Wayne State College


Alumni eNewsletter | Fall 2009





Wayne State to Mark College's Centennial With Several Special Events

Wayne State College is celebrating 100 years as a state college beginning this fall and running through fall of 2010. The year-long celebration will include several cultural events to mark the college’s anniversary. The college was founded in 1891 as a normal school by James Madison Pile and became a state college in the fall of 1910.

The first centennial celebration event was two lectures by Dr. Michael J. Klarman, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School, who visited the college Nov. 5 to deliver the Dr. Sheila Stearns President’s Lecture on Public Affairs. Klarman spoke on “Backlash: The Unpredictable and Occasionally Perverse Consequences of Court Decisions” and “Why Brown v. Board of Education Was a Hard Case”.

Klarman earned his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, his J.D. from Stanford Law School, and his D. Phil. from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar. After law school, Klarman clerked for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1987 and served there until 2008 as the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship and is the author of three books, most notably From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 and for which he received the prestigious Bancroft Prize in History. 

The Dr. Sheila Stearns President’s Lecture Series on Public Affairs, named after former Wayne State president Sheila Stearns, brings to campus speakers of national and international distinction who have the ability to inspire students to think broadly about global issues and motivate them to become engaged in civic and public affairs.

Black and Gold Centennial Concert

The second event marking the college’s centennial will be a WSC Centennial Celebration concert jointly presented by Wayne State and the John G. Neihardt State Historic Site. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 in Ramsey Theatre at the college. The event will include a new work, The Time Cycle, composed by WSC staff accompanist Philip Pfaltzgraff and featuring WSC music faculty and students. The work was inspired by the writings of alumnus and Nebraska Poet Laureate in Perpetuity, John G. Neihardt.
Neihardt often referred to Wayne as his "hill of vision." In his autobiography, All is But a Beginning, Neihardt wrote of WSC, "It was as though the little college had been created for me ...lifted me to a higher, creative level of being. It was simply in the air of the world, and I think it radiated from J. M. Pile."
Pfaltzgraff utilized writings from the Neihardt works "The Poet's Town," "Prelude," "Prayer of an Alien Soul," and "Hark the Music," as inspiration for The Time Cycle. “This piece for choir, wind ensemble, piano, and soprano soloist,” Pfaltzgraff explained, “explores our links to the past, to the universe around us, and to our personal expectations of what the future may hold.” 

Pfaltzgraff graduated from Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa, in 1971 with a Music Education (major in voice) Degree. He has worked in public and private schools (K-12) in Hubbard, Des Moines and Waukee, Iowa, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Mt. Pleasant, Mich.  In addition to a career in music education, he has served in music and pastoral leadership in churches in Iowa, Florida, and Michigan.
The Centennial Concert is free and open to the public. The concert will be followed by a dessert and coffee reception in the Ramsey Theatre lobby, hosted by the Wayne State College centennial committee.

Wayne State will continue its celebration in 2010 with a presentation by the Glenn Miller Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. April 21 in Ramsey Theatre. The Black and Gold Series concert will be preceded by a dinner on campus. Currently led by trombonist Larry O’Brien, the orchestra presents nearly 300 performances while traveling more than 100,000 miles each year.

The Wayne State Foundation has commemorated the college’s centennial with the publication of a 180-page history book chronicling the college’s past as told through images and stories that link Wayne State to each of the decades of state, national and world history since its inception. The book, Far From Normal: 100 Years of Educational Excellence, also provides many details about the large cast of interesting characters who helped make the college what it is today.


Wayne State President Richard J. Collings and the Board of Trustees of the Wayne State Foundation launched the college’s Centennial Campaign in 2005 to celebrate Wayne State’s 100-year anniversary as a state college. The campaign’s intent was to raise $20 million, the largest campaign goal in Wayne State Foundation history. Wayne State has already received $18 million in gifts and pledges and expects to reach its goal by the fall of 2010.






Wayne State College Departments Earn National Accreditation

Add two more programs to the ranks of nationally accredited programs at Wayne State College. The Department of Music and the Department of Art and Design became accredited institutional members of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), respectively, during the 2008-09 academic year. 

Wayne State’s School of Education and Counseling holds national accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which means that the faculty and staff in WSC’s program have agreed to engage in serious and rigorous scrutiny and evaluation. The School of Business and Technology/Business and Economics Department are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

As the only organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education as accreditors for Art and Music programs, NASM and NASAD have developed reputations for rigor.  Less than 15% of arts units in the nation hold accreditation from NASAD or NASM.

“These recent distinctions further elevate Wayne State College as a high-quality destination for art and music students,” said Dr. James O’Donnell, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, “and we are enthusiastic about the path that the accreditation processes have laid out for us in shaping the future.”  

 "The valuable insight we gained through this process allowed us the opportunity to assess our strengths and make substantial improvements to our programs,” reported Steven Elliott, chair of the Department of Art and Design. “We're confident that this achievement will help to enhance future possibilities for our students."

According to Dr. Linda Christensen, chair of the WSC Department of Music, “Being accredited by our accrediting body validates our faculty's dedication and the high quality of the educational experience that the Department of Music provides to our students. Our students are excited that the department has been recognized in this way, and they are very proud to be music students at Wayne State College.”

“Accreditation is not easily achieved but it is worth the distinction,” said Dr. Robert McCue, vice president of academic affairs at Wayne State. “The process takes many years and considerable effort modifying curriculum. The end benefit for students is a high level of rigor and national recognition of the value of their degrees.”

Accreditation is a process by which an institution or academic program periodically evaluates its work and seeks independent judgment from peers that it meets the established standards of the body from which it seeks accreditation. Accreditation reviews focus on educational quality, institutional integrity and educational improvement.


Founded in 1924 the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 615 accredited institutional members.  Founded in 1944 the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is similarly structured through an organization of schools, proprietary art institutes, colleges and universities with approximately 287 accredited institutional members.  Both of these organizations establish national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and provide information to potential students and parents, consultations, statistical information, professional development; and policy analysis; and have extensive publications programs.





A Message from Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni Relations
If you were back on campus this fall or returned for Homecoming, you were probably pleased to see the wonderful changes and updates that have taken place on campus. J.G.W. Lewis Drive is now a pedestrian walkway that meanders between the west end of campus beginning at the roundabout and continues to the east end of campus ending at Schreiner Drive. It is a beautiful improvement to campus. You would also have seen work being done on the third floor of the Carhart Science Building and enjoyed being able to take the elevator to the Dale Planetarium. 


Deborah LundahlWe had golf tournaments in Omaha and Dakota Dunes, S. Dak.; we hope you can join us next year on July 17 for Omaha Golf and Aug. 23 for Dakota Dunes Golf. We also want to acknowledge Charlie Wendt for his many years of service on the Omaha Golf Committee. Charlie has moved to the San Diego area and we will miss him very much. 


It was wonderful to see so many of you during Homecoming this year. In addition to the Honored Classes of 1949,1959,1969,1979, 1984, 1989 and 1999, we had affinity reunions for speech communication majors, track participants from 1975 to 1985 and the 1949 Football Team.


We would like to again offer congratulations to the Outstanding Alumni Award recipients, Alumni Service Award recipient and the Hall of Fame inductees.  Thank you to all of you who returned this year to celebrate homecoming this year.  For those of you who like to plan early, Homecoming 2010 will be Sept. 24-26. 


Please check our Web site at www.wsc.edu/alumni for information on upcoming events, reunions and photos of past reunions. We appreciate all of you who use our Web site to update your information and leave us messages. We are continuing to gather e-mail addresses because we are now sending our newsletter electronically. Please continue to stay in touch; we love to hear from you and we value your loyalty and friendship. If you are back on campus, please stop by our office, Hahn Room 306, or call me at (402) 375-7209. I would enjoy giving you a tour of the campus.








homecoming parade photoWayne State College Honors Alumni at 2009 Homecoming

Alumni, students and local community members participated in Homecoming festivities Oct. 1-4 at Wayne State College.

"Homecoming is a wonderful time for alumni to return to the beautiful Wayne State campus and renew friendships," said Deb Lundahl, director of development and alumni relations.

Don Dean, '57, was presented the alumni service award. Dean graduated with a degree in education and played football for the Wildcats and served several organizations on campus. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines Corps after graduation. Serving with the 1st Marine Division, he received three meritorious promotions. Dean earned a master of arts in educational psychology and guidance from Colorado State College, Greeley, Colo. in 1960. He completed requirements for his doctoral degree in 1973. Dean and his wife, Regena "Reggie" live in Lincoln. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

Outstanding alumni from Wayne State College academic schools were honored Oct. 2. They included Jeffrey Ingrum, '80; Steven Rector, '01; Joe Stecher, '74; and Marjorie Heller, '86.

Athletic Hall of Fame inductees were honored at the WSC Homecoming and Hall of Fame banquet Oct. 3. They included Amy Brodersen Riggs, '98; Matt Kneifl, '02; Byron Chamberlain '09; the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 men's basketball teams; and Carlyle Garvin, posthumously.

Alumni honored classes included 1949, 1959, 1969, 1979, 1984, 1989 and 1999, speech communications graduates, the 1949 football team, and track participants from 1975 to 1985.


Homecoming also included the annual parade and Band Day on Oct. 3 in downtown Wayne.





Upcoming Alumni Events



Nov. 17

Black and Gold Centennial Concert

Jan. 16 

Tucson Reunion

Dec. 13 

President’s Centennial Gala

Jan. 17  

Sun City Reunion

Dec. 18  


April 21  

WSC Centennial Dinner and Glenn Miller Orchestra



May 8




Sept. 23  

Scholarship Luncheon



Sept. 24-26





ALUMNI NOTES | Fall 2009

(Towns and cities listed on these pages are in Nebraska unless noted or generally understood.  All events occurred in 2009 unless indicated otherwise.  Efforts are made to keep our news current.)




Angie (Dowling) Neuharth ’61 and her husband, Lyle, hosted a cream-can feed at the Wisner Yacht Club in July.  This was the ninth annual gathering of former WSC Pile Hall residence.  Present were front row: Lucile (Rehbein) Wattermann ’60, Algona, Iowa; Barbara Peters, Omaha; Kathleen (Ott) Haber ’61, Beemer; Jeanette (Jaeger) Vahle ’65, Pender; Pat (Shoemaker) Wollenhaupt ’59, Omaha; Jean (Rudenbusch) Doerr ’57, Bloomfield; Emogene (Isom) Andrews ’59, Moorehead, Iowa.  Middle row: Theola (Sadler) Peck, MAE ’94, Beemer; Sally (Sydow) Wolfe ’67, MSE ’87, Sioux City, Iowa; Clara (Chambers) Heinemann ’60, Wayne; Carol (Dibbert) Whipple ’62, Stanton; Sharon Breitkreutz, Wisner; Norma Frerichs, Atkinson; Bev Ritts, O’Neill; Darlene Bowers, Wayne.  Back row: Lonnie (Schmidt) Dinslage ’60, Elgin; LaVern Hoogner, Blair; Sandy Legand, Scribner; Judy (Bartak) Eggerling ’60, Neligh; Angie (Dowling) Neuharth ’61, Wisner.   



Laraine (Diekmann) Derr was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). She was elected to the University of Alaska Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2000 and chairs the UAS Development Committee. She is a former dean of the School of Business and Public Administration at UAS.  She is a long-time dedicated and loyal supporter of UAS serving as a volunteer and fundraiser. She now owns and operates Chez Alaska Cooking School, Juneau. 



Karen Gray was named the 2009 Outstanding Secondary Teacher by the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association. She is in her twentieth year serving as a high school English teacher at Stanton Community Schools. Prior to her tenure at Stanton, Karen taught for 20 years at O’Neill High Schools, O’Neill. She resides in Norfolk. 



Mary Molle retired after a 34-year career in education.  After graduation from WSC, she began teaching second-grade in Stratton Public Schools and spent the next 29 years teaching third-grade at Ord Public Schools. Mary resides in Ord.



Theresa Cassiday resides in Bellevue and is owner and president of Catena Creations. She was awarded a business development grant from the National Association for the Self-Employed. Her firm specializes in writing, design and photography for print and the Web, as well as grant and proposal writing. 



Doug Janousek, Union Point, Ga.,was announced as an award-winning author at the 45th Annual Georgia Author of the Year awards ceremony. The Le Cordon Bleu-certified chef  picked up the honors in the creative non-fiction category for his book, Home Cookin’ Illustrated. He began his personal chef business after graduation from culinary school at the end of 2004.



Cory D. Nelson has been employed with the State of South Dakota for 18 years and has served as administrator/chief executive officer of the South Dakota Human Services Center, Yankton, since 2002.  He was elected to the office of president of the Western Psychiatric State Hospital Association (WPSHA) at its annual meeting.  The WPSHA is committed to ensuring that effective, mental health treatment and rehabilitation services are provided to the citizens served by publicly operated hospitals.  This organization comprises 15 states in the major geographic region of the U.S.  Cory is the first officer to be elected from the state of South Dakota since the organization formed in 1989.  Cory and his wife, Kim, reside in Yankton with their two daughters.




Nicki Zimmerman-Manero and her spouse, Richard, celebrated the renewal of their marriage vows with family and friends in Las Vegas, Nev.  They have been together for 15 years and reside in Kennett Square, Pa. 




An informal gathering of WSC alumni and friends was held July 25 in Elmwood Park, Omaha.  They had a great time visiting and reminiscing as many of them had not seen each other since graduating in 1993.  Back row: Rod ’93 and Nancy (McGregor) Raszler ’93, Elkhorn; Julie (Kuhl) Slagle ’93, Osmond; Margo Sandahl ’93, Stamford, Conn.;  Laura Hanzl ’93, Lincoln; Shawn Olsen ’93, Spirit Lake, Iowa.  Front row: Chris and Dave Privett ’94, Wahoo; Eric Lundberg ’93, Omaha and Jason Rief. 



Jody (Bauermeister) Maas and her husband, Chad, announce the birth of Myles Duane on Jan. 13.  He is welcomed to their Norfolk home by brothers, Max (5) and Mason (3).  Jody teaches seventh and eleventh grade theology at Norfolk Catholic Jr/Sr High School.   



Brandon Vennink and his wife, Lei R. Yu, announce the birth of Anna Magdelena on July 11.  She joins siblings Johann (6) and Katharine (2) in their Southbridge, Mass., home.  Brandon is the director of music at St. Mary’s Parish, Southbridge. 



Jill (Grant, MSE ’02) and Roger (MSE ’07) Krienke announce the birth of daughter, Brooke Anne, on March 10.  She is welcomed to their Columbus home by brother, Mike.  Jill is a math teacher and freshmen girls’ basketball coach at Lakeview High School.  Roger teaches sixth-grade at St. Anthony’s Elementary and serves as head football coach and assistant track coach at Scotus High School, Columbus.



Clint and Laurie (Kocer ’01) Davis announce the birth of daughter, McKinlee Morgan, on June 29.They reside in Granger, Iowa.Clint teaches at Summit Middle School, Johnston, Iowa.  Laurie is an admissions specialist at Des Moines Area Community College, Des Moines, Iowa.



Matt and Courtney (Stabnow ’02) Dowling relocated to the Washington, D.C., area with their daughters, Amayah (10) and Rykah (5).  Matt is a GIS technician for PBS&J, an engineering and architectural firm.  Courtney is working as a UniServ director for the Maryland State Education Association. 



Brad Joens and Cara Cavanaugh were united in marriage Sept. 4.  Brad is a commercial banking officer at Hill Bank and Trust Co., Cedar Rapids.  The couple reside in Fairfax, Iowa. 



Natasha (Lipp) Tasler and her husband, Nate, announce the birth of son, Josiah Nathan, on March 16.  He is welcomed to their Ashland home by sisters Abigail (3) and Kate (2). 



Michael and Ashley (Petersen) Blohmwelcome to their Elkhorn home their first child, Peyton Michael, born June 9.  Michael is employed in sales at Woodhouse Ford, Blair.  Ashley is the branch licensing and recruitment coordinator at AXA Advisors, Omaha. 



Becky (Woelfel) McClanathan and her husband, Jason, announce the birth of Braiden Rodrick on June 28.  He is welcomed to their home in Omaha by sister Jaycelyn Marie. 



Rachel (Arterburn) Dostal and her husband, Jacob, announce the birth of daughter, Aleah Elizabeth, Feb. 27.  They reside in Albuquerque, N.M.   



Zach Molacek (MSE ’07) and his wife, Blair, announce the birth of first child, Lane Zachary, on July 30.  They reside in Gretna.  Zach is employed at Optimum Fitness as a certified personal trainer. 



Tim and Anne (Paulsen ’04) Fuchtman reside in Lincoln.  Tim is an aerospace maintenance technician with the 155th Air Guard, Lincoln.  Anne is a disability adjudicator with the State of Nebraska.



Jon Holtz and Ashley Hall ’09, were united in marriage June 20.  Jon is a third-grade teacher at Elkhorn Public School, Elkhorn.  Ashley is a sales associate at Bath and Body Works and serves as a substitute teacher in the Elkhorn School system.  They live in Omaha.  



Sheena (Zoucha) Werts and her husband, Brent, announce the birth of daughter, Katelyn “Kate” Michele, on May 14.They reside in Columbus.  Sheena is employed at Nebraska Energy Federal Credit Union.



Ryan Becker is a third-year medical student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.  Ryan and   Rachel were united in marriage June 13 and reside in Omaha. 



Leann Bolte and Landon Heinrichs were united in marriage June 7.  The couple resides in Carleton.  Leann is a student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.