Coe College E-News

March 3, 2017

Eby renovation is well underway

Click the video above to watch a sneak peek into Coe College's new Athletic and Recreation Complex opening this fall. Current and future students will benefit from this state-of-the-art recreational, wellness and competition facility. This renovation will serve to recruit future Kohawks and ensure Coe stays at the top of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. If you would like to learn more about the project, click here.

Atwater retires as Coe football defensive coordinator

Coe College football defensive coordinator Larry Atwater '82 has retired from coaching after 27 years with the Kohawks. He will remain at Coe as a full-time physical education professor.

Click the video above to hear Atwater reflect on his coaching career.

Atwater has been a staple of the Kohawk Athletic Department, serving as an assistant football coach for 27 years and the head wrestling coach for 11 years. During his tenure, the Kohawk football team was 196-81, while he compiled a 59-90-1 record as head wrestling coach.

"I would like to personally thank Larry for the time he has given to Coe College Athletics, first as the head coach for wrestling/assistant coach for football to his recent position as the defensive coordinator," Athletics Director John Chandler said. "Throughout, Larry has maintained an aggressive teaching load, while also recruiting student-athletes to Coe. We wish Larry well in his teaching duties and look forward to continuing to see him in Eby Fieldhouse."

In his time as a football coach, the Kohawks won 71 percent of their games under four different head coaches. The Kohawks won nine Midwest Conference and Iowa Conference Championships, while making eight appearances in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. In 10 of Atwater's 27 seasons, the Kohawks were undefeated or lost one game in the regular season.

"I've been privileged to be a part of the Kohawk Athletic Department for the last 27 years," Atwater said. "I have truly valued the relationships made with other coaches and student-athletes at Coe and I will miss that."

  Coe football has been a family affair for Jordan Atwater '14, Sue Atwater MAT '98, Larry Atwater '82 and Mark Atwater '16.

Coe football has been a family affair for Jordan Atwater '14, Sue Atwater MAT '98, Larry Atwater '82 and Mark Atwater '16.

Atwater had the privilege of coaching both of his sons - Jordan Atwater '14 and Mark Atwater '16 - on the defensive side of the ball. Jordan and Mark each spent time coaching Coe's defense with their father after graduation.

"I have to give a lot of credit to my family, but especially my wife, Sue," Atwater added. "My family gave up a lot of time to allow me to influence the lives of so many others. I'll always be indebted to Sue for her unconditional support."

As a Coe student, Atwater was a member of the Kohawk football, wrestling and track teams. A 1998 inductee into the Coe Athletic Hall of Fame, he was an all-conference quarterback and punter for Kohawk football and a three-time Midwest Conference champion wrestler at 177 pounds.

Atwater returned to his alma mater in 1990 after a career as a high school coach at Dubuque Wahlert and West Delaware.

"It has truly been a pleasure and honor to have had the opportunity to work with and play for such an amazing man," Head Coach Tyler Staker '06 said. "I have learned a great amount of football from Coach Atwater, both as a player and a coach. Larry has always kept the game in perspective, and he's been a shining example of the importance of developing relationships. I am so grateful to Larry for the tremendous impact he has made on me, the Kohawk football program and the countless number of young men he's coached throughout his 27 years at Coe."

Coe left a mark so alumni make their move

Bobbi Camp Zimmerman '67 and Chuck Zimmerman '65 demonstrated their affection for Coe with a generous pledge to Make Your Move - The Campaign for Eby and Hickok.

Bobbi Camp Zimmerman '67 and Chuck Zimmerman '65 demonstrated their affection for Coe with a generous pledge to Make Your Move - The Campaign for Eby and Hickok.

A freshman at Coe in 1963, all Bobbi Camp '67 wanted was a ride home for Thanksgiving. She got a lifelong partner in Chuck Zimmerman '65.

"She thought we should get to know each other a little bit before she rode 200 miles with me in my car," said Chuck.

Bobbi found Chuck in the library, where he was known to hang out to study and "look for girls." Both originally from southwest Iowa - he from Corning and she from Atlantic - Chuck quickly agreed to give Bobbi a ride. "She was very attractive and I said 'yes,'" he said.

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 made for a memorable first date. The planned Tau Kappa Epsilon party was cancelled, so they went out for dinner.

The couple married the November after Chuck graduated and moved to Des Moines, where Bobbi completed college at Drake University. They would later live in big university cities Ames and Iowa City, but never lost their affection for Coe.

"We wouldn't have traded a small school for anything," Chuck said.

Now living in suburban Phoenix, they returned to Coe for Chuck's 50th class reunion during Homecoming 2015. Chuck was a member of the Alumni Council in the early '80s and has kept in touch with his fraternity brothers. Since pledging Kappa Delta as a Coe freshman, Bobbi has remained active with the sorority. In addition to regular get-togethers with a small group of sisters, she attends biennial reunions of Coe KDs from the '60s. Last fall's reunion was hosted by Connie Zuber Baugh '67 in the Amana Colonies.

The couple's affection for Coe was most recently demonstrated with a $25,000 pledge to Make Your Move - The Campaign for Eby and Hickok. The largest capital project in Coe's history, the project includes $23 million in essential campus enhancements, including the athletic and recreation complex project as well as the renovation and expansion of Hickok Hall.

"As you get older, you start defining where you want to give money," said Chuck, who owns Restaurant Strategies Group including Iowa Wendy's franchises in Altoona, Ankeny and Urbandale. "We really narrowed the field down."

The Zimmermans said their support for the campaign was enhanced by its focus on athletic facilities, given Chuck's time as a Coe baseball player and their support for Kohawk athletics. "We're sports fans, so that was a good fit for us," Bobbi said. Chuck also has fond memories of business classes in newly remodeled and expanded Hickok Hall.

You can join Chuck and Bobbi to help these large-scale projects become reality and multiply the impact of your gift. By raising $6 million for Make Your Move, the college can receive a generous $3 million grant from the Hall-Perrine Foundation of Cedar Rapids. Thus far, $3.4 million has been contributed to unlock $1.7 million for the college. Now is the time to make your move and make it happen for Coe! Visit today.

World's cuisine featured at 43rd Coe International Club Banquet

Click the video above to experience the Coe College International Club's 43rd annual banquet featuring cuisine from around the world. Appetizers were served Feb. 12 during receptions in Phifer Commons and the James H. Randall Intercultural Center of Gage Memorial Union, followed by dinner in Gage Dining Hall. This year's buffet-style banquet featured specialties from Japan, Korea, France, Nepal, China, Vietnam and Iran. In keeping with long-standing tradition, Coe international students wore clothing from their home countries and served from two buffet lines. A brief program featuring the students followed the dinner.

Cobb details history of American racism at Contemporary Issues Forum

Contemporary Issues Forum speaker Jelani Cobb fields a question from a student Tuesday night in Sinclair Auditorium.

Contemporary Issues Forum speaker Jelani Cobb fields a question from a student Tuesday night in Sinclair Auditorium.

Citing a "difficult time" in America as recent developments have revealed fault lines in society, 2017 Contemporary Issues Forum speaker Jelani Cobb traced the history of racism in the United States back to its founding.

"It is impossible to understand where we are and who we are if we don't have an understanding of race," Cobb told a large Coe audience in Sinclair Auditorium on Tuesday. "It permeates everything that we understand about the country."

Cobb, a professor of journalism at Columbia University and frequent contributor to The New Yorker, where he writes about race, the police and injustice, was the 14th Coe College Contemporary Issues Forum speaker. As a leading commentator on race in America, Cobb has also been featured in several award-winning documentaries, such as the Academy-Award nominated "13th" on Netflix.

Thomas Jefferson denounced slave trade in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Cobb said, only to delete that sentence and edit black freedom out of existence. While the word "slave" does not appear in the U.S. Constitution, slavery received important protections through the three-fifths clause - which counted three-fifths of the slave population in apportioning representation. The Constitution also prohibited Congress from outlawing the Atlantic slave trade for 20 years. A fugitive slave clause required the return of runaway slaves to their owners.

Among other examples of how racism has permeated federal legislation, Cobb cited the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers, and the Immigration Act of 1924, which was primarily aimed at restricting immigration of Italians and Eastern European Jews while also severely restricting the immigration of Africans and outright banning Arabs and Asians.

Current efforts to restrict immigration of select nationalities are not unprecedented in U.S. history. "We have seen this dynamic," Cobb said. "It is a dynamic that is rooted deep in the history of this country."

In 2015, Cobb received the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns, in which he combined "the strengths of an on-the-scene reporter, a public intellectual, a teacher, a vivid writer, a subtle moralist, and an accomplished professional historian." His best-known articles include "The Anger in Ferguson," "Murders in Charleston," and "What We Talk About When We Talk About Reparations."

In awarding him the Hillman Prize, the jury wrote, "No one has done a better job of placing (the events in Ferguson, Missouri) - and similar happenings in other places like Sanford, Florida; Cleveland, Ohio; and Staten Island, New York - in their broader context than Jelani Cobb. Cobb met the challenge of describing the turmoil in Ferguson in a way that cut through the frantic chaos of 'breaking news' and deepened readers' understanding of what they were seeing, hearing, and feeling. Ferguson was not an aberration, he showed, but a microcosm of race relations in the United States - organically connected to the complicated legacy of segregation and the unpaid debts of slavery itself."

On Feb. 19, Cobb was the first recipient of the Walter Bernstein Award from the Writers Guild of America, East. Named in honor of one of the Guild's most distinguished and courageous members, the Bernstein Award is presented to honor writers who have demonstrated with creativity, grace and bravery a willingness to confront social injustice in the face of adversity.

Cobb's critically acclaimed "Frontline" documentary on PBS, "Policing the Police," explores the complexities involved in reforming the Newark Police Department and its fractured relationship with the community.

Cobb spent three weeks in Charleston, South Carolina, covering the federal trial and sentencing of Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine people in a 2015 massacre at a historically black church. While visiting the Confederate Museum during the trial, Cobb encountered two docents who demurred when he asked if it was possible to interpret Roof's motives as an extension of the Confederate cause.

"We can't control how crazy racists use the symbols," one said. "What he's doing isn't connected to anything to do with our heritage," said the other.

On Jan. 11, Roof was sentenced to death 18 times and received an additional 15 life sentences for the hate crimes and other charges. "Irrespective of where you fall on the spectrum, it is difficult to sit in a courtroom and hear someone sentenced to death 18 times in a row," Cobb said.

After taking the first flight to New York and then San Francisco, Cobb exchanged small talk with the bellman as he checked into a hotel. A native of Charleston, the bellman had a direct connection to the Roof murders. "That man took away someone very important to me, my childhood librarian," he told Cobb.

"I had flown almost as far from South Carolina as I could get without leaving the continental United States, but had encountered the consequences of Roof's crime in the transparent grief of the first person I'd spoken with in a new city," Cobb wrote in the Feb. 6 issue of The New Yorker. "The immensity of the pain that Roof has inflicted upon Charleston is not contained by geography. It conforms perfectly to the contours of the nation that produced him."

Closing on an optimistic note, Cobb stressed that much of the best history in the United States has occurred in the most challenging times. "People have won under far more difficult circumstances than the ones we currently encounter," he said.

Responding to a question from a Hispanic Desert Storm veteran, Cobb said neither class or racial warfare are inevitable. "We have these fractures we have yet to summon the courage to heal, but I don't think they have to exist," he said.

Established by the late K. Raymond Clark '30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. The forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Poland President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau, ecology expert Jared Diamond, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy George Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning global health expert Laurie Garrett, and legendary soccer player Abby Wambach.

Coe students talked with Jelani Cobb at a private reception in Clark Alumni House following the 14th Contemporary Issues Forum on Tuesday.

Coe students talked with Jelani Cobb at a private reception in Clark Alumni House following the 14th Contemporary Issues Forum on Tuesday.

Lecture and exhibit explore Coe's connections to Nuremberg Trials

Alan Anderson '78 gave a lecture at Coe on Feb. 20 on the college’s connections to the Nuremberg Trials.

Alan Anderson '78 gave a lecture at Coe on Feb. 20 on the college’s connections to the Nuremberg Trials.

Minnesota attorney and military historian Alan Anderson '78 presented a lecture entitled "Coe at the Nuremberg Trials: B.D. Silliman" on Feb. 20 in Stewart Memorial Library. Anderson discussed the trials in the context of Silliman's preparations and role at Nuremberg.

The presentation is part of the current "Nuremberg Trials: Coe's Connection" exhibit on display in the library's Cone Gallery. Featuring the papers of Coe alumni B.D. Silliman '17 and William Shirer '25, the exhibit by Coe senior Nina Wilson '17 opened Feb. 16 and continues through March 16.

After World War II, the Nuremberg Trials were held by the Allied forces to prosecute prominent political and military leaders of Nazi Germany, including those who participated in the Holocaust, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Silliman, who served in both World War I and II, was 15 days from being promoted to lieutenant colonel when he was sent to Europe to prepare for the Nuremberg Trials, Anderson said. Serving on the staff of Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, Silliman was responsible for the capture, transfer and interrogation of many of the key German officers who were put on trial. After the trials, Silliman returned to Cedar Rapids and served as a longtime trustee at Coe College.

Shirer was a journalist and writer, and one of the last western journalists to leave Nazi Germany in 1940. He is known for his broadcasts from Berlin during the 1930s and for his many books including the "Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941" and "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" for which he won the National Book Award (1961). After the war, Shirer returned to Europe to cover the Nuremberg Trials. He continued working as a journalist and author throughout his life.

"Coe College is extremely fortunate to house the papers of a journalist who is still held in high esteem by journalists today," said Director of Library Services Jill Jack. "The Shirer papers bring to Coe scholars from around the country as well as outside of the United States. To have these two collections and two alumni who were both involved in the trials is something special for the college, students and researchers."

The documents in the collection include diary notes, interrogations from the Nuremberg Trials, prisoner information, photographs, and trial notes made by Silliman and Shirer. Anderson said he happened upon Silliman's papers while researching Shirer's collection in the George T. Henry College Archives.

The Nuremberg Trials formed the basis for the development of international criminal law and led to the Geneva Convention. But the trials are most relevant, Anderson said, for ensuring Adolf Hitler is never forgotten. "Don't forget what he did," Anderson said. "Don't forget what he caused."

For more information on the exhibit, call 319-399-8023.

An exhibit by Nina Wilson '17 features papers from the Nuremberg Trials from the collections of B.D. Silliman '17 and William Shirer '25.

An exhibit by Nina Wilson '17 features papers from the Nuremberg Trials from the collections of B.D. Silliman '17 and William Shirer '25.

Kohawk Day - Coe Day of Giving

Coe's annual Day of Giving is April 6! Help us drive the momentum and excitement by being a Social Ambassador or Challenge Leader. You can also share your favorite Coe memory, photo or success story by clicking here. Follow Coe Alumni on social media for a chance to see your memory shared on #KohawkDay!

Save the dates! Big doings at Coe on April 21-23

  • April 21 - Hickok Hall rededication, 4-6 p.m.
    Coe College will celebrate the completion of the Hickok Hall renovation during a building rededication and donor recognition ceremony. Join us as we dedicate the new 5,000 square foot wing addition in honor of Professor W. Kent Herron, made possible through the generosity of John Eckstein '85. We will also recognize those who have provided funding for named classroom and office spaces, and unveil the donor wall.
  • April 22 - Founders' Day celebration, 10 a.m.-noon.
    Coe College will honor Marv Levy '50 with its highest honor, the Founders' Medal and the dedication of Marv Levy Way. As a past recipient of Coe College's Alumni Award of Merit (1972), Athletic Hall of Fame (1973), and Honorary Degree (1991), Levy will formally be awarded the Founders' Medal for "exemplifying in extraordinary degree the qualities of a liberally educated person."
  • April 23 - Bike Lehn 2017, 1-5 p.m.
    Bike from Sag Wagon South in Cedar Rapids to Sag Wagon North in Center Point and back on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail (35 miles round trip) or run/walk the Cedar Lake Loop while enjoying food and drink specials to celebrate the memory of our friend and Coe colleague Dan Lehn. Proceeds benefit the Dan Lehn Scholarship Fund. Visit to register.

Coe goes to Oxford

The 9th International Borate Conference in England will be held in honor of B.D. Silliman Professor of Physics Steve Feller in acknowledgement of his unique contribution to the study of borate materials. To celebrate this extraordinary recognition of Feller's accomplishments, Coe College will host several alumni events in Oxford and the University of Oxford on July 24-26. Click the video for a personal invitation from Feller. For more information, contact Senior Development Officer Debbie Green ( or 319-399-8592) or Steve Feller ( or 319-721-5590).

Upcoming alumni events

  • March 10-11 - Coe Wrestling at Division III Championships at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Tickets are available by calling the La Crosse Center Box Office at 608-789-7400. Following the evening session on March 11, all Coe fans are welcome to attend a Kohawk social at Big Al's Pizza, 115 3rd Street S., 9-11 p.m. Please indicate on the registration form whether you'll be attending so the Alumni Office can give a head count. Pizza will be provided.
  • March 14 - Coe Corridor Network Meet-Up, 12-12:55 p.m. in Clark Alumni House. Join us for a lunch hour full of networking with other Coe alumni and students. Lunch is included for $10. Please register by March 10.
  • March 23 - Sip & Socialize, 5-7 p.m. in Linge Lounge at Theatre Cedar Rapids, 102 Third St. SE. Join the Coe Corridor Network for a fun networking event with alumni, students and faculty. Light appetizers will be provided and a bar will be available for attendees.

For a complete calendar events at Coe, click here.