Wayne State Announces Winter Commencement Speakers
Wayne State College will hold winter commencement at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19 in Rice Auditorium. A total of 214 degrees – 53 masters and 161 bachelors -- will be conferred by Wayne State President Richard J. Collings.
Susan and George Menking will receive the Alumni Achievement Award at the ceremony. Susan graduated from Wayne State College in 1955 with a major in English and minors in art and music. George received his B.A. from Wayne State College in 1956 with majors in math and science.
Susan taught for three years after graduation. In the years that followed, she was at home raising five children and serving as a volunteer in the schools and community. In 1966, Susan was awarded a Fellowship in Educational Research and Statistics at Southern Connecticut College, which led to her receiving a M.S. degree in 1967. She taught statistics for University of Nebraska-Omaha in the late 1960s. In the 1970s, Susan worked as a psychologist in the Lewisville, Texas, schools.
After completing her Ph.D. at Texas Woman‘s University, she became the first full time psychologist for the Lewisville schools. Later, she became the psychologist for the Santa Fe, N.Mex., schools. When her husband, George, transferred to New York City, she served as a psychologist in a mental health clinic and taught at Pace University in New York.
Throughout the years, Susan served as a school board member, a Child Welfare Board member, a religious education teacher and a 4-H horsemanship leader. Currently, she is a docent at St. Francis Cathedral/Basilica in Santa Fe, N.Mex., and a member of the Marriage Preparation Ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Avondale, Ariz. Susan is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Wayne State College Foundation.
Susan and George are the parents of five children, grandparents of 10 and great-grandparents of seven.
George entered the Army after graduation and served his tour of duty in the Counter Intelligence Corps. In 1959, he joined the actuarial department of the Aetna Life Insurance Company to pursue a career as an actuary. After six years of employment and study, George completed the 10 examinations required to become a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.
During his career, he served as the managing partner of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Actuarial and Benefits Consulting Practices in New York City and Dallas. He also served as the firm’s chief actuary. George is a member of the Society of Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries. For several years, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Southwest Pension Conference and was elected president of the conference in 1980. He retired as a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1992.
After his retirement, George and Susan started a small record company, Menking Productions, to produce and distribute Latin and rock music. Currently he is a member of the Marriage Preparation Ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Avondale, Ariz. George is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Wayne State College Foundation.
Kimberly Vrooman, daughter of Jim and Terri Vrooman of Atkinson, Neb., will be one of two students to deliver a commencement address to fellow graduates. She majored in elementary education and early childhood education. Vrooman was a John G. Neihardt Scholar at Wayne State College. She is engaged to Ryan Hix, who also is graduating Dec. 19.
During her time at Wayne State, she was in the college Honors program and was the only Nebraska college student selected to present her Honors project at the 2008 National Collegiate Honors Council convention held in San Antonio, Texas. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society, the Northeast Nebraska Teaching Academy (NENTA), Wayne State Habitat for Humanity, and the Wayne State College Wind Ensemble.
Mark Evetovich, originally from San Diego, Calif., also will speak to the graduates. He majored in industrial technology education. He is a member of Blue Key Honor Society. He is married to Dr. Tammy Evetovich, chair of Wayne State’s Health, Human Performance and Sport Department. They have two children, Emma and Jack. Mark is the son of Mark Sr. and Maria Evetovich.
He will begin his coaching career in January at Norfolk High School, where he will be the head junior varsity soccer coach and the assistant varsity soccer coach. He plans to substitute teach beginning in the spring and start working on his master’s degree in industrial technology during the summer session at Wayne State.
Anthony Lyle Miller, will give the invocation. He is the son of Mike and Bridget Miller, and is engaged to Michelle Hendricks. Originally from Norwalk, Iowa, Miller majored in speech communication with emphasis on organizational leadership and public relations. He minored in mass communication.
Miller is a member of Lambda Pi Eta, a member and president of Blue Key Honor Society and participated on the WSC football team for three years. He was active with the college radio station, holding positions of sports director and general manager, in addition to providing radio play-by-play and color commentary for WSC athletic events. Miller traveled to Taiwan as one of two students who were chosen to represent WSC in an intercultural exchange.