Wayne State College


Alumni eNewsletter | Fall 2011





Curt Frye Inaugurated as 12th WSC President

photoWayne 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.



College Names Larry Moser '06 Service Award Winner

photoThe 2011 Alumni Service Award was presented to Larry Moser at the Homecoming/Hall of Fame Banquet on Oct. 8. The award recognizes alumni who have enhanced the college through dedicated service, promotion and financial support.

Moser graduated from WSC in 2006 with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and agriculture. After graduation he moved to Sioux City, Iowa, where he attained employment as a producer at Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management. As a producer, he is responsible for selling and servicing insurance coverage for commercial and personal clients.

Moser has served as a member of the Siouxland Chamber Ambassadors, the United Way of Siouxland and is involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, serving as chair of the Board of Directors. While attending classes at WSC, Moser was employed at Conn Library, served on the Student Activities Board and was actively involved with the WSC Phonathon Annual Fund Drive, serving as a student caller for a year and a student manager for three years. He interned at Nebraska Life Magazine, Christensen Associates and Arthur J. Gallagher. He serves as the 2006 class representative for the campaign to restore the WSC Willow Bowl. Moser and his wife, Amanda, reside in Sioux City.





College Mourns Loss of Dr. LeRoy Simpson, Renames Track in his Honor

photoDr. E. LeRoy Simpson of Woodland Park, Colo., passed away Sept. 16, 2011, in Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colo., of complications from his year and a half long battle against leukemia. The college's track facility was dedicated in memory of Dr. Simpson on Oct. 8 during Homecoming.

Dr. Simpson was born Oct. 27, 1934, in Miami, Okla., to Eddie and Ada Simpson. He was a dedicated coach and mentor to countless students during his career in higher education. Dr. Simpson joined Wayne State College in 1968 as an associate professor of human performance/ leisure studies and athletic director. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas State College in Pittsburg, Kansas, and an Ed.D. from University of Arkansas, During his tenure of more than 30 years teaching and coaching, he was the track and field and cross country coach from 1968 to his retirement in 1997. He started the women's track program at WSC and was inducted into the WSC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Sioux City Relays Hall of Fame in 2009. He and his wife, Marian, have served as trustees of the Wayne State Foundation since 2001. 

Dr. Simpson was a mentor to 16 Eagle Scouts and served as scoutmaster in Wayne for many years. He has always been committed to coaching young men and women in athletic competition and in life. Many still call him coach and valued his advice and friendship. He was an active and dedicated member of Kiwanis throughout his career, both in Nebraska and Colorado. He attended the First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, where he also volunteered in the food services ministry. Dr. Simpson volunteered at the Olympic Training Center and was an official for many Mountain West Conference, Air Force Academy and Sioux City Relays track meets. He served as the Honorary Referee for the Sioux City Relays in 1997. Dr. Simpson was a faithful member of the Lizard Table at the Woodland Park McDonalds.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 52 years, Marian, and one son, Jeff, of Stillwater, Okla.; nephew Sam Mitchell of Tulsa, Okla.; niece Natha Waldbaum, of Omaha, Neb., her husband, John, and their sons, Adam, Jared and Matthew. 

In honor of a life that touched so many, two memorial services were held. The first memorial service was Sept. 20 at First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs. The second memorial service was Sept. 24 at First Presbyterian Church in Wayne.







WSC Joins Nebraska Campus Compact to Promote Service-learning, Civic Engagement

Wayne State College has joined 11 other Nebraska colleges and universities to found the new Nebraska Campus Compact (NCC), an affiliate of a national organization that promotes service-learning and civic engagement among college students.

The 12 founding members of Nebraska Campus Compact are College of St. Mary, Doane College, Hastings College, Nebraska Methodist College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Peru State College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Wayne State College and Western Nebraska Community College. The Nebraska compact links and supports Nebraska institutions' efforts to promote service-learning and civic engagement.

Nebraska is the 35th state to affiliate with the national Campus Compact, a national nonprofit organization committed to promoting and integrating service-learning, civic engagement, and community service into campus and academic life. Nearly 1,200 universities and colleges, representing 6 million students, are associated with Campus Compact through state coalitions such as this one.

“Wayne State College is excited to be a partner with the other compact schools across the state,” said Curt Frye, Wayne State College president. “This initiative on the campuses in Nebraska will serve the state well in producing educated leaders who value service to their communities and to other people.”

UNL is the institutional host for the Nebraska Campus Compact. A council composed of the campus CEO of each member institution governs the group; UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman chairs the council.

“We are pleased to serve as host institution for the Nebraska Campus Compact and we look forward to working in full partnership with institutions around the state,” Perlman said. “The 12 charter institutions are coming together to share insights and ideas that will benefit all their students as we work together to reinforce and further the concepts of civic engagement and service learning.”

Juan Franco, UNL's vice chancellor for student affairs, is the interim executive director of the Nebraska Campus Compact.

“I am delighted by this set of charter institutions, which have committed to make a difference in the state of Nebraska,” Franco said. “Together we form a powerful force in providing the state with educated, civically engaged citizens.”

Campus Compact's national president Maureen Curley expressed her enthusiasm for the newest state members.

"We are so excited that the Nebraska Campus Compact is now official and that it already enjoys the support and engagement of so many wonderful institutions in the state,” Curley said. “We look forward to all that they will be able to accomplish in partnership with their member presidents.”

Campus Compact is an independent not-for-profit organization that offers grants, programming, resources and information to help its members promote civic engagement. Campus Compact is more than 25 years old and more than 20 million students have participated; students at Campus Compact institutions provide more than $5.7 billion in service in local communities each year. Nebraska member institutions will benefit from Campus Compact's approach that combines research, policy work, fundraising and training for faculty and students.

Franco said the national organization has particular expertise in helping faculty develop and integrate service-learning and civic engagement opportunities into curricula. Campus Compact helps its members share ideas and best practices and leverage funding opportunities.

Civic engagement is loosely defined as connecting classroom learning with the opportunity to make a difference in the quality of life in a community. A key aspect of developing a sense of civic engagement is mentored service-learning, where students are guided into deeply reflecting on their experiences so as to understand and apply classroom knowledge to real world problems.

“Nebraska Campus Compact fits well with the Nebraska culture of service and helping others,” Franco said. “It helps us to enhance civic engagement opportunities for our students.”

Linda Major, assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs at UNL, said activities enhancing student engagement have several benefits: Students who are engaged in projects tend to exhibit fewer negative behaviors, such as alcohol or drug abuse. They also tend to have higher retention rates. Potential students are interested in service activities, she said, and employers highly prize graduates with service learning credentials.

The first project undertaken by NCC is an AmeriCorps project under which 36 students from the 12 institutions will work either in after-school projects for at-risk youth or participate in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs in local communities in exchange for stipends. The project is funded by ServeNebraska, the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission.





Message from Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni RelationsThe anticipation of homecoming is always a fun way to start the fall semester. It is a great time for students and alumni to join together to celebrate Homecoming, reminisce about times past and to create new memories. This year, in addition to the honored class reunions, the Chi Omega WSC Alpha Theta Chapter, WSC Tutors and Wayne Stater alumni met for reunions. 

It was fun to see them exploring campus, laughing, remembering and forming new friendships.  They were surprised and delighted by the changes to campus. You can view some of the Homecoming photos at www.wsc.edu/alumni.  We hope you will come back and do some exploring, too.  You don’t need to wait for Homecoming, give us a call and say you are coming. 

We had two dedications during Homecoming, the Dr. LeRoy Simpson Track at Robert Cunningham Memorial Field and the Holland Academic Success Center in the Student Center.  Both of these dedications were fitting tributes to Dr. LeRoy Simpson and Marge and Bill Holland.

We hope you will plan to attend some area alumni reunions and Homecoming, which will be Sept. 27-30, 2012, as well as the Omaha Golf event in July and the Dakota Dunes golf event, (if the course has been repaired) in August.

We will soon begin our annual phonathon and WSC students will be calling you to update your contact information, share campus happenings, and ask you to consider making a donation to Wayne State College. We are very grateful for your continued support and pride in WSC.

Please check our Web site at www.wsc.edu/alumni for information on upcoming events, reunions and photos of past reunions. You can also check the Web site to see the progress of the Willow Bowl Campaign. We would enjoy hearing about what is happening in your life so we can share it in the “alumni notes” section of our publications, and if you include photos that is even better. To share your news, go to www.wsc.edu/alumni and click on the “Alumni Updates” link, and note the Facebook link on that same page. Please continue to stay in touch; we love to hear from you.

If you are back on campus, please stop by our temporary office, in the Recreation Center, room 206F, or call me at (402) 375-7209. Come back and experience the excitement of campus first hand.





Upcoming Alumni Events



Dec. 2-4

Madrigal Dinners

Dec. 11

President's Holiday Gala

Dec. 16




Jan. 14

Tucson Reunion

Jan. 15

Sun City Reunion-Palmbrook Country Club

Feb. 10

Las Vegas Reunion - Home of James "Bud" '63 and Phyllis '62 Vohs Billeter

Feb. 14

Black and Gold Series-Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

June 1

Catbacker Golf-Wayne Country Club

July 13-15

Chicken Days

July TBA

Omaha Golf

Aug. 20

Dakota Dunes Golf, Dakota Dunes, SD

Sep. 27

Scholarship Luncheon

Sep. 28-30







ALUMNI NOTES | Fall 2011

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



Archie McPerran is pictured with his brothers, left to right, Darrell, Jerry, Archie and Donald.  Archie and Darrell reside in California, Jerry and Donald live in Nebraska.



William and Opal (Miller ’48) Maben celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Aug. 19. They reside at the John Knox Retirement Village, Lee’s Summit, Mo.  They are the parents of two daughters, Dr. Pam Maben and Connie Griffin. 



Ahmad Mahrou and his wife, Barbara, reside in Scottsburg, Ind.



Angie (Dowling) Neuharth hosted the WSC Pile Hall reunion at her cabin near Wisner. Present included front row: Angie’s grandson Blaine Johnson, Bellevue; Barbara (Donze) Peters, Omaha; Doris (Leiding ’59) Kuester, Wisner; Pearl (Siecke) Kander, Howels; Judy (Bartak ’60) Eggerling, Neligh; Emogene’s grandson Nick Mantz, Millard.  Back row: Theola Peck MAE ’94, Beemer; Angie (Dowling’61) Neuharth, Wisner; Jeanette (Jaeger ’65) Vahle, Pender; Kathy (Ott ’61) Haber, Beemer; Clara (Chambers ’60) Heinemann, Wayne; Lonnie (Schmid ’60) Dinslage, Elgin; Sally (Sydow ’67, MSE ’87) Wolfe, South Sioux City; Emogene (Isom ’72) Andrews, Moorhead, Iowa; Darlene (Hjorth) Bowers, Wayne; Carol (Dibbert ’62) Whipple, Stanton. The group enjoyed a potluck salad and dessert luncheon, followed by visiting and entertainment. 



Roger Bentley (MAE ’69) was inducted into the Dubuque, Iowa, Senior High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He retired in 2008 after a 42-year teaching/coaching career. During his tenure at Dubuque Senior he was the head coach in football from 1977 to 1988, swimming/diving from 1973 to 1978, and golf from 2002 to 2008 and an assistant coach in football, track and baseball. Roger was blessed with being able to coach nine first team All-State players in football, swimming/diving, track and golf. He also was awarded with Coach of the Year honors in the Mississippi Valley Conference in football in 1982 and Coach of the Year honors from the Iowa State Track Coaches Association in 1995-96.  Roger and his wife, Marilyn (Hendricks ’71) reside in Dubuque and are the parents of four children and grandparents to seven.



Richard Ollenburg has retired after a 44-year teaching career with the Crete Public Schools. He began teaching in Crete after his graduation from WSC. Richard served as an industrial technology, computer and middle school tech lab teacher. He and his wife Barbara (Gustafson) have relocated to Lincoln to enjoy their retirement years and spend time with their four granddaughters.



Edwin Kelly and his wife, Sue, have sailed across the Atlantic via Bermuda and Azores to England where they are cruising on their 41-foot Catamaran. Now in their fifth year of a continuing break in their careers as a trial lawyer, former Federal Prosecutor and U.S. Senate staffer, Ed and his co-captain wife have sailed to and explored 22 countries and territories. They are U.S. Coast Guard licensed Merchant Marine Captains. Ed retired as a senior assistant U.S. Attorney and former assistant director of the U.S. Department of Justice National Advocacy Center.



Stephen Kleinsmith was named one of the 2011 Men of the Year by the Springfield Business Journal, Springfield, Mo. He has served as superintendent at Nixa Public Schools, Nixa, Mo., since 2000 and for 10 straight years the school has been accredited with distinction by the Missouri Department of Education. He credits two-way communication with helping the district and its students succeed. He has worked with the American Red Cross, Nixa Community Foundation and United Way of the Ozarks, and he’s a member of the Least of These Advisory Board and Nixa Ministerial Alliance. Stephen has served as a past chairman of the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce and is still a member of the organization. His chamber involvement, he says, resulted in mutual trust and strategic planning that benefited the school district and the community as a whole. Stephen and his wife, Kari, have been married for 22 years and are parents of sons, Elijah and Jacob.  



Steve Zelinsky and Ed Blackburn enjoy mountain bikingand are pictured in the desert of Arizona. They are doing some preliminary training in preparation for a Utah bike tour in which they plan to participate next year. Steve is a sales director for Anheuser-Bush and resides in Wildwood, Mo.  Ed is employed in the Arizona School District as a training specialist and lives in Mesa.



Teresa Kessler Martin (left) accepts her award from the Sales and Marketing Professionals President during the Pine Belt Annual Awards Banquet. Teresa serves as the Director of Media and Public Relations for Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss. For nine years she was solely responsible for all public and media relations, sports information and marketing at JCJC. The expansion of the marketing department five years ago enables her to concentrate her efforts on public and media relations.



Darlene Leistra and Keven Craig were married in a private ceremony at their home in Marietta, Ga.  Darlene’s son, Stone (4) gave the bride away while his sister, Aria (8 months) and step sister, Sarah (8) acted as bridesmaids.  Darlene is the owner of DRL Accounting Services in Marietta.



Keri (Goette) Rodriguez accepted the position of head golf coach at College of Saint Mary, Omaha. She resides in Omaha with her husband, Joaquin, and their children Mia (9) and Aiden (5).




Bruce O’Neel and his wife, Sheri, reside in Sammamish, Wash. He said he has become aware that “making the WSC connection extends beyond the in-state lines.” Bruce traveled to attend two Nebraska football games this season and made connections with individuals proud of their WSC phototies. WSC students proudly displayed theirWSC banner at the game in Wisconsin.  While attending the game in Wyoming, Bruce came in contact with Nebraska State Senator Greg Adams ’74, MAE ’75.



Barbara (Hashberger) Wylie and Brandon Schrock welcomed Tanner Walker Schrock to their Indianapolis home on June 6.  Barbara is an assistant professor at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis.



Thomas Kropp and Toniette “Toni” Scipio were united in marriage.  They are happy to announce the birth of son, Nakotah Izayah Scipio-Kropp, on May 24.



Russ and Jessica (Hasty’01) Frazey announce the birth of daughter, Emersyn Brynn, on Aug. 14. She is joined at home by siblings, Andrew (7) and Carter (4). The family has relocated to Milford. Russ is employed as a deputy sheriff for Seward County.  Jessica is employed as the school nurse at the Seward Elementary School, Seward.



Brad Joens and his wife, Cara, are happy to announce the birth of daughter, Delaney Marie on Aug. 23.  They reside in Fairfax, Iowa.  Brad has been promoted to First Vice President of Commercial Banking at Hills Bank and Trust Company, Fairfax. 



Heath and Stacy (Stuhr ’03) Johnson reside in Harrisburg with their children, Lincoln (3) and Trinity (2).  Heath and Stacy are both employed by the Banner County Schools, Heath serves as the principal and Stacy is the high school SS/Sped teacher. 



Nikki Field and Richard Heidemannwere united in marriage in a private ceremony on the beach in Jamaica. Her spouse is employed as a dentist at Albion Family Dental. Nikki is a QA/QC technician at Valero Renewables, Albion. The couple resides in Albion.



Zach Molacek (MSE ’07) and his wife, Blair announce the birth of daughter, McCall on Aug. 18. Zach recently received his BSN from Creighton University, Omaha. The Molaceks relocated to Overland Park, Kan.; Zach is employed as an RN at St. Luke’s Hospital. 



Nathan Perry and Danae Bergstrom (’10) were married in June 2010 and reside in Wisner. They are happy to announce the birth of their first child, Harper Lynn Perry, on Aug. 8. 



Nick and Jacque (Mencke ’08) Ell announce the birth of their daughter, Grace, on Sept 23. They reside in Blair.




  • Mark Malchow '35, (102), Mesa, Ariz.; Sept. 8.

  • Irene (Damme) Radcliffe '36, (97), Onalaska, Wisc.; Sept. 12.

  • Elaine (Lundberg) Jones '40, (94), Shenandoah, Iowa; April 30.

  • Katherine (Kyl) Treman '42, (90), Rockwell City, Iowa; Aug. 25.

  • Evangeline (Clark) Mangold '44, (86), Alta, Iowa; Sept. 23.

  • Wanda (Huetig) Ahlers '47, (82), Belgrade; Sept. 1.

  • Gilbert M. Gimbel '51, (83), El Paso, Texas; July 20.

  • Jerry B. Mitchell '51, (82), Stockton, Calif.; April 9.

  • Boyd J. McGee '59, (75), Rochester, Minn.; Sept. 3.

  • Verneil Hallstrom '60, (75), Wayne; July 1.

  • Gloria (Power) Earl '63, MSE '75 (80), Norfolk; Aug. 2.

  • Zita (Wurdeman) Jenkins '65, (91), Falls City; July 27.

  • Irene Stenger '66, (89), Lynch; Sept. 10.

  • Darrell E. Pedersen '68, (65), Sioux City, Iowa; Sept. 3.

  • Janet Ida (Prather) Holmquist '69, (83), Wausa.; July 21.

  • Walter T. Strange '70, (68), Ainsworth; Aug. 19.

  • Irene (Cederlind) Lee '71, (84), Newman Grove; Aug. 28.

  • Florence (Lackas) Anderson '72, (90), Randolph; Sept. 8.

  • Joann (Hansen) Lewis '76, MSE '83, (57), South Sioux City; Aug. 10.

  • DeMaris (Brosh) Johnson '80, (57), Lincoln; Sept. 1.

  • Lynn L. Koehler '90, (72), Niobrara; July 18.

  • Kim (Hansen) Goering, MBA '08, (50), Platte Center; Sept. 7


Friends We Will Miss

  • Duaine Jacobsen (73), Wayne; Aug. 11. Duaine was employed at WSC for nearly 34 years as a building services mechanic.

  • Clair Swanson  (90), Wayne; July 11. Clair served as a custodian at WSC for 14 years working in Bowen and Benthack Halls.