Coe College E-News

October 31, 2017

Former Coe athlete supports facility upgrades

Dave Lusson '87
Dave Lusson '87

Dave Lusson '87 became intimately familiar with Eby Fieldhouse during his time at Coe. That's why he's a proud supporter of Make Your Move – the Campaign for Eby and Hickok.

"Eby Fieldhouse was kind of a dungeon back in those days," said Lusson, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Diamond V, a Cedar Rapids-based producer and marketer of animal nutrition products. "What incredible progress Coe has made with the new facility."

Lusson was among dozens of donors recognized Oct. 13 at the dedication of the newly completed Athletics and Recreation Complex (ARC). For his leadership gift, Lusson was honored with the naming of the first floor lobby outside of Kohawk Arena.

The $21 million project has provided Coe with a comprehensive, 200,000-square-foot complex. Click here to see the scope of the renovation and addition.

The project included renovation of 87-year-old Eby, including conversion of the old gymnasium and wrestling area into a multi-purpose court for recreational sports and varsity practices. New dedicated locker rooms for several sports, along with two visiting team locker rooms, were constructed in the lower level of Eby.

"I certainly spent a lot of time at Eby over my four years, mostly downstairs as I readied for either football practice or indoor/outdoor track practice," Lusson said.

The project also included enhancements to Clark Field, home to Kohawk football and outdoor track and field since 1989, two years after Lusson graduated. In his day, running on the short indoor track in the Eby basement was "certainly an art" and outdoor track practice included a "warmup jog" to the Franklin Middle School track and a "cool down jog" back to Coe. Home football games were played on the Marion High School field. Lusson had a job one summer monitoring the weight room housed in an Eby classroom.

"During my day, the athletic facilities were in line with the times … not taking my breath away, by any means … but still a lot more than I had in high school," he said.

Lusson was a member of three Midwest Conference championship track and field teams – indoor in 1985 and 1986 and outdoor in 1984. He was a cornerback on Kohawk football teams that shared the conference championship in 1984 and 1985, when Coe reached the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time.

"It wasn't like today," Lusson said. "We were just happy to play."

Noting that student-athletes are bigger, faster and stronger now, Lusson is proud to see Coe's facilities keeping pace. Progress through growth – a core value at Diamond V – is also being practiced at Coe, he said.

"Athletics are much more competitive," Lusson said. "If you want to stay relevant, you've got to aim to stay in the front pack."

You can join Lusson to help keep Kohawk athletics in the front pack 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, $4.1 million has been contributed to unlock $2.05 million for the college. Now is the time to make your move and make it happen for Coe! Visit today.

Filling blank pages
Herink grateful for Coe's liberal arts focus

Click the video above to watch Trustee Kent Herink '76 reflect on his time at Coe and the impact the college has had on his life. You can show you also value your Coe experience with a year-end gift to the Coe Fund here.

Tradition never graduates: Homecoming 2017

Never mind the rain – from performances at the Homecoming Showcase Concert to celebrating the career of Alumni Programs Director Jean Johnson to reunion gatherings and presenting Golden Alumni pins to the class of 1967, Kohawk pride was on display at Homecoming 2017.

While wet weather forced the cancelation of the parade and prompted several events to be moved indoors, those who returned home to Coe participated in a memorable celebration and experienced a vibrant campus community. Additionally, the Alumni Association raised over $12,000 at a silent auction to support scholarships and off-campus study.

Plan now to attend next year's Homecoming celebration on Sept. 27-30.

Nominations sought for alumni awards, Hall of Fame

The Coe College Alumni Association honors alumni and friends who have made significant contributions to the college and to society. Nominations should be submitted by Feb. 1 for consideration for the Alumni Award of Merit, the Distinguished Service Award and the Young Alum Award. Athletic Hall of Fame nominations are due March 1, with recipients selected by a committee of letterwinners. Information about all of the awards, including nomination forms and past recipients, is available here or contact the Alumni Office at (319) 399-8561, 1-877-KOHAWKS or by email at

Mathematics Professor Kent Herron, Ohio State University Professor Janet Box-Steffensmeier '88 and Cedar Rapids community leader Jack Evans '70 were honored by the Alumni Association at Homecoming.
Mathematics Professor Kent Herron, Ohio State University Professor Janet Box-Steffensmeier '88 and Cedar Rapids community leader Jack Evans '70 were honored by the Alumni Association at Homecoming.

Five named Clark Merit Scholars

Five Coe students have been chosen as Clark Merit Scholars for the 2017-18 school year. The award carries a prize equal to one year's tuition. Clark Merit Scholars are chosen each year by a committee of faculty and trustees based on demonstrated qualities of character, integrity, intellect, leadership and social responsibility, without regard to financial need.

This year's recipients are Garrett Bohach '18 of Spillville, Iowa, a senior majoring in computer science, physics and mathematics; Briana Gipson '19 of Park Forest, Illinois, a junior majoring in African American studies and economics with a minor in mathematics; Grant Henning '18 of DeWitt, Iowa, a senior majoring in biology, molecular biology and neuroscience; Hanna Koster '18 of Dubuque, Iowa, a senior majoring in physics and biochemistry; and Holly Wisnousky '18 of Fairfax, Iowa; a senior majoring in biology and neuroscience with minors in chemistry and German.

The Clark Merit Awards are funded by an endowment created in 1995 by Coe alumnus K. Raymond Clark '30. Clark's gratitude and loyalty to his alma mater were unequivocally and magnificently evidenced by his service as a member of Coe's Board of Trustees from 1966 until his death in 2005, and by his unparalleled record of personal giving to the institution. His gifts and commitments to Coe, which were in excess of $33.9 million, reflected Clark's high standards of quality. The Clark Racquet Center and Clark Field, the Clark Alumni House, the Contemporary Issues Forum and the Clark Endowment for Merit Awards have significantly enhanced the Coe educational experience and greatly strengthened the institution.

Clark Merit Scholars for 2017-18 are (left to right) Hanna Koster '18, Holly Wisnousky '18, Grant Henning '18, Garrett Bohach '18 and Briana Gipson '19.
Clark Merit Scholars for 2017-18 are (left to right) Hanna Koster '18, Holly Wisnousky '18, Grant Henning '18, Garrett Bohach '18 and Briana Gipson '19.

Katouc named grand marshal of Veterans Day parade

Seth Kotouc '04 has been named Grand Marshal of the Veterans Day parade on Nov. 4 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Kotouc served in the Army for 5-1/2 years and suffered a severed spine in a rocket attack during his deployment in Afghanistan in 2012.

Acclaimed journalist, author J. Malcolm Garcia to speak at Coe

J. Malcolm Garcia '79
J. Malcolm Garcia '79

Coe College will welcome acclaimed journalist and author J. Malcolm Garcia '79 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Perrine Gallery of Stewart Memorial Library. The Coe alumnus will discuss his latest book, "Without A Country: The Untold Story of America's Deported Veterans." The event is free and open to the public.

Garcia has written about the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Kosovo, Chad, Syria, Haiti, Argentina, Central America and the United States. In addition to his books he has published numerous articles – both fiction and non-fiction. Garcia routinely makes radio and television appearances to discuss his work.

In addition to speaking at Coe, Garcia has donated a collection of his works to the college archives. His publications will add important intellectual value to the archives as they cover the political events of the 21st century.

A prolific author, Garcia's publications cover a wide variety of contemporary topics, with a focus on war-torn areas of the world. Garcia reveals the people and pain behind the statistics in "What Wars Leave Behind." He writes about impoverished families scraping by in Cairo's city of the dead, ordinary Syrians pretending all is well as shells explode around them, and others caught in conflicts that rage long after the cameramen have packed up and gone away.

"The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul" was written with a focus on Afghanistan. Shortly after Sept. 11, Garcia, a self-described middle-aged, middle-of-the-road Midwesterner arrived in Afghanistan. A former social worker, he had only recently become a reporter and had never covered a war. As for Afghanistan, he barely knew where it was. But during the next seven years of travel between Kansas City and a post-Taliban Afghanistan, Garcia found an emotional and professional center—one that, in spite of other assignments and war reporting, drew him back to the region over and over again. Unlike fly-by reporters traveling through the country armed with a satellite phone and a ticket for the next flight to Islamabad, Garcia settled into Afghanistan learning its history, meeting its resilient people and occasionally making dreadful faux pas, but ultimately forging lifelong connections.

In "Riding through Katrina with the Red Baron's Ghost," Garcia merges his experiences during the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina with memories of his 30-year correspondence with the elderly author of a book about the Red Baron, a lifelong mentor whom Garcia had never met, and who might have been killed in the hurricane. The story is a beautiful interweaving of history, tragedy, personal fulfillment and intergenerational friendship.

The event is sponsored by Stewart Memorial Library at Coe College. For more information on the event, call 319-399-8024.

Coe presents the rousing musical "Leader of the Pack"

Coe College will present the rousing musical "Leader of the Pack," with performances scheduled for Nov. 3-5 and 9-11 in Dows Theatre. The performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of the Sunday, Nov. 5 show, which starts at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online here, at the door, or by calling the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A musical that looks back to a very different time in the U.S., "Leader of the Pack" centers on the life and work of one of the most successful songwriters of the 1950s, Ellie Greenwich. A rare woman amongst the male-dominated world of Tin Pan Alley, Greenwich was responsible for such hits as "Chapel of Love," "Hanky Panky" and, of course, "Leader of the Pack."

Written by Ellie Greenwich, Anne Beatts and Jack Heifner, "Leader of the Pack" is directed by Coe Theatre Professor Dennis Barnett and Music Professors Michelle Perrin Blair and Loralee Songer. The musical will feature Coe students on stage and in the orchestra, in a wonderful performing arts collaboration.

Of special note, an ASL interpreter will be available by request for deaf patrons for the matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 5. To request an interpreter, please contact Barnett at or 319-399-8689 during the week prior to the performance.

For more information, please call 319-399-8600 or visit

First-year students Annie Mons '21 (as Shelley), Belle Canney '21 (as Ellie Greenwich) and Carmen Chavez '21 (as Mickey) are featured in the upcoming Coe College production of "Leader of the Pack."
First-year students Annie Mons '21 (as Shelley), Belle Canney '21 (as Ellie Greenwich) and Carmen Chavez '21 (as Mickey) are featured in the upcoming Coe College production of "Leader of the Pack."

Upcoming alumni events

  • Nov. 7 – Sip and Socialize, 5-7 p.m. in Clark Alumni House. Join the Coe Corridor Network for a fun networking event with alumni, students and faculty. Light appetizers will be provided and a cash bar will be available.
  • Nov. 14 – Coe Corridor Network Meet-Up, 12-1 p.m. in Clark Alumni House. Join us for lunch and hear President David McInally share an update on the college and information on the strategic plan, A Bolder Coe. Lunch included for $10. Please register by Nov. 10.

For a complete list of upcoming events at Coe, click here.