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Curt Frye Inaugurated as 12th WSC President

Published: 11-30-2011 3:50 pm

WSC President Curt Frye

WSC President Curt Frye

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Wayne State faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends came together for the inauguration of Curt Frye as the 12th president on Oct. 6 in Ramsey Theatre. The ceremony was marked by Frye's charge to the audience to keep the college's mission at the forefront of the development and improvement of Wayne State's unique higher education programs.

The ceremony featured remarks by Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy, Nebraska State College System Chancellor Stan Carpenter, Wayne Mayor Ken Chamberlain, Wayne State Foundation Board of Trustees President Bill Dickey, Dr. Marshall Hill, Executive Director of the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education in Nebraska, Wayne State College Student Senate President Joe Whitt, Wayne State College Support Staff Senate Chair Diane Pieper, Wayne State College Professional Staff Senate Chair Lindsay McLaughlin, and Wayne State College Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Mark Leeper.

Katelyn Olenich of Norfolk, the Wayne State student trustee for the Nebraska State College System, delivered the invocation and benediction. Carter “Cap” Peterson of Wayne, chair of the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees, conducted the investiture of Frye as president.

Keynote remarks were delivered by Regg Swanson, a 1975 WSC graduate and trustee of the Wayne State Foundation. Swanson earned his graduate degree from the University of Oregon. While serving as Wayne State's athletic trainer, he developed the first athletic training center. He has served with the U.S. Olympic teams in South Korea in 1988 and Atlanta in 1996. Swanson funded a 4,000-square-foot center to provide state-of-the-art physical therapy and athletic training at WSC in 2005.

The college honored Frye's inauguration with a campus service initiative aimed at underscoring the importance of gratitude. Students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends were encouraged to send a handwritten note of thanks to those people in their lives that have made a difference for them, whether large or small. The project included gatherings on Sept. 14 and Sept. 29 to hand write notes and an outreach effort for alumni and friends through the social networking platform Facebook. More than 500 notes of gratitude were submitted from students, faculty and staff.

Frye's inaugural message, “A College of Distinction”, outlined the many ways the college's programs fulfill Wayne State's mission of student success, regional development and teaching and learning excellence. Frye specifically addressed his administration's commitment to building upon the college's successes in attracting and retaining the best and brightest students in Nebraska, serving rural communities in Nebraska and hiring the finest faculty and staff available.

“None of this will happen just because I am president,” Frye said during his inaugural address. “These goals will happen because of all of you assembled in this room. My charge to you is that we can better serve our students and we can better serve our region. We can better engage our faculty and staff in the learning process. We can better plan for the future of the college's facilities to match the ever-changing needs of tomorrow's students. We can better serve the Nebraska State College System. And we can better serve the state of Nebraska as a College of Distinction.”

Frye had retired from Wayne State on June 30, 2009, but returned to serve as interim president upon the 2010 resignation of former President Richard Collings. Frye began working at Wayne State in 1985, serving as associate dean of students, dean of students, and in 1993 was named vice president and dean of students. Frye served as interim president from 2003 to 2004 after the resignation of Dr. Sheila Stearns.

Prior to coming to Wayne State, Frye was a teacher and coach at Cody/Kilgore and a guidance counselor in Neligh and Wayne. A native of Elk City, Frye holds a bachelor of science in education from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont and a master of science in education from Chadron State College.

Frye has served the community of Wayne for many years as a member of Kiwanis, president of the Wayne Area Economic Development Board, and is a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church.

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