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Sept. 26, 2011

DWU Blue & White Days to welcome back, celebrate alumni

Alumni awards, Opperman Lecture, science center groundbreaking to highlight weekend

MITCHELL — Last year’s homecoming celebrations were about Dakota Wesleyan University’s history; this year’s focuses on its future.

Blue & White Days is set for Saturday, Oct. 1, with the traditional parade and football game, but prior to that is an entire day and two nights of activities.

The Homecoming Choral Collage Concert will be on Friday night at the First United Methodist Church – which is a new event added this year and includes alumni singers, DWU students and community members. Also on Friday is the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center, followed by a picnic.

Homecoming weekend officially begins for alumni and friends on Thursday night, Sept. 29, with the Legacy Banquet. This dinner is held at 6 p.m. in the Sherman Center (reservation required), and honors donors and distinguished alumni.

Receiving distinguished alumni awards this year are Glenda (Kennedy) Corrigan ’64, for the Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences; Kent and the late Minnietta (Green) Millard, both class of 1963, for the College of Arts and Humanities; and Don and Gerry (Morris) Bohning, both class of 1955, for the College of Leadership and Public Service.

There are multiple things to keep alumni busy, from campus tours to alumni golf, to the class of 1971 reunion.

The annual Opperman Lecture will be given at 11 a.m., Friday by Fritz and Glenda (Kennedy) Corrigan, of Edina, Minn. Glenda Corrigan is a 1964 Dakota Wesleyan University alumna who has devoted her life to children, first as a teacher and later as a mother and grandmother. Their lecture is cheekily called “The White Bikini,” which is a nod to their own humor, as they describe how one white bikini set the course for their life together.

Glenda was born in West Liberty, Iowa.  She attended DWU, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964, and became a teacher. It was during her years teaching in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that she met Fredric “Fritz” Corrigan, and they married in 1969.  Fritz Corrigan was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1964. He worked for Cargill for 38 years before retiring as its executive vice president in order to become the founding CEO and president of The Mosaic Company, a large global producer of phosphate and potash fertilizers.

They have three married children, Amy Lincoln, Molly Cronin and Tom Corrigan, and six grandchildren. Family and education have always been important to the Corrigans. It is in the spirit of both that they chose to invest in the future of Dakota Wesleyan and its students, making a transformational gift of $5 million toward the new Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center, which is set to open fall 2013.

 “This extraordinary gift was one of two $5 million donations – both are the largest donations in the history of Dakota Wesleyan – and without them, we would still be in the dreaming stage for our new science building, instead of breaking ground this week,” said Amy Novak, DWU provost and executive vice president.

Also present will be DWU alumni Paul ’50 and Donna (Starr) ’51 Christen, Huron, who were the first to pledge toward the building, promising $5 million if DWU President Robert Duffett could raise the rest. The College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences has been renamed the Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences. The nursing department, which will be moved into the new facility, has become the Arlene Gates Department of Nursing, after Arlene Gates, of Mitchell, through a donation made possible by her husband, Ron Gates Sr., following her death this past spring.
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the $11.5 million Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center will be at noon, Friday, Sept. 30, at the far south end of McGovern Avenue, which is where the building will be erected.

Following the groundbreaking at 12:30 p.m. is a picnic on Jackson Plaza.

“We look around our beautiful campus and realize how much alumni have contributed, how much they have affected the experiences of our students, and it’s really amazing,” Novak said.

Friday evening’s events will include the Homecoming Choral Collage Concert, “A Grand Night for Singing,” at 7 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church.

“A Grand Night for Singing” will feature non-stop music from the Wesleyan Choir, Highlanders, Choral Union, Mitchell Area Children’s Choir, a special alumni choir and several student soloists. 

The combined choirs will perform Victoria’s double choir psalm “Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum,” Dean Rishel’s arrangement of “All Night, All Day,” and a setting of “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” from the musical “State Fair.”

This will also be the debut performance for both the DWU Choral Union and the Mitchell Area Children’s Choir.  DWU Choirs are conducted by Dr. Clinton Desmond and accompanied by Kris Lefferts.  The Mitchell Area Children’s Choir is directed by Erin Desmond and accompanied by Vicky Schaefer.

The pep rally and burning of the “W” will be at 9 p.m., Friday, in front of the Christen Family Recreation/Wellness Center on campus.

Blue & White Days events:

Friday, Sept. 30
9 a.m. – Gather for coffee and conversation, Java City, McGovern Library
11 a.m. – The Opperman Lecture, Sherman Center, Fritz and Glenda (Kennedy) Corrigan ’64, will present “The White Bikini.”
Noon – The Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center groundbreaking ceremony, the south end of McGovern Avenue, all are welcome
12:30 p.m. – Picnic on Jackson Plaza
1:30 p.m. – Artist reception for Mel Spinar ’62, Dakota Discovery Museum
1:30 p.m. – Alumni golf at Wild Oak Golf Club, reservations required
5:30 p.m. – 1971 class reunion gathering, The Depot, reservation required
7 p.m. – “A Grand Night for Singing” DWU Community/Alumni Choir Concert, First United Methodist Church, open to all
8:30 p.m. – Dessert and Wine Tasting, Cornerstone Café, $20 at the door, reservation required
9 p.m. – Pep Rally, Spirit Competition, burning of the “W,” near the Christen Family Recreation/Wellness Center

Saturday, Oct. 1
7 a.m. – Strides 5K and 10K Run/1.8 mile Fun Walk Northridge Park, across from Mitchell High School, $20 per runner; pre-register by contacting Nate Hofer at 999-4737, or njhofer@gmail.com.
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. – the McGovern Library will have extended hours today, along with the bookstore and Java City. The library, bookstore and café will also be open from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday.
10 a.m. – Alumni Breakfast Tent, CorTrust Bank parking lot
10:30 a.m. – Blue & White Days Parade, Main Street, theme is “Mardi Gras: Let the Good Times Roar!”
11:30 a.m. – Tailgate, Joe Quintal Field
1 p.m. – Football game, Joe Quintal field, DWU vs. Hastings College
6 p.m. – Class of 1971 reunion dinner, Ramada Inn, $25, reservation required
6 p.m. – Boogie Woogie Generation reunion dinner, classes of 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, Rollins Campus Center, DWU, $25, reservation required

The library, including the bookstore and Java City will be open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday
and 9 a.m. - noon on Sunday.

For more information, a full schedule of events or to register, visit www.dwu.edu and click on the Blue & White Days link; or call the DWU alumni office at 605-995-2603, or email alumni@dwu.edu.

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Last updated: 9/29/11