Oct 5th, 2010 @ 8:10 am | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley, VCSU President
This past week, Valley City State University hosted a series of events in conjunction with annual Homecoming activities. A primary focus of Homecoming is centered on connecting VCSU with alumni, friends, and supporters. The Homecoming events that typically get the most attention include the athletic contests (a hard-fought football game!), alumni socials, and Homecoming Parade. These are all great events and were well attended. However, I also want to ensure some attention is paid to the other important achievements that were celebrated last week recognizing VCSU friends and alumni.

Homecoming weekend began on Friday night with the induction of individuals and teams as new members to the VCSU Viking Athletic Hall of Fame. The inductees included the members of the 1978 Football team and 1969-70 & 1970-71 Men's Basketball teams, along with Danielle (Olson) Perich '99, and Jeff Manley '87. Danielle was an outstanding athlete in both Track & Field and Basketball, and Jeff excelled in Track & Field and Cross-Country.

On Saturday morning, a number of VCSU alumni were honored for their professional accomplishments. This included seven alums who received the Alumni Certificate of Merit Award. These Merit recipients included: Fred Bott '68, Bismarck; Douglas Cox '00, Zimmerman, MN; Robert Horne '59, Minot; Susan (Miller) Jordan '83, Salina, KS; Fay (Kronebush) Kopp '80, Bismarck; Laurie (Zimmerman) Matzke '87, Bismarck; and Sherm Sylling '70, Valley City.
In addition to these Merit recipients, Neil Gudmestad '74 was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Neil is a distinguished professor of plant pathology at NDSU who focuses on potato research, and the Distinguished Alumni Award is the VCSU Alumni Association's most prestigious honor. Also recognized this weekend for her outstanding service and dedication to VCSU was Joan Noeske '62. Joan has dedicated nearly 50 years of her life to VCSU, and she was honored with the Alumni Service Award.

In another celebration of achievement, VCSU earlier this fall inducted two individuals into the VCSU Music Hall of Fame. Dr. Loren Waa and Ward Thomas Stine (in memoriam) are two people who were closely affiliated with Valley City State Music. These two people have had a positive impact on many in the world of music, and VCSU is honored to have been affiliated with these special individuals.

Events such as these celebrations are exactly what Homecoming and other alumni recognition events are all about. VCSU is a special place because of the people – the people (students and staff) who are currently here, but especially the people who have built the foundation over the years and created the special environment that exists today. It is important that we recognize these individuals, and Homecoming and other special events allow us to do precisely that. As a campus, we are fortunate to have such a strong base of wonderful alumni and friends in the VCSU Family!