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Spring 2018


We want college students to be given the opportunity for a great education that will get them started in life. —Michael ’62 and Diane ’62 Jerpseth Madsen

West Central School of Agriculture alumni are a loyal bunch: loyal to one another and to the place they once called home. That loyalty to the Morris campus—and gratitude for the foundation it gave their careers and personal lives— inspires Aggies Michael ’62 and Diane Jerpseth Madsen ’62 to support the institution today. Both Michael and Diane have a history of service to the campus and to the WCSA; they currently serve on the WCSA Alumni Association Board of Directors. They also use a charitable IRA rollover to “keep the campus as beautiful as it was when [they] were there.” It’s important, they say, for Aggies to carry on the values of the WCSA so that Morris students can enjoy the same opportunities they once had. “We want to have our footprints preserved,” the Madsens say. “We want college students to be given the opportunity for a great education that will get them started in life.”

You can meet Michael and Diane when you join your fellow Aggies on campus at the 2018 All-School Reunion: Friday, July 20. For more details and an event schedule, keep reading!



In September the University of Minnesota, Morris announced A model for living and learning, a $21-million campaign for students, faculty, facilities, and outreach. The campus already has secured well over half of its initial goal. However, according to Director of Advancement Susan Schmidgall, “the impact of campaign giving to-date is the most important aspect of our progress.” This impact includes more than 100 new scholarships, Morris’s first endowed professorships, a new history center for the library and an outdoor sculpture for the campus, and the EcoStation research venue. The campus will celebrate the public launch of A model for living and learning on September 21. Stay tuned for more details!





400 NEW SCHOLARSHIPS will give talented young people access to education



5 ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIPS will inspire the teacher-scholars who show our students how to change the world


140 ACRES will be leveraged to solve grand challenges in west central Minnesota



will be€er support our teaching, research, and outreach mission


As I approach the end of my first year as alumni relations coordinator, I want to thank you all for your very warm welcome. I am grateful to work with all of you. Aggies play such an important role in the history and legacy of our campus; you’re a close-knit group, and I always enjoy your fun stories! Thank you for your commitment to your alumni association, each other, and us UMMers! Please call or email me anytime with questions, concerns, or just to say hello. It’s always great to hear from you. I can be reached at 320-589-6396 or kmcbrady@ morris.umn.edu. I look forward to welcoming many of you back in May and July for the WCSA alumni gatherings. It will be great to see you all and have you back on campus.


Sustainable, the nowbuzzword: to be able to continue at the same level for a period of time. The WCSA Alumni Association board continues to make plans to sustain the association. The winter gatherings for Aggie snowbirds in Arizona and Texas were held in February. Join us for the WCSA Alumni Garden planting and board meeting on May 24 at 9 a.m. I want to remind all that the allschool reunion is set for Friday, July 20. The board is confident a Friday date will give more Aggies the opportunity to attend the reunion. All classes making plans for special events off campus should note this date. To further our sustainability, the association needs your participation in AlumNEWS: send news of your class, your experiences at West Central, and what’s happening in your life. As ever, we sustain, President Tom Payne ’60

Shown at above is the Gymnasium (later PE Annex) streetscape ca. 1931. The Gymnasium was designed by Clarence H. Johnston Sr. and built in 1930 for WCSA. It was demolished circa 1998 so that the Science Building could be expanded. Note the street is not yet paved (it was paved in 1932). Below is the view from the same location today.



More than 30 Aggies, spouses, and friends gathered at the View Point RV and Golf Resort in Mesa, Arizona, on February 12 for the annual WCSA Arizona reunion and lunch. Seated: Bob Torkelson ’55, Dennis Delzer ’61, Kenneth Hoffman ’57, Dennis Stock ’57, Francis Sykora ’57, Ardean Hauschild ’53. Standing: Orlan Kvistero ’60, Tom Payne ’60, Ruby Sivertson Torkelson ’56, Phil Brunner ’56, Carl Larson ’59, Richard Storck ’55, Chancellor Michelle Behr, Clifford Swift ’46, Ted Storck ’54, Dale Johnson ’49, Jerry Berger ’55, Kermit Stahn ’53, Coordinator of Alumni Relations Kaitlyn McBrady ’13. Not pictured: Harvey Hawes ’49 and Daryl Johnson ’57 WCSA TEXAS REUNION 2018

West Central School of Agriculture alumni and friends also enjoyed food and fellowship at Gatti’s Pizza in McAllen, Texas, on February 21. Seated: Barb Jorgenson Albertson ’57, Carol Dewey Erlandson ’55, LaVonne Sahmock Dupree ’59 Standing: Jim Dewey ’54, Doug Glesne ’56, Loren Maahs ’56, Russ Erlandson ’54, Gary Peterson ’56, Charlie Dupree ’54; Allen Albertson ’56

Save the date: the 2019 Texas Reunion will be held on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS MAY 24 WCSA Alumni Garden Planting 9 a.m. WCSA Alumni Board of Directors Meeting Immediately following garden planting JULY 20 WCSA All-School Summer Reunion noon FEBRUARY 11 Arizona WCSA All-School Winter Reunion Location TBD FEBRUARY 20 Texas Reunion Gatti’s Pizza (4100 North Second Street, McAllen, TX 78504) 11 a.m. Events take place on the Morris campus unless otherwise noted.

WCSA faculty Herbert Croom in a classroom in the Engineering building in 1944.

LIFE AND TIMES IN THE MILITARY, TOLD BY TED STORCK ’54 Editor’s note: Ted served a year in Vietnam as the photo officer for Naval Forces Headquarters in Saigon. For his work in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V.” He retired from the Navy Reserve as a commander. It was a quiet night in Cholon, the section of Saigon where I was housed. But the quiet night became anything but when I was awakened by a sentry who told me a Vietnamese woman was about to give birth on the sidewalk. “What do you want me to do?,” I asked. “Just because my name is Storck doesn’t mean I’ve delivered a baby before.” Smiling, he said, “No, we need you to take her to the hospital. You have the only transportation.” So I dressed, loaded the woman into the back of my carry-all, and was off to the hospital. I got there in time, in spite of being stopped several times. When we arrived, the nurses assessed the situation, and I think all went well from there on out. I have wondered: Was it a boy, or girl? Was he or she ever told it was an American sailor who took his/her mother to the hospital? All in a day’s work for our great military. Incidentally, when I was a Los Angeles police officer, I did deliver a baby in the back of an SUV on a busy freeway. The Mexican mother spoke no English, and my partner and I very little Spanish. We found out later the Spanish-speaking officer on the scene told her we had done this many times. The truth: my partner was raised in Los Angeles and had not even seen cats being born. I grew up on a Stevens County farm, so births were common occurrences but, nope, not a human.

CLASS NOTES Orlo Anderson ’45 and Virginia (above) celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on November 29, 2017. They have one son and three daughters, six grandsons and three granddaughters, and 12 great-grandchildren. Orlo enlisted in the Navy and entered May 23, 1945, and was honorably discharged in July 1946. He serviced and sold farm equipment to farmers and dealers. Gilmore Sem ’59 writes: “I retired 10 years ago after 40 years with TSI Incorporated, a developer and manufacturer of instruments sold primarily to research scientists around the world. I was a mechanical engineer who later became general manager of a group responsible for instruments to measure the size, concentration, and composition of airborne particles (aerosols) such as air pollution, clean room contaminants, and battlefield bacteria. My primary activity now is family history. I’m about to publish a second book about ancestors and descendants of one of my great-grandmothers. During the past 10 years I’ve spent much of May and September at a resort north of Underwood, near the farm where I grew up. My wife Virginia (Ginnie) Swedeen Sem died unexpectedly on December 29, 2017. She slipped away peacefully while napping in a rehab facility after installation of a pacemaker. Ginnie attended all WCSA reunions with me, every five years, beginning in 1969. She was a 1959 graduate of Minneapolis Roosevelt High School. I continue to live in Lauderdale (near the Saint Paul campus of the U of M), as I have since we married in 1966. She is survived by our daughter, Sonya Sem Welch, who lives about 20 minutes away and visits me several times each week.”

Friend Lois Leavitt writes: “David Kill ’60 and I have had an annual new year’s breakfast. We have gradually added other Donnelly people, with Donnie ’60 and Happy Smith (my cousins on my mother’s side), who grew up across the field from David. There have been lots of memories of childhood escapades. We get quality visiting done and spend more than two and a half hours at breakfast! Always a special time to spend time together; I am so grateful each year.” (gathering pictured above)


Harley Hanke, who taught animal husbandry, meats, and stock judging at the WCSA, purchased the final copy of a first edition of the autobiography Between the Cattails and the Bulrushes by Gordon Ekberg. Hanke, a longtime friend to the Ekberg family, was featured in the Grant County Herald for the honor. (Shown above at the Herman Community Library on January 13 following the presentation by the author’s wife, Gay Ekberg.)

FONDLY REMEMBERED Eldina Spaulding ’38, Willmar, passed away in March 2017. She was born and raised in Morris, where she met her husband-to-be. Following graduation from WCSA, they moved to Willmar, where Eldina became the cook at the jail above which she and her husband lived. They then moved to Alexandria, where they spent their summers (following winters in Texas). In 2003 they returned to Willmar. Eldina was a member of United Methodist Church, and she enjoyed gardening, golfing, playing cards, and doing crafts. She is survived by two children, six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, six greatgreat-grandchildren, and one brother. Marjorie Trost Speer ’43, Morris, passed away in September 2017. She was born in Artichoke Township and attended country school before graduating from WCSA. After obtaining her LPN degree, Marjorie worked at the old and new hospitals in Morris. She loved nature, reading, and politics. She is survived by her three children, stepson, 10 grandchildren, and five greatgrandchildren. Milton R. Wente ’51, Benson, passed away in October 2017. He was born in Tara Township and was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran church in Horton Township. After graduation Milton worked with his father on the farm until 1957, when he was drafted into the United States Army. Two years later he returned from service and continued farming for nearly 30 more years. He and his wife, Joan, moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where Milton worked for the local school district until his retirement in 1996; they then returned to Benson. Milton is survived by his wife, four children, seven grandchildren, stepgranddaughter, six great-grandchildren, four stepgreat-grandchildren, and one sister. Winfield Rudningen ’51, Brainerd, passed away in May 2017. He was born in Sunburg, where he

was raised until he went to WCSA for schooling. After serving a short time in the Army, he became a chief deputy for the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department. Ten years later Winfield became a parks worker for the Minnesota Department of Conservation. He was then promoted to Minnesota State Park Manager at Crow Wing State Park in Brainerd. He lived in Brainerd for the remainder of his life, spending much of his time in his woodshop perfecting his craftsmanship. Winfield is survived by his three children, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, three step-children, and two sisters. CLASS NEWS AND “IN YOUR WORDS” WCSA alumni love reading Class News, so please send us your updates! Mail us a letter, give us a call, or send us an email about your careers, families, travels, hobbies, activities, and WCSA memories. We will include your news in the next AlumnNEWS. The deadline for submission is August 15, 2018. FUNDING FOR ALUMNEWS Your donations fund AlumNEWS. Thank you to those who have given in the past—we appreciate your support! Checks to fund AlumNEWS can be made payable to the University of Minnesota, Morris and sent to the address at right.

ALUMNEWS ONLINE WCSA AlumNEWS—along with WCSA photos and history—is available online at alumni.morris.umn. edu/wcsa-alumni-association. If you would prefer to access the newsletter exclusively online, please contact us to request that your name be removed from the conventional mailing list. AlumNEWS is published by the University of Minnesota, Morris. It is available in alternative formats upon request. Class news, donations, comments, corrections, and questions may be directed to: Kaitlyn Slieter McBrady ’13 Coordinator of Alumni Relations University of Minnesota, Morris Welcome Center, 600 East Fourth Street Morris, Minnesota 56267-2132 320-589-6396 or kmcbrady@morris.umn.edu

Doris Dickson ’56, Mesa, Arizona, passed away peacefully in September 2017. She was born in Graceville and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Doris grew up in Chokio before attending WCSA. After graduation she worked as a secretary until she moved to Minneapolis to work for the State of Minnesota. Doris eventually moved to Mesa, Arizona, to “live life” and work various jobs. She is survived by her sister, relatives, and friends. Loyal Larsen ’57, Underwood, passed away in December 2017. He was born in Wadena and was baptized into the Lutheran faith. Loyal was raised on a farm near Underwood prior to attending WCSA. After graduation he worked in the submarine services for three years while serving in the United States Navy. Following his return from the armed forces, he returned to Underwood to become a farmer. He was an active participant at his local church, where he taught Sunday school. Loyal enjoyed farming, fishing, and hunting. He is survived by his wife, three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Joyce Aswege Rund ’61 passed away peacefully at home in October 2017 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was born in Graceville and lived in rural Glencoe for 40 years. There she taught Sunday school, drove school bus, and worked as office manager for her husband’s chiropractic offices in Norwood and Glencoe. Joyce’s most beloved pastime was bowling. She is survived by her husband, Kenwood Rund ’60 (with whom she enjoyed 54 years of marriage), son and daughter, sister Elaine Aswege Harstad ’55, and brother Armand Aswege ’57. Norman Commerford ’61, Danvers, passed away December 16, 2017, following a brave battle with cancer. Norman grew up in rural Maynard and graduated from WCSA in 1961. On February 23, 1963, he was united in marriage to Marie; their marriage lasted 54 years. Norman started Commerford Construction in 1973, acquired a gravel business in 1990, and started Commerford

Gravel, which involved his entire family. Norm was a member of the Danvers Fire Department and was mayor of the City of Danvers for 20 years. He enjoyed hunting, especially his many hunting trips out west and a caribou hunt in the Arctic Circle. He also enjoyed fishing and camping, and he loved spending time with family and friends. Working was another great focus of his life: he enjoyed friendships made with others in the construction industry as well as with township and county officials in western Minnesota. Norm is survived by his wife, Marie, son Todd of Danvers, and siblings Richard, Beverly, Marjorie, and Robert. Norm was preceded in death by his son, Michael.

Students outside Senior Hall (later Blakely Hall) ca. 1950 10:15 10:15 and the lights go out. Girls in bed? That I doubt! My hair’s not up but I don’t care. Got lotsa lessons I should prepare. But it’s dark in here; can’t see a thing. I’ll have to give my work a fling. I’m tired and sleepy and ready for bed, But books are piled from foot to head. I throw them off, heave a sigh of relief, For now into bed is my belief. I pull back the quilt, but I fall defeated. Heaven forbid, I’ve been short-sheeted! —Marceille Baldry, from the 1948 Moccasin

WCSA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS Thomas Payne ’60, president 4564 368th Avenue Montevideo, MN 56265-6436 320-841-0318 Keith Kvistero ’62, vice president 13035 Highway 40 Northwest Milan, MN 56262-2408 320-734-4659 Michael Madsen ’62, treasurer 2042 Palisades Lane Watertown, SD 57201-9400 605-753-1645 Patricia Lesmeister Nelson ’61, secretary 1000 Park Avenue Morris, MN 56267-1859 320-585-1935 LuWanna Foslien Hintermeister ’60 3234 Prairie Road NE Carlos, MN 56319-8106 320-852-7115 Sherry Bergeland Johnson ’62 27 East Oaks Road North Oaks, MN 55127-2527 612-709-9099 Loren Maahs ’56 23399 Highland Drive Fergus Falls, MN 56537-8170 218-739-3530 Diane Jerpseth Madsen ’62 2042 Palisades Lane Watertown, SD 57201-9400 605-753-1645 Kenwood Rund ’60 33103 160th Street Battle Lake, MN 56515-9508 320-241-4603 Legislative Interface and Fund Raising Committee

Les Bensch ’59, chair 36209 County Highway 126 Ashby, MN 56309 218-747-2121 Alumni Garden Committee Carol Pederson Meyer ’60, chair 508 Irving Street Alexandria, MN 56308 320-763-5814

2018 WCSA ALL-SCHOOL REUNION INFORMATION LODGING INFORMATION MORRIS HOTELS GrandStay—320-585-4000 or 855-455-7829 Hotel 200—320-589-3030 Morris Motel—320-589-1212 Super 8 Motel—320-589-8888 or 1-800-800-8000 Blocks of rooms have been reserved at GrandStay, Hotel 200, and the Super 8 Motel in Morris. Please request “WCSA Reunion” before Thursday, July 5. RV PARKING ON CAMPUS Free parking for self-contained recreational vehicles is available in all campus parking lots—the East Parking Lot has the most shade and is the largest, quietest area. No water or electrical hookups. POMME DE TERRE PARK RVs are welcome at Pomme de Terre Park on a firstcome, first-served basis. The cost is $15 per night without electricity/$20 per night with electricity. Please register at the registration stand in the park. Water, bathrooms, and water hookups are available. Questions? Call 320-589-3141.

PARKING AND FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE On-campus parking is free of charge throughout the reunion. Parking around the mall area near the Student Center will be restricted to vehicles with handicapped plates or permits (20 spots). Complimentary golfcart shuttle service will be provided from the North Parking Lot to the Student Center. If you have special transportation needs, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@morris.umn.edu or 320-589-6066. more reunion information on following page

2018 WCSA ALL-SCHOOL REUNION FRIDAY, JULY 20 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, MORRIS The 2018 reunion speaker will be Dallen Peterson ’54. Dallen founded the company Merry Maids and co-authored the book Rags, Riches, and Real Success with Ellen Santilli Vaughn. Dallen is sure to entertain all Aggie attendees in July. Join us!

WCSA REUNION SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Friday, July 20 11 a.m. Registration Opens Student Center, Oyate Hall Noon Brunch Student Center, Oyate Hall 1 p.m. Group Photo Student Center, Oyate Hall 1:30 p.m. Business Meeting Humanities Fine Arts, Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre 2:30 p.m. Coffee and Cookies Outside Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre 4 p.m. Last call for golf cart rides to Parking Lot At your leisure Visit the WCSA Alumni Garden

REUNION ANNOUNCEMENTS Class of ’52/’53 The class of ’52/’53 will celebrate its 65th reunion on Friday, July 20. Come and share memories of dorm living and mischief giving, good teachers, indifferent teachers, and those cold walks (NO running across the grass!) from class to class. Please contact Irene Goerke Weeding for more information at 320-289-1791. Class of 1961 The Class of 1961 will have its annual get-together on Friday, July 20, starting in the late afternoon after the All-School Reunion festivities. Where: Old #1 Restaurant, Morris, upper level. When: 4:30 p.m.—stay as long as you like! Food: We will order dinner off the menu. Other Classes: Members from the Classes of 1960 and 1962 are more than welcome to join us as well! Contact Info: If you have questions, please contact Patricia Lesmeister Nelson at 612 599-1509. Class of 1963 Please give serious consideration to attending our 55th reunion, to be held in conjunction with the AllSchool Reunion on Friday, July 20. Please contact Will Grunewald with any questions (or if you have been corresponding with classmates, as some addresses need to be updated).You can reach Will at willog@aol.com or at 612-581-4907. If you would like to request a breakout room for your class gathering at the reunion, contact Kaitlyn McBrady ’13, alumni relations coordinator, at 320-589-6396.

2018 WCSA ALL-SCHOOL REUNION REGISTRATION FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2018 If you plan to attend the reunion, please return the form below or register to attend online at alumni.morris.umn.edu/wcsareunion by Thursday, July 12, 2018. Please make checks payable to the University of Minnesota, Morris. If you do not plan to attend the reunion, please use this form to update your address or to send a donation. Return this form with your check(s) and/or updated address information to: Office of Alumni Relations, Welcome Center, 600 East Fourth Street, Morris, Minnesota 56267

Name(s) for nametag(s) Class(es) PERMANENT ADDRESS

GIFT I ¨ will ¨ will not be attending the All-Classes Reunion, and I have enclosed a gift (a separate check, please) for:

Street City State


Phone Email



¨ Rural Students Scholarship (#5616)


¨ Herb Croom Endowed Scholarship $ (given to WCSA and UMM legacy students) (#3910) ¨ The Johnson-Lisk Family Fund for the EcoStation (#21163)

City State

¨ WCSA AlumNEWS (#4634)



¨ West Central Research and Outreach Center $ (#2094)

Phone Email

2018 WCSA REUNION REGISTRATION Registration Fee $6 per person for reunion materials and other miscellaneous costs. (Please enclose $12 if you are bringing a guest.) Registration Fee $ Noon Brunch* $19 per person ($22 if not pre-registered by 7/12) Please reserve ______ (quantity) meals at $19 each. Coffee and Cookies

¨ Charlie and Carol Berg Scholarship (#20565)


¨ WCSA Class of ’56 Scholarship (#5166)


¨ Other

$ Total Gift $

If your gift is (please check) $

¨ in honor of a living person, or

¨ in memory of someone who has passed away,

please write his or her full name here:

NO CHARGE Total Registration $ UM19UMMWCSAN

*If you have special dietary concerns, please contact Alumni Relations at alumni@morris.umn.edu or 320-589-6066.

Fill out and return the form or register online at alumni.morris.umn.edu/wcsareunion


Office of Alumni Relations University of Minnesota, Morris Welcome Center 600 E 4th St Morris, MN 56267-2134

Address Service Requested

At left: North windbreak, Seed House, and barns in the 1940s. Near center of photo is a straw shed (farm structure made of straw for housing cattle). At right: the Seed House today. The area in front of the structure is now the North Parking Lot, and the space where the straw shed was constructed now houses the campus transportation garage. The Seed House itself is still used for storage—though the items within are tables and chairs rather than seeds! The University of Minnesota, Morris is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Printed on recycled and recyclable paper with postconsumer content.

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Spring 2018 WCSA AlumNEWS  

Spring 2018 WCSA AlumNEWS  

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