E-News - February 7, 2023

Coe College E-News — Updates and information for alumni, parents and friends of Coe


Thanks for taking the all-alumni survey!

We are so thankful for those of you who shared your Coe experience through our all-alumni survey recently. In total, there were 1,046 Kohawks who participated! An extra shoutout goes to our graduates from the 1970s, who were the decade with the highest participation at 209 alumni. 

Five alumni were randomly selected from the pool of participants to receive a $25 Kohawk Shop gift card. Congratulations to our winners, Amy McInerny Anderson ’96, Michaelle Davids ’03, Tim Kistler ’77, Madison Knupp ’20 and Brent O’Rourke ’08.

But we’re sure you’re wondering… what comes next?

The Office of Alumni Engagement is collaborating with economics and data science major Toby Lister ’24 to take in your answers and learn how we can serve you better. 

“The data analysis and visualization skills that I have gained from the economics and science courses I have taken at Coe have allowed me to contribute greatly to this project,” said the Spellman Research Fellow. “They’ve taught me how to be able to use data to tell a story through analysis and visuals, which is an invaluable skill since data is everywhere.”

This project not only allows Lister to continue building his applied skills, but is also a great way to support Coe and help the college grow even after he graduates.

We will be sharing more about what we’ve learned from the alumni community in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Bob Kendrick

Coe College's Contemporary Issues Forum hosting Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick

Historian and non-profit leader Bob Kendrick will speak at Coe College as the featured guest of the 19th K. Raymond Clark Contemporary Issues Forum. His visit will be Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium on Coe’s campus and is open to the public.

Kendrick is a community leader in the Kansas City area, and was appointed president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in 2011. Founded in 1990, the NLBM is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America.

While working as a journalist with the Kansas City Star, Kendrick began his association with the NLBM as a volunteer. He developed the advertising concept and campaign that helped attract more than 10,000 people to see the debut of the museum’s first traveling exhibit in the summer of 1993. The success of that promotion led to an appointment to the museum’s board of directors, eventually becoming the museum’s first director of marketing in 1998. Now, as president, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations and the development and implementation of strategies to advance the mission of the not-for-profit organization. Since 2011, he has helped orchestrate a nearly $20 million turnaround that has helped the NLBM regain its vitality and financial stability.

As a leading authority on Negro Leagues baseball history and its connection to issues relating to sports, race and diversity, Kendrick has been a contributing writer for Ebony magazine and the National Urban League’s Opportunity magazine. In 2021, Kendrick teamed with SiriusXM Radio to create and host the acclaimed national podcast, “Black Diamonds.” The podcast was named the 2021 “Sports Podcast of the Year” by Adweek.

Other accolades include the Mary Lona Diversity Award from the Greater Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce and “Citizen of the Year” from the Omicron Xi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. In 2009, The Kansas City Globe named Kendrick to the paper’s list of “100 Most Influential African-Americans in Greater Kansas City.” He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Kansas City Call newspaper named him the “Person of the Year” in 2020.

Tickets may be purchased online or by phone at 319-399-8600. The event is free for Coe students, faculty and staff, while ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for non-Coe students and seniors. Virtual tickets are also available at coecollege.ticketleap.com/cif2023.

Established by the late K. Raymond Clark '30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. The forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Polish President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau, ecology expert Jared Diamond, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy George Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning global health expert Laurie Garrett, legendary soccer player Abby Wambach, leading commentator on race Jelani Cobb, environmentalists and social entrepreneurs Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews, astrophysicist Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, director of the MIT AgeLab Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen.

George Henry holds a camera while taking a self photograph

A look back for the 100th birthday of George Henry '49

Legend of Coe George Henry ’49 celebrated his 100th birthday in January. If you missed it on social media, his party featured a special guest in the form of Charlie Kohawk! During his life, he documented over 50 years of Coe’s history and left an enduring visual legacy for the college. To see some of his images and hear more about his life and work, check out why George Henry is considered a true legend of Coe. Happy birthday, George!

What are your memories like of the library on campus? Stewart Memorial Library is more than just a place of studying for current Kohawks. Check out everything that the library at Coe can offer.

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Stang family honors their mother's memory

In July, Coe College lost a beloved mentor, musician and friend with the passing of Sharon Kay Stang. To honor her life and impact on Coe’s music program, her children Kristin and Jeff, along with their families, have established a fund in Sharon Kay’s name. 

A piano prodigy from the age of five, Sharon Kay shared her wit, kindness and devotion with her friends and students at Coe for over 40 years. To continue her legacy, the Sharon Kay Stang Endowed Scholarship will provide support for students studying and participating in piano and music at Coe College. The award will pay fees for required private piano lessons for a first-year or sophomore student(s) meeting the selection criteria.

Sharon Kay Stang, the inaugural Velma J. MacMillan Endowed Professor of Piano, served as recruiting coordinator for the music department for 22 years, bringing countless talented individuals into the music program, and actively collaborated on hundreds of recitals, masterclasses and auditions. One of her favorite personal memories was taking part in the Kedron Konsort with Professors Emeriti Margie and Robert Marrs, which toured and performed in China, Hong Kong and Japan in 1995. Upon her retirement in 2014, Professor Emeritus Allan Kellar wrote that Sharon Kay was “one of those salt-of-the-earth strong mentor-and-teacher figures that students and faculty come to depend on for constancy and consistency.”

Outside of Coe, Sharon Kay was heavily involved in the music world and a recognized talent. She served as an adjudicator for regional and state piano competitions and senior auditions chair for the Iowa Music Teachers National Association, maintained private studios, was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society in 1999 and became a nationally certified teacher of music in piano by the Music Teachers National Association in 2015.

Sharon Kay is dearly missed by those who had the privilege to know her, but her name will not be forgotten by those impacted by her family’s generous award, nor by Coe. If you would like to contribute to the Sharon Kay Stang Endowed Scholarship’s ability to support more students, consider giving a gift to the fund.

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How to stay connected with Coe events

There is always something happening at Coe, including special guest speakers, theater and music productions and athletic events. Many of these events are not exclusive to students. Alumni can take part in the Kohawk experience — sometimes, from anywhere!

Athletic games taking place on Kohawk turf are always livestreamed, so be sure to check out the upcoming games this spring — face paint optional. 

The musical tones of Coe concerts can fill the halls of your home in addition to our auditoriums. This month offers the orchestra and choir concert and jazz summit for your listening on campus and livestreamed on the music department’s YouTube page.

Visit the calendar to find all other campus events available for alumni to attend, some for our Kohawks in the Cedar Rapids area and others for those across the state and country. February alone is filled with events like the next Marquis Series installation on February 17, Contemporary Issues Forum on February 28 and weekly Thursday Forum classes.

The January Admitted Student Weekend was filled with energy! But we still have plenty of enthusiasm left to share…virtual and in-person visit options are available in February and March. Visit www.coe.edu/visit to learn more or mention visiting to a student who might be a good fit.