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The Welcome Center is the new south entrance of the renovated and expanded Taylor Hall



letter from the president

While Western State College of Colorado is celebrating a century of service this year, I am celebrating a milestone of my own – February marked the start of my 10th year as president of this remarkable college. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Western in this capacity. In the past decade, the campus has undergone a significant transformation, achieving great milestones along the way, such as the return of graduate programs, new construction and renovations, as well as the development of innovative academic and student support programs. Western’s success can be attributed to the people who work behind-the-scenes – a campus community that cares greatly about this college and its progress. I work with an exceptional team of administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, Board of Trustees and friends and attribute my success as president to their dedication and perseverance. Western is built upon their collaboration and vision for continued growth and vitality. From the facilities crews, who keep our campus a beautiful place to learn, to the faculty and staff who are personally devoted to students success. All members of the Western family go above and beyond their roles, and for that, I am grateful. This issue of the “Westerner” highlights 100 of the most outstanding graduates who are part of our family. They are a testament to the quality of education and outpouring of support that they received while at Western. We value the professional and civic contributions of our graduates – they give meaning to the tireless efforts of the Western community. Von Washington Jr. (’90), is an example of a Western student who has paid it forward in his career. We were fortunate to have Von present this year’s spring commencement address. As principal at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan, Von is a mentor to his students and staff and has overseen a significant increase in the number of graduating seniors who attend college. In recognition of the school’s outstanding improvement and innovative programs, it won the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge in 2010, garnering a commencement speech by President Barack Obama. It is an honor to include Von among our Western family. Thank you for being part of our Western family. Please continue to keep us posted about your accomplishments. Perhaps send a note to a faculty or staff member who impacted your life. Stop by campus when you’re in the area and make plans to celebrate Homecoming with us the weekend of Sept. 30 (the Alumni Office is planning quite a celebration). You are part of Western’s rich heritage and I hope you remain connected to your alma mater.

Photo : Neil Santarella

President, Jay Helman with alumnus, Von Washington at the May 2011 graduation.

in this issue

Western State College Summer 2011, Volume 10. No. 1 Readers may submit news items to: Tonya Van Hee Director of Alumni Relations 970-943-2493 Jay Helman President 970-943-2114

2 intro

3 top 100 westerners

Tom Burggraf Director of WSC Foundation 970-641-2237 Tracey Koehler Director, Publications & Communications 970-943-3038 Jared Verner Sports Information Director 970-943-2831

13 campus news

15 wsc athletics

Crested Butte/CPC Solutions Layout, Design and Printing Alumni Board of Directors Bruce Bartleson (Emeritus Faculty) Ann (Clements) Eckman (‘89) Howard Fishman (’69) Paul Giberson (’01) Jim Jacoby (‘83) Karen McCrary (’70, ’71) TW Stites (‘97) Kevin Taylor (‘04) Claire Carris (Student Rep) The Westerner is published three times each year for alumni and friends of Western by Western State College, 600 N. Adams, Gunnison, CO 81231. ABOUT THE COVER Newly renovated Taylor Hall reopened in 2011 after standing proud for 100 years.

17 foundation news

19 news from the alumni association

20 class notes

23 homecoming


Dear Alumni and Friends When Western opened its doors to students exactly 100 years ago, I wonder if the administration at the time (which consisted of an offcampus President and secretary and a handful of faculty) had even a glimpse of the rich heritage they were embarking upon. I can’t say for sure, but I have a feeling if John C. Johnson was sitting right here to answer that question, he’d probably say, “Yes.” They all seemed to feel the importance of keeping Western (then the Normal School) going--it’s as if they knew. Knew of the amazing and successful graduates who would come out of this little college; knew of the rich traditions that would develop; knew this place was destined for greatness. All I know for sure is that I’m so glad they had such a remarkable and strong vision because here we are 100 years later and I’m just blown away at the quality of graduates Western has produced. Last winter we asked you to nominate Western grads for a “Top 100” list we were putting together and boy did you respond! Thank you! We received hundreds of nominations and the selection process was grueling. Many times our committee would ask--why did we do this to ourselves?? But after several weeks of review, discussion and debate, we were able to put together a list. In this issue of the Westerner, we are presenting that list to you. But before you start leafing through the next 2 Westerner

dozen or so pages, let me just say this -- we know we’ve left out some people who absolutely deserve to be on this list. I suppose that is the risk you run anytime you’re putting something like this together. We were only able to base our decisions off the nominations that we received. So, take this list as a sample of just some of the amazing graduates that Western has produced over the last 100 years and of the amazing graduates who are on the horizon for the next 100 years. And so, without further adieu, I present to you, in alphabetical order, our list of Top 100 Graduates for Western’s first 100 years...

Tonya Van Hee (‘91) WSC Alumni Relations Director





1. Jacob Accola (‘37) a Cedaredge native first arrived at WSC in 1933. He was a highly active student as well as alumnus. He was a letter winner in football, accepted a role in student government, and edited the student newspaper. After graduating from WSC he taught history and coached basketball at La Junta High School for four years before enlisting in the Air Force in 1941. He served on the WSC Foundation Board in its early days after returning to the United States following WW II. He also served many years on Western’s Alumni Board. Jake is a retired Air Force Colonel now living in Colorado Springs with his wife, Mary. Jake and Mary have generously and loyally supported Western’s Football program, the MAA and the President’s Club. Jake is still as active as ever in alumni relations doing much research for this issue of the Westerner. Thanks Jake! 2. Joseph W. Arbuckle(‘68) enlisted in the US Army after his graduation from Western. Major General Arbuckle made significant and sustained contributions to the US Army Ordnance Corps over a thirty-year career. He was an acknowledged expert in missile maintenance, commanding two missile maintenance companies, the Pershing Support Battalion and then Letterkenney Army Depot. In each case, he brought new and efficient business methods while remaining a hands-on leader of ordnance soldiers. He also commanded an infantry detachment in Vietnam and, as CG JTFKuwait in Operation Desert Thunder, two brigades of Infantry and Marines. His significant citations and awards include: Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device, Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Army Achievement Medal.

3. Steve Asheim (‘71) recently retired as Director of Bands at Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado. He taught public school music for thirtyone years—six in the Northglenn School District and twenty-five at Heritage High School. He is currently an educational sales representative for Flesher-Hinton Music Company. He was appointed conductor of the WSC Colorado Brass Band in 2005. He also performed regularly with the Chris Holmes Brass Ensemble of London. He has been a guest conductor of twenty Colorado League honor bands and served as conductor of the 1987 Colorado All-State Jazz Ensemble. He conducted the Rocky Mountain Brassworks British Brass Band for thirteen years and the Denver El Jebel Shrine Band for two years. 4. James Baggot (‘37) at the time of his retirement from active coaching in 1964, was the most successful coach in Colorado high school basketball history. His win/loss record over a 30 year period was 423105. His team at Greeley Central High School won five state titles during a seven year period. At one point his teams qualified for the state tournament in 18 of 20 years. Jim was selected as Colorado’s all time best prep basketball coach by the Denver Post in 1980. In 1980 he was the first Mountaineer inducted in the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. He was selected to the National High School Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. He was also inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 1995 Greeley Central High School’s gymnasium was named “Jim Baggot Gymnasium.” Jim is now deceased. 5. Elaine (Littlepage) Barbour (‘60, ‘65) who had previously been named Colorado Teacher of the Year, was selected as the National Teacher of the Year for 1978. President Carter made the announcement and Elaine was able to meet the President who was quoted as saying, “She


9 was the first person to put me in my place” since becoming President. When she won the prize she taught at Coal Creek Elementary between Olathe and Montrose. She polished her teaching skills by traveling to Italy, France, Germany, and nine other countries.

6. Frank G. Bauer (‘70,‘73) a highly respected football agent for over 20 years, is recognized by the NFL Players Association and Sports Illustrated as one of league’s top ten agents. Frank is a former Division I Defensive Coordinator and coached 12 years at the college level. He is currently President/Owner of Sun West Sports & Associates in Stockton, CA. Frank says, “Coach Borah and other instructors at WSC demonstrated to me how important it is to help young people reach their goals and fulfill their potential. I have used these life lessons nearly every day for the last 35 years working with young men, first as a coach and then an NFL agent.” Frank received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. He is one of the people on whom the movie character Jerry Maguire was based. 7. Wendy (Githens) Benazerga (‘78) served in the Peace Corps for two years in Cameroon after graduating from Western. She’s been in Africa since that time working as senior HIV Prevention Advisor at USAID in Madagascar and in South Africa. She oversees and manages USAID’s $30 million a year HIV prevention portfolio. Wendy was appointed by the Director General of the Department of the Health to serve as an active member of the Health Task Team to elaborate the South African Government’s accelerated HIV prevention plan. 8. Robert E. Blackburn (‘72) was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as a United States Federal Judge in 2002. The Honorable Judge’s previous position was a judge on the Sixteenth Judicial District of Colorado where he served from 1988 to 2002. This should







come as no surprise for a man who started his political career as the student body president of Western in 1971-72.

9. Mindy Blake(‘83) began her journalism career at KREX-TV in Grand Junction shortly after graduation. Within a year, she had worked her way up to weekend anchor and repor ter at KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs. In 1988, Mindy moved to Tucson and joined the KOLD-TV News team. She reports late breaking news on KOLD News 13 Live This Morning, and is an anchor on KOLD News 13 Live at Noon. She has interviewed several notables including John Denver, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Dr. Oz and Mother Teresa. She has earned numerous awards from the Arizona Associated Press, including best newscast. 10. Leroy (Tracy) Borah (MA ‘57) became one of the most respected and influential wrestling coaches in the history of small college athletics. Tracy served as a paratrooper during World War II fighting for the U.S. Armed Forces while also playing professionally in big jazz bands. He began his coaching career at the prep level instructing teenagers at Sedgwick High School in football, basketball, and track & field in 1950. He moved up to the collegiate ranks in 1954 at Northeastern Junior College.  He arrived at WSC in 1956 where he served as Athletic Director, head wrestling coach and assistant coach for both football and track. As head wrestling coach, Tracy guided 45 individual Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference champions, 30 All-Americans, seven national champions and two national championship teams (1963 and 1964) and served on the National Wrestling Rules Committee. He was also the founder and director of the Rocky Mountain Wrestling Camp, which is the longest running wrestling camp in the United States.   He also started the Colorado Collegiate Wrestling Championships and was president of the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association.  During Tracy’s ten-

ure as Athletic Director, he was responsible for star ting Western’s first athletic booster organization - the Century Club. Some of Tracy's achievements are: inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Hall of Fame (1989), Western State College Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame (1995), NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame (1996) and Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (1998). Tracy passed away in 1996.

11. Steven J. Borick (‘75) is President and Chief Executive Officer of Superior Industries International, Inc. and President and Chief Operating Officer of Texakota, Inc. Steve travels extensively around the world observing different cultures, government structures, and business philosophies. In an act of astounding generosity, Steve made Western’s largest gift at the time, $3 million, as a challenge to other donors to fund the first major academic building on any public college or university campus to be built, furnished and equipped entirely through private funding, the Borick Business Building. In addition, Steve has helped fund many scholarships for business students at Western. 12. Walt Borneman (‘74, ‘75) is best-known in Colorado’s mountains as the co-author of A Climbing Guide to Colorado’s Fourteeners (Pruett, 1978), the history and standard routes of Colorado’s 54 peaks above 14,000 feet, which was in-print for twenty-five years. He served as the first chairman of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (1996-99) and is on the board of the Colorado Mountain Club Foundation. Walt recently published a book titled The Admirals which has received critical acclaim. He received his law degree from the University of Denver (1981) and his practice frequently involved historic preservation issues. He was the heritage coordinator for the Colorado CentennialBicentennial Commission (1975-76), and the assistant to the director and acting director of the Colorado Historical Society (1977-80). From 1982 to 1985, he represented the Summer 2011 3


19 Colorado Historical Society in the reconstruction of the Georgetown Loop Mining and Railroading Park in one of the west’s premiere national historic landmark districts. Currently, he is the president of the Walter V. and Idun Y. Berry Foundation, which funds post-doctoral fellowships in children’s health at Stanford.

13. Shannon “Flora” Bowley (‘99) immediately started her art career after graduation from Western. She is an internationally celebrated painter, teacher, inspirationalist, and world traveler. Her vibrant paintings are rich with color, soul and imagination. Flora lives and works full-time as a painter in Portland, Oregon. Throughout the year, she enjoys traveling, painting and teaching her “Bloom True” workshops. Her work can be found in numerous galleries and also on a variety of unique products (including gift wrap) in collaboration with Papaya Art. Flora is currently working on a book titled Brave Intuitive Painting: Let Go, Be Bold, Unfold scheduled for release by Quarry Books in the spring of 2012. 14. Sam Boyd (‘58) was a three-sport athlete for the Mountaineers in the 1950s participating in football, wrestling and tennis. He lived in California where he owned and operated a mat company for well over 40 years called Pacific Mat Company. Sam helped Western make the wall mats in Paul Wright Gym a reality, acquiring the mats at cost and flying out to Gunnison to help install them. Sam created the annual wrestling reverse raffle fund raiser as well as the annual Sam Boyd Crab Feed athletics fund raiser. Sam started many fund-raisers similar to the reverse raffle and the crab feed in the Morro Bay, San Louis Obispo, Atascadero area. He raised money for youth sports and youth wrestling.  He also raised money for a college scholarship fund for all students of Morrow Bay High School where he coached for many years.  Sam was inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He continued to be a friend of Mountaineer ath4 Westerner


20 letics until his death in 2007.

15. John Brach (‘71, ‘72) so enjoyed studying history at Western that he has made certain that future generations of Western scholars will have the same opportunity. John has made a gift commitment of $1 million through his estate to purchase books and research materials related to the history of the American West for Western’s Leslie J. Savage Library. John intends to make Western State a premiere source for research. “When people begin research into Western and Colorado history, I hope they think immediately of Western State College and its library,” he said. John has retired from a career in teaching and education administration. He tends his orchards in Western Colorado and, ever the student of history, he travels the world and enjoys experiencing and learning history. 16. Lyle Richard "Dick" Bratton (‘54) is among the nation’s most respected legal experts on water rights. He successfully argued cases before the Colorado Supreme Cour t involving water rights issues with the Taylor Park Reservoir and River and the Union Park Project. Dick founded the WSC Foundation and co-founded the Western State College Water Conference with history professor Duane Vandenbusche. He also served as president of the Colorado Water Congress in 1976. In 1991, Dick formed the Colorado Water Education Foundation and in 2002, Dick was appointed as the federal representative and chair of the Upper Colorado River Commission by President George W. Bush. He was instrumental in working on a solution with the commission to the 2007 drought. Dick received the Gunnison County Stock Growers Distinguished Service Award in 2003, the Karl Ranous Professionalism Award in 2007 and the Colorado Foundation for Water Education President’s Award in 2009. Dick was instrumental in Western obtaining its entrance from Hwy. 50, the former Ruland School site. And last fall, he successfully completed a


21 multi-year annexation project “Gunnison Rising.” Included in the project was new property for the WSC Foundation, property for new schools and parks, a Colorado Division of Wildlife Regional Office and Outdoor and Wildlife Discovery Center, and an open corridor to Tomichi Creek for recreation and trails for the Gunnison Trail system.

17. Donald “Chip” Bromfield (‘82) a business administration major, has used what he learned at Western to develop a successful company. Chip is the President of Pro-motion Ltd., a comprehensive promotional and photography corporation. Chip chose Western because the College attracts individuals who are entrepreneurial in spirit, independent thinkers, and self-starters. Through the years, Chip has donated his time and talents to Western through six years of exemplary service on the Alumni Board, organizing the Denver Alumni Golf Tournament and donating countless photos for Western’s publications just to name a few. 18. John Burritt (‘57) was a first-time skier when he became a Mountaineer, and led Western State to three consecutive NCAA Division I Regional Championships in the cross country event and backto-back national championships. John is also a four-time W Mountain Race winner. He earned a spot on the United States Biathlon Team and competed in the world championships in Courmayeur, Italy in 1959. In the same year, he finished fourth at the North American Biathlon Championships and was part of the 1960 Colorado 4x10 Championship Team. John also placed third in the first biathlon race in the state of Colorado, held at Camp Hale. In 1960, Burritt finished No. 14 at the 1960 Winter Olympics in the biathlon in Squaw Creek, CA. It was the best finish by any American in the event at that time. John was instrumental in securing the first Forest Service permit for cross country skiing on Grand Mesa. With a five-year permit, he constructed the Ward Cross Country Ski Trail.







Since then, John has taken thousands of people, mostly children, on introductory cross country ski tours. During the 2002 Olympic torch run towards Salt Lake City, he received a hero’s welcome when he carried the torch through Aspen. He was inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

19. J.W. Campbell (‘59) served as the Mountaineer Sports Information Director as well as Public Information Director for 25 years before retiring in 1998. He had worked for WSC since 1961 in a variety of capacities, including Assistant to the President. In 1999, J.W. was honored at the College Sports Information Directors Association for 25 Years of Ser vice and Lifetime Achievement. In 2000, he was inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame. J.W. and his wife Joanie were among Mountaineer Athletics most devoted fans and beloved friends. In 2007 J.W. was inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame, and the RMAC SID of the year award was co-named in his memory. J.W. was the long time pastor of the Gunnison Church of Christ. Campbell passed away in March 2000 at the age of 65. 20. Louis “Louie” Carleo (‘74) came to Western on a wrestling scholarship and earned a degree in Physical Education. He then started his career as a teacher and coach. Louie is now the CEO of LDC Properties in Pueblo and is a community leader and one of the largest property owners in the downtown Pueblo area. In 2003, while he was serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the WSC Foundation, Louie was appointed by Governor Owens to be a Trustee of Western State College. Louie’s support of and involvement with Western since his graduation has been exemplary and inspiring. He and his wife, Dorsey, made the lead gift to the Tracy Borah Hall of Fame Room, and their support of the wrestling program over the years has been invaluable. 21. Doug Carlson (‘81) an accounting graduate and

CPA, is Managing Director at Zinio Systems, CEO of VIV Publishing (VIVmag is the first all-digital interactive magazine) and CEO of The Wakaya Club & Spa. Doug was the co-founder and CEO of the FIJI Water Companies from 1996 to 2005. Doug was responsible for FIJI Water’s ascent to the second highest selling imported bottled water brand in the U.S. by 2005. In 2003, FIJI Water became an international brand with strong sales in Great Britain, Scotland, France, Caribbean States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and Australia. In 2004 FIJI Water was awarded the prestigious U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence for being the top small business in America. Doug was also named as one of the 50 top marketers in the U.S. by Advertising Age magazine in 2004. Prior to joining FIJI, Doug was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Aspen Skiing Company. He also served as the President and CEO of Aspen’s leading hospitality company, The Aspen Club Companies, a company that owned and developed the Hotel Jerome, the Aspen Club Lodge, and some 300 other units in Aspen.

22. Shane Carwin (’99) has achieved success as both an athlete and a scholar. He was a three time NCAA Division II National Finalist and a National Champion wrestler. In 1996, Shane was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Football Player of the Year and in 1998, was invited to play in the Senior Bowl as a linebacker. He later went on to participate in the Indianapolis Combine. After graduating from Western, Shane earned an engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines. In 2005, Shane began his career in the world of Mixed Martial Arts where he proved to be a lethal puncher and tactician. His first 12 fights were all victories ending in the first round, several coming in under the one minute mark. Shane is currently 12-2, ranked as the #7 Heavyweight in the world and at one time was the UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion of the World. Shane was inducted into the Mountaineer Sports


31 Hall of Fame in 2004 and in March of 2011 was inducted into the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a wrestler.

23. Robert Chavez (‘56) became a well known and respected teacher and basketball coach throughout Colorado after his graduation from Western. During his 30 year career at Glenwood Springs High School, Bob’s boy’s basketball teams won 75 percent of their games, while collecting trophies for 14 Northwestern league titles. They qualified for 19 state tournament playoffs and won the state title 3 times. His 1979 team was undefeated. Bob has been inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association and the Colorado High School Activities Association Halls of Fame. 24. Janie Chermak (‘79) has had an outstanding professional career and is one member of a family from Hotchkiss, of which four are WSC alumni. Janie started out as a young graduate working for various mining companies. After several years of working in industry, she earned a Master’s degree and a PhD in Mineral Economics from Colorado School of Mines. She taught Mineral Economics at the U.S. Naval Graduate School in Monterey, CA and while doing so travelled all over the world teaching short courses and workshops to military and government personnel. She is a professor in the Economics Department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Janie was a visiting scholar at Rutgers University in 1991. Her list of publications and other presentations, many of which deal with water, mineral and energy resources, is impressive. A forthcoming publication will deal with gender and minority pay differences in public universities. 25. Barry Clifford (‘69) a History & Sociology graduate, is a world-renowned underwater archaeological explorer. Barry’s accomplishments are featured in numerous media outlets ranging from the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and 60 Minutes, to


32 name a few. Barry and his team successfully located the first pirate shipwreck ever discovered and authenticated, The Whydah. The collection remains intact at his museum, Expedition Whydah Sea-Lab & Learning Center in Maine although, currently is the main attraction at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Barry is the author of a best seller, The Pirate Prince. Barry has recently joined the WSC Foundation Board of Directors.

26. Robert Costello (‘74) is the President of Global Transportation at Earth Tech where he is involved in many transportation projects ranging from ferry terminals to rail systems and bridges. Rob’s experience includes more than 20 years of leadership for some of the largest global engineering consulting firms in the industry, where he has served as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Rob served on the WSC Foundation Board of Directors and he and his wife Mary endowed the Brenda Gail Kenny (’76) Memorial Scholarship to celebrate the memory of Mary’s sister. 27. Justin Cross (‘81) was a two-time, All-RMAC offensive tackle, an NAIA AllAmerican Honorable Mention selection, an NAIA All-American, Second Team and a Kodak AllAmerican. He played on three straight RMAC championship teams here at Western. Justin was drafted in the 10th round by the Buffalo Bills and went on to play seven years in the National Football League. After his professional football career ended Justin became a commercial pilot and has flown internationally. 28. Peter Dea (‘76) is President, CEO and founder of Cirque Resources LP. Peter served as CEO of two public NYSE oil and gas companies, Western Gas Resources and Barrett Resources. He also spent many years with Exxon where he held various positions. Peter has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He served on the Western State College and









Denver Museum of Nature and Science Board of Trustees, as well as the WSC Foundation Board of Directors for many years. Peter received an MS degree in geology from the University of Montana and attended the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. He co-founded the Bartleson Prather Scholarship for Excellence in Geology, and he and his wife Cathy named the educational board room in the Borick Business Building, and funded the Bruce Bartleson seating area in Rare Air Cafe in the new College Center.

29. Russ Dispense (‘70) joined King Soopers in March of 1965 as a Courtesy Clerk. He has held many store-level warehousing, manufacturing and office positions, including Director of Produce Operations, District Manager, Vice President of Retail Operations, Vice President of Real Estate and Vice President of Sales and Marketing, before his 1999 promotion to President of Smith’s Food and Drug in Salt Lake City, Utah. In February of 2001, Russ became President of King Soopers in Denver, Colorado. Russ has served on the Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation, The Children’s Hospital and has served on the State of Colorado Governor’s Advisory Council. 30. Herbert Dorricott (‘39, ‘42) came to WSC in 1936 from Palmer High School in Colorado Springs. He was a three year All Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference guard on the Football team. In 1942, Herb received his MA from Western and became a professor. Herb went on to be Western’s Faculty Representative for the RMAC, and was elected conference and district delegate to the NCAA in 1954. From 1959-61, Herb served as president of the NCAA. He was also a member and served as president of WSC Foundation, as well as a member of the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department, and the advisory board for the U.S. Forest Service.

31. Cynthia L. (Wallace) Drexel (‘74, ‘75) began teaching as a graduate assistant in 1974-75 and joined the faculty full-time in 1980. Cindy then went on to receive her Ph.D. in 1989, from Brigham Young University. As well as being a professor, Cindy has been Western’s Faculty Athletic Representative since 1998. As Faculty Athletic Representative, she serves as liaison between the Mountaineer athletic department and the college’s faculty, as well as between Western and the NCAA and the RMAC. She also makes scrapbooks for every senior athlete that summarizes their careers at Western. 32. Elva (Martinez) Dryer (‘96) earned 7 NCAA Division II National Champion and 16 AllAmerican titles as a long distance runner at Western, and went on to reach Olympic status, competing in the 2004 Athens Olympics (10,000 meters) and the 2000 Sydney Olympic (5,000 meters). Elva won 3 bronze medals and 1 silver medal in the USATF World Cross Country Championships. She is a 2001/2003 USATF National 10K Road Champion, a 1997 USATF National 5K Road Champion, and a 3000 meters 1998 USATF Indoor Track & Field National Champion. She was also a member of the 1999, 2001, and 2003 USATF World Outdoor Track and Field Team, and 1998 USATF Goodwill Games Team. Elva was named the RMAC Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Century and has been inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame, Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame, Colorado Sportswoman Hall of Fame, and the National Cross Country Hall of Fame. 33. Donald Eastman (‘51) was a lifelong member of the Gunnison Valley and never left the valley for more than a few days. After graduating from Western, he worked his way up at the First National Bank of Gunnison where he served 15 years as president. When Western was about to lose the gateway to the college (the former Ruland School site) Don helped keep the property in

Western’s hands. Don established and endowed four funds at WSC Foundation: Donald Eastman Business Scholarship, Donald Eastman Recreation Scholarship, Donald Eastman Unrestricted Business Fund, and the Donald Eastman Recreation Fund. Don also made a gift to WSC Foundation through his estate. Don passed away in 2001.

34. Cathie (Gilmore) Elliott (’79, ‘86) is the director of the Small Business Institute at Western, where she has taught since 1989. She received both her undergraduate degree and her MBA from Western. Her areas of expertise are Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She owns two small businesses which allow her to lend personal and practical experience to all her courses. Through the Small Business Institute (SBI) program, college and university students throughout the United States participate in hands-on learning experiences by conducting field case studies and providing consulting services to local small business owners. Cathie is the former president of the Western Alumni Board. 35. Anne Flick-Steinbeck (‘51) an English graduate, has served the Gunnison Community, Western State College, the State of Colorado and held national and international posts in leadership, all while being occupied in accounting, journalism, teaching, human services and being a wife and mother. Reflecting back, Anne says, “WSC gave me a quality foundation to succeed in careers and the skills to achieve in leadership positions.  Western was a springboard for the appointments by four Colorado governors to state boards and  commissions.”  Among tributes to Anne was her induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and being named outstanding WSC alumna. 36. Melvin Foote (‘73) is the President and CEO of the Constituency of Africa (CFA), a Washington, D.C. based policy advocacy organization focused on Africa and the African Summer 2011 5





Diaspora. After graduating from Western, Melvin immediately went into the Peace Corps and served three years in Ethiopia and Eritrea in east Africa. He later worked 3 years in Somalia, as the Country Director for Africare. Since then, he has traveled and worked in more than 35 African countries. Melvin is now involved in nearly all major U.S. /Africa policy initiatives, including trade, health, conflict resolution and governance. In addition to CFA, Melvin is also the Founder of a network called the African American Unity Caucus (AAUC), which brings together African-Americans and other Americans of African descent, who lead or are leaders in organizations and groups that focus on Africa. He also operates a small consulting practice, Advice on Africa, LLC. Active clients include the World Bank and the African Union.

37. Steve Frazee (‘37) embarked on a writing career which resulted in more than 50 books and numerous short stories. He began selling stories to western and adventure pulp magazines in the late 1940s and eventually graduated to better paying markets. His short story My Brother Down There won first place in the highly competitive annual story contest conducted by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. The short story was also selected for Martha Foley’s “Best American Short Stories of the Year,” a rare honor for a genre story. He expanded the story into the novel Moving Target and collaborated on the screenplay when it was filmed in 1957. Best known for his western fiction, Frazee served as president of the Western Writers of America. He won the Western Heritage Award and was honored by the Cowboy Hall of Fame, both in 1961. He was also a popular writer of books for younger readers. Along with writing, Steve became the district court probation officer for Chaffee and Fremont counties. Steve passed away in 1992.

6 Westerner

38. Dave Gaskill (‘48) and Gudrun “Gudy” (Timmerhaus) (‘48) Gaskill each went on from Western to distinguished careers. Gudy is well known in Colorado as the founder and driving force of the Colorado Trail. She was also honored as a Western graduation speaker. Dave is the first Western graduate to become a professional geologist. He earned a Master’s degree from the University of New Mexico and later a PhD from UCLA. Dave spent 25 years working for the U.S. Geological Survey spending most his tenure with the Coal Branch. He is wellknown locally because of his numerous and excellent geological maps of the region including the Crested Butte, Marcellina Mt., Mt. Axtell, Marble and Gothic quadrangles. He is also the author of the mineral potential study of the West Elk Wilderness as well as a large scale geologic map of the Paonia and Gunnison areas. Dave has been a great benefactor to the Western geology department by donating his extensive library of geological literature as well as a number of geological specimens. 39. William Gern (’71, ‘73) has served as Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Wyoming since 1994. During the past 15 years, Bill has been heavily involved with increasing the University of Wyoming’s funded research and in building a strong set of economic development programs at the University. Bill is a Professor of Zoology and Physiology and has taught in that department for 30 years, which he served as Department Head for 9 years. His area of scholarship is cellular and comparative endocrinology and he has worked extensively in the role of light energy in the regulation of melatonin synthesis by the trout pineal organ – a photoreceptive structure on the roof of piscine brains. He pioneered examination melatonin synthesis by retinal tissues. Bill has developed techniques used in many trout hatcheries to regulate the time of year for reproduction and the control of embryonic development. He has more than 40 peer-


44 reviewed publications and numerous abstracts and presentations. Over the years, Bill has raised several million dollars in grants and contracts.

40. S. David Gorsuch (‘64) is president of Gorsuch Ltd., a luxury ski and mountain lifestyle apparel company, started with his wife Renie, while he was at Western in 1962. Looking back on how special his education at Western State College turned out to be, David quotes, “I feel Western provided an environment of nurturing individual thinking and entrepreneurial spirit that has led to 43 years of successful business.” David was also a member of the Western ski team, 1958 Federation International de Ski and 1960 Olympic alpine ski teams. 41. James Baumann Greenlee (’68, ‘69) served in the US Army from 1968 to 1972 attaining the rank of Captain. In 1972, Jim began a career in banking he continued through his lifetime. Jim was very active in his community of Aurora where he was a member of the Aurora Rotary Association, a Board Member of the Aurora Community College Foundation, and former President of the Havana Heights Neighborhood Association. Jim and his wife, Carol, made a magnanimous gift to WSC Foundation through their estate, which has helped fund the Borick Business Building, the College Center and the Jim and Carol Greenlee Business Scholarship. Jim passed away in 2007. 42. Sherryl Hall-Peterson (MA ‘83) received her Master’s degree from Western in Communications and Theater. After her graduation, Sherryl began working for Western where she held many roles including Alumni Relations Director and eventually became the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students. Sherryl started Western’s first annual fund drive and has helped attract many significant gifts throughout the years. While working at Western, Sherryl became an essential part of the Western family. In addition, Sherryl has served as President







of the Gunnison School Board and on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce.

43. John Hausdoerffer (‘96) was selected as the Teacher of the Year (2009) by the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce. He was honored for his role in the creation of Western’s environmental studies program, the renovation of Western’s first LEED-Gold certified building (Kelley Hall), and for the countless hours he dedicates to working individually with his students. John is an alumnus of WSC who returned to Gunnison after receiving his M.A. from St. John’s College and his Ph.D. from Washington State University. He serves as the director of environmental studies and professor of philosophy at Western. He has helped grow the environmental studies program to more than 140 majors. John was instrumental in the planning to the recent renovation of Kelley Hall, including engaging students in the environmentally friendly renovation and design process. 44. Kathy (Koeneke) Heavers (MA ‘86) was the 2005 Colorado Teacher of the Year; an award presented to her by President George W. Bush. She taught in the Montrose School District RE-1J from 1969 through 2009. Kathy has co-authored several books and is highly recognized for her achievements in establishing a “senior seminar” class for graduating seniors. Although she is now retired from the school district, she has been hired by Vista Char ter Schools in Montrose to establish a new curriculum and teach disadvantaged high school age children. 45. Mary (Bongirno) Hodges (‘58) earned a Ph.D., and is distinguished as the first (and only) female high school principal in District 60 of Pueblo, Colorado. She was an active member of the Assistance League of Pueblo, a program working to fit needy school children with new clothes. Mary is a long time financial supporter of Western and a pioneer for women educators and administrators.

46. Roy V. Hood (‘66) is past Vice President of the WSC Foundation Board of Directors whose generosity helped fund the College Center. He earned his M.B.A. from New York University in 1970.  From 1970 to 1985, Roy was an officer in the Financial Division of Aetna Life and Casualty Company, and ultimately became President of its oil and gas exploration and production company.  In 1985, he formed Resource Investors Management Company (RIMCO) and raised, invested and managed over $1 billion of funds committed to the energy industry.  RIMCO was subsequently acquired by an affiliated entity, RIMCO Production Company, Inc. (RPC), an oil and gas exploration and production company.   He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RPC until it was sold in June, 2005.  Roy serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RIMCO Royalty Management Company, L.L.P. and participates as a member of the Board of Directors of three non-affiliated entities.   47. Clarence T. Hurst (‘23) noted Colorado archaeologist and co-founder of the Colorado Archaeological Society, was Western’s first faculty member in archaeology. Hurst Hall, the home of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Computer Information Sciences, and Mathematics, owes its name to Clarence Hurst. His original collection of artifacts is among the finest archaeological collections in Colorado. 48. Michael O. Johnson (‘77) has a track record of success as a leader. He is CEO of Herbalife, a company with $2.7 billion in net sales in 2010 operating in 60 countries through a sales force of more than one million independent distributors. Michael is also chairman of the Herbalife Family Foundation (HFF), which is funded through donations from Herbalife, its Independent Distributors, employees, families and friends. In 2005, HFF launched its worldwide Casa Herbalife program to help bring good nutrition to needy children. Its first US-based site was at A Place Called


54 Home and there are now more than 60 Casa Herbalife programs on six continents. Prior to leading Herbalife, Michael spent 17 years with The Walt Disney Company, where he most recently served as President of Walt Disney International. Michael and his wife Mari have been pace-setting donors to Western helping fund the President’s Club, KWSB, the Borick Business Building, and most recently the Ski and Cycling Club Teams. Michael is a fitness enthusiast and has been participating in triathlons and cycling races for more than 20 years.

49. Hazel (James) Jones (‘37) graduated from Western with an English degree and went on to teach high school in Olathe. She continued her English education, becoming a professor at California State University, Fullerton. She was named Associate Dean and later Dean of the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Hazel then took a position at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1974 as Vice President of Academic Affairs. Hazel retired from this position in 1982. She went on to serve on several education committees such as; the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education for the Cal State University system, the Evaluation of the General Education Program at San Francisco State University, as well as being active in the League of Women Voters as vice president of the San Luis Obispo chapter. Hazel is now deceased. 50. Stuart P. Kaplan (‘70) is President and owner of Makuta Technics, Inc., a company that specializes in precision micro molding. Stu has had a varied and diverse career which included teaching, coaching and Dean of Students at Tucson High School. He has held various manufacturing management positions in the U.S. and Japan. He is a member of the Board of MAPP, the Manufacturer’s Association for Plastics Processors, and is a past president of the organization. Stu is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Medical Plastics


55 Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Stu also spent time here at Western as the Director of Financial Aid, Student Activities Director and Director of Admissions. He served many years on the WSC Foundation Board of Directors and made a gift to name the Multicultural Center Director’s Office in the new College Center.

51. Glenn A. Kent (‘36) Lieutenant General, was the Director of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, under the direction of the director of defense research and engineering, Office of the Secretary of Defense. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 as a cadet and completed training in meteorology at California Institute of Technology in 1942. His first assignment was as a weather officer at Goose Bay, Labrador. During 1943 and 1944 he was a weather officer in Greenland and later in the United States. He left active duty and was in the Reserve for a year and in December 1946 he came back on active duty as weather officer, 8th Weather Squadron at Fort Totten, N.Y., and Westover Air Force Base, Mass. In 1947 General Kent was selected to study radiological engineering. He then was assigned to the Armament Division of the Directorate of Research and Development at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. His primary responsibility concerned atomic weapons. In 1953 General Kent was assigned to the Air Force Special Weapons Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He later became chief of the Weapons Plans Division. He next served as the Air Force Representative at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. In 1962, he was assigned as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Director (Strategic and Defensive Systems) of Defense Research and Engineering in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In 1966 he assumed the position of assistant for concept formulation to the deputy chief of staff, research and development. In 1968 he was assigned as assistant chief of staff, studies and analysis. He reported directly to the vice


56 chief of staff. He retired in 1974.

52. John W. Kincaid (‘47) is the personification of music at Western. He took his experience in New Zealand during WWII, learned about British brass bands, and created the British Brass Band movement in the United States. There are several brass bands who owe their start to the WSC Brass Band (of which John was the conductor and creator) including the Rocky Mountain Brassworks in Denver, the Ft. Creek Brass Band in Colorado Springs, the Ohio Valley Brass Band in Dayton, OH, the Tule Brass Band in Tulare, CA, and the Western Missouri Brass Band. John has continued to support Western since his graduation as a teacher, mentor, and performer. He and wife Georgie (’47) have created funds at WSC Foundation to support Western’s music program and the Brass Band. His is a Professor Emeritus of Music and has been inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Association and the Colorado Bandmasters Halls of Fame. 53. Dave Kirvin (‘87) was very active at Western in student media, serving as Sports Editor and then Editor of Top o’ the World, hosting both music and public affairs shows on KSWB-FM, and in television production. After graduation, Dave began his career as a producer/reporter for KYBG-AM in Denver, covering a variety of sports including the Broncos and Nuggets. After working at various newspapers in Colorado and California, Dave moved to Las Vegas to work in public relations. For 15 years, Dave has helped lead Kirvin Doak Communications in public relations for the most successful and high-profile entities in Las Vegas including MGM Resorts International, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining, Cirque du Soleil, Siegfried & Roy, Tiffany & Co, BASE Entertainment, Nevada Cancer Institute and many more. Dave led the KDC crisis communications effort surrounding the tragic on-stage incident of Roy Horn in 2004, which brought an end to the most successful show in Las Vegas history – Siegfried & Roy.







He was named to In Business Las Vegas’ “Most Influential” list and its “Top 40 under 40.” In 2009, the Nevada Cancer Institute honored Dave as one of the “Vegas Dozen.”

54. Pamela J. Klessig (‘78) began her career with Homestake Mining Company as the mine geologist at the company’s uranium Pitch Mine in Colorado. Throughout her career she has worked for a number of large mining firms including Cyprus Minerals, Amselco, BP Minerals, Kennecott and Gencor, where she held positions ranging from exploration geologist to exploration manager. As a complement to her technical expertise, Pam was a stockbroker for four years with A.G. Edwards and Sons, Inc., now Wells Fargo Investment Advisors. Pam is a Certified Professional Geologist with over 27 years of experience in global mineral exploration, development and production. She is the former President and CEO of Western Uranium Corporation, now Concordia Resource Corporation, where she continues to serve as a director. As of April 2011, Pam was named to the Kirkland Lake Gold corporation board of directors. Pam is a member of Western’s Professional Land & Resource Management Advisory Board. 55. Rial Lake (‘30) was one of Gunnison’s most decorated citizens, having received many awards including: National Editorial Association Weekly Newspaper Special Edition, 1941; Colorado Press Association 1945; Western State College Honored Alumnus, 1982; Department of the Interior Citizen’s Award 1984; the Colorado River Water Conservation District, 1985: and the City of Gunnison’s Rial Lake Day, celebrated on June 14, 1991. He spent the last 25 years of his professional life at Western, retiring in 1973 as Director of Communications and Sports Information. Before starting to work at Western, he was owner and editor of the Gunnison News-Champion, which his family sold in 1948. He served the Gunnison Country Chamber of Commerce as Director and President, and was

President of the Rotary Club as well as a member of Gunnison Lodge No. 39, A.F. &A.M. He served simultaneously as President of the board of education for Gunnison Public Schools (District 1) and Gunnison County High School. Elected to the city council, he served on the charter re-organization committee, which gained home-rule status for the city, and served as Gunnison’s mayor from 1963-67. Rial Lake died in 1997.

56. James Lindner (‘66) is Operating Par tner for Norwest Equity Partners. Jim also currently serves as NonExecutive Chairman of Surgical Information Systems and Vice Chairman of Mitchell International. Jim previously served as Mitchell’s Chairman and CEO from 1997 – 2007. Throughout his career, Jim has distinguished himself in a variety of executive leadership roles, serving as President and CEO of Attachmate, President of the Networks Group at Memorex Telex Corporation, and as Chairman and CEO of ISCBunker Ramo Corporation. 57. Robert “Bob” R. Little (’50) began his post-graduate career working in Western’s business office. Moving west, Bob worked as Treasurer for Desert Schools Credit Union (DSCU) in Phoenix. In recognition of Bob’s service, DSCU now co-funds a scholarship at WSC Foundation in Bob’s honor. Bob has been a long-time supporter and friend of Western, playing a lead role in nearly every major privately funded venture at Western in the last decade. Bob has created and endowed the Robert and Gloria Little Scholarship, which he created to honor the memory of his wife, Gloria, to assist students majoring in Business, Accounting or Economics. In addition, he helped build and furnish the Borick Business Building, naming the south plaza. He also gave generously to make the new College Center a reality. 58. Eric Loewen (‘83) a Mathematics and Chemistry graduate, is currently working for GE in Wilmington, NC as a Summer 2011 7













nuclear engineer. Prior to this he was with the Idaho National Laboratory, researching and developing the Generation IV nuclear power reactor, advancing an idea he calls “energyplex.” He is the developer and proponent of the sodium fast reactor in which nuclear waste is used as fuel to help solve many of the world’s problems including global warming and the energy crisis. Eric has received numerous research awards over the years and was the only person to be chosen twice as one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best and Brightest” in 2005 and 2009.  Eric is a busy person, involved in much more than reactor research.  When time allows, Eric enjoys marathons and is an Ironman triathlete. He also volunteers his time teaching autistic children to surf. Eric was the commencement speaker for Western in 2010.

59. Kathleen Lutito (‘85) is President and Chief Investment Officer of Qwest (becoming CenturyLink) Asset Management Company (QAM), a subsidiar y of Qwest Communications International, Inc. Kathy is a registered investment advisor and is responsible for the investment management of the Qwest employee benefit trusts, which total more than $15 billion. Kathy holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and has a Masters degree in Finance. She is also entrusted with WSC Foundation’s investments, serving on the Investment Committee of the WSC Foundation Board of Directors. Kathy and her husband Mike made a major gift to the new College Center. 60. Lisa Lyden (‘82) is the evening co-anchor at KOAA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Colorado Springs. She has interviewed many big names, including Jay Leno and Garth Brooks and she has met with Jerry Seinfeld. She was named broadcaster of the year by the Colorado Broadcasting Association in 2009. She was also Western’s commencement speaker in 2007.

8 Westerner

61. Ken MacLennan (‘57, ‘70) made a name for himself with the Mountaineer ski program as both an athlete and a coach. As a student, he helped lead Western to the national cross country title in the inaugural NCAA championships in 1954. After graduation, Ken spent three years in the military. He operated the U.S. Army’s Otter Lake Recreation Area at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and was able to train at the same time for the biathlon. He qualified for the first U.S. Biathlon Team at the 1960 Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, CA. He was the coach for the Rocky Mountain Junior National Team in 1964 and 1967 and was the Rocky Mountain Division Officer for the United States Ski Association from 1964 through 1968. Ken became assistant ski coach for Sven Wiik in 1967, and joined the Western faculty in 1968. He succeeded Wiik as head coach in 1969 and started an 18-year career as Athletic Director. He served two terms as the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association President, two years on the United States Ski Association Rocky Mountain Division Board of Directors and was a divisional representative for the National Collegiate Ski Association. He co-authored a book titled A Snow Lover’s Guide to Winter Sports in 1979 and served as the chief of the course for the NCAA Championships for 10 years. He retired from the WSC faculty in 1996 and was granted emeritus status. Ken was also inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. He passed away this year (2011) and a scholarship has been created in his memory at WSC Foundation. 62. Jim Mahaffey (‘57) is a legendary Alaskan ski coach who was a member of the national championship cross country ski team at Western in 1956. Jim competed in the inaugural NCAA ski championships in 1955 and won the 1956 U.S. Biathlon Race. Jim co-authored a book with Coach Sven Wiik titled Cross Country Skiing Training and Racing and helped produce a 16-millimeter film to supplement the training manual. After the 1962 ski season, Jim

took the position as ski coach and Assistant Professor in Physical Education at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He coached the Alpine and Nordic teams, and founded the Equinox Marathon in 1963 that continues today in Fairbanks. Jim was a Professor of Physical and Outdoor Education at Alaska Pacific University. He was ski coach and developed the first women’s intercollegiate cross country ski team in the United States. Jim coached the Alaska Junior National Ski Teams from 1963 through 1971, and was Assistant Chief of Course for the men’s cross country courses at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games. In 1968, Jim developed and built a lighted trail system around the Alaska Pacific Student Union. When he retired in 1992, the trail system was renamed in his honor. Jim was named Faculty of the Year in 1974, Faculty of the Year from the AMU/APU Alumni Association in 1984, and Pioneer of Cross Country Skiing in Anchorage in 2003. Jim was inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Jim and his wife Dee have endowed a scholarship in Environmental Studies at Western.

63. Leon G. “Okie” Mark (‘60) and Sandra (Smidl) Mark (‘86) have served our country, Western, and the Gunnison Valley with excellence. The late “Okie” Mark spent 31 years in the United States Air Force. He entered at the time of the Korean War as a basic airman and finished his career as a full Colonel. He served as an Air Attaché to the Soviet Union and to South Vietnam. He instituted the first drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for the Air Force and received the “Best in Air Force” award. Before retiring from the military in 1981, he served two years as Inspector General at Lowry Air Force Base. He then moved his family to Gunnison where he worked in the banking industry for the next dozen or so years. His wife, Sandra Mark, a Gunnison native, has a deep sense of commitment to the community as well as the college. She is currently serving as Vice Chair of Western’s Board

of Trustees. She has also served as President of the WSC Foundation Board, is a past President of the Gunnison Valley Hospital Auxiliary and Gunnison Chapter of PEO, and as a member of the Gunnison Home Association Board. She has published articles in The Gunnison Country Magazine, The Rocky Mountain Gardener and the Gunnison Valley Hospital newsletter, The Echo.

64. Sean Markey (‘93) earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he also completed his surgical internship and neurosurgery residency. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.   Sean has served as the Director of Neurosurgery at Littleton Adventist Hospital and currently serves as the Director of Neurosurger y at Parker Adventist Hospital. He also serves as faculty for a number of medical device companies, which includes ongoing work in the development of new spinal surgery techniques. He has been listed in 5280:Denver’s Mile-High Magazine as one of the city’s top doctors for his work with brain and spine disorders. He currently serves as the Neurosurgical Consultant to the Denver Broncos.  Sean is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Colorado Neurosurgical Society, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Western Neurological Society.  Sean also serves on the WSC Foundation Board of Directors and his generosity helped fund the new College Center. 65. Ken Maruyama (‘66) a special-effects master of digital animation and creature development for movies, is VP of Recruiting and Academic Relations and Animation Artist Management for Sony Pictures Imageworks. Ken oversees the management of Imageworks’ animators, who have most recently animated on films such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Alice In Wonderland. Prior to Imageworks, Ken was the Director of Digital Animation

and Creature Development group at Industrial Light & Magic. This department was comprised of animators and artists who created and brought to life the digital creatures featured in Casper, Dragonheart, Men in Black, Mars Attacks!, The Lost World, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars: Episode I.

66. Richard Mize (’57, ‘64) was a world class skier--skiing for Western from 1953-57 and he was a two-time All-American. In 1956, Dick was named the Don Johnson Memorial Trophy winner which is given to the outstanding American skier in the NCAA cross country championships. He was a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team, a member of U.S. Biathlon Team that competed in the World Championship Team in Italy and the 1998 World and U.S. Masters champion in 20K Freestyle and 10K Classic races in Lake Placid, NY. Still competing, in 2006, he raced at the World Masters Championships in Brusson, Italy and won the 15k Skate race. He dominated in winning both the 10k and 30k races. Dick was inducted into Western’s Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. 67. Jim Musgrave (‘64) is a fiercely devoted alumnus, and is among the longest-serving members of the WSC Foundation Board of Directors, and currently serves as Treasurer. A liaison and member of the Luftseben, an infamous, gregarious, beloved and remarkably successful group of Western alumni from the 1960’s, Jim has kept a generation of graduates close to their alma mater. Jim has strengthened Western in transforming ways, and has helped lead several significant projects for Western. Jim resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he works in real estate. Jim strongly believes in the continued high quality of education and athletics to promote the achievement of excellence and pride of accomplishment. 68. Frank Nails (‘60) started his academic career in Pueblo, where he coached football, basketball, and baseball in both the Parochial and Public School systems. In 1964, Frank













moved to Nevada where he served as a coach, teacher, athletic administrator, and finally as assistant principal. His coaching duties included wrestling, football, basketball, and track. His team at Bishop Gorman High School won the Nevada State Football Championships in 1970 and he was offensive coordinator for Western High School when they won the State Championship in 1977. His combined coaching record at the two schools was 51-9-2. He has been inducted into four Halls of Fame: the 1997 Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame, the 2000 Clark County AAAA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the 2002 Southern Nevada Officials Association Hall of Fame, and the 2007 Western State College Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame. In 1995 the Las Vegas High School Football Stadium was named “Frank Nails Field.”

69. Gerald O’Rourke (‘60) spent 23 years in the Secret Service, working for several Presidents of the United States, from Kennedy to the first President Bush. In 1963, he was with President Kennedy when he was assassinated. After that, he was reassigned to President Johnson. When his White House tour ended, he was transferred to the Denver office of the Secret Service. In his retirement, Gerry now gives many presentations every year; mostly on his years in the Secret Service and also on the mining history of Colorado. 70. James G. Patton (‘30) was elected President of the National Farmers Union in 1940. He was also President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers and served on the United States Advisers to the Inter-American Conference on War and Peace and on the International Conference of Food and Agriculture. Some of the government committees on which he served are: the Foreign Operations Administration, the President’s Committee for Children, and the Civil Defense and War Manpower Commissions. A feature article was written about James in Time

magazine in 1958.

71. Willard “Pete” Pederson (’37, ‘40) was an All-American athlete at Western, decorated hero during World War II, and one of Western’s most successful coaches in both basketball and football. He coached the 1954 football team which battled its way to a 9-1 record and the school’s first-ever RMAC crown. After the season was over, the Mountaineers received word that Montana State played with an ineligible player in the victory over Western, therefore giving Western the school’s only unbeaten season. The RMAC championship was all that the 1954 team could win because of the lack of national playoffs. The season featured one of the toughest schedules in school history, with victories over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Idaho State and Northern Colorado. From 1961-68 Pete was a Professor of English at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and from 1968-76 he was the Head of the English Department. In 1995, Pete was inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame’s inaugural class of inductees. 72. Rexford Peterson (‘47) went on to be one of the nation’s premiere plastic surgeons after his graduation from Western. Rex reached the pinnacle of his field, being elected by his peers to serve as President of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in 1976-77. In 1983-84, Rex was elected President of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Rex has shared his knowledge and techniques by giving scientific presentations at over 75 major society meetings in 23 states and 10 different countries. He has also authored dozens of articles in scientific journals as well as produced two video tapes. Prior to all of these accomplishments, Rex gave back to underprivileged Native American children by establishing plastic surgery clinics on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. The clinics were aimed at children who suffered from cleft lips/palates and other maxillofacial deformi-

ties as well as burn and hand problems. Rex also worked in conjunction with MacDonald Woods MD to establish a burn center in Maricopa County that is now the second largest burn unit in North America.

ed to the Colorado State House of Representatives where he served four consecutive terms. Ralph established and funded scholarships in business and athletics at WSC Foundation.

73. Richard Phillips (‘36, ‘38) went on after his graduation from Western to a distinguished career with the US Department of State. He served in WWII and was a decorated soldier in the South Pacific for the U.S. Air Corps. After the war he came back to Western to teach for two years before going to study for his PhD in Hispanic American Studies at Stanford University. In 1953, Richard joined the US Department of State and was assigned as the Director of Courses at the Binational Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he co-authored a series of 6 books about new methods to teach Brazilians English. While there, he received a diploma and medal for Outstanding Service, the highest honor the Brazilian government can give to a non-military citizen of another country. In 1965, he was assigned to the Embassy in Mexico City where he became the Cultural Attaché in Mexico. His duties there included coordination of US cultural programs throughout our neighboring country, as well as supervising cultural presentations and student exchanges. Richard passed away in 2005.

75. Leon Martin Prokuski (‘67) was highly recognized in the field of military and civilian aviation. While attending Western on a basketball scholarship, Leon earned his private pilot’s license at the Gunnison airport. After graduating from Western, he joined the US Air Force, was accepted into flight training and graduated second in his class. He would go on to fly transports and medical evacuation flights from Vietnam. These flights were responsible for delivering hundreds of severely injured soldiers to urgent medical treatment in the Philippines. Due to his pilot proficiency, he would go on to one of the highest levels of Air Force professionalism: Flight Commander of Air Force Two. While in the Military Air Command, Captain Prokuski would fly Heads of State, Chiefs of Staff, Senators, Congressmen, military and civilian dignitaries, Ambassadors, and eventually United States Vice Presidents and first ladies. He was awarded medals and citations that reflected his productive career. He was one of the few to have had take offs and landings on all seven continents, even Antarctica. After leaving active military service, Leon was a civilian commercial pilot, while still flying for the Air Force National Guard. He retired from the Air Force as Lt. Colonel. When he retired from American Airlines in 2005, Captain Prokuski’s combined military and civilian flight hours were over 20,000, having flown close to 7 million accident free miles.

74. Ralph Porter (‘27, ‘55) dedicated 34 years of his life to Western State College as Director of Business and Finance and as Assistant Professor of Business. Serving under five presidents, Porter helped the College grow from a campus of 45 acres with four buildings to the 229 acres with 29 buildings which comprised the campus when he retired in 1961. Ralph was very active in the community; he was the President of the Gunnison Rotary Club, President of the Chamber of Commerce, member of the Volunteer Fire department, and Treasurer of Cattlemen’s Days. He was on many community committees in the Gunnison Valley. Following his retirement, Ralph was elect-

76. Donald W. Prosser (’73) currently serves as Immediate Past-President of the WSC Foundation Board of Directors. A Certified Public Accountant and entrepreneur in the Denver area, Don specializes in tax and securities accounting.   He is a Director of Veracity Management Global, Inc., Avatar Technologies, Inc., Colorado Oil

and Gas, Inc. and Arete Industries, Inc., where he serves all as Chairman of the Audit Committee and the company’s Financial Expert under the Sarbanes Oxley Act. He is former Director and CFO of an American Stock Exchange Company, VCG Holding Corporation.  He has also served as CFO and Director for the following publicly traded companies:  Char twell International, Inc., Anything Internet Corporation, Inform Worldwide Holdings, Inc., and NetCommerce, Inc.  Don and his wife Donna recently gave $1.5 million to create the Prosser Theatre in the new College Center providing a much needed state-of-the-art movie theater for the college and community.

77. Paul M. Rady (‘78) is Chairman and CEO for Antero Energy in Denver. After graduating with a degree in Geology, Paul spent ten years as a Geologist at Amoco in Denver, eight years at Barrett Resources in Denver as Chief Geologist escalating to CEO, then three years at Pennaco Energy as Chairman and CEO. Paul then founded his current company, Antero. Paul has given back to Western in an amazing way, establishing the petroleum geology program with a $1 million gift (WSC Foundation’s first seven-figure cash gift) to create an endowed chair, The Rady Chair in Petroleum Geology, as well as co-funding the Bartleson/ Prather Scholarship, and funding the large case study room in the Borick Business Building. Paul also served as President of WSC Foundation Board, and as a member of Western’s Governor appointed Board of Trustees. 78. Steve Reynolds (‘78) is co-owner and Vice President of Infinity Oil & Gas, Inc., a gas and oil exploration company with interests in over 1.5 million acres across the U.S., and he is involved in numerous commercial real estate ventures. Steve has held various positions with the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists.   He is a member of the WSC Foundation Board and also serves on the Professional Land & Resource Summer 2011 9


90 Management (PLRM) Advisory Board, and is its former Chair. Steve helped conceive, launch and fund Western’s PLRM program. The program is privately funded with over 60 students par ticipating in the program.  Mad Jack’s in the College Center is named in his honor and for his gift to the building.  He also provided the challenge gift to the Mohab Foundation to name the fire pit at the College Center.  In addition, Steve Reynolds and Steve Trippe recently jointly purchased the 18 acres of Gunnison Rising land adjacent to the AspinallWilson Center with the intent to donate the land to the Foundation.

79. Ethel Rice (‘63) proves that everyone can make a difference, and some in a really big way! Ethel, a former librarian at Western, did just that. She retired from the Savage Library after nearly 3 dozen years and then in 2000, she made an estate gift of $1 million that she had saved and invested to the WSC Foundation (the first $1 million gift commitment in Western’s history). Yet, she did so anonymously, at first. Then, in 2003, at the behest of others, she made her donation public. The reason to go public was essentially to provide a living example of what caring people who believe in Western can do for the college. Her gift will establish an Endowed Chair in the Art Department. Ethel followed that gift with another $1 million estate gift to endow a Museum Director’s position. Ethel not only gives, but has helped steward many other gifts through her six years of service on the WSC Foundation Board. 80. James R. Richards (‘55) was born in Missouri, and was raised in Nucla and Delta, Colorado. He came to Western in 1951 where he played football for Pete Pederson. He was an honor student and was a captain of the football team. Following graduation, Jim worked in the admissions office for a year before attending law school at University of Colorado. After Law School Jim was a Legislative and Executive Assistant to U.S. Senator Peter H. Dominick. He went on to a 10 Westerner


91 lengthy political career in which he worked his way up to being confirmed as the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1985 in the Regan Administration. Jim served as President of WSC Foundation Board for several years. His teammates and friends established the Jim Richards 1954 Football Scholarship in his memory after his death in 2003.

81. Peter Rodriguez (‘63, ‘64) played guard and linebacker for the Mountaineers and following graduation he began a distinguished coaching career. He served as Head Coach at Western Illinois (1979-82) and Defensive Coordinator at Florida State (1974-75), Iowa State (1976-78) and Northern Iowa (1986). Rodriguez began his 18 years with the NFL in 1988 as the Special Teams Coach with the Los Angeles Raiders. He then went on in a similar capacity to coach with the Cardinals, Redskins, and Seahawks. From 2004-06, Pete was the Special Teams Coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars where he was regarded as one of the top special teams coaches in the NFL. Peter was inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame as a Lifetime Achievement Award Winner in 2008. 82. Martha P. Savage (‘31) was the Superintendent of Delta County Schools from November 1940 until her retirement in 1967. Martha graduated from Crawford High School in 1927 and enrolled at Western that fall. Following graduation, she embarked on her long and decorated education career. She was a teacher at Hooper High School in the San Luis Valley for three years. Then she taught English at Hotchkiss High School until she was elected Superintendent of Delta County Schools. She is also the daughter of Leslie J. Savage a Trustee of Western, for whom the library on campus is named. Martha passed away in 2004. 83. Gerry Shear (‘92) recently earned his M.B.A. in the executive program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.









He is the Managing Partner of GENCO Realty Group (a division of GENCO-ATC) and the President of GSA Management, which provides venture capital and real estate investments. Active in the community, Gerry has served as a regional officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Southern Nevada and Utah. Gerry is also a board member for the WSC Foundation. He currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and Park City, Utah. Gerry made a major gift to the College Center and a $1 million estate gift to Western.

84. Burton Shepherd (‘52), a Rear Admiral, went on to have an illustrious Navy career. Burton was awarded the Navy Cross by President Lyndon B. Johnson, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight on 26 October 1967 as Commander of Attack Carrier Air Wing Sixteen during Vietnam. Burton served as the Navy Inspector General from 1973-75. 85. Thomas Shrake (‘81) is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Pacific Rim Mining Corporation. Tom is a veteran explorationist and mine-finder, holding senior positions in the past with Gibraltar Mines and Placer Dome amongst others. He has conducted exploration programs in the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Peru and has numerous ore deposit discoveries to his credit, including the Lomas Bayas and Fortuna de Cobre deposits in Chile. 86. Bill (‘54, ‘58) & Janet Smith (‘57, ‘63) recently designated $1 million in their estate plans to Western State College Foundation. They have established the Bill and Janet Smith Scholarship, which will provide assistance to Western students with high academic achievement. Their estate gift will also establish the Bill and Janet Smith Visiting History Professor Endowment. This gift will fund in perpetuity a visiting professor program for the Department of History.

87. John “Johnnie” Stevens (‘68) graduated with a history degree and went on to serve his country working at the Pentagon for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development. John later returned here to receive his M.S. in Education before then moving back to his hometown of Telluride. He is credited as one of the handful of people who got skiing going in Telluride’s early days. He has since dedicated 32 years to the operating success and environmental values of Telluride Ski & Golf Company where he served as the Chief Operating Officer. He is also a Colorado Ski Hall of Famer. Johnnie is very civic minded. He has been on the San Miguel County Advisory Board for Soil and Conservation Service, Telluride’s school board, Town Council, Elks Club and is a member of Colorado Ski Country, USA. Johnnie gives weekly “Ski into History” tours sponsored by the Telluride HIstorical Museum. 88. Dave Thomas (‘83) is the Associate Director of Paralympic Swimming High Performance. Dave is based at USOC headquar ters in Colorado Springs, where he directs the training and competition of the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team, a group that won 44 medals (17 gold, 14 silver, and 13 bronze) at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Dave also leads U.S. Paralympics’ athlete identification and development efforts in swimming. He has more than 30 years of coaching and sport development experience with both Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Most recently, Dave was a sport development consultant with USA Swimming and he also served as the team leader, head coach and assistant coach for countless Olympic and Paralympic major, international competitions. 89. Josh Thompson (‘85) led the Mountaineers to a national collegiate cross-country championship in 1982. But he was planning for world competition the biathlon, a combination of marksmanship and cross country skiing. In the winter of 1983, Western ski coach Ken

MacLennan set up targets and a special loop for Josh at a local ranch. Josh would go out to the ranch whenever he had time to ski the loop and work on his marksmanship. The intense work paid off as Josh became the first American to win a medal in a World Cup biathlon event, placing second in 1987 in one 20K race. He eventually won three medals on the World Cup circuit and competed in three Winter Olympics for the United States (’84, ’88, ’92). At the 1983 World Winter University Games, Josh placed sixth in the 10k biathlon, the highest finish any American biathlete has achieved. Josh was twice voted Biathlete of The Year by The Olympian magazine.

90. Josh Tobey (‘00) at only 27 years old had released his 30th limited edition sculpture. He is a master composer in three dimensions. His bronzes have authority beyond his years. With concise and eloquent forms, rich and sensual finishes, Josh's bronzes invite the experience of touch even as they satisfy the most discerning eye. His passionate and comprehensive appreciation for all wildlife conspires with the artist’s unique vision and compelling talent to produce bronzes truly worthy of their subjects. Josh was commissioned by the Oates family to create the Bull and Bear bronze sculptures that grace the front patio of the Borick Business Building here on Western’s campus. He is currently sculpting a large, 8.5’, bronze sculpture of a Mountaineer which will be placed in front of the newly created south entrance to Taylor Hall and dedicated this December as an exclamation point of Western’s 100-year celebration, “Heritage to Horizon.” 91. Jerry Traylor (‘00) has lived a story that captures the hearts of those who hear it. Born with cerebral palsy, Jerry is a nationally known inspirational speaker. Yet, Jerry’s message is not about overcoming cerebral palsy. His message is about the remarkable contribution all of us can make in our workplace and community. An imperfect man in a world demanding perfection; Jerry provides a real-life






99 example of what success really means. His humor and heart leaves a permanent impact on many, as he teaches others that their uniqueness is a gift rather than a curse. Jerry has spoken to more than a million people. He was voted best speaker at the New Jersey State Quality Conference. This incredible man jogged from San Francisco to New York City, ran in 35 marathons, participated in 16 charity dance marathons, climbed to the top of Pikes Peak (14,110’) three times, and parachuted -all on crutches.

92. Stephen Trippe (’77) is Vice President of CIMA Energy, Ltd., an oil and gas marketing firm, and managing member of Longhorn Properties, LLC, an oil and gas exploration limited-liability company that originates and develops exploration projects throughout the United States. In addition, Steve is President of Four S’s, Inc., which develops commercial and residential real estate in Florida. Steve is a former member of the WSC Foundation Board of Directors and is also a member of Western’s Professional Land and Resource Management (PLRM) Advisory Board. He also serves on the Michigan Oil and Gas Association Board of Directors. Steve and his wife, Sarah, have generously supported Western for years. The Trippes made a major gift to name a seminar classroom in the Borick Business Building and, more recently, made a major gift to the Professional Land and Resource Management Program. Steve and his friend, Steve Reynolds, recently jointly purchased the 18 acres of Gunnison Rising land adjacent to the Aspinall-Wilson Center with the intent to donate the land to the Foundation. 93. Richard Van Vleet (‘89) became an actor, producer, screenwriter and director after his graduation from Western. He played the role of Dr. Chuck Tyler on All my Children from 1975 to 1984, from 1989 to 1992, and again in 1995 and 2005; and as Dr. Ed Bauer on Guiding Light from 1984 to 1986. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Richard had numerous guest roles on some of the



most popular series at the time, such as Marcus Welby, M.D., McCloud, Adam-12, Dragnet and Ironside. He also appeared in the movies Airport (though uncredited), Angel in My Pocket and Ben, released early in his career. More recently, he has spent more time behind the camera, as producer of Bikini Planet (2002), and writer/director of Retribution (1998).

94. Frank Venturo (‘64), professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication Arts, Languages, and Literature (CALL), received professor emeritus status in 2011. Frank has taught at his alma mater since 1974. In addition to teaching courses in the areas of organization communication, speech communication and broadcasting, he served as advisor to the Speech and Debate Team and the KWSB radio station. Frank also served in several administrative positions, including as associate vice president for academic affairs, chair of the former Communication Ar ts and Sociology Department and as chair of the CALL department. As a WSC alumnus, Venturo served on the board of the WSC Alumni Association, including two years as president. 95. Jyl Voss (‘76) recently completed a six-year term as a member of the WSC Foundation Board of Directors, for which she most recently served as Secretary. Jyl earned her M.D. degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and has been practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Denver area for more than 15 years.  She has been an active member of the medical staff, most recently serving as Chair of Credentialing for Sky Ridge Hospital.  Jyl is a native of Kansas, but has strong ties to the Gunnison Valley as her father, Milton Voss, is a local resident.  Jyl enjoys traveling, and many sports and outdoor activities.  Jyl, her brother, Mark (’83), and their father, Milt, joined together in giving generously to make possible the Wilderness Pursuits suite in the new College Center.

96. Ed Westwater (‘59) attended Western on a Joint Honor Scholarship, double majoring in Physics and Mathematics, and minoring in Chemistr y. At Boulder Laboratories, Ed began as a Research Physicist, became a Supervisory Physicist, and later a Division Chief of thirty scientists and engineers. He retired as a Senior Scientist in June, 1995. In addition to working in a field that he loved (developing instruments and techniques for studying the atmosphere and ocean), he traveled extensively in the US and Europe teaching two courses at the University of Rome. Ed also participated in climate experiments in Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Nauru, Barrow, Alaska, and Lamont, Oklahoma, where he was able to observe tornados from a research aircraft. In 1995, after his first retirement, he was hired by CU as a Research Scientist and is still working on projects related to climate. He has received several national and international awards: the 15th Vilho Vaisala Award by the Wor ld Meteorological Organization, 2001; was elected a Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in 2000; and the 2003 Distinguished Achievement Award from The IEEE’s Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.

98. Robert Wright (‘00) is Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of ReachLocal, Inc., an internet platform that connects advertisers, publishers and creative solutions providers, which had a successful IPO in 2010. Prior to ReachLocal, Rob served as Director of Business Development for WorldWinner, Inc. where he was responsible for offering WorldWinner’s tournament platform to the internet’s leading game portals, including:, Games., Gamesville.Lycos. com, and Prior to WorldWinner, Rob was Director of Business Development for LineUp Technologies, a streaming media syndication company. Rob currently ser ves on the Development Committee for the Heart of Los Angeles Youth, a non-profit organization helping under-privileged children enrich their lives through education, athletics, and fine arts. He also serves on the WSC Foundation Board of Directors, and has made a major unrestricted gift to the WSC Foundation to strengthen and advance Western’s mission.

97. Dave Wiens (‘90) has had mountain biking as guiding compass since 1987. For nearly fifteen years, it has been his passion and livelihood. In addition to pounding his way around race courses, Dave has made and continues to make other contributions to the sport. He takes an active role in trail maintenance and enhancement of the Hartman’s Rocks trail system, the closest riding to his home in Gunnison. He has been involved in the political processes of USA Cycling and NORBA, and served on both of these boards from 1995 through the year 2000. Dave helped design the Olympic Mountain bike course in Atlanta where his wife, Susan DeMattei, won the bronze medal in 1996. In 1998, Dave was awarded the Richard Long Sportsmanship award and he has been induct-

99. Paul “Mickey” Zahradka (‘40, ‘59) started his varied career as a high school band director at several schools in Colorado. While in Durango, he was instrumental in organizing the annual western slope band competition. He returned to WSC in 1952 as the Alumni Director and Assistant Professor of Music. In 1961, he also added Admissions Counselor to his list of duties. In 1963, he became the full time Admissions Director, a position he held until 1979 when he retired. Mickey was elected to the Colorado Music Educators Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1974, Mickey and his admissions team were so successful that the school could not accept any more students; WSC had reached full enrollment which was 3,200 students. Along with his admissions service,

ed to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. One of Dave’s most public claims to fame was beating Lance Armstrong in the Leadville 100 mile off-road race in August of 2008.

Mickey was instrumental in keeping the WSC Band Camp running after George F. Damson retired. Mickey passed away in 1999.

100. Ann (Nelson) Zugelder (MA ‘53) came to Gunnison as a first grade teacher in 1927. Her career as a teacher spanned almost four decades. In 1974 the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce designated Ann as the person of the year, for her work planning and building the Gunnison County library. All of Ann’s hard work and commitment to the Gunnison County Library led it to be renamed the “Ann Zugelder Library” in 1985. Ann has also established a fund through the Western State College Foundation for a scholarship that assists Western students pursuing a certification in Elementary Education through the Summer Teacher Institute. Ann passed away in 2004.

Summer 2011 11

campus news


AFTER SERVING 11 YEARS IN ADMINISTRATIVE ROLES AT WESTERN, JOHN SOWELL RESIGNED FROM HIS POSITION AS VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS ON JUNE 30. Sowell started teaching biology at Western in 1991. He assumed the role as associate vice president for academic affairs in 2000 and became the vice president in 2002. Jessica Young will assume the position of interim vice president for academic affairs. Young has served as the associate vice president for academic affairs since 2004 and also is an associate professor of biology. She has taught at Western since 1994. Bill Niemi, chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department and professor of politics and government, will step in as associate vice present for academic affairs. Niemi joined Western in 1997 and has served as a faculty trustee and on many administrative and academic committees. Kevin Nelson will continue as associate vice president for academic affairs and Terri Wenzlaff will continue as associate vice president for graduate studies. A search committee led by Lynn Sikkink, professor of anthropology, has been appointed and the position will be advertised in August with the goal to have a new vice president for academic affairs in place by July 2012. Top Right : President, Jay Helman, with Alumni Barry Clifford (middle) and Peter Dea.


ON MARCH 9, MORE THAN 100 ALUMNI AND FRIENDS ATTENDED A SPECIAL VIEWING OF THE EXHIBIT, “REAL PIRATES: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WHYDAH FROM SLAVE SHIP TO PIRATE SHIP,” AT THE DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE. They were treated to a private tour of the exhibit by alumnus Barry Clifford, ’69, who recovered the artifacts. Clifford, who is among the world’s best-known underwater explorers, made headlines with his 1984 discovery of the remains of The Whydah Galley, wrecked in a storm off Cape Cod in 1717. Her treasures are still being recovered today with the help of Clifford’s 75-foot vessel, Vast Explorer. With more than 100,000 artifacts recovered and conserved to date, this project has vastly expanded the public’s understanding of 18th century piracy. Clifford has kept the collection intact at Expedition Whydah Sea-Lab and Learning Center in Provincetown, Mass.


WESTERN HELD A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY THE STUDENT APARTMENT COMPLEX ON JUNE 22 WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM JE DUNN CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN WEST ARCHITECTS. The Pinnacles student apartment complex is an 85,000-square-foot project that will include 54 apartments and accommodate up to 226 tenants. The $20-million project includes the demolition of out-dated Coronado, Beckwith, and Keating Halls and is expected to be completed before the 2012-13 school year. The current design is planned to achieve LEED Gold certification for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The state-ofthe-art facility will include community rooms, a greenhouse and an on-site recycling center. The apartment complex’s name, The Pinnacles, was selected by the College from student submissions. It is named for the Dillon Pinnacles formation near Blue Mesa Reservoir. 12 Westerner

LAST FALL, AFTER SOME INVESTIGATIVE WORK, NUNN CONSTRUCTION LOCATED THE BUILDING’S ORIGINAL TIME CAPSULE, WHICH WAS PLACED BEHIND THE BUILDING’S CORNERSTONE. According to the “Gunnison NewsChampion,” the steel box contains various historic records, coins, newspapers and photos. A new time capsule will be installed this fall. The capsule will include two student essays about Western, which were selected by the Leslie J. Savage Library.


THIS SUMMER MARKS THE SECOND YEAR OF NEW GRADUATE PROGRAMS AT WESTERN, WHICH ARE GOING STRONG AND REACHING ENROLLMENT GOALS. In the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, Western welcomed 17 returning students, who were joined by about 24 new students who started their studies in July, including three enrolled in the new Certificate in Publishing program.

campus news


The Master of Arts in Education program anticipates about 80 new students to arrive on Aug. 1 for a week of on-campus instruction. Both programs are low-residency, with students working online with mentors and limited time on-campus in the summer. This enables working professionals to remain active in their careers while pursuing their degrees. For more information on Western’s graduate programs, visit academics/graduate.




WESTERN’S PAST AND PRESENT COME TOGETHER IN THE RECENTLY COMPLETED TAYLOR HALL RENOVATION. THE $21-MILLION PROJECT WAS FINISHED IN JUNE – 100 YEARS FROM WHEN IT FIRST OPENED ITS DOORS. The project included preserving the building’s historic features while adding a Welcome Center and completely transforming the interior and updating the infrastructure. The renovation also earned LEED Silver certification for energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable design. Located on the south side of the building, the Welcome Center serves as the College’s “front door” for prospective students, alumni and other visitors. The Admissions and Alumni offices are located in that area. The building also houses other administrative and student services offices, such as Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and the President’s Office, as well as faculty offices for the Communication Arts, Languages and Literature Department. The building’s contemporary classrooms were upgraded with computing and audio-visual technologies to enhance presentations. The campus radio station, KWSB, has new digs with several media production studios that are also used by the film program. Collaborative spaces for students also were incorporated into the building. Tour the “new” Taylor Hall during Homecoming on Oct. 1. Summer 2011 13


WESTERN NAMES BAINS NEXT HEAD FOOTBALL COACH Athletic Director Dr. Greg Waggoner announces the hiring of Jas Bains as the next head coach for the Mountaineer football program. Bains spent the past season as Mountaineer defensive and special teams coordinator. With the Mountaineers last season, Bains coached the top kickblocking team in the RMAC and one of the top kick-blocking teams in Division II. Western State also ranked second in the conference for punt return average. His defense ranked in the top half of the conference in interception return average and opponent fourth-down conversions. Bains was a member of the Chadron State coaching staff for 5 seasons, with the final three seasons as the special teams coordinator and defensive secondary coach. He coached 4 student-athletes to top-5 national rankings in either punt or kickoff returns from '06 through '08, and had three specialists earn a spot on the AFCA All-America First Team. He was a member of the coaching staff during the Eagles’ national quarterfinal runs in '06 and '07 and part of three undefeated RMAC championship teams. Bains’ special teams units have blocked 40 kicks and given up only one blocked punt in his six seasons in the RMAC. He also coached 21 all-conference student-athletes, 10 all-region selections, 18 Capital One Academic All-District honorees and 134 RMAC AllAcademic selections. Bains’ staff includes quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Ryan McDonough, defensive line coach Mike A freshman claimed the first high jump championship in Western State history, a sophomore won his first national championship after two runner-up finishes, a junior led a quartet of 4 Mountaineer All-Americans in the steeplechase and a senior defended his national championship with an undefeated season to highlight the WSC individual athletic performances in 2010-11.


Freshman Barbara Szabo cleared 5 feet, 9 3/4 inches to win the national championship in the high jump and helped lead the Mountaineer women to a ninth-place team finish in the final day of the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships. Szabo secured All-America honors on her first jump after seven women were knocked out of contention when she cleared 5-8 ½ on her first attempt. She cleared 5-9 ¾ to win the national title. With a 9-3 decision against West Liberty’s Mitch Knapp, senior Donovan McMahill repeated as the national champion at 197 pounds and turned in the first perfect season by a Mountaineer in more than 40 years to lead Western State College to a fifthplace finish at the 2011 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships. McMahill took a 2-1 lead after the first period, and expanded with a five-point second period to take a 7-2 advantage going into the final period. He added another takedown in the third period to win his second national championship, 9-3. 14 Westerner

Aimone, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tony Case, defensive coordinator Kelly Ledwith, wide receivers coach Jaron Fairman and running backs coach Jeff Williamson. Five home games in Mountaineer Bowl, including the first game against a Lone Star Conference team in five years, highlight the 2011 Western State College football schedule. The Mountaineers will also face a Big Sky Conference team for the third straight season with Bains. Western State opens the season with Angelo State Sept. 3 in Mountaineer Bowl.The two teams will be meeting for the first time since 2006. Western State opens the 2011 RMAC season with two of the top three conference teams from 2010. Chadron State comes to Mountaineer Bowl Sept. 17, and the Mountaineers head to defending co-champion Nebraska-Kearney. Western State finishes the 2011 regular season at Colorado State-Pueblo Nov. 5 and at Adams State Nov. 12 for the Colorado Classic. McMahill was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler after finishing as the only undefeated wrestler in Division II this season. He’s the first Mountaineer to earn the OW award in either the NCAA or NAIA history of Western State wrestling. He also finished with the first perfect Mountaineer season since Dale Stryker in 1965, and was named the Division II Wrestler of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in April. At the 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships, sophomore Oliver Harsanyi and junior David Goodman both captured their first career national championships in the high jump and steeplechase, respectively. Harsanyi won with a jump of 7-2 1/4, while Goodman led a quartet of Mountaineer All-Americans with a time of 8:48.63. Harsanyi was the only jumper to pass at 6-7 1/2 and quickly became one of three remaining jumpers when the bar moved to 7-2 1/4. He cleared on his third attempt to win his first national championship and fourth All-America title after a pair of runnerup finishes in 2009. Harsanyi set the program record earlier this season with 7-2 1/2 at CSU-Pueblo. Goodman led from start-to-finish in the steeplechase, and his personal record and facility record time led a group of four Mountaineer All-American men in the event. Ryan Haebe, the RMAC Freshman of the Year, finished in third with 8:54.71 while David Flynn finished in seventh with 8:58.00. Loren Ahonen finished his collegiate career with his seventh All-America honor and his third in the steeplechase with 9:03.27 in eighth.

A conference-winning men’s basketball coach and respected educator, a four-time RMAC champion, the most prolific shot blocker and rebounder in school history, a nationally-respected skiing coach and a dominating football team will make up the 17th induction class of the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame. The 2011 ceremony will take place Oct. 14 at the Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center in Gunnison. Jay Helman, Harvey Dalton and Kris Ellerby Curtis will be the individual inductees into the Hall of Fame for their accomplishments as either a coach or student-athlete at Western State College. The 1976 Mountaineer football team will also enter the Hall of Fame and Paul Crews will receive a Lifetime Athletic Achievement Award.

Paul Crews Lifetime Achievement Award

• Finished second in the alpine combined & giant slalom at 1970 national championships for Western State • First Alaskan to qualify for U.S. Ski Team & competed on the World Professional Circuit in '73 & '74 • Won 15 gold & silver medals in U.S. Masters Competition • As Head Ski Coach at Alaska- Anchorage from 1990 through 2001, his teams never finished lower than 10th at the national championships & finished as high as fifth in '93, '97 & '98 • Coached five individual national champions & 48 All-Americans • Instrumental in landing the 2002 NCAA Championships in Anchorage • Eight-year member of the NCAA Skiing Rules Committee & spent 4 years as the committee chair • 20-year member of the U.S. Ski Association National Alpine Committee &10 years onits Board of Directors • Technical delegate for 30 years & served as the Chief of the Race at 4 U.S. National Alpine Championships, 2 Masters National Championships, 1 World Junior Alpine Championships & 1World Special Olympics Championships • Inducted into the Alaska- Anchorage Hall of Fame in 2008

Harvey Dalton Wrestling

• Only Mountaineer to win the RMAC wrestling championship all four seasons • Four-time national qualifier who finished as the national runner-up in 1975 & eighth in 1974 • Finished second at the 1976 MIWA Tournament, won the New Mexico Lobo Invitational & placed all four seasons, & won the Air Force & Western State tournaments twice • Coached 32 individual state champions, 22 runner-ups and 69 placers at Rock Springs High School in WY. • A 5-time Wyoming Coaches Association 4A Coach of the Year • 5 Wyoming High School 4A TeamChampionships • Inducted into the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame in '99

Jay Helman Men’s Basketball

• Led Mountaineers to 1992- 1993 RMAC Championship two seasons & the first NCAA Division II postseason appearance in program history • Team qualified for NAIA National Tournament in 1991-92 • Maintained a 100 percent graduation rate among his student-athletes • Retired with 72 career victories in five seasons • Became Western State’s 13th president in 2002, & guided the College through the largest capital-improvement campaign in the College’s history

Kris Ellerby-Curtis Women’s Basketball

• Still holds WSC records in career blocks (319), career rebounds (936), season blocks (125), season rebounds (321), game blocks (9) & game rebounds (19). • Three-time All-RMAC student athlete & NAIA District VII All-Star Team in 1987-88 • Led Mountaineers to a program-record 22 victories in 1986-87, three NAIA postseason appearances and the 1987 RMAC and NAIA District VII Championship • Named the “Queen of the Block” by The Denver Post



1976 Football Team

• Advanced to the NAIA Division I Semifinals for the first time in program history • Team won the RMAC championship for the fourth straight season, as part of 7 straight conference championship teams for the Mountaineers • Team featured five All- Americans & nine First Team All-RMAC selections. All five offensive lineman earned an all-conference honor. • Set records for top single game team offensive rushing & defensive passing performances.

CROSS COUNTRY FINISHES SECOND AT NATIONALS Both Western State College cross country teams finished as the national runner-up, with the women led by the third-place finish of Lauren Kleppin, at the 2010 NCAA Division II Championships held on the snow-covered course at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. For the women, it’s their best finish since 2006. The men finish second for the fourth straight season. The women beat out rivals Adams State by a three-point margin, 95-98. Grand Valley State won its first national championship and became the first women’s team from outside of the RMAC to win the national championship since the conference moved to Division II in 1992.

Kleppin finished the six-kilometer course in 21 minutes and 4.5 seconds, and ran with the breakaway group through the entire race. It’s the highest finish for a Mountaineer in the individual results since Esther Komen won the individual championship in 2006. The men finished with 102 team points ahead of Grand Valley Statte and placed all five scoring runners in the top 40 for All-America honors. Head Coach Jennifer Michel (‘01), who earned RMAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors after the Mountaineers won their first women’s title since 2001, also earned CaptainU Division II Women’s Coach of the Year honors after the team’s performance. Summer 2011 15

foundation news

FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBERS GIVE MORE THAN TIME SEAN MARKEY (’93), A MEMBER OF THE WESTERN STATE COLLEGE FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS, RECENTLY MADE A GIFT OF $50,000 TO THE COLLEGE CENTER. “I came to Gunnison in 1989, after a career in the trucking industry. I had it in mind that I would get a business degree. I had been rejected by CU Boulder.  In fact they very specifically pointed out how un-suitable I was for academics, based on my high school transcript (wow, I did not do well in high school). CU then advised that I go to a community college, achieve 40+ credit hours and then reapply.  I was not at all interested in the long road to success. My sister had attended Western, and based on her good experience,  I chose to apply. My now ex-wife and I were accepted into the 1993 class. Coming to Gunnison, giving up everything I had to be there, was frightening and at the same time exciting. During orientation I remember that I did not understand what course curriculums were, or for that matter what General ED meant. I was so embarrassed that I did not know these things, so I just copied what others were doing.      Our first year was tough. We did not have enough money for food, so we would wait at Keating’s back door then sneak in, pack our back packs with food and race home (sorry Jay). Obviously things changed. I worked at Crested Butte in the winter and for Scott Noreen Builders in the summer (peeling logs was such fun. Definitely supported my plan for higher education).  A lot happened in those four years. I grew as a person, had a child (Mckenzie, the love of my life), got divorced and accomplished a competitive education  and graduated with honors. Although what I received from Western was a competitive education, that is not what I will remember the most. At Western, I was never looked down on or deterred from my dreams. Amazingly, many people at Western appeared very interested in me. I believe that was what got me through. After my first year I decided (naively) to go to medical school. Many people in my life tried to convince me to transfer to a “bigger, more credible” school. I never considered the idea and low and behold I competed with 3500 students for one of 130 seats in CU Medical School, and I won. After four years in medical school, I again naively decided to become a neurosurgeon. I competed for one of only 130 slots in the nation. Again, I won. My story is not the only success story at Western.  Some of my good friends also made it to med school. Jamie Begler (‘91), Sherry Niccoli (‘93) and Wayne Warnken (’95), just to name a few.      I believe my ability to defy the odds has much to do with my time at Western. My professors believed in me, even at times when I did not believe in myself. They were connected to me personally as well, often giving me invaluable advice about life.  They also  would challenge me in order to prepare me for the rigorous testing that was soon to come.  Subsequently, I was incredibly well trained for med school. I had learned that ‘I don’t know’  is not an answer, and knowing that has served me well in my current career.”

16 Westerner

ROB WRIGHT, A 2000 WESTERN GRADUATE, IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE WSC FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS. HE RECENTLY MADE A GIFT OF $50,000 UNRESTRICTED GIFT. “The Foundation Board is made up of a who’s who list of very successful people with degrees from Western….. it’s great to see this group so dedicated in providing financial support and leadership for the college,” said Rob. “It just shows how much we all value and care for Western.” Unrestricted Funds are vital to the College, and provide extraordinary experiences for Western students. These funds are directed to areas of greatest need, and vary from technological support, to scholarships, to purchasing materials for the Savage Library. Unrestricted funds exist to help assist Western students. “Western was a very amazing experience for me. I got a great education, built lasting relationships with friends and faculty and had a ton of fun along the way,” said Rob. “Some of the greatest people I’ve ever met I met in Gunnison, Colorado.” “Western is truly a gem not known by many,” explained Rob. “The quality of education I received surpassed my initial expectations by a long shot.” “We are so grateful for all that Sean and Rob do for Western,” said Tom Burggraf, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Western and Executive Director of the WSC Foundation. “We enjoy working with them, and appreciate their service on the Foundation Board.”

MAKE A GIFT, AND GET A TAX CREDIT! WANT TO SEE YOUR NAMES IN LIGHTS? You can be recognized with a named seat in the new Prosser Theater in the Western State College Center. Seats are available for $1,000.00 each. Make your gift a part of Western’s 100-year Celebration, “Heritage to Horizon!”

In addition, your gift enables you to participate in the Colorado Enterprise Zone! All donors who make a gift of $50.00 or more to the College Center, who also pay Colorado State Income Tax (regardless of tax bracket), qualify for a 25% State tax credit for the amount of their cash gifts, up to $100,000 credit per year (for a $400,000 gift) with a 5-year carry-over if you cannot use the entire credit in a single year. In-kind contributions are eligible for a 12½ % credit. Combined with the State and Federal Income Tax deductions, that means that Colorado tax-payers may make gifts to the College Center at a significant discount! This is a powerful way to steer your State tax dollars exactly where you want them to go! Be a part of Western’s next 100-year legacy, and have a starring role in the College Center. Contact the WSC Foundation at (970) 641-2237, or email for more available naming opportunities.

ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH, 2011, THE WESTERN STATE COLLEGE FOUNDATION HOSTED “SLIDERS AND CIDER,” THE HERITAGE TO HORIZON ALUMNI SKI WEEKEND KICK-OFF PARTY AT THE COLLEGE CENTER TO WELCOME OUR ALUMNI SKI GUESTS, CELEBRATE WESTERN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY, AND JAY HELMAN’S 10TH YEAR AS PRESIDENT. “Sliders and Cider,” was the first official event for Western’s Heritage to Horizon year. Guests enjoyed Mad Jack’s sliders, cider and celebration cake in the College Center and around the fire pit.

foundation news



JOSHUA TOBEY (’00) HAS BEEN CONTRACTED BY WESTERN STATE COLLEGE TO CREATE A SCULPTURE OF THE WESTERN STATE COLLEGE MASCOT, THE MOUNTAINEER. The 8.5 foot structure will stand on the WSC crest and will greet Western’s alumni and friends at the front of the newly renovated Taylor Hall. The total cost of this welcoming addition to the campus is $81,000.  If you are interested in having this commissioned by you (with a plaque placed in front of the statue in your honor), please contact the WSC Foundation at (970) 641-2237.

Summer 2011 17

Proud Supporter of Mountaineer Athletics 1.800.321.0673

Where everyone belongs.

NOW LOCATED in the college center! 18 Westerner

and Why?




news from the alumni association

Who, What, When, Where

THIS IS A NEAT PHOTO OF THE SYMPHONY BAND BUT WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY ARE, OR WHAT YEAR THIS WAS TAKEN. DO YOU RECOGNIZE ANYONE IN THIS PICTURE? DO YOU KNOW WHERE THEY ARE? THAT WALL PAPER IS PRETTY DISTINCTIVE. LET US KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW. Email Shannon Eagles at or send a letter to Shannon Eagles, Leslie J. Savage Library, Western State College, 600 N. Adams, Gunnison, Colorado 81231. Thank you in advance for sharing your memories of Western State College, Shannon Eagles Library Archivist Summer 2011 19

news from the alumni association

Pete Pisciotta (BA-1958, MA1960), former Athletics Director at Glendale Community College in Arizona was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame on June 23, 2010 in Anaheim, California for his effort and dedication to athletics at a junior level. Pisciotta has received several other recognitions including the 1991 induction into the Greater Pueblo County Sports Association’s Hall of Fame.


Bob Hollingshead (1964) has been added into the 15th induction class into the Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 1963, he earned the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award and in 1964, he won the national championship at 137 lbs.


Leslie Moore (BA-1969, MA-1978) was inducted into the 22nd hall of fame class of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) in January 2011. Leslie was the long standing Athletics Director of Denver Public Schools and was the first female president in CHSAA history. She oversaw athletics at 10 high schools with over 5,000 student athletes in 19 sports. She is a five time finalist for National Athletic Director of the Year, a member of the Denver Prep League Hall of Fame (2010), member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Board of Directors and the 2001 recipient of the NFHS National Citation award. Jacob (Jay) Ruxer (BA-1970, MA1971) has been appointed Director of Finance of Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. by Executive Director Beth Lobdell. Ruxer is responsible for all accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting requirements for the non-profit agency. He has worked at several financial institutes during his 30-year career, McDowell Enterprises in Nashville, Tenn. and Heritage Group in Indianapolis, Ind.


Shelly Wagner (1973) retired from Aguilar High School in May after 31 years. Shelly has taught band, music, physical education, and healthy living and life skills. She was a senior class advisor and helped organized the junior prom for over 20 years. Working as a counselor, she helped many seniors get scholarships by helping them with the application process. At her final band concert on May 10, she was honored with a lapel pin, plaque and flowers by her students. Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed Al Clough (1977) of Juneau to the state’s Redistricting Board, which will redraw state legislative district boundaries based on the ongoing U.S. Census. Clough, who lives in North Douglas, is a lifelong Alaskan and a commercial pilot for Wings of Alaska in Juneau. A registered professional geologist, Clough has worked across Alaska in the mining industry, including as vice president of the Red Diamond Mining Company, deputy project manager for Kvaerner Environmental on the A-J Mine Project, and for the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Michael Towne (1976) recently completed his 10th year at the Great Falls Tribute in Montana. Towne has worked in the Tribune’s sports department since November 1980, covering primarily prep sports and Great Falls’ professional baseball team (Class A). He served as sports editor of the Gunnison Country Times for four and half years, following graduation from WSC. 20 Westerner

Bob Bledsoe (BA-1975, MA-1981) was inducted in the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) Hall of Fame 2010 class for his 32 years of service as a coach at Erie High School. Bledsoe posted a 335-61 record over the past 15 years as softball coach. His teams have won 11 state championships, finished second twice and third once. In 32 years as a girls’ basketball coach, Bledsoe’s teams compiled a 368-147 mark, earning six berths in the state playoffs, finishing second once. He is a member of the Colorado High School Coaches Hall of Fame (2006), has been the CHSCA and the Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports Coach of the Year 10 times and is a three-time finalist for the National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year (2001, 2007, 2009). Jane Sutton (BA-1974, MA-1980) was recently published by the University of Alabama Press. The title of her newly published book is The House of My Sojourn: Rhetoric, Women, and the Question of Authority. Colonel Wesley Lee Fox (1977) was the keynote speaker for the Memorial Day commemoration sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9855 and the American Legion Post 104. Fox served two tours with the 1st Marine Division in Korea where he held billets from BARman to Platoon Sergeant. His later duties included Armed Service Policeman, Drill Instructor, Recruiter, and Pathfinder. He was promoted to the rank of 1st Sergeant while assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. His personal decorations include: Medal of Honor, Legion of Merit with Star, Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, Purple Heart with 3 Stars, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V and Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon with Star. Kirkland Lake Gold Inc., an operating and exploration gold company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Pamela Joann Klessig, (1978) P.Geo, to the Board of Directors. Klessig has over 27 years of experience in global mineral exploration, development and production. She is the former President, CEO of Western Uranium Corp., now Concordia Resource Corp., where she continues to serve as a director. Dallas Everhart (BA-1979, MA-1981) was named a University of Northern Colorado Monfort College of Business Professor of the Year. The selection was based on student evaluations and based on five areas of emphasis. Everhart is a Marketing lecturer for UNC. Ray Cherniske (1982) was welcomed to MidContinent/Alaska (MCA) as HES Planning & Performance superintendent effective January 1, 2011. Ray has been with MCA for 27 years, holding various positions in mining, refining and pipelines, and terminals, including a staff position in Unocal’s Refining & Manufacturing Division. Ray was chosen based on his field experience, demonstrated leadership qualities and commitment to Chevron Way values.


Midway Gold Corp. has appointed H. Thomas Williams, (BA-1980, MA-1989) as Director of Environmental Affairs, tasked with guiding the environmental baseline and permitting efforts for its Pan Gold Project, Nevada, as well as future project environmental development. Tom joins Midway from Walsh Environmental Scientists and Engineers, LLC, where he served

as Senior Project Manager leading complex environmental planning and permitting initiatives.  His 32-year career in the mining industry includes posts at Homestake Mining Company, SRK Consultants Inc., Golder Associates Inc., and Walsh Environmental, as well as independent consulting to major resource and development companies.   Roger L. Smith (BA-1980, MA-1984), Ur-Energy’s Chief Financial Officer, was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in addition to his current role as Chief Financial Officer.  Smith brings 25 plus years of experience in finance, accounting, IT, and M&A in the mining and manufacturing industries. He has served as Ur-Energy’s Chief Financial Officer since 2007 and has served as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Rio Tinto Minerals, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto PLC and has held various positions with other mining companies such as Vista Gold, Westmont Gold, and Homestake Mining. Todd Bradley (1982) is the CEO of C4 Waterman, a company that manufactures stand-up paddle equipment and is based in Honolulu. The company has made a move to bring stand up paddling inland by announcing a Colorado calendar of events this summer that takes advantage of fast-moving rivers swollen with this winter’s snowmelt. Recognizing the similar values both mountain and ocean water lovers share, C4 Waterman’s efforts have been focused on fostering the development of the sport in the mountains. Colorado is the bedrock in the company’s campaign to spread the fun and fitness of standup paddling inland. Bill Noxon (1986) was inducted into the 22nd hall of fame class of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) in January 2011. Noxon coached football and baseball at Grand Junction and Fruita Monument high schools, compiling a mark of 133-54-4 (.707), one state championship and five second place finishes over 19 years. His football teams won 11 conference titles. He coached baseball at Fruita where his teams finished runner up in the state on three occasions. He’s a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (2008), Fort Lewis Hall of Fame as well as Western’s Sports Hall of Fame. Noxon also coached collegiately at Western where his teams posted an 84-43-2 mark. Tee Jay Rose (1989) was named Olathe High School Pirates’ Head Wrestling Coach. Rose takes over for Harvey Starbuck who coached the Pirates for 17 years. Prior to working for Olathe High School, he was the assistant wrestling coach for Gunnison High School. The Bayfield School Board announced that Troy D. Zabel (1991) will be the new Superintendent starting July 1, 2011. Troy has held various positions in the education area including that of teaching all age levels, administrative work with all ages, and his most recent position as Hayden School District high school principle. Zabel is married with three children.


The Bank of Colorado added Joe Kusar (1997) as Senior Vice President of commercial lending for the Durango area. Joe brings more than 13 years of lending and management experience and is responsible for providing financial solutions and delivering lending, depository, treasury, investment and related banking services to small growth business, commercial businesses, and professional service firms in Southwest

Colorado. Previously, Kusar served as the senior vice president of commercial and middle market banking for Royal Bank of Canada Financial Group’s U.S. banking operation and vice president of commercial and private banking for SunTrust Bank, Inc. Chef Patrick Ryan (1997) has opened up a mobile restaurant from an Airstream in hopes to plant some roots in Kansas City. He attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, Oregon. His restaurant now, Fat City will be serving regional Mexican cuisine. He recently turned down the opportunity to do Top Chef because he said that it just didn’t feel right to him. Contemporary Impressionist painter Jami Tobey (Kiendra) (1997) will join the Stampede Western Invitational Art Exhibit and Sale in Greeley, Colorado this summer to reveal her collection of works that pay tribute to her late father, the acclaimed Santa Fe sculptor, Gene Tobey. The exclusive art exhibit is part of the 89th annual Greeley Stampede, which will be held June 24 through July 4 at Island Grove Park. Governor Kitzhaber announced that Steven Powers (1997) has joined the Governors Staff serving as the Deputy General Counsel. Most recently, Powers has served as Deputy District Attorney in Multnomah County, responsible for working with law enforcement on investigations, reviewing police reports for potential charges, prosecuting crimes on behalf of the State of Oregon. He has served as Chairperson of the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision and also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Appellate Division of the Oregon Department of Justice, where he litigated cases on behalf of Oregon before the state appellate courts and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Lori (Wisdom) (1994) and Jason Plantiko (1993) recently relocated from Pagosa Springs to Grand Junction. Jason is the Assistant Principal at Fruita 8-9 school and Lori is a school counselor at Grand Junction High. They have two daughters Kayli (9) and Ashlyn (7). The Omni Amelia Island Plantation appointed Paul Eckert (1999) as general manager of the resort recently acquired by Omni Hotels & Resorts. He will be responsible for daily operations and guest relations for the resort. Eckert brings more than 12 years of hospitality experience the Omni Amelia Island Plantation and he was previously the general manager of the Omni Jacksonville Hotel. Shane Carwin (1999) has been inducted into the 15th induction class into the Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was joined by Bob Hollingshead and two Nebraska-Kearney wrestlers. In October 2004, Shane was inducted into the Western State College’s Community First National Bank and Insurance Mountaineer Hall of Fame. Ken Pritchett (1996) joined KTVU Channel 2 News team in June 2005. Ken began his career in 1996 as a weekend anchor for KSWO-TV in Lawton, OK. From there, he was a reporter for KMPH-TV in Fresno, CA. Prior to joining KTVU, Ken worked for three years as a general assignment reporter at KCRA-TV Sacramento. Michael Whigham (1999) has recently been hired by Integrated Solar in a Sales and Design position. Whigham has an MA degree from

Antioch New England Graduate School in Environmental Studies and is currently working on his PhD from Univ of New Hampshire. He completed the construction of his own home last year with a super insulated building envelope, a wood and solar heating system and solar photovoltaics, an designed to be Net Zero Energy. Mike Swaro (2005) was named the 2009 recipient of the Torch Award by the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association (NAWEOA). He was presented the award at the NAWEOA conference in New Brunswick, Canada. Swaro has been commissioned by the Division of Wildlife in 2006 and assigned to the Meeker West district in the Piceance Basin.


Stone & Youngberg, a leading financial services firm and the nation’s top underwriter of California and Arizona municipal bonds has announced that Paul R. Touchstone (2000), CFA, has been promoted to senior investment strategist and portfolio manager for the firm’s Private Client Group. He was previously the vice president and the portfolio manager for the First Bank Wealth Management Group in San Francisco. Tristan Paddock (2006) married Micah (Brennan) Paddock (2006) in October 2010 in Lexington, Virginia. They live in Boulder, Colorado Jade Winterwolf (2002) has joined Consulting, Life Coaching & Psychotherapy in Sedalia, Missouri. Winterwolf is a native of the rural Midwest and a mother of four. Janelle (Leeper) Smiley (2007) won the US Ski Mountaineering Nationals in early January 2011.This qualified her to represent the USA at the World’s in February in Claut Italy. Highlights of results of the US team included Smiley with two top-ten finishes in the singles and vertical race. Janelle lives in CB and works at the Nordic Center. She was on the Nordic ski team at Western.


Elva (Martinez) Dryer (1996) and her husband, Russ Dryer (1991) announced the birth of their daughter, Marina Abigail. She weighed 6 lbs and 14 oz, and was 19 ¼ inches long. Jared Haberman (2004) and his wife, Shannon, are excited to announce the birth of their daughter, Jaelynne Dawn Haberman. Jaelynne was born on January 31, 2011. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 6.4 oz and was 19 inches long. Mike Stanis (2003) and Becky (Leitner) Stanis (2003) proudly announced the birth of their daughter, Lila Anne. Lila was born on September 20, 2010. She weighed 6 lbs and 10 oz and measured 19.75 inches long. Kevin “Moose” Castro (1992) and his wife, Pattie, announced the birth of their daughter, Kelsie Rae on October 19, 2010. Kelsie was 7.3 lbs and 20 inches long. Mike Garner (2001) and Kelli (Spore) Garner (2000) announced the birth of their son, Blake Wesley. He weighed 7 lbs and 1 oz, and was 20 inches long. Tim Puralewski (1997) and wife, Jerri Puralewski, announce the birth of Titus Timothy on April 19, 2011.Titus weighed in at 7 lbs and was 22 inches long.

Obituaries Freda V. Steffan (‘34) Nov. 27, 2010 Ray Haley (‘35) Nov. 3, 2010 Thelma M. (Poe) Arbuckle (‘36) Sept. 6, 2010 Janie (Spann) Seraphine (‘39) March 24, 2011 Frances K. (Klingensmith) Lenox (‘43) Aug. 4, 2010 Ted Geringer (‘46) Nov. 2, 2010 Eugene F. “Gene” Mincks (‘47) Nov. 19, 2010 John Callaham Moore (‘48) Oct. 1, 2010 Roy Oliver Howell (BA-’50, MA-’53) June 27, 2010 William Thomas Thorsen (BA-’50, MA-’54) Sept. 13, 2010 James Dean Crain (BA-’51, MA-’57) Unknown Edgar Allen “Ed” Cole (‘51) Jan. 8, 2011 Ray Allen McGee (‘52) Jan. 9, 2011 James P. Anderson (‘52) Jan. 30, 2011 Robert “Bob” Charles Carter (‘53) April 24, 2011 Thomas Richard Kirkmeyer (‘53) June 10, 2011 Norman Robert “Bob” Lemons (BA-’54, MA-’57) Feb. 8, 2011 George S. George (‘54) Jan. 29, 2011 Clifford Joseph Vontz (BA-’55, MA-’67) Nov. 12, 2010 Steven Thomas Pellican (‘56) Dec. 16, 2010 Joan Marie (Niccoli) Campbell (‘56) March 1, 2011 Ruth W. (Whadford) Stitzer (‘58) March 5, 2010 Leonard Leroy Davis (‘58) Sept. 20, 2010 John Ray Towles (MA-’59, EDS-’65) May 27, 2011 John Kirk Baldridge (BA-’59, MA-’69) March 13, 2011 Dean Osro Van Vleet (‘60) June 6, 2010 Arthur Elwin Powell (‘61) March 25, 2011 Gary Frank Grubb (‘61) Aug. 15, 2010 Kaarlo Johannes Jokela (‘62) April 27, 2011 Doris Beeson Wolfe (‘63) Aug. 4, 2009 Daryl Everett Coleman (‘65) June 13, 2011 Phyllis Jean Thompson (MA-’65) Aug. 30, 2010 Karol Ann (Hoaglund) Dennis (‘66) Oct. 1, 2010 James Harold Cox (BA-’66, MA-’68) Nov. 15, 2010 Natalie Jean (House) Oakes (BA-’66, MA-’81) Aug. 26, 2010 Norman Paul Patten (‘69) Oct. 29, 2010 Erwin Anthony Spaar (‘70) Feb. 20, 2003 David Raymond Williams (‘71) June 15, 2011 Victor Martin “Zeek” Ziemer (‘71) Dec. 22, 2010 Patricia Lynn (Walker) Knox (‘74) April 20, 2010 Rodney Duane Maulis (‘84) June 22, 2010 Johnnie Joe Bryan (‘86) March 20, 2011 Kathryn S. (Coghill) Delaney (‘89) Nov. 5, 2010 Michael Selassie Bohorquez (‘02) May 22, 2011 Gladys M. Mulay (Attendee) July 31, 2010 Brandon D. Roberts (Attendee) Sept. 7, 2010 Raelynn Kissner (Attendee) Dec. 1, 2010 Harley A. Orahood (Attendee) April 2010 John Manzanares (Attendee) Nov. 11, 2010 John Davoren (Attendee) Nov. 11, 2010 Mary Kathleen Schumacher (Attendee) Aug. 12, 2010 Phil Prijatel (Attendee) Nov. 5, 2010 Ron Long (Attendee) Dec. 30, 2010 Shuford Schuhmann (Emeritus Faculty) Dec. 2004 Kenneth Grant MacLennan (‘57, Emeritus Faculty) Jan. 8, 2011 Dr.Vern Whiting (Emeritus Faculty) March 19, 2011 Summer 2011 21

HOMECOMING September 30 to October 1

22 Westerner

Western is celebrating 100 years of educating students (and producing alumni) and we’re going to pull out all the stops. 100 years ago, in June 1911, Western opened its doors for the very first time to students. This little college has stood the test of time and is shining more brightly now than ever with a future so exciting, it’s going to be an amazing thing to see unfold. We will be celebrating our incredible past and our amazing future this homecoming and it just won’t be the same without YOU! FOR COMPLETE DETAILS, LOG ONTO WWW.WESTERNALUM.ORG/EVENTS OR CALL 970-943-2493.

homecoming 2011



10th Anniversary of the “Elite 8,” Top 4 finish We want to celebrate and bring in your team. You will get to meet the current volleyball team and even get a chance to take them on in a volleyball battle on Friday night!


(1959/59 - 1961/62) It’s been 50 years since this team has hit the hardwood; but it’s time to strap on those Chuck Taylors and head back to Gunnison. Dave Brougham and Ken Barone are organizing a reunion for your team and are asking all to join them this Homecoming for an unforgettable reunion.


(2001 grads) Join Paul Giberson and other grads from the year 2001. We’ve got plans for you to meet at Timbers on Saturday night to reminisce and enjoy a glass of cheer. Can’t wait to see you there!


(1991 grads) Stacey (Roman) Pennie and Tonya (Smith) Van Hee are calling back all 1991 grads--as well as anyone who went to school with the 91 grads! We’re excited to get us all back together--can you believe it’s been 20 years??? We’ll be gathering at the Gunnison Brewery Saturday night and we want YOU to be there. Make plans now!

Check out our website for details on all of these reunions. We’ll be updating the site frequently with more and more details, so check back often— *If you would like to organize something specific for your class or other reunion group, please contact Marques Bravo at or call 970-943-2493. Summer 2011 23

homecoming 2011

REGISTER Call 970-943-2493 to register or return this form to: WSC Alumni Relations, 600 N. Adams, Taylor Hall, Gunnison, CO 81231 OR, you can register fully on our secure website powered by VeriSign :


Maiden Name:

Spouse’s or Guest’s Name(s):

WSC grad also?

WSC Graduation Year or Years Attended: Address: City, State, Zip: Phone:

Email Address:

I am a member of

reunion group(s).

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 Alumni Golf Outing**

# of players

Kick-off Celebration (FREE, but tell us you’re coming)

# attending

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 President’s Breakfast

# attending

$8 per person $

Homecoming Football game

# attending





$75 per player $

Western Flames Celebration (FREE, but tell us you’re coming)


Volleyball game






Movie Night




Total Enclosed $

Payment Method: r Check Enclosed. Payable to Western State College Alumni Association Visa/Mastercard* Card Number

Expiration Date

3 digit security code Questions or comments? Contact us at or 970-943-2493. 24 Westerner

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30 12:00 pm Golf Outing at Dos Rios Golf Course 5:30 pm Tour Taylor Hall - Meet at Main Entrance (south end of bldg) Take a breath before you enter this new/old building because it is going to take your breath away! You will not believe your eyes. This building which has stood tall and proud over Western for 100 years just received the make-over of a lifetime for its 100th birthday and it is now a state of the art building ready to boldly face the next 100 years! 7:00 pm Homecoming Kick-Off Celebration and the traditional lighting of the “W” Aspinall-Wilson Center This is the big event everyone looks forward to all year. We’ll have a live band, fireworks, the lighting of the “W” and lots of good cheer. This event is free—everyone is welcome! 9:00 pm Homecoming Bonfire Mountaineer Bowl Parking Lot SATURDAY OCTOBER 1 8:00 am President’s Breakfast President Jay Helman will be hosting a breakfast before the parade on Saturday morning to mark this historic homecoming with a state of the college address for all alumni and friends. You won’t want to miss this breakfast with the President! 10:00 am Homecoming Parade on Main Street 11:00 am Tour Taylor Hall - Meet at Main Entrance Here’s another chance! 11:00 am Rugby game Athletic Field South of Campus 12:00 pm Lacrosse game Immediately following the Rugby game, same field, same fans… 1:00 pm Football game WSC vs. New Mexico Highlands 4:30 pm Tour Taylor Hall - Meet at main entrance Last chance of the weekend! 5:00 pm Western Flames Celebration Did you meet your spouse at Western? We know many of you met at Western and then went on to get married and have families, buy houses, start careers, etc., etc. All of us “Western Flames” are going to meet at the fire pit on the College Center Patio after the football game to celebrate our “Western initiated” unions together. We’ll be serving up wedding cake and will even have a little ceremony of celebration led by Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Tom Burggraf. Join us! 7:00 pm Volleyball game WSC vs. Adams - Paul Wright Gym Movie Night Foundation Fundraiser for the College Center Tour, Presentation, Movie & Refreshments at Prosser Theater. For more details please visit:

homecoming 2011


Summer 2011 25

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Permit No. 5 Gunnison, CO

Alumni Relations Office 600 N. Adams Gunnison, CO 81231

Upcoming Heritage to Horizon Events September 1 : Taylor Hall Open House September 10 : Football Pre-Game Tailgate - Pocatello, ID; Idaho State September 30 - October 1 : Homecoming 2011 See Homecoming details and registration information on Page 24 inside this Westerner! October 14 : WSC Sports Hall of Fame Banquet October 14-15 : Helman Era Men’s Basketball Reunion October 15 : WSC Wrestling Reverse Raffle Fundraiser October 22 : Football Pre-Game Tailgate – Colorado School of Mines November 5 : Football Pre-Game Tailgate – CSU, Pueblo December 11 : Taylor Hall Mountaineer Sculpture Dedication To find out more about these and other events, log onto 26 Westerner

Westerner Fall 2011  

This issue features the top 100 Western State College of Colorado alumni.

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