Building upon record-setting enrollments over the past few years, Coe College has welcomed 446 new full-time students this fall—the largest incoming class in its history. The academically talented and highly diverse class of 2021 has contributed to a record number of full-time students at the college, with 1,348 enrolled for fall term.
Since the fall of 2013, Coe has enrolled the five largest first-year classes and five largest full-time student bodies in its history, making the institution the fastest growing college in the state. This year's new student and total full-time enrollment breaks previous records set in 2014.
"Given the challenges in higher education, we are thrilled to welcome a record number of new students to Coe, with the largest overall full-time enrollment in college history," said Coe President David McInally. "With the advantages of our Cedar Rapids location, the recent completion of several major facility projects, a solid academic program, and the implementation of a new strategic plan underway, we believe students are recognizing the benefits of a Coe education."
The average academic profile of the incoming class is strong, advancing Coe's long-standing reputation for academic excellence. Members of the class of 2021 have an average ACT score of 25 and grade point average of 3.7. A remarkable 53 first-year students scored 30 or greater on the ACT test. As well, more than 60 percent of first-year class members ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes.
Of special note, the college has first-time students of color representing nearly 35 percent of the entering class. This is the fourth consecutive year Coe has enrolled a class with a high level of diversity, which demonstrates Coe's commitment to fostering a diverse campus community.
"As both a Coe graduate and employee, I've been associated with this institution for many years, and the momentum we are feeling is unlike anything I've seen. The academic profile and diversity of the incoming class coupled with our growing academic programs and facilities makes for an exceptional educational experience. Families can see that and want to be a part of what Coe offers," said Vice President for Admission and Marketing Julie Kleis Staker '93.
This year's Coe class includes students from 26 states and several countries. Out-of-state students comprise 65 percent of the class.
Over the past year, Coe has completed $24 million in new and renovated facilities, including the remodeling and expansion of Hickok Hall, one of the college's main academic buildings. The new Coe College Athletics and Recreation Complex (ARC) was open for the start of school, and students are excited to be using the new facilities. The college's athletic facilities now rank among the best in the region, creating an enhanced environment for recreation and wellness, as well as competitive athletics. In addition, new outdoor spaces were built on campus over the summer, creating casual areas for students for study and socialize.
Through the new Center for Creativity and Careers, Coe students have unprecedented opportunities to secure mentorships, internships and career opportunities. Coe students benefit from the advantages of the college's Cedar Rapids location, and the regional partnerships that offer Coe students unique opportunities for learning and career preparation. In addition, the college has added a Social and Criminal Justice major to increase the academic offerings for students.
Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe's vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.
Coe College will host a dedication and community open house for the new Athletics and Recreation Complex on Oct. 13. Following a brief ceremony at 4:30 p.m., the new and renovated facilities will be open for viewing. In addition, the entire complex will be open to the public for self-guided tours on Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as part of Coe's Homecoming celebration.
During the dedication ceremony, those who provided support for the $21 million project will be recognized. The Coe College Athletics and Recreation Complex was funded in part by a generous grant from the Hall-Perrine Foundation, along with significant support from alumni and friends of the college.
"The new Athletics and Recreation Complex will enhance the Coe experience for each and every student over the course of the 21st century, propelling the college to the next level of overall excellence," said Coe President David McInally. "Coe's new and renovated athletic facilities now rank among the best in the region. We are grateful for the support provided by the Hall-Perrine Foundation, as well as alumni and friends of the college, for making this project possible."
The largest capital project in the college's history was designed to ensure that Coe is positioned to serve the next several generations of Kohawks. Health, wellness and active lifestyles are inherent in the campus community. More than 90 percent of Coe's 1,400 students participate in intramural sports, and nearly all Coe students regularly work out in the college's fitness center. In addition, Coe enrolls 450 varsity athletes and offers 21 intercollegiate sports.
The facility will not only meet current needs, but also align with the college's long-term strategic direction. Coe has leveraged its existing facilities by tying together Eby Fieldhouse and Clark Racquet Center into a comprehensive, 200,000-square-foot Athletics and Recreation Complex. This has provided all of the amenities that many colleges have, but at less than one-half of the cost.
In addition, the state-of-the-art Athletics and Recreation Complex will serve the entire community by emphasizing a culture of health and wellness. With the additional space provided by the new facility, Coe plans to increase wellness and athletic programming and access to recreational space for children and youth from the Cedar Rapids community. Emphasis will be placed on serving those in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
The Coe Athletics and Recreation Complex includes the following key components:
The new Kohawk Arena seats more than 1,600 spectators. It is designed with a modern configuration where visitors enter in an upper-level concourse. Along with serving as a competition arena for basketball, volleyball and wrestling, the new gymnasium provides space for recreational activities and sports camps.
Fitness Center and Bridge
A key feature of the project is a bridge over College Drive that joins the new Eby addition to the Clark Racquet Center, creating a new, comprehensive facility. This bridge—which is mostly glass—provides a stunning visual feature for the Coe community and visitors alike. This area of the facility includes the new Fitness Center, with all-new aerobic and weight-training equipment.
John Strohm '79, Ginnie Bremner and Head Wrestling Coach John Oostendorp cut the ribbon for the J. Barron Bremner Wrestling Room on Sept. 17.
J. Barron Bremner Wrestling Room
A featured space within the complex, the new 7,000-square-foot wrestling room was named to honor the legacy of former Coe coach and Athletics Director Barron Bremner. This premier facility is the largest wrestling room in NCAA Division III. Even in the wrestling tradition-rich state of Iowa, Coe is unique in foregrounding wrestling in this way.
The J. Barron Bremner Wrestling Room was made possible through the generosity of John Strohm '79 and his wife, Mary Pat Link.
Strength and Conditioning Room
The new strength and conditioning area features equipment that is specially designed to enhance individualized weight training for student-athletes. This large room wraps around the southern face of the natatorium and joins with the Fitness Center, the J. Barron Bremner Wrestling Room and Kohawk Arena. This has created a design that gives the entire project a cohesive whole and aligns with existing campus architecture.
Moray L. Eby Memorial Fieldhouse, built in 1930 in honor of longtime Coe professor of physical education and coach Moray Eby, has long served as the headquarters for Kohawk athletics.
The centerpiece of the Eby renovation is the conversion of the old gymnasium and wrestling area into a multi-purpose court for recreational sports and intercollegiate practices. The facility includes three basketball courts that can be separated by curtains or opened into one large area for throwing, indoor soccer, baseball and softball practices, and countless other activities.
New dedicated locker rooms for football, baseball, women's soccer, men's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming, and men's basketball, along with two visiting team locker rooms, were constructed in the lower level of Eby. In addition, new infrastructure was installed including HVAC, windows, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
Clark Racquet Center
Clark Racquet Center received enhancements as well, including a new elevator and other improvements to integrate the facility with the entire project. Funded with the help of K. Raymond Clark '30, the center was built in 1989.
Clark Field and Stadium
The athletic facilities project began in 2015 with the completion of a new, state-of-the-art track and other enhancements at Clark Field, also named in honor of the college's preeminent benefactor. Improvements included much-needed additional seating for Kohawk fans, including spectator capacity by 50 percent on the home side of the stadium.
In October 2015, Coe College embarked on the largest capital project in its history, one which will provide unparalleled benefits for future generations of students while creating pride among all Kohawks. Make Your Move – the Campaign for Eby and Hickok – includes $24 million in essential campus enhancements, including the Athletic and Recreation Complex project as well as the renovation and expansion of Hickok Hall. The result is vastly improved academic, recreational, wellness and competition facilities.
Coe College will celebrate Homecoming Oct. 12-15 with the theme "Tradition Never Graduates." Alumni, friends and community members are invited to campus for what promises to be a memorable weekend filled with activities and fun, as well as to embrace change and celebrate tradition.
Among the featured events are the all-alumni celebration under the big top and silent auction, and the all-alumni recognition reception and program. The annual Homecoming Showcase Concert will be held, as well as athletic contests, including Kohawk football versus Central College. The Homecoming parade and the brat 'n beverage tent are among the many events, activities and gatherings planned.
Reunion celebrations will include those from the classes of 1967, 1977, 1986-88, 1992, 2007 and 2011-13, plus the Golden Alumni classes prior to 1966. Affinity gatherings will be held for the Alpha Gamma Delta 100th anniversary.
At 11:30 a.m., the Golden Garden Party will be held for the classes of 1967 and prior. The Common Hour at 3 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall will feature the movie "80 Years Through the Lens: The Life and Work of George T. Henry." Kevin Kelly '67 will share the journey of working with Cedar Rapids and Coe photographer George Henry '49 to capture his life on film.
Members of Alpha Gamma Delta will hold their 100th anniversary at 7 p.m. in Clark Alumni House.
The Homecoming Showcase Concert begins at 7 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. This free concert will feature Coe's performing ensembles: Chorale, Concert Band, Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra.
An all-alumni celebration will be held under a big-top tent starting at 7:30 p.m., featuring a tribute to recently retired Director of Alumni Programs Jean Johnson. The event will include music provided by The Bamboozlers, dancing and the annual silent auction. Beverages and hors d'oeuvres featuring this year's Homecoming theme will be served.
Saturday begins with an alumni swim meet at 8:30 a.m. in the Coe Natatorium. Self-guided tours of the new Coe Athletics and Recreation Complex will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The all-alumni recognition reception will begin with a light breakfast at 9:15 a.m. in the Learning Commons in Stewart Memorial Library, followed by a program at 10 a.m.
The annual Homecoming parade around Clark Field will begin at 11:30 a.m. Following the parade, the 27th annual brat 'n beverage tent, sponsored by the Student Alumni Association, will be set up on C Avenue between 14th and 15th streets. This is a popular meeting place for alumni, parents, students and friends to tailgate before the game.
Kickoff for the Homecoming football game is set for 1 p.m. at Clark Field. The Kohawks will suit up to play Central.
Special class receptions and dinners will be held late Saturday afternoon and evening. The groups include the classes of 1967, 1977, 1986-88, 1992, 2007, and 2011-13.
An informal brunch will be provided by Sodexo Dining Services at 10:45 a.m. At 3 p.m., a free concert featuring the Amara Piano Quartet will be held in Sinclair Auditorium to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Friends of Music at Coe (FOMAC). Consisting of a pianist, violinist, violist and cellist, the concert will include chamber music from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
For more information or to register for Homecoming events and activities, call the Coe Alumni Office at 319-399-8561. Click here for online registration and information.
Coe College will honor two prominent Coe alumni and a well-known professor who has taught for a half century during its upcoming Homecoming celebration. The recipients include Cedar Rapids community leader and president of the Hall-Perrine Foundation Jack Evans '70, Ohio State University Professor Janet Box-Steffensmeier '88 and longtime Coe Professor of Mathematics Kent Herron.
The all-alumni recognition will be held Oct. 14, in Stewart Memorial Library. A light breakfast reception will begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by the program at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public at no charge.
Jack Evans '70
Growing up in the small town of Early, Iowa, Evans emulated the work ethic of both his grandparents and parents. After high school, he had the opportunity to follow in his father's footsteps to Coe College, earning a bachelor's in business administration and finding the two loves of his life: Cedar Rapids and Nancy Hamblin Evans '71.
After college, Evans went on to receive an MBA from the University of Iowa in 1972 and began to work at SCI Financial Group, eventually moving up the ranks to president and chief operating officer.
After William Whipple '35 became chairman in 1996, Evans was invited to become president of the Hall-Perrine Foundation. Under Evans' expertise, the foundation continued as a pinnacle of community investment in Linn County and, today, is credited for being not only a catalyst for community reinvestment, but an anchor investor in the fabric of Linn County.
In addition to his leadership role at Hall-Perrine, Evans has demonstrated strong commitment to organizations like Priority One, the United Way of East Central Iowa, and he has sat on the boards of The Gazette Company, Nuveen Mutual Funds, the Iowa Board of Regents, Alliant Energy, Brucemore, the Cedar Rapids Airport Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Four Oaks. He is past chairman of the Iowa College Foundation and former member of the Chicago Stock Exchange.
Currently, Evans is chairman of the board of directors at United Fire Group and is the only non-physician on the board of directors for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He is a member of the advisory board of the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business. Evans has been the only person to twice chair a campaign for the United Way of East Central Iowa – the first in 1994 and the second in 2014 alongside his son, Matt.
Evans is a recipient of the Governor's Volunteer Award, the John B. Northcott Award for volunteer service from the United Way in 2014, the Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa Corridor Business Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance in 2015.
At Coe, Evans participated in golf, C Club, Sigma Nu, concert choir and student government. As an alumnus, he has participated as a Coe-rporate volunteer and is past chairman of the Board of Trustees, serving now as a life trustee. Evans has referred numerous students to Coe and is a member of the Heritage Club. He received Coe's first Alumni Reunion Award in 1975.
Jack and Nancy are long-standing supporters of Coe College, generously sharing their time, talent and treasure.
Janet Box-Steffensmeier '88
A first-generation college student with farm roots, Box-Steffensmeier came to Coe from tiny Salem, Iowa. Inspired by her hard-working and supportive parents, she is now the Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science and Professor of Sociology at The Ohio State University.
She graduated magna cum laude in mathematics and political science from Coe in 1988 while completing the honors program. She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Government from the University of Texas in 1993.
At Coe, Box-Steffensmeier was named Outstanding Senior Woman in 1988. She participated in Mortar Board, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, was president of Phi Eta Sigma national freshman honor society, vice president of Alpha Lambda Delta national freshman honor society, a member of Chi Omega, and participated in Washington Term. She was the class representative upon graduation until 1991, has referred prospective students to Coe, and is eager to help as a recruiting volunteer. She is also a loyal support of Coe.
Box-Steffensmeier directs the Program in Statistics and Methodology (PRISM) at Ohio State. Her work focuses on campaigns and elections, Congress, and lobbying, as well as event history, time series and network methodologies.
She has been the divisional dean for social and behavioral sciences and graduate affairs in arts and sciences since 2014. Box-Steffensmeier served as president of the Midwest Political Science Association and the Political Methodology Society, as well as treasurer of the American Political Science Association. She has twice received the Gosnell Award for the best work in political methodology and the Emerging Scholar Award of the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior Section of the American Political Science Association in 2001. She was an inaugural fellow of the Society for Political Methodology.
The Box-Steffensmeier Award, given annually by the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), is named in recognition of her contributions to political methodology and her support of women in this field. She received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Political Science Department in 2013, Distinguished Undergraduate Mentor Award in 2009, the Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences in 2013, the Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar Award in 2012, and the Political Methodology Career Achievement Award in 2013. She was appointed as the faculty representative to the academic affairs and student life committee of the Ohio State Board of Trustees in 2013.
Box-Steffensmeier became a full professor in 2003 and has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles and three books, as well as editing many books and book chapters. She has a long list of grants, the largest being $346,949 awarded in 2015-17 from the National Science Foundation in collaboration with two colleagues.
W. Kent Herron
As a University of Iowa Ph.D. candidate, Herron arrived at Coe in 1968 for what he expected to be a one-year stint as mathematics professor. Nearly a half century later, he remains one of the most popular professors to current students and a dear friend to countless alumni.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Herron received his bachelor's at the University of Dubuque. His master's and Ph.D. soon followed at the University of Iowa. He was granted tenure at Coe in 1974. Never married and without children of his own, Herron is known as Doc to his extensive family of Coe alumni who are now among his closest friends.
With a passion for teaching that has gone well beyond the classroom, Herron's kind heart and grandfatherly soul have served him well as a mentor to students. Whether it's teaching students to ski or ride motorcycles, exposing them to the cultures of Aspen and Europe, employing them on summer paint crews, or providing them housing while attending graduate school, Herron is an active participant in the lives and personal development of students.
Teaching January Term from 1977 through 2003, Herron would take a class of students to Aspen and teach them how to ski while History Professor Don Lisio provided classroom instruction on the history of Aspen and its mining. Herron fell in love with the mountains and, in 1986, was hired by Aspen Skiing Company to give ski lessons over winter break.
Herron has been the advisor to Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity since 1972. It has been through this relationship that he has made close ties to many students, as well as those who took his math classes, participated in athletics or accompanied him to Aspen.
The owner of three motorcycles, Herron has taught dozens of Coe students how to drive. On three occasions, he has made the 9,000-mile round trip journey to Alaska on motorcycle. He also travels internationally with students and has visited Europe every year, often gathering information on World War II for his First Year Seminar course, "The Nature of Scientific Inquiry." With rare exception, Herron has taught a First Year Seminar class since its inception in 1970.
The Coe professor is also a faculty representative to Coe's athletic conference. Herron helped oversee Coe's transition from the Midwest Conference to the Iowa Conference in 1997-98. He is a faithful (but nervous) fan of Coe athletics and assists football parents by providing funds for post-game team feeds.
Herron served as co-chair of the recent strategic planning initiative known as A Bolder Coe. He was honored by former students as the recipient of an endowed chair in his name in 1997. More recently, a former student and TKE donated funds to name the new Hickok Hall addition in his honor. He has been a tireless supporter of Coe through the years.
Four former Kohawks are set to be inducted into the Coe College Athletic Hall of Fame during Homecoming.
The 2017 class of inductees includes soccer player Bridget Anger Faivre '97, Beth Cook '98 from the swimming and diving team and twin brothers Fred Jackson '03 and Patrick Jackson '03 from the football and track & field teams.
Faivre scored 73 goals in her career, including 21 in her sophomore year and 22 her junior year. She was a three-time team MVP and was a finalist for the outstanding athlete award her senior year. She was a four-time All-Midwest Conference South Division selection. In addition to goals scored, she set single-season school records her junior year for points scored (55), points per game (3.44) and goals per game (1.38). During her senior season, she set the school record for assists with 13.
Cook was a three-time finalist for the outstanding athlete award and was named the winner in 1997. She set the school record in the one-meter dive as a freshman. She was a five-time national qualifier and won six Midwest Conference Championships on the two diving boards. During her junior year, she earned honorable mention All-American honors. Her school records on both boards stood until 2009 and she currently ranks second in school history in each event.
Patrick Jackson was a two-time All-Iowa Conference selection on the football field. He was also named to the Don Hansen Football Gazette All-West Region First Team in 2002. Jackson ranks ninth in school history with seven interceptions in 2001, while being tied for the school record with three career blocked kicks.
Fred Jackson was the first two-time recipient of the Barron Bremner Outstanding Athlete Award and was a seven-time All-American between football and track. He was the Iowa Conference Football MVP in his final two seasons at Coe. He graduated as the third leading rusher in Coe history with 4,054 yards and third all-time in rushing touchdowns with 47. He rushed for 1,702 yards and 29 touchdowns his senior season, leading the Kohawks to their first Iowa Conference Championship. Jackson went on to play nine years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks. In 2009, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and have 1,000 kick return yards in the same season.
The Jackson twins were just as successful on the track as they were on the football field. The brothers were two-time All-Americans in the 4x100-meter relay team. The Kohawk relay finished fifth at the NCAA National Championships in 2002 and 2003. Their time of 41.26 at the 2003 NCAA National Championships still stands as a school record, while the same relay team set the school record in the indoor 4x200-meter relay in 2002.
The inductees will be honored at the 45th Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on Oct. 13. In addition, Midwest Conference championship teams will be honored, including 1985 football, 1986 men's track, 1986 softball and 1986 women's swimming.
Haley Jones '19 and Trevor Heitland '17 are the 2016-17 Barron Bremner Outstanding Athletes at Coe College. Jones was an all-region softball player, while Heitland was an All-American on the football team.
Jones was an NFCA All-Midwest Region Second Team selection, while also being named to the All-Iowa Conference First Team. Jones ranked 26th in the nation in home runs and sacrifice flies, while ranking 34th in the nation with .24 home runs per game. She hit a career-high 10 home runs, while driving in 40 runs. She hit .341 on the year with 30 runs scored and 42 hits. Off the field, Jones was an Academic All-Iowa Conference selection.
Heitland was the runner-up for the Gagliardi Trophy, given to the top football player in NCAA Division III. He earned All-American honors from D3football.com, the American Football Coaches Association and the Associated Press. Heitland was named the Iowa Conference Offensive MVP, while also being named to the D3football.com All-West Region First Team and an All-Iowa Conference First Team selection. Heitland led all NCAA divisions with 223.92 all-purpose yards per game, while leading NCAA Division III with 1,913 rushing yards and 317 carries. He set school records in rushing attempts and all-purpose yards, while his 1,913 yards rushing was the second most in school history.
Aleena Hobbs '18 from the women's basketball team and Haley Resnick '18 from women's tennis were also finalists for the women. Hobbs was a D3Hoops.com All-West Region Third Team selection, while Resnick was named to the All-Iowa Conference team in singles and doubles. For the men, Brady Anderson '18 from men's tennis and Chris Hawkins '18 from the men's track and field team were also finalists. Anderson was the Iowa Conference MVP, while also earning All-American honors from the ITA and Academic All-American honors from CoSIDA. Hawkins was an all-region selection during the indoor and outdoor seasons, while qualifying for the NCAA National Championships in both seasons as well.
John Strohm '79 and his wife, Mary Pat Link, have generously established an endowed fund to annually provide awards to the top three male and female Coe athletes. John's sisters, Tara Strohm '79 and Nina Strohm Golden '79 and her husband, John Golden '76, are also Coe graduates. Their parents, Lloyd and Dorothy Strohm, are supporters of Coe activities. Two of John and Mary Pat's children – Kristin Strohm '05 and Kelly Strohm '13 and her husband, Reid Galbraith '13 – are also Coe alumni.
Click here for a complete description of the Barron Bremner Outstanding Athlete Awards and to review recipients since 1995.
Several hundred parents, siblings and grandparents experienced a slice of life as a Coe student Sept. 22-24 during Family Weekend. Traveling near and far, about 140 families participated in this year's activities.
In addition to the usual campus tours, receptions and athletic contests, dozens of Family Weekend guests observed the fifth annual Coe PlayWalk. Six short plays and monologues written by members of the Coe community were performed with the campus as a backdrop. While the plays were unrelated, each featured three elements: a map, the number five and the line "Don't worry, I'm trained for this."
The weekend's biggest attraction was the family tailgate before Coe's football game with Simpson College. Dozens of Kohawks and their families endured temperatures in the 90s while filling up on burgers and brats before the big game.
Check out our Facebook page to view photos captured throughout the weekend.
Join this unique group of working professionals of Coe alumni in the Creative Corridor. Formed by a steering committee of alumni volunteers, this group is focused on three core values:
Coe Corridor Network hosts a variety of events throughout the year including networking lunches, socials throughout the Corridor and opportunities to meet with current students, faculty and staff. These events are for Kohawks who want to gain and strengthen connections in the Corridor area. For more information and to register for upcoming lunches, socials and community engagement activities, check the Alumni Events page.
Join this group on Facebook to connect with fellow alums and get reminder updates about meetings and events, like a networking event for Coe alumni and students Nov. 7 and a lunch meeting with President David McInally on Nov. 14.
If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni Office at 319-399-8561 or email email@example.com.