Planning for the 2017 Oklahoma Wesleyan University Foster Bonanza is already underway, and this year’s event will feature special honorees — the first ever Pioneers in Free Enterprise Fellows in the Keating Center Pioneers Hall of Fame. This designation will be given to celebrate key individuals who have been pioneers in the marketplace, the community, and in the church.
The Pioneers are defined as individuals who are leaders that “open or prepare – a way, a business or organization — and then set the stage for occupation or development by others.” In other words, pioneers go first. They are selfless, assertive and forward thinking. They are bridge-builders, bringing others together and helping them flourish as well. This year’s inaugural Fellows are Kevin and Dorea Potter, of Bartlesville, and Richard and Alice Adee, of Sioux Falls, S.D. Both couples are being recognized for exceeding the standards for being pioneers in their fields and communities.
Richard Adee was introduced early to beekeeping by his father and four uncles. Teachers by trade, they stumbled onto beekeeping as a way to supplement teaching salaries during the depression years. He married his high school sweetheart, Alice Bergstrom, in 1959. Together they worked to grow the company, and today, Adee Honey Farms is the largest commercial beekeeping operation in the country. Richard and Alice are longtime members of the Linwood Wesleyan Church and Alice served as an OKWU Board of Trustees member for 17 years. Upon her retiring from the board, her daughter Marla joined as a trustee in 2010. The newest dorm on the campus of OKWU will be named in their honor for their many years of service and generous giving to the university on the same day of the Bonanza.
Board of Technical Education President Dana Dykhouse says, “Today’s tech jobs are more high-tech. We are moving into a much more high-tech — almost operating room type scenario — whether it be manufacturers, repair shops, or whatever. We’d like to have young people exposed to those opportunities, exposed to what the work is like, exposed to what the opportunities, and exposed to what potential they have in those professions.”
Governor Daugaard says, “Ensuring our current programs are relevant and the curriculum really reflects what’s used in the marketplace in manufacturing, used in hospitals, and in tech centers. If we have new programs we’re not offering then — we start those programs but always making sure our old programs are truly what our employers need.”
The Sioux Falls private liberal arts college recently welcomed its largest freshman class since 1978, and it has also seen the introduction of new academic programs in recent years, including a Masters in Genetic Counseling in partnership with Sanford Health.
Herseth Sandlin has big dreams for the university, and she sat down with Argus Leader Media to talk about her vision for Augustana ahead of her inauguration on Friday.
Question: What has you excited as you start your first year?
Answer: We’re very excited about all of the momentum with enrollment and academic offerings. We have great momentum in our endowment … the more we can raise for the endowment, the more generous the scholarships.
That’s what makes me most excited is building on the momentum that we already have.
What’s the next big thing on the horizon for Augustana?
We want to find ways to serve students.
Morrison Commons needs some renovation and some expansion. … When we look at dining facilities, in particular, we’re going to be taking a closer look at what we do to make sure Morrison Commons can continue to meet the needs of our students when it comes to dining and when it comes to entertainment.
We’re also very interested in addressing some of the pressures on the Elmen (athletic) Center. … I would tee that up as one of the things that’s on the horizon.
Just over the last few months, we’ve been able to secure a major (seven-figure) gift from the Hamre family for the renovation of Kresge Recital Hall, as well as other donors. Classrooms (in the Humanities building) are already getting some upgrades, and we hope to make improvements throughout the building.
Absolutely. We’re already doing it. … I’m a both-and kind of person, not an either-or.
Having come out of Raven Industries, I understand and commend Gov. Daugaard for a focus on workforce development as it relates to the role of our technical institutes meeting certain needs of businesses in technology and manufacturing.
The idea for a dedication came when USD alumnus Gary Conradi pointed out to USD Foundation president emeritus Ted Muenster during the previous school year that the campus lacked a recognition site for the Medal of Honor recipients that graduated from USD: Arlo Olson (1940), Joseph Foss (1939) and George Day (1949).
“It seemed to make sense to combine the flag display and the Medal of Honor display with recognition of all veterans affiliated with USD,” Muenster said.
There are no set plans for what the display will consist of or where it will be located, but the committee hopes to have the monument built in the grass area in between the South Dakota School of Law, the Beacom School of Business and the Al Neuharth Media Center.
According to the committee’s proposal submitted on Aug. 3, this location would be highly visible and easily accessible, with shelter provided by the surrounding buildings. The area is also set to include seating for students to sit and reflect on the dedication.
The committee has looked at other dedications in the state for ideas. Muenster said the committee thinks the state’s flagship university should have its own memorial.
“There’s one at South Dakota State University,” Muenster said. “They have two Medal of Honor recipients among their alumni. We have three, so we have 50 percent more than they do.”
While funds for this project will have to be raised privately through contributions, the USD Foundation has agreed to include the dedication in its fundraising goals if requested by the university. Muenster said it could take two years before the construction of the dedication begins.
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