Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan winners announced at DWU

Friday, April 29, 2016

Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan candidates for 2016, from left to right, back row: Matthew Hockert, Reile’s Acres, N.D.; Caleb Heiberger, Hartford; Dylan Lynde, Canistota; Anthony Husher, Winner; Daniel Mitchell, Volga; and Jerry Stravia IV, Mitchell, originally of Denver, Colo.; and Jordan Buchholz, South Shore. Front row: Katherine Varnado, Amite, La.; Samantha Fluck, Becker, Minn.; Madison-Ainsley Miller, Mitchell; Hannah Harbour, Ore Grande, Calif.; Haley Brunke, Scotland; Mareisha Marvin-Keys, Mitchell; and Autumn Schmidt, White.

Mareisha Marvin-Keys and Jordan Buchholz, seniors at Dakota Wesleyan University, were named Miss Wesleyan and Scotchman, the university’s highest honors, during the Honors Banquet Friday night at the university.

The titles of Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan are given to honor a senior male and female student based on campus leadership and service, community leadership and service, academics and character. The honor of Miss Wesleyan began in 1929 and the honor of Scotchman in 1938. The title for the Scotchman was borrowed from the university’s song, “The Scotchman.”

To qualify for candidacy, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 and be ranked at senior status. Those eligible submit a resume of activities and awards and a Student Senate-appointed panel chooses the top male and female candidates. The top candidates are interviewed by a committee of students, staff and faculty who choose the Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan.

 Jordan Buchholz, South Shore, is a mathematics education major and is also the Student Ministry Council president. He has served as the grow coordinator during his time on SMC and has coordinated events such as Worship Under the Stars, Diving in Deep and DWU Youth Nights. Jordan went on a mission trip to Peru in summer 2015, working at an orphanage called CAEF. He also serves as president of the Math Club, coordinating events like Pi Day Bake Sale and the sale of DWU Math Club T-shirts.  Jordan is currently a resident assistant in Dayton Hall. This summer, he will travel to Uganda and Rwanda, Africa, with AsOne Ministries to work with local churches and conduct educational workshops. After college, Jordan has taken a position as the math teacher at Harrisburg High School. He is the son of Jeffrey and Staci Buchholz, South Shore.

 Mareisha Marvin-Keys, Mitchell, originally of Chicago, Ill., is a nontraditional student, wife and mother of two. She is majoring in human services and minoring in family studies. She has volunteered with the Mitchell YWCA, Mitchell Area Safehouse and the Mitchell Love Feast. Mareisha was honored with the Carey and Darlene Buhler African American Scholarship in 2014 and 2015. She was on the dean’s list in 2014 and 2015, while being involved in the TRiO Student Support Services College Access Program, DWU Human Services Club and the DWU Student Association Senate as a representative for the Human Services Club. Mareisha was elected as a member of Pi Gamma Mu. After graduation, she will be interning at Stepping Stones in Mitchell.

Other Miss Wesleyan candidates included: Haley Brunke, Scotland; Samantha Fluck, Becker, Minn.; Hannah Harbour, Ore Grande, Calif.; Madison-Ainsley Miller, Mitchell; Autumn Schmidt, White; and Katherine Varnado, Amite, La.

Other Scotchman candidates included: Caleb Heiberger, Hartford; Matthew Hockert, Reile’s Acres, N.D.; Anthony Husher, Winner; Dylan Lynde, Canistota; Daniel Mitchell, Volga; and Jerry Stravia IV, Mitchell, originally of Denver, Colo.


Dave Mitchell named Exemplary Teacher Award winner at DWU

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University recognized one of its professors with the Exemplary Teacher Award Friday during the university’s Honors Banquet.

Dr. Dave Mitchell, professor of business administration and economics at DWU, was the recipient of this year’s Exemplary Teacher Award.

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, through the Division of Higher Education in partnership with United Methodist-related institutions, expresses support and appreciation for outstanding teaching. The recipient exemplifies excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues. This person also maintains a commitment to value-centered education, and service to students, the institution and the community.

“A student told me this year that (Dr. Mitchell) ‘goes above and beyond in every course.  The strongest asset of any class from this professor is that the professor knows the material so well and can apply it to real-world examples,’” said Provost Rocky Von Eye. “Several times on course evaluations I have read about how this professor gets the class engaged in the discussions on every topic imaginable. It is certainly expected that after more than a few years he should know everything!”

Mitchell joined the DWU faculty in 1972 and is one of the longest-serving professors at the university. He is involved in a variety of community activities, including politics, the United Methodist Church and fund-raising for several groups. Before beginning his academic career, he was a system analyst for Procter and Gamble. He was joined in the faculty ranks his late wife, Ann, who taught in the education department for nearly 30 years.

He received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree in 1959 and his Master of Industrial Engineering degree in 1960, both from Cornell University. He also obtained a Master of Theology degree in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1978, both from Boston University.

He and Ann have two daughters and two grandchildren.


DWU announces faculty promotions, tenure

Friday, April 29, 2016

Four faculty and staff members at Dakota Wesleyan University were recognized at the Honors Banquet Friday for promotion, tenure or degree advancement.

Dr. Monty Bohrer was promoted to professor of business administration and economics. Bohrer received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988 from Concordia College; his Master in Business Administration degree in 1999 from the University of Sioux Falls; and his Doctorate in Business Administration in 2007 from Anderson University. Bohrer is also the director of the business graduate program at DWU. He began working at DWU in 2011.

Dr. Clinton Desmond was promoted to associate professor of music and granted tenure. Desmond received his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1998 from Valparaiso University; his Master of Music degree in 2006 from Illinois State University; and his Doctorate of Music Arts in 2009 from Michigan State University. Desmond is also the chairman of the Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music and the director of choral activities on campus. He began working at DWU in 2010.

Dr. John Husmann was promoted to professor of history. Husmann received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996 from Winona State University; his Master of Arts degree in 1998 and his Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also serves as the history department chairman. He began working at DWU in 2004.

Dr. Ashley Digmann earned a Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. Digmann received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006 from Dakota Wesleyan University and her Master of Arts degree in 2011 from Chadron State College. She became an adjunct instructor for mathematics at DWU in 2011 and became a fulltime instructor in 2013. She also serves as the chairwoman for the department of education.


Boyd Blumer to give DWU Commencement address at the Corn Palace

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University will celebrate commencement Sunday, May 8, with a baccalaureate service and graduation, and an honorary degree will be given to a well-known community member.

Baccalaureate will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 8, at the Sherman Center on campus, and Commencement is set for 1 p.m. at the Corn Palace with 283 graduates. The Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony is set for 4 p.m., Saturday, May 7, in the Sherman Center.

The Rev. Eric Van Meter, campus pastor, will offer the Baccalaureate message. An Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters will be awarded to the Rev. Boyd Blumer, of Mitchell, who will also give the Commencement address.

Boyd A. Blumer has spent his life in service to churches, the United Methodist Conference, and more importantly, to individuals.

A North Dakota native, Blumer earned his undergraduate degree at Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa, and went to seminary at Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Ill., earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In 1980, he earned his Doctor of Divinity degree at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Blumer’s career as a pastor spanned 33 years, more than eight churches and 10 communities, beginning in 1956 in Goodrich and Chaseley, N.D. While there, he established a program to bring governmental and university resources to young, beginning farmers. Throughout his career, he was involved in his communities: he led a community development project raising funds to furnish a clinic and secure a medical doctor for the county; he led a master plan study of the four camp sites and program of the South Dakota Conference of the United Methodist Church; he united two congregations into one, two years before the national union which created the United Methodist Church; and he expanded the use of a community food pantry.

Following his service as a pastor, he was called to serve as a United Methodist Conference Superintendent in the North District and then in the Central District for six years. In 1995, Blumer became the director of the Tree of Life Ministry in Mission reviving this resource which provides food, clothing, emergency home repairs, cross-cultural education and Christian ministry on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

At the age of 66, after more than 40 years in ministry, Blumer came to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. He has been busier in his retirement than many people are in their careers. Since 1997, he has served DWU in many capacities – as interim campus pastor, carpenter, custodian and adjunct professor. For nearly 20 years, he has taught two of three courses each semester: “Death, Dying and the Afterlife,” “The Life and Teachings of Jesus” and “The Life and Letters of Paul.” One student described him as “the best thing that can happen to a course on the Bible.”

Blumer and his wife of more than 60 years, Evelyn, are parents to four adult children, and they have nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.


DWU’s Kriese selected for Executive Leadership Academy

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Theresa Kriese, executive vice president at DWU, has been chosen to participate in a leadership program through the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Dakota Wesleyan’s Great Wesleyan Giveback set for Tuesday

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
DWU's Great Wesleyan Giveback, formerly known as Service Day, will be May 3.

Spring Ring Handbell Festival set for first of May

Monday, April 25, 2016
The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music at Dakota Wesleyan University will present its Spring Ring Handbell Festival at 7 p.m., Sunday, May 1, at the DWU Sherman Center. This concert is free and open to the public.

DWU seeks public input about university

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University is seeking comments from the public about the university in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency.

The university will host a visit Oct. 24-25, 2016, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission, which requires each university up for accreditation to solicit opinions from its community – on and off campus. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the college to the following address:

Public Comment on Dakota Wesleyan University
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on HLC’s website at

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing and received by Sept. 23, 2016.

Dakota Wesleyan University has been accredited by HLC since 1916.


DWU announces Thompson as newest member of board of trustees

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University announces Larry Thompson, of Mitchell, as its newest board of trustee member.

Larry ThompsonThompson is the chief executive officer at Vantage Point Solutions in Mitchell. He was born in Ames, Iowa, and went to high school in Bellevue, Neb. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from William Jewell College, and both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Kansas.

He was a systems engineer and later senior engineer during his early career in California and Colorado. In 1996, he accepted a position as a senior professional engineer with Martin and Associates, Inc. in Mitchell. During his tenure at Martin and Associates, later known as Martin Group, Inc., Thompson was promoted to the general manager of the Telecommunications, Consulting, and Engineering Group (TCE) and had overall responsibility for the consulting and engineering services provided by Martin Group.  In 2002, he became one of the founders of Vantage Point and has served as its CEO since its inception and helped grow the company from six employees to 200.

Thompson is also involved in the Mitchell community, as well as the church. He has been a member of the Mitchell Christen School Board of Directors for nine years and the president for seven, as well as a board member for the Mitchell Area Development Corporation for the last six years and served as its treasurer. He is also a board member for South Dakota Department of Transportation; was the co-chairman of the land use and development committee for Mitchell Focus 2020; was a board/trustee for Mitchell Wesleyan Church for two years; and is currently serving on the finance committee at Mitchell Wesleyan Church.

He and his wife, Vicki, have two teenage children and live in Mitchell.


Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan candidates announced at DWU

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Fourteen Dakota Wesleyan University students have been selected as candidates for the Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan awards, the highest honor given to students in their senior year at the institution.
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Dakota Wesleyan University was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
Dakota Wesleyan University is proudly affiliated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Members of any and all faiths are welcome and encouraged to experience an education based on learning, leadership, faith and service.
Dakota Wesleyan University has been honored as a College of Distinction through demonstration of excellence in these areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
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