The Dutch Letter, a Central College alumni newsletter

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hello, Central College alumni, parents and friends! The Central College Dutch Letter, released the first Friday of every month, is intended to keep you in touch with what’s happening on campus and in our communities. Please pass this along to your Central friends.

Link to The Dutch Letter at

Central in the City Chicago
Central Connections

Right Now

Dutch Market

HAPPY POSTING — To connect our Central Community with crafters, artists and service providers, we have created Dutch Market, presenting Central Creations on Facebook!  We provide the venue; YOU post your goods and services on the page! If you are an author with a book to promote, a crafter who makes your own wine or jewelry or handmade items, or you provide a service you want to advertise, this is the place for you! Or perhaps you’re looking to purchase gifts or in search of a realtor or beautician with Central ties — we intend to make Dutch Market your one stop shop! You will find the link to “like” and post on the Dutch Market page.

SAVE THE DATE — Homecoming 2015 will be October 9–11! Pictures from Homecoming 2014 are available at Homecoming 2014.

Flying Pans

The Flying Pans Steel Band will perform Sunday, March 22 from 4-5:30 p.m. in Douwstra Auditorium.

LET US ENTERTAIN YOU — Central College department of theatre presents Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” March 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. Pella audiences are invited to laugh out loud at the reimagined, contemporary and stream-lined look at Shakespeare’s iconic and hilarious battle of the sexes. Tickets are available through the information booth in the Maytag Center or at the box office the evening of the performance.

CHEER ON THE DUTCH — Spring is in the air (or will be soon), and that means the season of track and field, baseball, softball and tennis has begun!  Check the schedule at to see if our talented athletes will be competing in an area near you.  Go Dutch!

50 YEARS AND COUNTING — On April 16, Central will host the Conference on Global Citizenship and celebrate the 50th anniversary of study abroad with special guest Martin Tillman, president of Global Career Compass. See the full schedule and register for sessions here. 

SUSTAINABILITY BLOG — Read the latest blog post about sustainability at Central College from our faculty and students at Central College at .

Central College Pond

PHOTO OP — February brought our largest snowfall of the year, plus frigid temperatures. The result transformed our lovely campus into a winter wonderland.

OUR TREASURED PAST — Are you tired of storing old ticket stubs, playbills, photographs, lapel pins, beanies and scrapbooks you’ve held onto since graduation? The Central College Archives will store and protect your treasures for years to come! We are dependent upon your donations to build an accurate record of Central’s history. Archives welcome donations from all eras but have a severe lack of items from the ’00s. Please help if you can by mailing your donation to Central College Alumni Relations, Campus Box 5200, 812 University, Pella, Iowa  50219. Digital photographs can also be archived – please identify the people in the pictures you want to share and email them to

Tom Johnson

NEW HIRE — Central College welcomes Tom Johnson as the new vice president for finance and administration/treasurer.  Johnson has served as the vice president of finance and operations/chief financial officer at Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) in Council Bluffs since 1995. He begins his duties at Central in mid-April.

ARE YOU LINKED IN? — If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can easily join Central's alumni group, as well as access more than 5,000 fellow alums on a new feature at You'll enter Central College as the "school" and be able to search for alumni by location, company, career field, major, etc. It's pretty cool! But you have to have a LinkedIn profile — start by creating one today: (LinkedIn is for professional networking.)

HOW HAS LINKEDIN WORKED FOR YOU?  Do you have a story about a successful outcome because of your participation in LinkedIn or other social media?  We would love to hear your stories/experiences and share them with students to help them realize the value of social media in job searching and networking. Thanks in advance for sharing — just reply to Pat Joachim Kitzman at

SOCIAL MEDIA — Don’t miss out! Join Central College Alumni on Facebook today at You can also follow us on Twitter @Central_Alums. We’ll see you online!

There’s no denying it… Avery DeRaad, pictured here in full Central regalia, does not lack when it comes to Central spirit. Thanks to her parents Anthony and Morgan Vander Werf DeRaad ’05 of Prairie City for sharing the photograph.
There’s no denying it… Avery DeRaad, pictured here in full Central regalia, does not lack when it comes to Central spirit.  Thanks to her parents Anthony and Morgan Vander Werf DeRaad ’05 of Prairie City for sharing the photograph.

SEND US A PICTURE — Take a picture of your future legacy students wearing Central gear or showing off their Legacy gift from the college today.  Send your photo to and we’ll be happy to post it here. Did you know your children benefit from your legacy with Central College beginning at birth with a Central College bib? Every five years during the month of their birth, your child will receive another gift from the college. Once they reach high school, they can expect to receive a little something each year until they graduate. Those who make the decision to enroll at Central College are treated to a special welcoming lunch along with their family during freshman move-in day.

This month, read about Michael Kacmarynski ’14, a political science and economics double-major whose internship supervisor at Senator Charles Grassley’s office led him directly to the heart of politics

CENTRAL COLLEGE NEWS — Keep checking the homepage of our website at for updated news about Central students, alumni, faculty and staff.  This month, read about Michael Kacmarynski ’14, a political science and economics double-major whose internship supervisor at Senator Charles Grassley’s office led him directly to the heart of politics — the campaign trail.  Or read about Dr. Frank Battisti, the world’s foremost living authority on the growth, expansion, development and proliferation of wind band music and wind band education over the past 60 years, who Central College was privileged to have as artist-in-residence during the final week of February.

WHAT’S UP? YOUR classmates want an update! Let them know what’s going on in YOUR life and we’ll post it in the newsnote section of Civitas. Tell us about YOUR achievements, fun facts, new children, grandchildren, new job, promotion, retirement, anniversary or a reunion with Central friends! Sharing news with us is just a click away at or online on Civitas.

CAREER CENTER ON TWITTER Follow the Career Center on Twitter! We’re sending out quick announcements about jobs and internships as soon as we receive them. Go to and choose to follow this username: @CentralCareers.

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY — We continue to look for names, years and pertinent details about these photos in order to better archive events.  If you know ANY details about the photographs, please email

Archived Photo

Archived Photo

Thanks to your help, we have identified many pictures that were previously hidden away in archives. The Dutch Letter has provided us the opportunity to share them with you. In some cases, it’s no longer possible to identify past students, but that will not stop us from giving you a look into the history of Central College. Check out the previously archived photos to see who has been identified.

TELL YOUR CENTRAL STORY - We want your help telling the Central College story. Do you have a great story about Central? Tell us about it!

Central Blend

CENTRAL BLEND — With every purchase of this delicious blend from Smokey Row in Pella and Des Moines, Smokey Row will donate $1 to our Journey Scholarship Fund. What a delicious way for you to support Central College!


UPDATE YOUR INFO — Help keep our information current. Update your phone number, email, address, employment, family information and more at or online at

 Looking for the perfect gift …  or DUTCH attire?

Check us out online at:

What's Happened

Pippin Central Connections - East Villiage
Scholarship Days Central College in DC
Central Connections Lunch with Tyler Wentworth '12 Heritage Lace Tour

EVENT PHOTOS — See pictures from all our alumni events.

Lee Weers with Phones

UP TO SPEED — During Christmas break at Central College, Lee Weers, our director of ITS infrastructure and his staff, worked long into the night to make sure our infrastructure was upgraded to current standards. Lee is shown here surrounded by boxes of new equipment waiting to be installed around campus.

TRIAL BY JURY — Central College students presented an hilarious modern spin on Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, “Trial by Jury,” Feb. 13 and 15 in the Cox-Snow Recital Hall. The one-act opera was a hit after its 1875 premiere in London and has been performed around the world ever since.

SCHOLAR DAYS — Central College hosted 232 students and their families the first three Saturdays in February. While on campus, students competed for scholarships and were given the opportunity to get to know faculty and potential classmates from around the globe. All of our visitors received an inside look at the college and Pella community. We are grateful to the current parents and alumni who volunteered their time to serve on the question and answer panels.

Harry Smith

INTERVIEW WITH HAMM — Business majors Jacob Tune ’15 and Megan Current ’15 helped plan the Feb. 26 event that brought Harry Smith ’73 to Graham Conference Center’s Vermeer Banquet Hall to interview Harold Hamm during National Entrepreneurship Week. In addition to audience questions, Smith invited Hamm to tell about his rags-to-riches story, his philanthropy and the development of new and controversial methods of U.S. oil production.  

BUSINESS INSIDER — Central College is among the 50 most underrated colleges in America, according to a recent analysis by Business Insider. The list was developed by comparing the U.S. News rankings of the top universities and national liberal arts colleges to PayScale’s 2013-14 College Salary Report, which ranks colleges and universities based on their graduates’ mid-career salaries. Among liberal arts colleges, Central’s salary ranking was No. 45 nationally and No. 1 in Iowa. No other Iowa colleges or universities are on the Business Insider list.

CARNEGIE FOUNDATION — Central College was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for proven community engagement. Central is one of six Iowa colleges and universities to receive the Community Engagement Classification for 2015. Central joins 361 institutions that hold the classification.

RECOGNITION FOR EXCELLENCE — Elementary education majors Alicia Huegel ’15 and John Mainquist ’15 have been awarded the Recognition of Excellence Indicator Award for their exemplary score on the Praxis Elementary Education Content Knowledge test. Jayce Carter ’13, a middle school teacher in Boone, was awarded the DORS Award from the Boone Community School District. This is the first time a second-year teacher has received the award.

MOCK TRIAL TEAM — The Central College mock trial team hosted the 2015 Central Invitational Mock Trial Tournament Jan. 24 – 25. Central was one of 16 teams from the Midwest who competed in the four round tournament held in the Roe Center. The Central team earned an honorable mention seventh place finish with a record of 5-3. Winning individual awards from Central College were Alison Ranniger ’15 and Molly Ward ’15.

COMING YOUR WAY— The alumni office is conducting a ​brief ​survey to help ​us ​better serve ​you. ​This is ​your ​opportunity to share ideas and insight with us​. Please go to Central Survey today​.​ ​We appreciate your feedback!

Campus Events


FINE ARTS EVENTS — View a complete list of fine arts events at Central College throughout the year.

ATHLETICS EVENTS Follow the Dutch online.

Presidential Updates

Mark Putnam

PRESIDENT’S WEBSITE — Check out the website for President Mark Putnam! It’s the go-to place for media, Central family members and visitors to learn more about President Putnam, Central College and topics important to the landscape of higher education.

SOCIAL MEDIA — President Mark Putnam is on Facebook and Twitter. Connect with him now to see what’s happening with Central’s president.

Alumni Trivia

WIN A T-SHIRT —  Answer online for the chance to win a T-shirt. The winner’s name is drawn from all correct entries received on the date the newsletter was released. Congratulations to last month’s winner, Ron Meendering ’80, who responded to the challenge: “What did Central College students use to make diapers for the children of Haiti?” The answer was: “T-shirts”

“Who did Michael Kacmarynski ’14 have an internship with?” 

Vote Now!

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Upcoming Alumni Events

Tucson Event
March 13 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Register Now

An Evening at Cantina Loredo
March 16 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Register Now

History Day
March 27 from 8 - 3 p.m.
Register Now

Central in the City - Chicago
March 29 at 6 p.m.
Register Now

Central Connections - Cedar Rapids
March 30 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Register Now

Central RED Society - Coal Mining in Marion County
April 9 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Central RED Society - Iowa Houses and Their Styles
April 14 from noon - 1:30 p.m.

Study Abroad Alumni Reunion Brunch
April 18 from 10 a.m. - noon
Register Now

Mock Trial Celebration
May 9 from 5:30 - 8 p.m.
Register Now

Alumni Profile

Sarah Soldner ’07

Name: Sarah Soldner ’07

Current town: Denver, Colorado

Education: BA, Spanish and cultural anthropology; teacher’s license in Colorado; Doula certification through CAPPA

About me: I am originally from Marion, Iowa, and most of my family still lives in that area. I have lived in Colorado for almost six years and I love life here by the mountains!

Hobbies/Activities: Baking, hiking, snowshoeing, traveling, adventuring, laughing, loving my nieces and nephew

Fun facts: I hiked on the Camino de Santiago in Spain 3 summers ago. I recommend a hiking pilgrimage to anyone who has the time to do it!

Employment: I teach high school Spanish at Faith Christian Academy and absolutely love it! My students are wonderful, and I couldn’t ask for a better work environment. I also love being able to use my college majors in order to pass my love and passion for foreign languages and cultures to another generation.

I also work as a bilingual labor doula at St. Anthony North Hospital. I provide emotional and mental support and serve as a translator to Spanish-speaking women during their labor and birth experiences. I feel so blessed to be able to be part of such an intimate moment in a person’s life.

Memorable Central College moments: Being able to study abroad in two different countries during two different semesters. Summers working Upward Bound, any class with Dr. Phil Webber or Dr. Sam Mate-Kodjo, walking through the campus on a quiet, snowy night with the lights twinkling magically all around, working in the cafeteria all four years – voluntarily! Eating only chocolate-themed meals, friends, laughter, Tulip Time… so many memories!

We want to profile YOU in the Dutch Letter!  Please volunteer today at 

Student Spotlight

Brendon Boerm ’15

Journey Scholarship student:
Brendon Boerm ’15

High school: North Tama

Hometown: Traer, Iowa

Where do you live: DeVelder

Abroad plans or experience:  I studied abroad in Bangor, Wales, during spring 2014.

What are your future goals? I recently applied to dental school at the University of Iowa and Creighton University. I also applied to veterinarian school at Iowa State University.

Favorite class: Biochemistry  

Favorite professor: Although Dr. Wackerly teaches a difficult subject (organic chemistry), he keeps the material interesting and applies it to real life situations. He has also been a great mentor in the graduate school application process.

Hobbies/interests: Fishing, wakeboarding, hunting, free reading and attending sporting events

What activities do you participate in at Central? I am a member of the football team and employed at the media center.

Off campus activities:  I work on the family farm, Tama County Livestock Auction, and as a veterinarian assistant.

Fun fact:  I have visited 11 countries in Europe.

Favorite food in Central Market: Country fried steak with mashed potatoes

Career plans: Dentist or veterinarian (possibly specialize in surgery)

Best Central memory: Throwing a pass to my younger brother for his first collegiate touchdown.

Message to donors: Thank you for your donation via the Journey Scholarship. This additional help means a lot to me and I truly appreciate it. Knowing that you have contributed to my education provides me with further motivation to make the most out of my academic experience.

Staff Spotlight

Study Abroad

Staff Spotlight

Career Center
Central College Abroad
Conference Services
Fine arts
Online giving

Staff Spotlight

Kathy Cashen Thompson

Kathy Cashen Thompson
Director of Alumni Relations

Mary Benedict

Mary Benedict
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Lynne Petty

Lynne Petty
Administrative Assistant to the Director of Alumni Relations

812 University | Pella, Iowa 50219 | 1-800-447-0287|