Coe College E-News

December 1, 2016

Vote Heitland
Coe running back named semifinalist for Gagliardi Trophy

Gagliardi Trophy finalist Trevor Heitland '17 had a career-high 251 yards on 50 carries in Coe's 21-14 first-round playoff win over Monmouth on Nov. 19. The Coe College football team celebrated the fifth Iowa Conference Championship in school history after beating Simpson 47-29 on Nov. 12.
Gagliardi Trophy finalist Trevor Heitland '17 had a career-high 251 yards on 50 carries in Coe's 21-14 first-round playoff win over Monmouth on Nov. 19. The Coe College football team celebrated the fifth Iowa Conference Championship in school history after beating Simpson 47-29 on Nov. 12.

Kohawk running back Trevor Heitland '17 has been selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, which goes to the top football student-athlete in NCAA Division III.

The Iowa Conference Offensive MVP led the nation in all-purpose yards through the regular season (217.6 per game) and finished second in rushing yards (1,619) and ninth in touchdowns (18). Heitland had a career-high 251 yards on 50 carries in Coe's 21-14 first-round playoff win over Monmouth on Nov. 19. He had 42 yards on 24 carries and a team-high five receptions for 37 yards in a 55-6 second-round playoff loss to St. Thomas on Saturday. He finished the season with a school record 317 carries for 1,913 yards, the second most in school history.

Heitland contributes to Meals on Wheels, the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Read Across America and various youth football camps.

The Gagliardi Trophy, given annually since 1993 and to Coe's Carey Bender '95 in 1994, recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service. In its message to the voting panel, the Gagliardi Trophy administration reminded voters: "The Gagliardi Trophy is a football award but incorporates the philosophy of the well-rounded student-athlete."

The 40-member Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee reviews the credentials, ranks the candidates 1-10 and casts their votes. Fan balloting, which is available on, accounts for the 41st ballot. Fans will be permitted to cast one ballot per device through Noon CT on Dec. 5.

The 16th ranked Kohawks are the first team in school history to win 11 games and just the third to advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. After completing a perfect regular season with a 47-29 win over Simpson on Nov. 12, the Kohawks celebrated with a timely performance of the viral Internet video trend, Mannequin Challenge.

In addition to Heitland, Coe defensive back Dylan Stepleton '17 was named Defensive MVP and first-year Head Coach Tyler Staker '06 was named Coach of the Year as Coe swept the top Iowa Conference football awards. Offensive lineman Dalton Kuehl '19 and defensive linemen Robbie Peters '18 and Drew Heitland '18 were also first-team all-conference selections. Second-team honors went to defensive back Austin Troendle '17, linebacker Ryan Leonard '17, offensive lineman Zak Ranshaw '18 and quarterback Gavin Glenn '17. Coe's honorable mention honorees were defensive lineman Andrew Netolicky '17, linebacker Nick Elsbury '17, offensive linemen BJ Weepie '18 and Jacob Langenberg '18, and kicker Brandon Abbas '17.

Follow the Kohawk action at

Coe students pitch military care package service to investors

Sergeant Sender creators (left to right) Caitlin McKendry '17, Patricia Ochs '16 and Northern Ireland exchange student Hayley Carmont were selected to pitch their eCommerce website at Innovation EXPO 2016.
Sergeant Sender creators (left to right) Caitlin McKendry '17, Patricia Ochs '16 and Northern Ireland exchange student Hayley Carmont were selected to pitch their eCommerce website at Innovation EXPO 2016.

An idea hatched by three Coe business students in an entrepreneurship class won a chance to compete for investors at Innovation EXPO 2016.

Caitlin McKendry '17 of Union Grove, Wisconsin, Patricia Ochs '16 of Cedar Rapids and Northern Ireland exchange student Hayley Carmont of Belfast were one of 10 teams selected to pitch their eCommerce website Sergeant Sender at Iowa's largest entrepreneurial event on Oct. 26 in Cedar Rapids. Sergeant Sender provides personalized care packages for U.S. military men and women stationed overseas.

Innovation EXPO drew a crowd of nearly 670 entrepreneurs, inventors, investors, business and community leaders from across the Iowa to the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex. The EXPO was comprised of multiple events that provided educational and networking opportunities for Iowa-based, high-growth-potential businesses of all stages.

In addition to pitching their idea at the PitchLab, the Sergeant Sender team was one of 98 Iowa-based exhibitors at the event's Entrepreneur Showcase.

"Our experience during the PitchLab presentation was nerve-wrecking to say the least," Ochs said. "Once we started going, we quickly found our flow and ended up giving the best presentation we have given as a team, so far."

The Sergeant Sender team received excellent feedback from the panel of four judges, who suggested they find outside resources and begin partnerships with places like Walmart, Sam's Club and Costco. "They think this can go viral and we should prepare for a huge amount of orders," Ochs said.

Sergeant Sender began in early September in the entrepreneurship class taught by Associate Professor of Business Administration and Economics Jay Chen. The team applied to the Innovation EXPO after Entrepreneurial Development Center Marketing Director Christie Remley spoke to the class.

Sergeant Sender launched on Oct. 7 and the first order was shipped Oct. 11. "This is an idea and mission we strongly believe in and we hope to make a difference in the lives of our military so we can decrease the amount of suicides our veterans and active duty members commit," Ochs said.

Click here to follow Sergeant Sender on Facebook.

Hunt wins history paper prize

Coe History Professor Brie Swenson Arnold (Ieft) presented Coe student Mari Hunt '17 with the prize for the Best Undergraduate Paper in History at the recent Northern Great Plains History Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Coe History Professor Brie Swenson Arnold (Ieft) presented Coe student Mari Hunt '17 with the prize for the Best Undergraduate Paper in History at the recent Northern Great Plains History Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Mari Hunt '17 won the prize for best paper presented by an undergraduate at the Northern Great Plains History Conference on Sept. 16 in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Hunt, of Marion, Iowa, won the prize, worth $400 from the sponsors, for her paper entitled "First Morning of Their Freedom: Fugitive Slaves and the Union Army in Missouri," which looked at the ways slaves manipulated the dynamics of wartime Missouri and worked with the Union Army to forge their freedom. Her presentation, in the session entitled "Non-Military Personnel in Military History," drew praise from the audience for both her work and her professional poise.

The Society for Military History and the First Division Museum at Cantigny in Wheaton, Illinois, have partnered to create and present the awards for excellence in research to the next generation of military historians to encourage them in their careers.

Click here for the complete news release.

Five named Clark Merit Scholars

Clark Merit Scholars for 2016-17 are (left to right) Qierra Brockman '18, Sean Donaldson '17, Brenna Deerberg '17, Gibson Odderstol '17 and Ben Jacobson '17.
Clark Merit Scholars for 2016-17 are (left to right) Qierra Brockman '18, Sean Donaldson '17, Brenna Deerberg '17, Gibson Odderstol '17 and Ben Jacobson '17.

Five Coe students have been chosen as Clark Merit Scholars for the 2016-17 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 Qierra Brockman '18 of Aurora, Colorado, a junior majoring in molecular biology with minors in chemistry and religion; Brenna Deerberg '17 of Iowa City, Iowa, a senior majoring in environmental studies and economics with a minor in philosophy; Student Senate Vice President Sean Donaldson '17 of Aurora, Illinois, a senior majoring in history with a minor in secondary education; Ben Jacobson '17 of Ottosen, Iowa, a senior majoring in biology and neuroscience with a minor in chemistry; and Gibson Odderstol '17 of Park Ridge, Illinois, a senior majoring in religion and political science.

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.

Alumni join trustees

Doug Eden '77
Mary Cook Jorgenson '80 Beth Cook '98 Doug Hyde '74 John Strohm '79
Doug Eden '77 Mary Cook
Jorgenson '80
Beth Cook '98 Doug Hyde '74 John Strohm '79


Doug Eden '77 and Mary Cook Jorgenson '80 have been installed as the newest members of the Coe Board of Trustees. In addition, Beth Cook '98 has joined the board as president of the Coe College Alumni Council. In recognition of their extraordinary board service and dedication to Coe, John Strohm '79 and Doug Hyde '74 were given life trustee status.

After a successful and multi-faceted career at Cargill, Eden founded Eden Business Advisors to consult directly with CEOs of privately held companies.

Eden leveraged his economics and business degrees from Coe to have oversight and successfully lead 12 different businesses during his 37-year career at Cargill. His work experience includes roles in accounting, finance, futures/options trading, risk management, sales management and plant general management. Eden's leadership agility was shaped through 12 different location assignments including eight years combined in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales; Australia and Bangkok, Thailand, where he was chairman of Cargill Siam and Cargill Vietnam.

Throughout his career, Eden has served on and chaired numerous profit and not-for-profit boards and associations. His affiliation with Coe runs deep in his family. He is a native of Cedar Rapids and his mother and two of his brothers also graduated from Coe. Eden was a member of the tennis team at Coe and is still quite active playing tennis on numerous USTA teams where he has competed at the national level.

Eden currently splits his time between his homes in Edina, Minnesota and Long Boat Key, Florida with his wife, Willie.

Jorgenson graduated cum laude with a degree in English and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. She taught at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City, before devoting herself full time to raising her children and volunteer community service. She has served extensively as a lay leader in the Presbyterian Church (USA), most recently on the national board for Presbyterian Women including three years as the national moderator.

Jorgenson currently serves on the board for Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri; United Inner City Services (home of St Mark Child and Family Development Center); and Starlight Theater in Kansas City.

She lives in Kansas City with her husband, Mark Jorgenson '79. They have four children, including Molly Jorgenson '11.

Cook is originally from Denver and now lives in Chicago. She has over 18 years of experience in human resources and is currently the head of HR for Global Oil Americas with BP in the Integrated Supply and Trading segment of the organization. She has worked for an array of industries from technical consulting companies to law firms, most recently Mayer Brown LLP, prior to coming to BP.

Cook graduated from Coe with a double major in business administration and psychology. She has been an active member of the Alumni Council since 2007.

Hyde is the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Oshkosh B'Gosh. He was instrumental in the company's decision to aggressively pursue the children's wear market in the late 1970s. He joined the company as a sales representative in 1975 and held various positions in the company, including vice president of merchandising and senior vice president of marketing. In 1991, he was elected president and CEO, and in 1993, he also assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. Prior to his employment with Oshkosh B'Gosh, he worked at Sundstrand Aerospace as a contract administrator.

Hyde lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and Boca Grande, Florida with his wife, Chrys Grafrath Hyde '74. In addition to being an enthusiastic longtime supporter of Coe, he is a past board President of the Oshkosh Boys & Girls Club, where he mentors youths and has raised funds for the building of their Teen Center and many programs.

Strohm is a founding and managing partner of Farrell-Roeh Group, a family-owned private investment company formed in the late 1990s. Farrell-Roeh has investment interests in a wide array of opportunities, including private equity, mezzanine financing, distressed debt, tax liens mobile home communities and commercial real estate. In addition, Strohm was a co-founder of and served as CFO of Interlink Group until a majority interest in the company was sold to Texas Pacific Group in 2000. Interlink Group was reacquired by Strohm and others in 2002 and subsequently sold to EMC Corp. in 2006.

John and his two sisters, Tara Strohm '79 and Nina Strohm Golden '79, are all graduates of Coe, as is Nina's husband, John Golden '76. John Strohm graduated with a degree in business administration and went on to earn an MBA from the University of Iowa in 1981. He was licensed as a CPA in 1982. John and his wife, Mary Pat Link, live in Englewood, Colorado. They have four children, including Kristin Strohm '05 and Kelly Strohm '13.

John and Mary Pat have been especially supportive of Kohawk athletics for many years, including leadership gifts in a number of visionary capital projects and generously establishing an endowed fund that supports a number of programs such as annually providing awards to the top three male and female athletes at Coe. The annual Barron Bremner Outstanding Athlete Awards are named in honor of his wrestling coach at Coe.

More information about the board, including trustee profiles, is available here.

Claus with a cause
Charities benefit from Nugent's Santa act

Ruth and John Nugent '63 spread Christmas spirit by appearing as Santa and Mrs. Claus while raising money for charities.
Ruth and John Nugent '63 spread Christmas spirit by appearing as Santa and Mrs. Claus while raising money for charities.

With a neatly trimmed white beard and a generous nature, John Nugent '63 seems as if he was born to be Santa Claus. But his beard wasn’t so white in 1989 when a client of his temporary staffing service company sought a Santa for an employee Christmas party.

Over 25 years later, Nugent and his wife, Ruth, have made countless appearances throughout southeast Wisconsin as Santa and Mrs. Claus while raising money for the causes they support.

"As we move into later years here, I look like a better Santa Claus because my hair is all white and the beard is matching," Nugent said. "When I started back in the '80s, my beard was kind of multi-colored. But that didn't stop me."

Now retired, Nugent was president and owner of Flexi-Force Staffing Services from 1967 to 1991. In 1989, the Robert A. Johnston Cookie Company asked his company to find someone to appear as Santa at its employee Christmas party. Nugent took the assignment himself and enjoyed the interaction with children so much, he bought a costume while returning the rental Santa suit.

Nugent reprised his Santa role at a Christmas party for The Women's Center of Waukesha, where Ruth was a volunteer. Soon after he convinced Ruth, a former second grade teacher, to join him.

"Mrs. Clause could answer the really tough questions from the kids like, 'Who's your favorite elf?'" Nugent said.

Together, they appeared at The Women's Center party for 15 years and began visiting area nursing homes and agencies that worked with children with physical and learning disabilities. "That continues to this day," Nugent said. "There are several places that we go to each year."

Nugent said it is rewarding to see parents react to the twinkle he often prompts in the eyes of their sons and daughters. "That gives you a good warm fuzzy feeling," he said.

Quiet by nature since even in his Lambda Chi Alpha days at Coe, Nugent said playing Santa helps bring him out of his shell. "I find that I'm a little bit more gregarious when I'm hiding in the red suit than I normally would be," he said.

In addition to having his beard pulled by children, Nugent was invited to a woman's room for a drink while appearing at a nursing home. "I said, 'Oh, I'd better ask Mrs. Claus,'" he said.

While he wears a wig, because his hair isn't long enough, Nugent's beard is genuine. "I let my beard grow quite a bit from Labor Day on until after Christmas," he said.

Other than free dinners at Michael's House of Prime, their favorite restaurant near their Pewaukee home, the Nugents have never accepted payment for their appearances as Santa and Mrs. Claus. Instead, they encourage clients to donate to charities like The Women's Center, Milwaukee Rescue Mission and, more recently, Hope Center in Waukesha.

"It's just given us a lot of joy to be able to give back a little bit and make some other people happy," Nugent said.

Over the last decade, Nugent estimates they've raised around $600 per year for their charities. "I guess if you put that all together, you're talking about some serious help, maybe, for some of these organizations that can always use extra funds," he said.

Nugent's generosity is no surprise at Coe, where he and Ruth established the Nugent Opportunity Scholarship in 2004 for students who might not ordinarily qualify for merit-based scholarships. "It was my way of kind of giving back," said Nugent, who got a second chance at Coe after a failed first year at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

New performance arena taking shape

Winter sports are underway at Coe as wrestling and men's and women's basketball have begun their final season in Eby Fieldhouse. By this time next year, Kohawks will be competing in the new performance arena and competition court being built as part of the new Athletic and Recreation Complex. Click here for a video update of the construction.

In addition to the performance arena, the project includes a fitness center and bridge joining the Eby addition to Clark Racquet Center above College Drive, a new wrestling room and façade around the southern and eastern faces of the natatorium, and renovation of Eby and Clark Racquet Center. The outdoor track has been resurfaced and Clark Field seating was expanded as part of the project.

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, $2.55 million has been contributed to unlock $1.27 million for the college. Now is the time to make your move and make it happen for Coe!

Fall Courier features Coe's wilderness outpost

A changing of the guard at Coe's Wilderness Field Station near Ely, Minnesota, is the cover story for the upcoming fall issue of the Courier. Honored by the creation of an endowment in his name that strengthens Coe’s Northwoods future, Heins-Johnson Professor of Biology Harlo Hadow has passed leadership to Assistant Professor of Biology Jesse Ellis.

The issue also includes:

  • Coe's contribution to efforts to protect Cedar Rapids from a threatening flood with an eloquent description by Ben Kaplan '10 of the love that develops between Kohawks and Coe's perfect college town.
  • Complete coverage of Homecoming 2016, including reunions, alumni awards and Hall of Fame inductions.
  • And more.

Visit the Courier online at

Season of Giving

Please remember Coe College during this season of giving. All gifts to the Coe Fund impact the lives of students by addressing the immediate needs of the college and support vital initiatives and financial aid packages. If you have already made your gift this year please accept our sincere gratitude, for the Coe College experience would not be the same without your support!

If you would like to support Coe students in the upcoming year, there is still time. Please make your gift before Dec. 31 to be eligible for your 2016 tax deduction. Visit our secure online giving site at or contact Coe Fund Director Mary Springer at or by phone 319-399-8569.

Christmas celebrated at upcoming Coe College programs

Cleebrate Christmas at Coe with Christmas Convocation and Vespers

Christmas will be celebrated at Coe College's annual Christmas Convocation and Christmas Vespers on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Both events will feature the Coe College Chorale and other musical ensembles. The Christmas Convocation will begin at 11 a.m., with a repeat program held as Christmas Vespers at 7:30 p.m., both in Sinclair Auditorium. The celebrations are free and open to the public, with a Wassail reception following each service.

The Coe Chorale, directed by Assistant Professor of Music Loralee Songer, will perform traditional anthems and special Christmas music during the programs. Conducted by MacMillan Assistant Professor of Piano Brett Wolgast, the Coe Handbell Ensemble will also perform. In addition, a Coe Concert Band percussion ensemble and brass quartet will provide instrumental accompaniment. Many Coe students will be featured with vocal and instrumental solos.

The services follow the grand British Lessons and Carols tradition and are patterned after that of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England. In the services, hymns and carols are used in place of psalms and canticles. Through the message of the scriptures and verses of the carols and anthems, participants are given a beautiful perspective on the meaning of the Christmas season.

Both the Christmas Convocation and the Christmas Vespers will include the story of Jesus' birth presented in lessons read throughout the presentation by Coe College Chaplain Kristin Hutson, as well as students, faculty and staff members. Audience members will be invited to join in singing several of the Christmas hymns and carols, including the traditional favorites.

The Coe College Music Department, Office of the Chaplain and Office of the President are co-sponsoring the services. For more information, please call 319-399-8605. If you are unable to attend either program in person, you can access the Christmas Convocation webcast at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, by clicking here.

For a complete calendar events at Coe, click here.