The 2017 Midland University Homecoming and Family Weekend event was in full swing on Friday as students celebrated by participating in a variety of fun events during Student Warrior Day on the campus green.
As current students enjoyed the beautiful afternoon outside, inside the Hopkins Arena former students were recognized for their contributions to the university at the Hall of Fame and Alumni Awards Reception.
The event honored the 2017 Warrior Hall of Fame Inductee, the 1987 Warrior Football Team; Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Jeff Scherer; and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient, Dr. Sharlay Butler.
After all of the alumni spent time catching up while enjoying drinks and hors d'oeuvres the award presentations kicked off with former Midland, and current Bellevue University professor Dr. Mick Shadbolt presenting Jeff Scherer with the Alumni Achievement Award.
“Jeff was really the first student that I had that was not a traditional student, he was a good five or six years older than the most students and I had never experienced that before as a teacher,” Dr. Shadbolt said. “I got to watch Jeff go through school knowing that he had so many more things on his plate that most of the traditional students, and I saw him succeed, and succeed and succeed.”
Scherer graduated from Midland in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and began his career as a Certified Public Accountant at Brune & Oelkers, CPA’s.
Throughout his career Scherer rose to become the Chief Financial Officer of Smeal Fire Apparatus Co., President of Best Point Properties, Inc. and President of Scherer Land & Cattle Co. among many other accomplishments.
“One of the things that I loved about Midland was that Dr. Shadbolt was always very approachable and very honest and someone who was a tremendous help to me,” Scherer said. “I have never believed I would have gotten as far as I did in my career without his mentorship and the fine education I received here at Midland.”
This year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award was given to Dr. Sharlay Butler who graduated in 2010, and though she could not make it to the event, Dr. Henry Krusiewicz spoke of her time at Midland.
“In everything that I observed about her she tried to integrate her personal values and promote those personal values in the larger community, she really is an exceptional person and I am extremely proud to be able to speak for her tonight,” Dr. Krusiewicz said.
Butler graduated Suma Cum Laude from Midland with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology minoring in Chemistry and Spanish. She continued her education at the University Of Washington School Of Medicine becoming a Doctor of Medicine in 2015. Currently she is a resident in the Department of Obstetrics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School Of Medicine.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be the recipient of this reward and I am so thankful for the education I received at Midland,” Butler said through a prepared statement. “My formative years playing basketball, making lifelong friends, and learning from incredible mentors…helped shape my years in such a positive way.”
The final presentation of the evening honored the 1987 Warrior Football Team by inducting the team into the Warrior Hall of Fame.
“This was a no-brainer,” Brian Essen, Midland graduate and emcee for the evening, said. “how do you celebrate the 30th year of a great team, you induct them into the Hall of Fame.”
The 1987 Warrior Football Team qualified for the NAIA National Championship Quarterfinals and ranked No. 16 in the country under direction of Hall of Fame Head Coach Don Watchhorn.
They finished with a 7-2 overall record, clinching the NAIC Championship with a 43-21 victory over Concordia in the regular season finale.
Many members of the team came to the banquet to enjoy the honor, including quarterback Chris Blackwell and offensive lineman Tony Allgood.
“We were that blue collar team that came with our lunch bucket and our heart,” Blackwell said. “What a great group of young men, that today I can call my brothers, so I want to thank everybody. We made it.”
An upcoming presentation on a proposed terminal and new hangar lease criteria were on the agenda when the Airport Advisory Committee met Friday morning.
Rick Besancon of Burns McDonnell and Mike Wachal of Davis Design will talk to Fremont City Council members at 5 p.m. Tuesday about recommendations for a proposed airport terminal, said Ron Vlach, advisory committee chairman. The special meeting will be in the city council chambers in the municipal building at 400 E. Military Ave.
David Goedeken, City of Fremont director of public works, said a resolution would be presented to the council to consider accepting the report and moving forward with the Federal Aviation Administration on a proposed terminal site.
The current terminal at Fremont Municipal Airport was constructed in 1964. Owned by the City of Fremont, the airport has a main runway capable of accommodating corporate jets. More than 50 aircraft are based here as is the local chapter of the Civil Air Patrol.
Statistics from FlightAware, a flight tracking data company, indicate the local municipal airport has 22,300 operations (aircraft take-offs and landings) each year.
Of those, 12,200 are by local-area aircraft and 10,200 are from distant areas.
“Our corporate aircraft usage has increased immensely in the last five years,” Jim Kjeldgaard, fixed base operator, told the Tribune.
During the committee meeting, Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman stressed the importance of the airport.
“This is the gateway to Fremont for economic impact and several businesses have located in Fremont because of this airport and the extension we put on it. Without it and without a new terminal and the growth that we’re going to have out here, we won’t see continued growth,” Getzschman said.
The existing 60-foot by 80-foot terminal has not changed substantially since it was built. The facility needs new heating and air conditioning systems and other upgrades.
Pilots use the terminal for respite while waiting for passengers to complete their business in Fremont. Open seven days a week, air crews can catch up on weather reports and file flight plans there.
In other business, advisory committee members discussed new criteria for leases of city-owned hangars. The city owns the majority of the hangars, most of which are situated on the west side of the airport’s property.
Goedeken presented the committee with a letter that could be sent to tenants of city-owned hangar and sought suggestions from the group in regard to the document’s text.
The draft of the letter said the city and airport receive FAA grant funds to expand and maintain the airport.
“This funding is at a rate of 90 percent and provides many opportunities to our airport,” the letter stated. “Over the years, the FAA has provided funds well into the tens of millions of dollars.”
As a result, the city and airport are obligated to follow all FAA design, airspace and airport lease requirements. One item that’s received much attention recently is how federally obligated airports use hangars and ensure they’re following FAA regulations.
The FAA has been making onsite inspections of several Midwest airports. Funding can be withheld if the airports are not in compliance.
Goedeken said he checked on hangar guidelines with other airports which state that tenants can’t weld or do machine work in the hangars they lease, cannot do mechanical work in them except for annual inspections, and must utilize them predominantly for aircraft-type usage. The guidelines also state that hangar tenants must have drip pans under their airplanes and a store only a recommended maximum of 10 gallons of fuel.
Vlach questioned how this would be enforced. A suggestion was made that inspections would be conducted with tenants given a certain number of days to comply.
Kjeldgaard also noted that some airports have allowed people to work on their airplanes.
Vlach recommended putting in the lease that tenants have a certain class of fire extinguisher.
Goedeken also said the committee should look at lease rates. He noted that rates differ depending on the type of hanger. The lease rates were last adjusted in 2012. In addition, he suggested having tenants complete a new contact information form each year.
“People move. They change their phone numbers. It’s hard to get ahold of people,” Goedeken said.
Advisory committee members will further study the tenants’ leases at the next meeting.
“My plan would be as we come up with a tentative draft (of a lease agreement) for the October meeting that would go to the following city council meeting. Then in November we start notifying the tenants,” Goedeken said.
Vlach noted that the airport has a waiting list for hangars. He also complemented the city for mowing at the airport.
“The mowing’s been good this year, best it’s ever been,” he said.
The first year of the College 4 Kids program held in Fremont yielded positive results with numerous children participating.
During the Fremont Public Schools Board of Education September meeting, Kevin Eairleywine, executive director of human resources and elementary operations, spoke about summer activities that were available to students in the FPS District following the 2016-2017 school year.
College 4 Kids proved to be one of the summer’s highlights.
“Because of Todd’s (Hansen) hard work, we were able to host our first College 4 Kids here,” Eairleywine said of Hansen, who serves as executive director of Fremont’s Metropolitan Community College campus. “We were able to have it at Milliken Park (elementary) and 65 students took part in it and had a great time.”
For more than 30 years, Metropolitan Community College has been hosting College 4 Kids, a five-day-long educational experience where children ages 3 through 11 immerse themselves in the world of arts, crafts and plenty of learning relating to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Throughout the week the event was held, participants had the opportunity to select from seven mind-enriching activities to participate in throughout the course of each morning, which started at 9 a.m. and ended at 11:55 a.m.
Up to 20 children had the opportunity to participate in each 55-minute class, which were offered to groups of children aged 6-7, 8-9 and 10-11.
Other College 4 Kids locations offered programming for 3-5 year olds, however, since this was Fremont’s first year of hosting the event, it was a better option to test the water with the older kids, Tina Morgan, Metro’s College 4 Kids coordinator said during a previous interview with the Tribune.
One, 55-minute-long class daily for the five days cost $30, and children were able to register for up to three classes per-day for the week.
Classes children participated in included: Enchanted Engineering, Snack Attack, Roller Coasters and Rockets, Under the Big Top, Silly Stories, Crazy Chemical Concoction and Wildlife Adventure.
Classes were proctored by several Fremont Public Schools teachers, including: Benjamin Adler, Michelle Barnett, Alisa Beam, Leigh Ann Bennett, Jill Hittner, Lauren Hopken and Becky Nielsen.