For example, we showed the kids some pictures representing opposites,” English

‘A Great Win-Win’

Students in the Master of

All Saints Catholic School in

quickly than we would otherwise have been

Davenport was an original out-

able to do.”

reach partner. A year ago, SAU

said. “They couldn’t interpret or evaluate

Huff is proud that SAU’s program is mak-

what they saw. They said one picture was

ing such a difference in the lives of children

(Ill.) School District, where each

night because the child in that picture was

and, by extension, their community.

semester three students assist

partnered with the Rock Island

wearing pajamas. The fact that the sun was

“Typical speech pathology programs only

shining through the window didn’t change

hold in-house clinics, where people come to

their minds. They weren’t able to grasp the

pathologists in providing speech

them,” she said. “We go out to where the kids

whole picture.”

and language therapy and

are. Therapy works better in the children’s

literacy intervention at three

own environment.

elementary schools. MSLP

These deficits have a ripple effect. “These children arrive at school feeling and

the district’s speech-language

“Eagle Ridge is a great partner for us.

saying that they are dumb,” MSLP Program

students also help children with

It’s a little oasis for the kids. It provides

Director Elisa Huff said. “I’ve seen it extend

consistency and structure. And it provides

communications needs at three

into adulthood. The key is to get them turned

our students with incredible experience.

around right away. Going into the schools,

Together, we really are making things better.”

where the teachers can watch and reinforce what we do, helps.” If test scores are any indication, it appears to be working. Measure of Academic Progress scores received at the end of January showed remarkable improvements, with double digit increases in testing of letter identification, matching letters to their sounds, matching

To watch the PBS documentary “Poor Kids” and learn more about the St. Ambrose Master of Speech-Language Pathology program, visit

Davenport daycare facilities as well as through the Lydia House after-school program. “The practical experience is a benefit to the SAU students and a vital gift to the organizations and children they are helping,” said Stacie Greene, program clinical director. “It is a great win-win,” she said.

sounds and rhyming sounds. These scores bettered those of the kindergartners who 21

by Jane Kettering


Ever since she was a little girl, Kari Hamilton ’12 MSW dreamed of Africa. It began when her family played host to two young African girls, members of a visiting children’s choir that included many orphans. The idea of children without parents touched Hamilton’s curiosity. The idea of Africa tugged at her imagination—and her heart. “I knew one day I would go to Africa,” Hamilton said. “I needed to do this.” With a degree in family services from the University of Northern Iowa, Hamilton began working as a treatment counselor at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2005. She eventually joined several co-workers in pursuit of a Master of Social Work degree from St. Ambrose. “Studying for my MSW increased my passion for working in the mental health field, especially with children” she said. And yet, Africa called. Hamilton found herself visiting websites about mission trips to serve orphans, especially in Africa. In 2010, she went for two weeks to Ethiopia and Uganda. Summer 2011 found her back in Uganda. She learned about Exile International, a Tennessee-based organization working to restore the lives and empower war-affected children and former child soldiers in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “I loved Exile’s mission and was very intrigued with its plan to establish Peace Clubs for children traumatized by war,” Hamilton said.


The children were dreaming of helping their country. The past did not predict the future.

After meeting Exile co-founder Bethany Haley for coffee, Hamilton found herself agreeing to implement the program. “I was terrified of the four-month commitment, but knew it was a really unique opportunity,” she said. So in June 2012, a month after earning her SAU master’s degree, Hamilton left again for Uganda.

They hope—how they hope! How they believe!”


The Peace Club North Uganda is a land devastated by decades of armed conflict. Over the years, countless children were abducted by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) to serve as soldiers. Others were born in captivity. Many were orphaned by war. Peace Club is a response to the plight of these children. “It is an empowerment program using evidencebased treatment, heavily focused on forgiveness,” said Hamilton. Peace Club offers trauma counseling and teaches conflict resolution and peace-building skills. Art, writing, music and dance provide additional ways for the children to process their anguish.

While piloting the program, Hamilton met children who had experienced “the worst of the worst.” She heard stories of children forced to kill their own mothers and of children who had suffered atrocities beyond mention. But the children were so strong. “It didn’t make sense!” exclaimed Hamilton. “I asked myself, ‘How are these children even functioning?’ They should be on endless lists of medication, rocking themselves in the corner.” The Peace Club provided them an education about what they had been through—and a means to express their trauma. Hamilton saw the children listening carefully, using and practicing everything they were given. “They were so willing to do whatever it took.” That is not to say that they did not suffer. “Definitely, the children struggle daily with memories and many suffer from recurrent nightmares,” said Hamilton. Some are severely ill due to the torture and trauma. But Hamilton found less of that than she had imagined possible. “I was so taken aback by their level of resiliency.” When it was time to leave, Hamilton felt heartbroken. But she believed the local leaders and social

workers were, in the end, the experts, and had been well trained to continue the program. “Peace Club was already making a difference,” she said. “The children were dreaming of helping their country. The past did not predict the future. They hope—how they hope! How they believe!” In the end, Hamilton said the children taught her more than she taught them. “There’s such a deep level of confidence in God; that God is always good.” And she was overwhelmed by their capacity for forgiveness. “Girls who were abducted sex slaves and had walked until their feet were literally bones, they forgave the people who had abducted them,” she said softly. “They told me, ‘Why should we hold on to hate? All it does is hurt us in the long run.’” For now, Hamilton is working as a family therapist in Cedar Rapids. She plans a “check-back” trip to Uganda in late spring. And her future? It is Africa. “That’s where my heart is,” she said. “It will be my life at some point.” Read more about the St. Ambrose Master of Social Work program at


Alums Abound in Our St. Ambrose Family Circle by Jane Kettering

Daniel Rairdin-Hale, MFA, didn’t have to act Ambrosian when he first stepped in front of a

theater class as an assistant professor here in 2009. Like Jeff Griebel ’76, Monica Forret ’88, PhD, and countless others before and since, Rairdin-Hale, a 2004 theatre graduate, joined the St. Ambrose faculty/staff well-schooled in Ambrosian culture and tradition. And with a diploma to prove it. Griebel, Forret and Rairdin-Hale are among dozens of faculty and staff who either returned to St. Ambrose as alumni or never left. “What better opportunity than to return to the program that gave me my foundation, that first sparked my interest in making theatre my career?” said Rairdin-Hale. He remembered falling in love with St. Ambrose during a college visit and that passion didn’t wane during his undergraduate experience. As he was completing work toward his Master of Fine Arts degree from DePaul University, Rairdin-Hale learned of an SAU Theatre Department opening. He applied and was hired. “I was still in love with the campus and the people,” he said.







“The people.

It isn’t about the new buildings or the growing programs. It’s about the faculty and staff who genuinely care about the students here, this feeling of family.” —Daniel Rairdin-Hale Forret chose St. Ambrose after visiting her older brother on campus during Sibling’s Weekend. The concern shown by St. Ambrose priests when her father died unexpectedly during her senior year in high school also influenced her decision to attend school here. When the university decided to add a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program in 1997, Forret, who had obtained her doctorate from the University of Missouri two years before, returned as an assistant professor. She now is the program’s director. She said faculty and staff alumni ties help heighten the sense of family that students find under the oaks. “The genuine relationships between the students and both the faculty and staff here at St. Ambrose are truly unique,” she said. “Everyone is so invested in seeing the students succeed and knowing one another on a personal basis.”



Rairdin-Hale concurred. “The people,” he said, when asked what defines St. Ambrose. “It isn’t about the new buildings or the growing programs. It’s about the faculty and staff who genuinely care about the students here, this feeling of family.” The oldest of five siblings with St. Ambrose degrees, Griebel exemplifies Ambrosian family spirit. “My whole life has revolved around St. Ambrose,” he said. He took a work-study position on his very first day of school, spent his undergraduate summers working on campus and then joined the staff immediately after graduating. Through the years, he has been alumni director, associate dean of admissions, director of financial aid, bowling coach and, since 2005, coordinator of athletic recruiting. Most notably, he has been the head coach of the men’s golf team since 1982, a tenure that makes him the longest serving head coach in St. Ambrose history. Griebel believes St. Ambrose students are cared for—and taught to care. “Our faculty and staff instill the importance of being a good person, of making an impact on people’s lives,” he said. “It’s not just getting the diploma; it’s the whole environment, the whole package.” Griebel was all of the above when he stayed at the side of former golfer Mike Rettke ’91 for several days after Rettke’s wife, the former Tracy Briggs ’91, died just months before their son Ben turned two in 1995. This fall, Ben Rettke, a strong prep golfer in Minnesota, will tee it up for Griebel and St. Ambrose. “That’s what it’s like to be in the St. Ambrose family,” Griebel said. “That’s the reward of the job. The feeling that we are making a difference. And in my case, now it has come full circle.”



‘She Fell in Love’ with St. Ambrose Heartfelt notes that accompanied donations made in memory of Lynne Henkhaus reflected both her influence and her passions. “One said ‘Your mom inspired me to be a teacher,’” Anne Gannaway, alumni director at St. Ambrose, recalled a few weeks after her mother lost a 16-year battle with cancer on Christmas Eve 2012. “Another said ‘I don’t ever show up empty-handed for a party and that’s because of Lynne.’” Donations large and small were made to the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose to honor the last request of a lifelong teacher who never attended nor taught at St. Ambrose, yet was as Ambrosian as she possibly could be. “I don’t know if it was from Day One—it probably was,” said Ed Henkhaus ’64, who brought his wife of 45 years into the St. Ambrose family when he was hired as chief financial officer in 1979. “The more we were around St. Ambrose, the more she fell in love with it.” Ed Henkhaus was promoted to vice president for finance in 1980 and, except for a two-year hiatus, remained in that role until his retirement in 2008. Lynne was a teacher and reading specialist for the Davenport school district for 30 years. She retired in 2000, four years after being diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma. Known as ‘The Fighter,” her daughter said, Lynne battled the disease into remission three times. Two years before her death, she endured 24 hours of surgery over three days. That surgery forced her briefly into a wheelchair and before the family could figure out how to have a ramp built at their Davenport home, Ambrosians had constructed one for them. Lynne’s last trip outside her home was to St. Ambrose on Dec. 2, where she and her husband attended a luncheon to welcome Msgr. Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Vatican Library, to campus. Ed Henkhaus said his wife, though ailing, felt compelled yet again to express her appreciation for the university. “She was beaming with pride,” he said. “There was nothing she was more proud of than her family, but St. Ambrose was a close second.” Friends of the family honored her last wish through generous memorials to the academy totaling more than $8,500. The Henkhaus family, including Anne and her brothers John and Paul ’93, decided to match those donations. Ed Henkhaus said he opted to talk about his family’s decision to match the memorial gifts only to encourage other Ambrosians to follow his wife’s lead one more time, and support the university Lynne Henkhaus so deeply loved. 28

Alumni Calendar Saturday, April 13 Wine Festival Preview Dinner Friday, April 19 Washington D.C. Alumni Reception Saturday, April 20 Alumni Reception, Modern Woodmen Park Saturday, May 18 Wine Festival Wine Tasting Friday, May 31 Fighting Bee Golf Classic Thursday, June 20 BEE Happy Hour Friday, June 28 Chicago Area Alumni Golf Outing September 27–29

Homecoming 2013 All Ambrosians are encouraged to come home, but we especially look forward to seeing members of the Reunion Classes of ‘63, ‘73, ‘88, ‘03 and ‘08, as well as all who graduated prior to 1963.


The Gift of Giving “An education from St. Ambrose University is unique and beautiful, and it would be a shame if every student wasn’t afforded the opportunity to attend such a fine institution. A Catholic, liberal arts institution like St. Ambrose has the power to transform lives.”


hat deeply felt conviction led Kathy Papageorgiou ’93 and her husband Dimitri, the owner of a wine and beer distributorship in the Quad Cities, to come together with St. Ambrose nearly 13 years ago to begin one of the most enduring and successful fundraising projects in university history. The St. Ambrose Wine Festival has raised more than $600,000 for student scholarships over the years. That is the event’s true purpose, and is a mission borne of a decades-old passion for education first instilled in Kathy’s family by her immigrant grandfather. “My grandfather came to the United States from Italy totally illiterate. And perhaps because of that, from a very early age, my parents gave us a love for learning,” she recalled. “My mom always said, ‘Your brain isn’t there to keep your ears apart.’ It is meant for learning and sharing—of yourself, your time and talents—with others.” Lifelong learning is a theme that has been constant throughout Kathy’s life. After graduating with a degree in education from Truman State University, she went on to earn a graduate degree in English at Western Illinois University. As a grade school and high school teacher, she dreamed of teaching at the collegiate level— and did so at St. Ambrose in the 1990s. Not only was she a mother of three girls, she was an adjunct teacher in writing composition and a student in the Theology Department. “I know what it is like to work fulltime and go to college. That was the reality of the time in which I grew up,” she said. “I recognize that my kids are fortunate, but for most students today, attaining higher education is a real struggle. If we can help make that easier, then we must do it.” That’s exactly what she told her husband after he was visited in 2001 by Edward Littig, PhD, then vice president for advancement at St. Ambrose. Littig called Dimitri one morning and said, “I have an idea.” Days later, the two were envisioning how they could

Wine Festival Benefactors Believe in Education bring a premier event to the university that would pair fine wines and cheeses with Ambrosians from across the region to raise funds for student scholarships. Today the Wine Festival offers more than 150 wines, gourmet foods from local restaurants, and a number of silent auction items. It has also expanded to three signature events, including Wine at the Warehouse in March and a Wine Festival Preview Dinner in April in addition to the Wine Tasting Festival in May. The events are led by a committee of volunteers from across the region, who begin planning nearly a year in advance. “Dimitri is at every meeting,” said Steve Finn, general manager at Sodexo, the food service provider at St. Ambrose. “He’s the one picking the wines, putting together the tables and vintners, and sharing his vast knowledge—and good palette—with anyone and everyone he meets. “Kathy and Dimitri are just people that you’d like to know— people who make you feel better simply because you are around them, whether you drink wine or not,” Finn added. “But Dimitri sure has made wine drinkers—educated wine drinkers, actually— out of a lot of us too.” For the Papageorgiuos, educating wine aficionados is only a festival bonus. “Why do we really do it?” Dimitri posed humbly, followed by a lengthy pause. “It is simple—and has nothing to do with wine. If it helps somebody—even one person—it is worth doing. Getting students to college, it was our initial motivation. And it still is. If I can contribute something that I know how to do, then I will do it.” For a schedule of 2013 Wine Festival events visit



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The Thirties

Family and friends gathered in West Chicago, Ill., to celebrate the 100th birthday of Glenn Cunningham ’34, MD, on Dec. 1, 2012.


The Forties

John Ebersole ’44, MD, posthumously was inducted into the Newman Central Catholic High School Hall of Fame in Sterling, Ill., in February. Ebersole served 24 years in the United States Navy, serving aboard two nuclear submarines. In 1963, he assisted in the autopsy of slain President John F. Kennedy. Ebersole died in 1993. Thomas McGinn ’47 also was inducted into the Newman Central Catholic Hall of Fame. He worked 36 years for GE before founding the Thomas A. McGinn and Associates human resources consulting firm. He taught business and management courses at the University of Virginia and Piedmont Community College and co-authored a book, Harassed—100 Women Describe Inappropriate Behavior in the Workplace. He now is retired in Arizona.


The Sixties

Mel Carney ’65 published Tomorrow’s Road Home as an e-book that reflects on his life while being raised on a farm in southeast Iowa during the 1940s and 50s. William Stier Jr. ’65 published his 26th book, Problem Solving and Appropriate Risk Taking. Stier will


receive the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal for long and distinguished service at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance National Convention in April. Stier is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education, and directs the undergraduate Sport Management program at the State University of New York, Brockport.


The Seventies

Retired from the US Department of Labor since 2011, David Balducchi ’70 is a policy consultant and had an article published in the Iowa Heritage Illustrated, Iowans Harry Hopkins and Henry A. Wallace Helped Craft Social Security’s Blueprint. Ed DeJaegher ’71 received the Robert L. Bailey Teaching Award from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. The award recognizes those who have challenged students intellectually and guided them in finding the significance of the course content as it relates to them both personally and professionally.


The Eighties

Karla (Peck) Smiley ’80 recently accepted the position of assistant director of information resources at the US Bureau of Reclamation. She will provide information management resources and serve as liaison to the Department of Interior as it progresses through its information technology transformation.

Scott Johnson ’82, ’96 MBA is the regional vice president for Fleet Advantage, LLC in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. In April 2012, Timothy Dempsey ’85 presented Cross Patterning Training Techniques for Wheelchair Athletes and Veterans at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado. He also presented on strength and conditioning and speed development at a national coaching conference at the Olympic Village in Mexico City, and created strength and conditioning webinars for Coaches Digitales, based in Yucatan, Mexico. Dempsey is a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo Park, Calif. He is also working with returning veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder. The Stanislaus Economic and Workforce Alliance recently hired Steven Ames ’87 as senior vice president and director of economic development. The alliance provides free business and workforce services in Stanislaus County, Modesto, Calif. Bettie Truitt ’87 has been appointed vice president for instructional services for Black Hawk College, Moline, Ill. She previously served as dean of instruction and academic support, and taught mathematics at the college for 18 years. Coahoma Community College has named Rosalind Wilcox ’88 the 2012 Outstanding Humanities Teacher of the Year. Wilcox has been chairwoman of the Fine Arts Department at CCC in Clarksdale, Miss., since 2007.



The Nineties

Northwestern Mutual in Mason City, Iowa, has appointed Anne Marie (Conway) Wadle ’91 as a financial representative. Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino ’92 recently signed with Hay House for her new book, Percolate—Let Your Best Self Filter Through, due out in August 2013. She also has a radio show on Blog Talk Radio and her television show, The Best Ever You Show, is in production. The Oracle Corporation, Chicago, has promoted Jeffrey Brodsky ’93 MBA as the business transformation practice director in learning management. Molly Otting-Carlson ’93 has moved back to the Quad Cities and is the development director for Junior Achievement of the Heartland. Michael Shafer ’93 has relocated from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City to accept a position as a consumer safety officer for the US Food and Drug Administration. Camcode has hired Rob Leibrandt ’94 MBA after his retirement from the office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Liebrandt, a leading defense and auto industry ID expert, is helping Camcode design and manufacture durable pre-printed bar code labels for asset tracking applications. Sterling “Doc” Meals ’98 MBA is completing his coursework in industrial organizational consulting psychology and will begin his doctoral dissertation in 2014.

The Bettendorf (Iowa) Police Department has promoted Justin Paul ’98, ’00 MCJ from lieutenant to captain. Paul oversees the support services division. Dennis Bockenstedt ’99 MBA was hired in January as finance director for Iowa City, Iowa. Bockenstedt brings more than 20 years of publicsector accounting and finance experience to the position.


The Zeros

Shaw, Jacobs, Goostree & Associates recently named Jeffrey Muntz ’00 as an associate attorney at the St. Charles, Ill., law firm. Deanna Bott ’01 earned a National Board Certification in teaching adolescence and young adulthood/ English language arts. She currently teaches AP English language and composition and the Black Hawk College dual enrollment courses at Geneseo (Ill.) High School. MacMurray College welcomed Colin Kuchy ’02 to its staff as a new admissions counselor. Kuchy will be responsible for helping determine students’ eligibility for entrance to the college in Jacksonville, Ill. Des Moines University recently hired Tashia Foster ’04 as an academic assistant. Kent Keeshan ’04 was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant on the Bettendorf (Iowa) Police Department. Keeshan supervises third shift patrol and is the narcotics handler of K9 unit police dog Old Dan. Anthony Reistroffer ’04 was promoted to supply sergeant with the

Illinois National Guard, Peoria, Ill., and is a licensed and certified polygraph examiner for J&I PolygraphInvestigation, Ltd.

Heather (Newell) Connell ’08 was promoted to mortgage loan officer for Syracuse Securities, Inc., Syracuse, N.Y.

Modern Woodmen of America named Lori Serrano ’04, ’08 MBA as a supervisor in the underwriting department. Serrano has been with the company since 1989.

McGladrey LLP promoted Andrea Potter ’09 to senior tax accountant at the firm’s Quad Cities National practice.

Ben Kiel ’06 is an attorney at Dotomi, LLC in Chicago. The Knox County YMCA, Galesburg, Ill., has named Adam Sampson ’06 chief executive officer. Sampson was the district executive director of the Scott County YMCA in Davenport. Genesis Health System has promoted Jackie Anhalt ’07 MSN to vice president of patient services for Genesis Medical Center, Davenport, and chief nurse executive for Genesis Health System. She has worked for Genesis for more than 20 years. Danielle Miller ’07 MBA has joined Deere Harvester Community Credit Union as a financial service officer at the Clinton (Iowa) Member Service Center. Bush Construction hired Casie (Sexton) Morehead ’07 as an accountant for the Quad City-based company. Berthel Fisher Financial Services has promoted Brandon Berthel ’08 to business development coordinator. He will promote products and technology through Berthel Fisher/ SM&R Insurance and also will educate representatives on fixed income and life insurance products and cultivate insurance recruiting opportunities.


The Teens

Becky (Brus) Avise ’11 was hired as project coordinator for Bush Construction in Davenport. Audrey Stanek ’11 was promoted to manager of sponsorship services for Knights Baseball, LLC in Fort Mill, S.C. Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest welcomed Sarah Wurst ’11 as a full-time volunteer. Wurst recently embarked on a yearlong journey to live simply and work for social and ecological justice in a spiritually supportive environment. Morgan Griffin ’12 wrote and illustrated a children’s book, Don’t Be a Bully, released in January. She was the illustrator for Daddy’s Not Coming Home by Jeremy Lebon, a children’s author who has family in the military. In February, Griffin accepted a six-month internship with Disney in Orlando, Fla. Sean Jankowski ’12 accepted a position at Muscatine radio station AM 860 KWPC and MAC 93.1 FM. The State Bank in Lena, Ill., recently hired Kelsey Lehman ’12 as a customer service representative. The Dupage County Hounds baseball team in Lisle, Ill., hired Kyle Wehr ’12 as their assistant general manager.




Anthony Reistroffer ’04 and Sarah McCloud, Ames, Iowa Brandon Mills ’05 and Ashley Andrews, Moline, Ill. Ben Kiel ’06 and Monica Kharmatsky, Coronado Island, Calif. Chris Logan ’06 and Olivia Heaton, Davenport Lindsey Kakert ’07 MBA and Dallas Vanorny, Davenport Andrew Caruso ’08 and Jennifer Bechtolt, Monroe, Wis. Heather Newell ’08 and Justin Connell, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Dan Rogalski ’97 and Melanie Rago welcomed daughter Emerson on Sept. 7, 2012. She was welcomed home by big brother Beckett. Crystal (Gruntorad) VanDeWiele ’02 and her husband, Ben, announced the birth of their daughter Margaret on June 12, 2012. Nicole (Blazina) Brown ’04 and her husband, David “DJ” ’05, welcomed daughter Taylor Marie to the family on Oct. 24, 2012. Taylor was welcomed home by big sister Addison. Elizabeth “Betsy” (Griffith) Fisher ’04 and husband, Nathan ’05, announced the birth of their daughter Rowan on June 30, 2012.

Timothy Clark ’10 and Matty VanDamme ’10, Galena, Ill.

Amber (Gordon) Osterhaus ’05 and her husband, Matt, celebrated the birth of son Hayden Zayne on Oct. 3, 2012. Hayden is a little brother to McKenna and Drake.

Julie (Hackmann) Garber ’95 and her husband, Jeremy, celebrated the birth of daughter Charis Hope on Aug. 14, 2012. Charis was welcomed home by siblings Joshua, Josiah, Amena and Abigail.

Michael Manjoine ’34, Pittsburgh, Jan. 15, 2013

Samantha Lee ’09 and Brenton Barkley, Mackinaw, Ill.


Clare (Campbell) Holladay ’95, ’00 MBA and her husband, Ryan, announced the arrival of their son James Ryan on Sept. 17, 2012. James was welcomed home by big sister Emma.


Kenneth Hartman ’39, Eugene, Ore., Oct. 15, 2011 Peter Bisesi ’43, The Woodlands, Texas, Oct. 6, 2012 Daniel Usalis ’44, Chicago, Nov. 15, 2012 Hon. Ralph Smith Jr. ’47, Cave Creek, Ariz., Nov. 30, 2011 Rev. Gerald Hoenig ’48, Ft. Madison, Iowa, Sept. 4, 2012 Edward “Ed” Breheny Jr. ’49, Bettendorf, Iowa, Dec. 15, 2012 Clifford “Skip” Herbst ’49, Hot Springs Village, Ark., Jan. 13, 2013


William Casey ’50, Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 2, 2013

Clayton “Rip” Ripperton ’67, Silvis, Ill., Nov. 12, 2012

Roger Henry ’50, Dublin, Ohio, Dec. 8, 2012

John Loihl ’68, Tacoma, Wash., Jan. 15, 2013

Patrick Langan ’50, Peoria, Ariz., Nov. 9, 2012

Sr. Augustine Rael OSB ’68, Rock Island, Ill., May 5, 2012

Julien Sierra ’50, Peoria, Ill., Nov. 2, 2012

James Ruder ’69, Kankakee, Ill., Dec. 7, 2012

William Newell ’51, Sterling, Ill., Nov. 26, 2012

James “Jim” Barry ’70, Lexington, Ky., Oct. 5, 2012

William “Rainbow Bill” Opelka ’51, Countryside, Ill., Nov. 7, 2012

Hollis Scriven ’70, Davenport, Dec. 16, 2012

John Barton ’52, Edina, Minn., March 19, 2011

Patrick O’Rourke ’71, Davenport, Jan. 6, 2013

Howard Poepsel ’52, Omaha, Neb., Nov. 25, 2012

Marcia Smith ’81, East Moline, Ill., Nov. 29, 2012

Donald Terando ’52, Evanston, Ill., Oct. 2, 2012

Phyllis Shaffer ’82, Davenport, Jan. 13, 2013

Thomas Friedl ’53, Galena, Ill., Nov. 8, 2012

George Monty ’89, Davenport, Dec. 8, 2012

James Dolan ’56, Davenport, Sept. 26, 2012

Michael Feddersen ’95, Davenport, Nov. 9, 2012

Gordon “Bart” Bartholomew ’59, Anchorage, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2012

Karen Buls ’97 MBA, Sumner, Iowa, Oct. 1, 2012

Gary Marlier ’60, Moline, Ill., Nov. 16, 2012

Cathy Petersen ’97, Davenport, Oct. 8, 2012

Martin Osborn ’60, Rock Island, Ill., Dec. 7, 2012

Adrienne (Striegel) Corsiglia ’00, Davenport, Jan. 3, 2013

John Bremhorst ’61, Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 3, 2012

Hope Jacobsen ’11, Davenport, Sept. 27, 2012

Charles Vanek ’61, Davenport, Nov. 11, 2012

Board of Trustees Emeritus

Jean (Donohue) Jachman ’62, Minneapolis, Dec. 9, 2012 Daniel McGuiness ’65, Baltimore, Nov. 18, 2012 Robert “Bob” Cavanaugh ’67, Middletown, Md., Oct. 11, 2012

Bernard “Barry” O’Brien ’94 (Hon.), Evanston, Ill., Oct. 22, 2012


From SAUtv to The Worldwide Leader “I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience than the one I got at St. Ambrose… I was able to do way more than even I thought I could.”

Chris Hassel, third from left, with his former co-workers at WHO-TV, Des Moines, Iowa.

The first couple weeks of December were fairly newsworthy for newsman Chris Hassel ’07. First, the 28-year-old with a St. Ambrose bachelor’s degree in communications landed a job with national TV network ESPN. A few days later, he was named Iowa’s Sportscaster of the Year. “I couldn’t even fit through a door for about a week there, my head got so big,” said Hassel, who left WHO-TV in Des Moines on Jan. 1 and began his assignment as a Highlight Express anchor for ESPNews in late January. “I am a little worried I have used up all my luck a little too early in life.” Not if it is true that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, he hasn’t. Hassel said the opportunity he found at St. Ambrose absolutely prepared him for this big career break. “You hear about all the big ones. The Syracuses. The Missouris,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience than the one I got at St. Ambrose. It’s not about the name. It’s about what you can experience. Firsthand. Hands-on. And I was able to do way more than even I thought I could.” Don “Duke” Schneider ’76, operations manager at SAUtv, said it was obvious when Hassel transferred to SAU in the fall of 2004 that the young man from Muscatine could—and would—take advantage of every opportunity he was given to grow behind a microphone and in front of a camera. “Right away, we said ‘This guy is good,’” Schneider recalled of listening alongside KALA operations manager David Baker ’88 as Hassel handled studio duties during the 2004 football season opener. “He did his homework. He was articulate. You could tell he was passionate about sports. So the very next game, we put him at the stadium and had him call the game. He was phenomenal. We had him stay there the next three years. He was that good.” Radio play-by-play was Hassel’s initial passion. He learned to love the camera here, too. “I just went face-first into TV and radio,” he said. “Doing commercials. Coach’s shows. My junior and senior years during basketball season, I was calling five games a week.” He also landed Sunday sportscasting duties at the Quad Cities Fox-TV affiliate and handled morning news and Friday games of the week for WOC radio. A job in Iowa’s biggest TV market followed graduation. And now, Iowa’s Sportscaster of the Year is part of the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports. “The great thing about ESPN is if you do a good job and they really like you, the sky is the limit,” he said. “You can go all the way up to where Mike Tirico is now, being able to call the biggest sporting events in the world. He started calling highlights on ESPN’s SportsCenter 20 years ago.”


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A Toast to St. Ambrose For more than a decade, the St. Ambrose Wine Festival has provided Ambrosians the opportunity to raise a glass to the benefit of a St. Ambrose education while contributing to our scholarship endowment.

Wine Festival Dinner Saturday, April 13 Rogalski Center Ballroom

Wine Festival Wine Tasting Saturday, May 18 Under the Oaks To join us for either or both events, visit

Scene Magazine Spring 2013  
Scene Magazine Spring 2013  

Scene is published by the Communications and Marketing office for the alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty and staff of St. Ambrose U...