Wayne State College


Alumni eNewsletter | Spring 2009





Don and Carol Bremer Receive Alumni Achievement Award

Don and Carol Bremer were the recipients of this year’s Alumni Achievement Award at spring 2009 commencement. Don earned his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State in 1958, majoring in education and industrial arts. Carol graduated from Wayne State in 1954 with her two-year teaching credential. The Bremers have been exemplary educators, administrators and business owners, embodying the spirit that with a Wayne State degree, one can go anywhere and do anything.


Don Bremer was born in 1934 in Sioux City, Iowa. He moved to Laurel, Neb., and graduated a year later in 1952. He enrolled at Wayne State that fall in the pre-engineering program. Don was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1954 during the Korean War. After training, he married Carol Rankin, his college sweetheart. Don and Carol have been married 54 years. They have three sons and seven grandchildren.


Don returned to Wayne State College in 1956 where he continued his education with majors in education and industrial arts. After graduating in 1958, Don, Carol, and their new son, Doug, moved to Chino, Calif., where Don taught math and drafting while attending Cal Poly University in Pomona working on a major in mathematics. He earned his master of arts degree in secondary school administration from California State University-Los Angeles in 1962.


Don spent 26 years as a school administrator, the last 14 as principal of Chino Boys Republic High School. He is an Elk, a Mason and a Rotarian. He has served all offices in his Rotary Club and several at the district level. Don was named Rotarian of the Year in 2005 and received the “Excellence in Service Award” in 2009. Don and Carol are major donors to the Rotary Foundation.


Carol was born in Neligh, Neb., in 1935. She graduated from Wayne State with a two-year teaching credential in 1954. Her first teaching assignment was at a one-room country school in Antelope County. Her next assignment was teaching fifth and sixth grade in Norfolk, Neb. During Don’s last two years at Wayne State, Carol taught a seventh and eighth grade combination class in Laurel, Neb. Carol earned her bachelor of arts and master of arts in education from the University of California – Los Angeles. She taught junior high school English before serving as the junior high counselor in the Ontario-Montclair School District for about 13 years. She also served two years as assistant principal of Buena Vista High School in Ontario, Calif.


Don left his school administrative position in 1992 after 35 years in the field of education to give more time to their rapidly growing investment business. Carol and Don own and manage D & C Investment Properties, a partnership that runs their 345 apartment units, nine single-family homes and a medical complex that houses 18 doctors. One of the Bremers’ redevelopment projects now serves as a model for the redevelopment of blighted apartment areas.


Don and Carol have been exceptionally charitable to their community. They have also created an endowed scholarship fund at Wayne to provide two student scholarships each year. During the past three years Don and Carol have also served on the Wayne State Foundation Board and have hosted a Wayne State alumni reunion in their home.






WSC, Nebraska State College System Offer Tuition Advantage Program

The newly approved Nebraska State College System Advantage program guarantees first-time freshmen students who receive federal Pell Grants will pay no tuition at the Nebraska State Colleges for the 2009-10 academic year. The NSCS Advantage offers another innovative way for Chadron, Peru and Wayne State to serve students, communities and the state of Nebraska.


The NSCS Board of Trustees approved the program during its board meeting held Feb. 27 at Peru State College. The program fulfills the promise of excellent educational programs combined with unrivaled affordability.


 “The board asked the chancellor, his staff and the colleges to continue to find new ways to meet our system mission of providing access to high quality educational opportunities,” NSCS Board Chairman Bill Roskens said. “With the recent economic downturn, access to college has become more challenging and this program will assist first-time freshmen in their pursuit of earning a degree.”


Participants in the NSCS Advantage Program must be:

  • A Nebraska resident
  • A federal Pell Grant recipient
  • A new first-time freshman for the 2009-10 year
  • Enrolled in at least 12 on-campus credit hours

 “The program provides the difference between the cost of tuition and the amount of all other awards for Pell Grant recipients,” NSCS Chancellor Stan Carpenter said. “About one-third of our students in the NSCS qualify for Pell Grant assistance and we are attempting to remove the financial barriers many face. Continuation in the program requires the recipient to receive a federal Pell Grant every semester and to remain enrolled in one of the Nebraska State Colleges.”


“The new Nebraska State College System Advantage scholarship program is designed for first-time, full-time freshmen enrolling at Wayne State, Chadron State, or Peru State Colleges who receive a federal Pell Grant,” said Dr. Richard Collings, Wayne State College president. “In these unstable economic times, this program will allow Pell grant recipients at Wayne State to cover the cost of tuition not covered by other awards.”


For information about the NSCS Advantage, go to the NSCS Web site at www.nscs.edu or visit Wayne State’s Web site at www.wsc.edu/advantage





A Message from Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni Relations
If you are back on campus this summer you will observe several changes to the college grounds. We have closed J.G.W. Lewis drive permanently and it will become a pedestrian walkway through the heart of campus. The project will involve removing a few trees, but they will be replaced by many new trees. You will also notice the renovation of the third floor of Carhart Science building. The project will update labs and offices and upgrade the building’s electrical and heating and air-conditioning systems.

Deborah LundahlWe want to remind you WSC will be celebrating its centennial in 2010!  A committee has been meeting regularly to make plans for the recognition of this milestone in Wayne State’s history.  We would enjoy having you join us for area golf events planned for this summer and we hope you will mark October 2, 3 and 4 for Homecoming 2009.  In addition to the honored class years, there will be reunions for communications majors’, the 1949 Football team and track participants from the years of 1975-1985.  Watch for more details and call or message your friends and encourage them to come join the Homecoming 2009 celebration.


Please check our Web site at www.wsc.edu/alumni for information on upcoming events and 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 hoping to gather your e-mail addresses so we may use that means to communicate with you.


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.








Wayne State All in the Family for Adamson Family

Jordan Adamson made her mother's goal complete on Mother's Day weekend as she graduated from Wayne State College on May 9. She and three of her sisters have all earned WSC degrees.

Adamson FamilyThe goal to have all the Adamson girls graduate from Wayne State College was a special one set when the children were small. Nicole Adamson Mathison was the first to achieve it in 1996. Heather Adamson Tillotson followed as the only sister with an education degree in 1999. Megan Adamson Froehlich earned her degree in 2004.


Three of the four sisters earned communications degrees and had Drs. Ron and Deb Whitt as teachers and mentors.


"We all had the Whitts as instructors and they really made a difference for all of us,'' Adamson said. "I feel the most important aspect of the communications degree at Wayne State College is the leadership aspect. I am very glad that was a part of my education.''


Adamson will be entering The Buckle's management program in Sioux Falls, S.D. She said her leadership experiences at WSC will help her in the program.


“The Adamson sisters were an absolute delight to have as students in our Communication Arts program.  Each had a unique positive personality and brought a different positive perspective to our classes,”  said Drs. Ron and Deb Whitt when asked about the Adamsons. “The one ingredient that flowed through each, however, was a strong work ethic each brought to the classroom. All were carefully prepared to fully engage in academic and group discussions.  The sisters' goal oriented attitude, along with their strong interpersonal communication skills, will continue to serve them well.  We wish them the very best and look forward to the next generation of Adamsons!’’


Although all the sisters lived in Bowen residence hall, only Nicole and Heather had the opportunity to live together in a room.


"Heather was able to tell me who I should take in classes and some tips about college life,” Nicole said. “The best thing about Wayne State College was the small class sizes and individual attention that we received from our professors.''


Each sister agreed their professors had known them by their first names. They said they valued the ability to be able to speak with them face to face.


After commencement, Jordan Adamson's niece, Kennedy Mathison, ran up to her and gave her aunt a hug.


"Tell us where you are going to college, Kennedy,'' Adamson said, "Wayne State?"


Kennedy Mathison looked up and nodded yes with a big smile.




ALUMNI NOTES | Spring 2009



Marion (Kriege) Doss lives in Yuba City, Calif.  She retired from a teaching career in 1987 and at the age of 83 still serves as a substitute teacher.   When Marion retired from full-time teaching, she became an impersonator of  Mother Goose entertaining for birthdays, at day cares, elementary schools, fairs, festivals and nursing homes.



Randy Bates serves as the athletic director at Norris High School, Firth.  He was chosen by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as Central States Athletic Director of the Year. Randy was named the Nebraska Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2008 by the Nebraska Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.  He lives in Lincoln.




Jean (Lienemann) Hillyer has been named the assistant director of the Mabel Peters Caruth Learning Resource Center at the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, Texas.  She joins the faculty as an academic professional with the rank of assistant librarian; serving as the primary contact for reference assistance and computer searches.  Jean received her MLS with honors from the University of North Texas.  Jean and her husband, David, live in Coppell, Texas.




Coleen (Paulson) Riedmann has joined NP Dodge Real Estate Sales, Inc., Omaha as a real estate sales associate.  She is a member of the national and state Board of Realtors.  Coleen and her husband, Mike, are actively involved in the metropolitan area of Omaha.  They are the parents of four grown children, Nicole, Natalie, Jacy and Lucas ’05.  




Brad Weber received the Donald A. Lentz Outstanding Bandmaster Award at the 2009 Nebraska State Bandmasters Association annual convention.  This award is intended “to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution throughout his or her career, not to honor an individual for only a given year’s work.”  During the convention Brad was elected to the NSBA’s Executive Board as President.  He has been employed as an adjunct faculty member at WSC since 1984 and serves as the instrumental music instructor at Wayne High School, a position he has held for the past 23 years.  Brad is a summer director for the Nebraska Masonic All-Star Marching Band at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He and his wife Deb live in Wayne and are the parents of three daughters, Melissa (WSC ’01), Megan (WSC ’05) and Micaela (WSC ’09).



Dennis Wininger, San Francisco, Calif., has published his first book, “Proper Walk - My Journey to Help the Children of Makindu.”  It is the story of the life-long friendship of WSC graduates and the Proper Walk.  The Walk was created by Michael Farley ’77 of Louisa, Va., and a former Peace Corps volunteer.  It is a biannual event that raises money for the Makindu Children’s Program in Makindu, Kenya, and has now raised $300,000.



Vernice (Nicholas) Johnson was awarded the Cecil B. Murphy Christian Writers’ scholarship to attend the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference held in May in Ridgecrest, N.C.  Vernice lives in Anderson, Mo., with her husband, Bob.




Bryce Lambley had his first book, “My Neck of the Woods,” published with favorable reviews.  The novel is a heartfelt and introspective look at hunting adventures from the Midwest, Alaska and elsewhere.  Bryce lives in Fremont and writes the weekly outdoor column for the Fremont Tribune; he also freelances for various bow-hunting magazines.  Bryce is a social studies teacher at Fremont High School. 




Bill and Rachel (Theilen ’98) Guenther announce the birth of daughter, Brooklyn Ann, on March 21.  She joins brothers Austin (5) and Carter (3) in their Crofton home.  Bill is an accountant for Marquardt Transportation, Yankton, S.D.  Rachel is the systems administrator at First Dakota National Bank, Yankton. 




Renee (Novak) Loper and her husband, Mike, announce the birth of daughter, Brooke Christine, on Feb. 27.  She is welcomed to their Omaha home by sister, Lauren (20 months).  Renee is a first-grade teacher with the Omaha Public Schools. 




Kristie (Vollmer) Borgelt and her husband, Alan, announce the birth of twin daughters, Laura Marie and Lindsey Marie, on Dec. 16.  They are welcomed to their home near Wisner by brothers Michael (11), Jacob (8) and Andrew (6).  Kristie is the accountant for family-owned Borgelt Farms & Feedlot north of Wisner. 



Terry and Traci (Abbenhaus) Gall have relocated to Bonner Springs, Kansas, with their children Sydney (7) and Logan (4).  Terry has taken an expanded role and was promoted to associate director, Human Resources with Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health a division of Schering-Plough Corp.  Schering-Plough is a global leader in the research, development, manufacture and sale of veterinary medicines.  Traci will continue to be a benefits and payroll administrator for American Title Inc.



Tamara Hight and David Chubb were united in marriage and live in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Tamara is an assistant director of sales at Hilton Omaha, Omaha.




Matt Milbrodt received the Alumni Achievement, 2009 Distinguished Management Alumni of the Year Awardfrom the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO).  Matt earned his Master’s in Business Administration degree from UNO.   He is the senior director, International Organizational Development/Human Resources for Wal-Mart International.  He lives in Rogers, Ark., with his wife, Kelly (Stroh), and their children Marissa (3) and Jacob (1).




Angela (Warner) Quinley and her husband, Chuck, announce the birth of son, Charles “Charlie” Eli, on May 1. He is welcomed to their Omaha home by sibling Lilianna (15-months). Angela is employed in human resources at Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha.




Josh Climer and his wife, Candice, announce the birth of daughter, Emily Kay, Dec. 27.  They reside in Hartington.  Josh is a consulting engineer at Nohr Engineering, Yankton, S.D. 




Kristi (Kuhlman) Johnson and her husband, Del, announce the birth of daughter, Megan Marie, on April 11.  They reside in Norfolk and Kristi is an accountant at Beckenhauer Construction, Inc., Norfolk. 



Joe and Mandy (Hansen ’04) Wall reside in Arlington, Va.   Joe joined the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America team as senior director of federal government affairs.  The Big “I” is the national’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers.  He joins a bipartisan lobbying team and as a former deputy assistant for legislative affairs brings government and political experience to the Big “I.”



ShLoe (Lentz) Maurer (MSE ’05) has served as a  teacher for 21 years for the Sioux City Community Schools in Sioux City, Iowa.  She became a National Board Certified Teacher in November, earning certification in Literacy: Reading/Language Arts-Early and Middle Childhood.  ShLoe and her husband Darren live in Sioux City and are the parents of two daughters.




Philip Esslinger and Erin Oswald were united in marriage Dec. 20. They met while students at WSC and members of the track team. Philip attained a doctorate of physical therapy degree from Creighton. Erin will receive her Master of Social Work degree from UNO in December.




Verval J. (Willey) Rogers ’22, (106), Lyons; Dec. 12.

Dorothy E.  (Glover) McClellan ’27, (100), Helena, Mont.; Jan. 19.

Mildred “Mickey” (Moats) Kelchner ’28, (100), Fort Atkinson, Wis.; Aug. 22.

Howard W. Crawford ’40 (91), Alpharetta, Ga.; Feb. 1.

Bernice (Vopalensky) Robertson ’42, (88), Morse Bluff; Jan. 20.

Alice (Scherwin) Wiborg ’42, (88), Norfolk; March 12,

James M. Strahan ’50, (81), Tampa, Fla.; Jan. 18.

Erma (Zorn) Dallman ’52, (90), Creighton; Jan. 20.

Robert G. Scheckler ’54, MS ’59, (79), Norfolk; March 17.

Gene G. Panning ’54, (76), Kearney; May 6. 

McCleda G. (Hanke) Maas ’58, (88), Hoskins; Jan. 18.

Joyce (Gowery) Asmussen ’61, (86), Ponca; May 7.

Harold L. Humphrey ’61, (76), Adrian, Mo. Dec. 18.

Winifred H. Staub ’61, (92), Stanton; May 4. . 

Rosemary (Rundquist) Todd ’63, Union; April 12.

Fred E. Pierce ’66, MSE ’67, (65), Mesquite, Nev. April 25.

Mary Jo Stephen ’68, MSE ’77, (84), Madison; March 23.

Duane Beck ’70, (61), Omaha; Feb. 13.

Betty (Uhlir) Christensen ’71, (87), Lynch; Jan. 21.

Cheryl Ann (Walters) Ma’ae ’74, (62), Honolulu, Hawaii; Dec. 19.

Jacquelyn (Kautz) Pigg, MAE ’75, (81), Homer; Feb. 9.

Grace (Kaup) Weichman ’80, (93), Stuart; Jan. 9.

Marc D. Whisinnand ’80, (59), Norfolk; Feb. 16.

Steven D. Wallick ’82, (50), Urbana, Ill.; Feb. 24.

Neal A. Schuett ’85, (46), Bellevue; May 17.

Craig D. Marshall, MSE ’02 (47), Niobrara; May 3.

Pamela S. (Clements) Reiser, MSE ’06, (49), Butte; Jan. 6.




Dr. William “Bill” L. Hagerman (83), Lafayette, La.; Jan. 24.  Dr. Bill served as an associate professor at WSC in Communication Arts from September 1969 to July 1979.