Coe College E-News

October 1, 2016

Kohawks fly together to protect city from flood

Coe College sits high and dry as floodwater crosses Coe Road on Tuesday. The Cedar River crested at 22 feet, 10 feet above flood stage and second in history only to the 31-foot flood of 2008.
Coe College sits high and dry as floodwater crosses Coe Road on Tuesday. The Cedar River crested at 22 feet, 10 feet above flood stage and second in history only to the 31-foot flood of 2008.

While Coe's campus was spared any damage as a result of this week's major flood, the college community came together in a remarkable way to help protect the city of Cedar Rapids. In advance of the flood's 22-foot crest on Tuesday, Coe's Office of Community Engagement organized opportunities for students, faculty and staff to share the Kohawk spirit of service in the flood zone.

Coe volunteers helped fill, deliver and place 25,000 sandbags - 10 percent of the estimated total filled across the city - over the course of last weekend, according to Director of Community Engagement Kayla Lyftogt. Kohawks also helped move countless loads of furniture, personal items and kitchen supplies out of homes and businesses.

To read the messages that were sent to the campus community throughout the event, please see our "Coe College Response to the Flood of 2016" web page here.

The videos below highlight the efforts of so many people at Coe while affirming our ongoing support for this Perfect College Town.

Coe Cares video


Wendy Dunn flood video Tyler Staker flood video Joe Adams flood video
Psychology Professor
Wendy Dunn
Head Football Coach
Tyler Staker '06
Assistant Volleyball Coach
Joe Adams

Celebration of Life held for Dan Lehn

Dan LehnThe Coe community continues to grieve over the loss of Psychology Professor Dan Lehn. Dan passed away on July 19, following a bicycle/vehicle accident near his rural North Liberty home. A Celebration of Life service was held on Friday in Sinclair Auditorium. The service included memories of Dan and tributes to his positive influence on everyone in the Coe community.

For those who are unable to attend the Celebration of Life, a webcast of the service can be viewed by clicking here.

Black Alumni Association formed at St. Louis reunion

African American REunion attendees gather.Nearly 100 people - including past, present and potential future Kohawks - gathered in St. Louis last weekend for the biennial reunion of African-American alumni. Formal establishment of the Coe College Black Alumni Association (CCBAA) topped the agenda as attendees work to promote and maintain a diverse student body, faculty and staff at Coe. To that end, seven prospective Coe students from the area joined eight current Kohawks for the formal dinner program at the Pear Tree Inn by Drury Hotel. Representing Coe's staff were President David McInally and his wife, Janice, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Paula O'Laughlin, Vice President for Advancement David Hayes '93, Director of Alumni Programs Jean Johnson, Director of Diversity & Inclusion Kristin Hutson, Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs Steven Shelby and Human Resources & Benefits Administrator Andy Cooley.

Prospective students from broadly diverse backgrounds, including African American, Hispanic, Latino/a, Asian American and Native American, are encouraged to apply for the Williston Jones Full-Tuition Diversity Leadership Scholarship. Applications are due Oct. 11 to be considered for the Nov. 12 competition. Click here for more information.

Click here to view photos from the reunion.

Funds from Australian bush secure Coe's Northwoods future

Tom LacknerThis summer's reunion gathering at the Wilderness Field Station near Ely, Minnesota, was billed as a celebration of the changing of the guard. One field station veteran added a big shot in the arm for the facility's future.

Heins-Johnson Professor of Biology Harlo Hadow retired as director this summer after teaching at the field station all but three summers since 1980. Assistant Professor of Biology Jesse Ellis was introduced as Hadow's field station successor.

At the July 10 gathering, Ellis got a crash course in field station history from Hadow as well as Bob Stamps '70, retired biology professor Tom Lackner '96, and other field station alumni and faculty. Lackner surprised the 43 people in attendance by announcing the creation of the Harlo Hadow Endowment Fund for the Wilderness Field Station. The endowment was created with $200,000 in long-forgotten pension funds Lackner received from teaching elementary school in Australia for 16 years before attending Coe as a non-traditional student.

Click here for a video of Lackner revealing the creation of the field station endowment.

To add your support to the ongoing operation of the Wilderness Field Station, select it under "Other Ways to Support Coe" at

Alger, Anderson named Barron Bremner Outstanding Athletes

Bremner Award winners Melissa Alger and Brady Anderson pose with John Strohm.Congratulations to this year's Barron Bremner Outstanding Athletes, Melissa Alger '16 (track and field) and Brady Anderson '18 (tennis). The awards were presented Sept. 11 by John Strohm '79 in a ceremony at Clark Alumni House. Other finalists included Mackenzie Harbaugh '16 (volleyball), Aleena Hobbs '18 (basketball), Craig Konrardy '16 (baseball) and Ryan Harrington '18 (wrestling).

Click here for a complete description of the Barron Bremner Outstanding Athlete Awards and to review recipients since 1995.

Something old, something new at Homecoming 2016

Homecoming 2016: Something Old, Something New.There is still time to embrace change and celebrate tradition with fellow Kohawks at Homecoming 2016 next weekend. Join Kohawks on campus for reunions, classes and campus updates and to reconnect with classmates and friends.

All alumni are welcome to the Friday night Kohawk party under the big top with music, dancing, Homecoming themed beverages and hors d'oeuvres and the annual silent auction to support scholarships and off-campus study. Online for the first time, anyone can participate in the silent auction using their smartphone or computer. Visit to get your bidder number.

Hickok nears completion as Eby progresses

Make Your Move - The Campaign for Eby and HickokFaculty have occupied offices and students are attending classes as construction workers put the finishing touches on interior renovations and a new addition to Hickok Hall. Meanwhile, infrastructure is being put in place for the new Athletic and Recreation Complex targeted for completion in the fall of 2017.

You can help these large-scale projects become reality and multiply the impact of your gift. By raising $6 million for Make Your Move - the Campaign for Eby and Hickok, the college can receive a generous $3 million grant from the Hall-Perrine Foundation of Cedar Rapids. Thus far, $2.3 million has been contributed to unlock $1.15 million for the college. Now is the time to make your move and make it happen for Coe!

Coe theatre season opens

Whose Life is it Anyway?The Coe College theatre season opens Oct. 28 with "Whose Life is it Anyway," an examination of life and death with dignity in an entertaining way. Written by Brian Clark and directed by Steven Marc Weiss, "Whose Life is it Anyway" infuses a surprising amount of humor while grappling with the ultimate serious dilemma - what can I do when the quality of my own life becomes untenable?

"Whose Life is it Anyway" will be presented Oct. 28, 29 and 30 and Nov. 3, 4 and 5 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus. Tickets may be purchased online here or by calling the Cox Box Office at 399-8600, Monday - Friday, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

For a complete calendar of events at Coe, click here.