Marv Levy '50 with Rick Coles '79
Coe’s own Marv Levy ’50 has plenty of accolades to his name, and he recently added one more. The legendary Buffalo Bills coach received the 2019 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) on Jan. 8.
An accomplished athlete during his days at Coe, Levy went on to earn his master’s degree from Harvard University. His coaching career took him all over the country, from his start at St. Louis Country Day School, back to Coe, then on to the University of New Mexico, University of California-Berkeley and College of William and Mary. In 1969, Levy moved on to the NFL, serving as the kicking teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles for one year. From there, he coached special teams for the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins. Levy then spent several seasons with the Canadian Football League as the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes before returning to the NFL in 1978 as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs for five seasons.
After a couple of years with the United States Football League, Levy became the head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 1986 and spent 11 seasons with the team. During that time, he led the Bills to six AFC Eastern Division titles, four straight AFC Championships and four straight Super Bowl appearances. Levy himself was named AFC Coach of the Year three times and was NFL Coach of the Year in 1988. By the time he retired after the 1997 season, he had led the team to an unprecedented 112 wins.
With his impressive coaching career, it’s no surprise Levy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. It is also fitting that he received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, which the AFCA grants to the “individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football.” Amos Alonzo Stagg played a major role in founding the AFCA in the 1920s and is credited with many innovations that made the game of football what it is today.
Levy is as much a legend in the Coe community as he is in the world of football. He received the Alumni Award of Merit in 1972, was inducted into the Coe Athletics Hall of Fame in 1973 and was awarded Coe’s highest honor, the Founders’ Medal, in 2017. Levy is a loyal and supportive Kohawk through and through, and Coe congratulates him on his latest well-deserved honor.
Alumni and friends gathered in Omaha for the Coe vs. Creighton men's basketball game
Coe alumni are everywhere, and we love when they get together! Alumni in cities across the country are uniting Kohawks by holding events to celebrate their Coe pride.
In November, Katie McGuire Graham ’86 hosted an alumni event at Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in the Des Moines area, where 30 alumni gathered for some Coe trivia. Rookies is owned by Amanda Messer Gomes ’03 and her husband, who were excited to combine their two worlds for this event.
For the Coe vs. Creighton basketball game in Omaha, Lucas Novotny ’08 hosted a gathering where roughly 50 alumni, parents and friends got together for appetizers and drinks before heading to the arena to cheer on the Kohawks. “I love the opportunity to stay involved with the Coe community,” Novotny said. “Something as simple as grabbing a little pre-game food and beverage helps me feel connected to my alma mater. The Coe vs. Creighton game was a special confluence of work and life for me. To be able to be involved and connect with Kohawks while they played my employer – Creighton University – was a unique and extremely enjoyable night that re-instilled the pride I have in being a Kohawk. It was great to be surrounded by so many other alumni and friends on a special night of national TV for ol’ Coe College in Cedar Rapids. Thanks to all who came, and thanks to Coe for the opportunity to host.”
Did you know you can host a Coe get-together in your city, and the alumni office will help you? We are happy to send you a box of Coe swag to have on display as well as take registrations and payment, if needed. If you would like to plan an event in your city, contact the alumni office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caitlin McKendry Gursky '17 showing off her new Coe swag
Thanks to everyone who completed Update Your Info from our December E-News and congrats to Caitlin McKendry Gursky '17, the winner of the drawing! We always welcome updates, so if you missed it in December or now have new information that doesn’t match what is listed on your record, fill out this form and tell us about it.
We want to hear from you! We are in our final stages of collecting information about where you have landed since graduation. If you haven't already done so, please share your updates with us using this link to our First Destination Survey. The first 15 responses from the Class of 2018 will be mailed a Coe bottle opener, and all who complete this survey by Feb. 8 will be entered into a second drawing to win a Coe sweatshirt. It's raining Coe swag - make sure you get some of it! Current students will be calling during the week of Feb. 11 to those who haven't responded so we can complete our data collection.
Despite the frigid Iowa weather, the Coe community enjoyed a fascinating talk from astrophysicist Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell at the 16th annual Contemporary Issues Forum. Watch the video below for highlights from her presentation about her discovery of pulsars.
Mark your calendars and get excited, Kohawks! Coe's annual Day of Giving is Thursday, April 11. Want to get involved? Contact Coe Fund Director Mary Springer at email@example.com to learn how you can spread Kohawk pride on April 11. Visit alumni.coe.edu/KohawkDay for unfolding details.
Coe's Virtual Reality Lab
Step into Coe College Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Ben Chihak’s virtual reality world. Literally...step into it. Through their research, Chihak and his students ask participants to step in front of virtual bicyclists careening down a path. The goal? Safely cross between two bicycles. If you misjudge your steps, you’ll be run over by a team of virtual unapologetic cyclists. After all, you’re in their world now.
Kohawks work in tandem with Chihak studying perceptual psychology — psychology concerned specifically with fundamental aspects of the human cognitive system. To simplify it, Chihak and his students are performing graduate-level research at Coe to gain an understanding of how the human visual system processes information to safely cross the road (or in this case, a bike path).
Students help Chihak perform applied research focused on developing appropriate safety measures, such as having more and/or specific bike lanes and considering the effectiveness of road-crossing training programs in schools. Their theoretical research focuses on reviewing the existing theories of how organisms make their way through the world and all of the elements involved.
During spring term 2018, Coe students had the opportunity to work in tandem with Chihak in theory development, data collection and analysis. Last fall, Kohawks started digging into theoretical issues, testing movement control theories and designing scenarios to perform studies. James Bordwell ’21 attended a conference with Chihak in New Orleans where he was able to present research he performed at Coe and field questions from other researchers. “Overall, my greatest takeaway from the experience was an appreciation for the scope of the psychological community and an awareness that there are others out there who share our curiosity for exploring human behavior and cognition,” said Bordwell.
“The opportunity to participate in this research benefits all students, not just those planning to attend graduate school,” Chihak said. “Students coming from liberal arts institutions tend to have writing experience; it's not often that they get this level of research experience during their undergraduate studies. That’s what sets Coe apart — many students have presented their work in a public forum before they graduate.”
Cirque Zuma Zuma
Coe College is proud to host Cirque Zuma Zuma — a theatrical circus exhibition featuring talented performers from 16 African nations. This production celebrates the rich history of African music, dance and acrobatics, dating back over 2,500 years.
Performers fill the stage with mysticism and magic, infusing acrobatics, mime work and stunts with colorful costumes and dramatic lighting. Two key components of the show include the traditional Zulu Reed and Gumboot dances.
Cirque Zuma Zuma competed in the sixth season of “America’s Got Talent” and made it to the semifinals round with their adrenaline-fueled routine of acrobatic and pole tricks. Additional elements of their show include human pyramids, hoops diving, foot juggling, balancing and contortionism.
This show is open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 in Sinclair Auditorium on the Coe College campus. Tickets may be purchased online at www.coe.edu/box-office or by phone at 319.399.8600. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for non-Coe students and seniors.
To celebrate World Singing Day on Oct. 20, people from across the globe got together to share their love of singing. A group of Coe students took part in the event, and are featured (twice!) in the World Singing Day montage video. Click below to hear the collective performance of "From Now On" from The Greatest Showman.
Upcoming Alumni Events
February 9 - Alumni Basketball Games 2019
The Coe College Basketball program has an exciting day of basketball planned for Saturday, Feb. 9. Basketball alumni will be playing a men's and women's game, and all are encouraged to come and watch.
March 3-4 - Coe Externship Networking Receptions 2019
The Coe College Alumni Office and the Center for Creativity and Careers are bringing over 20 Kohawks to Kansas City for the third annual Externship program. This trip is a chance for students to visit various companies and learn what it's like to work in a variety of industries. Equally valuable are two networking receptions where students get to meet our Coe alumni. Please join us on Sunday, March 3 and/or Monday, March 4 and meet some current Kohawks, share your career path and highlight Kansas City!
March 21 - Sip & Socialize Spring 2019
Join us for what has become one of Coe's greatest networking events! Come have fun meeting and networking with alumni, students and faculty! Light appetizers will be provided and a cash bar will be available for attendees.
Thursday Forum - CRISPR Technology and the Brave New World of Genetic Engineering
Thursday, January 23, 2020
8:45 AM - 11:30 AM
What is CRISPR and how does it work? In this two-week forum, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology Patricia Storlie will take you behind the hype in order to understand and be more informed about this exciting breakthrough and new biotechnology tool
Friday, January 24, 2020
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Physics & Pre-Engineering Showcase
Friday, January 24, 2020
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
This is a unique opportunity for prospective students to learn more about the physics and pre-engineering program at Coe.