The Dutch Letter, a Central College alumni newsletter

Friday, April 4, 2014

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

Service Day
Sign up for an alumni event!

Right Now


Friday, April 4

7 p.m., Douwstra Auditorium

Friday, April 11
College Community Choir & Flying Pan Concert
Under the direction of Mark Babcock and Stan Dahl
7 p.m., First Reformed Church - Pella

Friday, April 11
Jazz Band Concert
Under the direction of Gabriel Espinosa
8 p.m., Cox-Snow Recital Hall

Wednesday, April 23
Senior Art Students Thesis Show opens
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Mills Gallery

Thursday, April 24
Writers Reading: Celebrate Student Writing
7:30 p.m., Geisler Reading Room – reception to follow

Friday, April 25
Blue Vocal and Instrumental Combos Concert
Under the direction of Gabriel Espinosa
8 p.m., Cox-Snow Recital Hall

Saturday, April 26
Percussion Extravaganza
Under the direction of Stan Dahl
7:30 p.m., Douwstra Auditorium

Sunday, April 27
Sunday Concert Series: Symphonic Wind Ensemble and College Community Band
Under the direction of Richard Thimmesch
4 p.m., Douwstra Auditorium

Central Red Dancers

CENTRAL RED — Some members of our Central RED Society stepped outside the box and kicked up their heels with the encouragement of their instructors Peggy Fitch and Ben Allen who taught these venturesome couples some cool moves on the dance floor including the rumba and the swing. Central RED Society has more than 130 members and continues to grow. If you live in Central Iowa and believe education is a life-long process, join us today. Central RED Society is an affordable investment in the growth of your knowledge. Learn more about Central RED and sign up for our spring semester classes and stay tuned to the exciting courses we’ve planned for the fall at

SUSTAINABILITY GETS A BOOST Central College announced plans to further develop and implement a strategy for sustainability education for the next decade. The goal is to accelerate the impact of deep, long-standing commitments to undergraduate sustainability education in an integrated manner. The initiative is made possible, in part, thanks to a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

LET YOUR EXPERIENCE SHOW —ARE YOU WORKING in a STEM CAREER FIELD – Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics? Would you like to return to campus to share your expertise with students who are interested in these fields? The Career Center is planning its next Meet the Pros event, Meet the Pros in Stem Careers next fall and we would love to have you be a part of it! If interested in helping, please contact Pat Joachim Kitzman at for more information. We value your expertise!

Softball Seats

FACELIFT — The generosity of alumni and friends of the college has helped give a much needed facelift to the baseball field with new dugouts and seats with naming opportunities. In addition, the donations have provided new seats for the softball field and soccer complex.  Thanks to those who contributed.  There are naming opportunities still available on seats at the baseball field and soccer complex.  Please contact Dave Sutphen at for information or get the rest of the scoop at Soccer Seating Project and Baseball Seating Project.

SUMMER CAMP — We are offering a variety of camps again this summer for your high school and/or middle school student. Check out for more information and updates as additional campus are added.

GET JAZZED — Catherine Russell will perform Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Cox-Snow Recital Hall. The concert, which will be free and open to the public, is a must see. Russell, the critically acclaimed jazz singer, has performed with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon and Rosanne Cash, to name a few.

OUR TREASURED PAST — Are you tired of storing old ticket stubs, play bills, photographs, lapel pins, beanies and scrapbooks you’ve held on to 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 be archived - please identify the people in the pictures you want to share and email them to

HOMECOMING 2014 — It’s not too early to mark your calendars for Homecoming: Oct. 3-5.

NOMINATE SOMEONE! — Each year the Central College community celebrates graduates who are doing great things after college by honoring them with a Central College Alumni Award.

The criteria for an alumni award may include an alumna/us who demonstrates exceptional accomplishments in his/her chosen profession and/or personal life, an alumna/us who enthusiastically supports the mission of the college and/or alumna/us who demonstrates exceptional stewardship, service, leadership, integrity, energy or sustainability efforts to Central College or in his/her community. Nominate now! Take the time to nominate a friend, colleague, classmate or relative you feel would be a great candidate. Awards will be presented on campus during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 3-5. All nominations are due by Friday, April 11. Questions? Contact the alumni office at 800-447-0287 or email

SEND US A PICTURE — 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. If you have a picture of your legacy student(s) wearing Central gear or showing off a legacy gift from the college, please send them to

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!)

SOCIAL MEDIA — The alumni office has branched out into the world of social media!  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @Central_Alums. We’ll  see you online!

CENTRAL COLLEGE NEWS — Keep checking the homepage of our website at for updated news about Central students, alumni, faculty and staff. While weighing his graduate school options, senior Nolan Blythe ’14 is feeling like a five-star football recruit. Perhaps it is because of his lofty 3.96 grade point average and research experience that has captured the attention of elite graduate school programs, not his 40-yard dash time. Get to know Caitlin Kouba ’12, a product cost accountant at John Deere Power Systems putting her accounting degree to work—and her time with John Deere didn’t start just after graduation.

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 newsnotes 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. 

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! —If you know a student who would be a perfect fit for Central, be sure to complete this online form. Tell us about it. Are you willing to recruit?  Please contact Mary Benedict at or call 800-447-0287 to recruit prospective students in the spring of 2014.

ARCHIVED PHOTOS — 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 photograph, 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 College alumni community -

Central Connections -

Facebook Facebook

LinkedIn Linked In

Twitter Twitter - @centralcollege and @centralDutch

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

What's Happened

Court Avenue Connections Lunch Minneapolis
Cedar Ridge Winery Central Connections
Central Connections SWE mini concert in Dallas

PROFESSOR UPDATE — Dr. Andrew Green was elected president of the Iowa Association of Political Scientists. His article titled “County Governments and Democratic Decision Making: Explaining Why Counties Seek Approval of Local Option Sales Taxes” was published in the March 2014 issue of State Politics and Policy Quarterly.

MEET FRED — The soon-to-be renovated eating space in the Maytag Student Center, currently Grand Central Station, will reopen under the name Fred’s. The winning name, submitted by Barbara Oscarson, administrative assistant to the vice president for student development and dean of students, in a campus-wide naming contest, honors the building’s roots. The Maytag Student Center was named for Fred Maytag II, grandson of F.L. Maytag who founded the Maytag Company in Newton in 1889, in recognition of his service to Iowa as an entrepreneur and public servant. He was president of the company from 1940-62 and created the Fred Maytag Family Foundation. The foundation provided much of the funding for the original building, which was constructed for $2.3 million, supported a renovation in the late 1990s, and committed just over $3 million for the renovation occurring this summer around the 25-year anniversary of the building.

Study Abroad

STUDY ABROAD CELEBRATION — The Central College community was treated to the many flavors of our international sites and met with the program directors at the 50th anniversary celebration of study abroad on Wednesday, March 26. The campus will continue to mark this anniversary with programming throughout 2014-15 celebrating A Year of Global Citizenship. Look for more information to come with a schedule of special events slated for the next academic year.

March Madness

MARCH MADNESS — Central enjoyed a brief taste of March Madness as our men headed off to Wisconsin to play in the NCAA tournament.  After a season which featured remarkable comebacks, dramatic finishes, upset win after upset win; it finally took the No. 1-ranked team in Division III playing on its home floor to end a memorable worst-to-first championship season for the Central College men’s basketball team as Wis.-Stevens Point escaped to the NCAA’s sweet 16 with a 76-71 decision. 

Central Connections

CENTRAL CONNECTIONS — It was a packed house at the Court Avenue Brewing Co. in Des Moines on Friday, March 28, for a networking/reunion luncheon with the directors of our seven study abroad locations.

EVENT PHOTOS — See pictures from all our alumni events at

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


Central College President Mark Putnam writes on Mark: my words about issues of hunger as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug by commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth. On March 25, the Borlaug statue was placed in the U.S. Capitol Building representing the very best Iowa has offered the nation and the world.

We have a great challenge and opportunity to advance the vision of Dr. Borlaug and live out his legacy characterized by justice, kindness and humility. Visit the World Food Prize website today and record your next steps in addressing hunger along with thousands of others. Honor Dr. Borlaug's legacy through your participation and find new ways to address hunger in your community and around the world.

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

Alumni Trivia Winner

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, Kathy Moore ’77, who responded to the challenge: “Cover to Cover Book Club read this book for the month of March.” The answer was: “One Summer: America 1927.” Try this month’s challenge:

"Name the person mentioned in this issue who has performed with David Bowie."

Vote Now!

To ensure you continue receiving Central College emails, please add our "From" address ( to your address book.

This newsletter's purpose is to keep Central College alumni and friends informed. No advertisements will be published.

Upcoming Alumni Events

Central RED Society Class: Fashions of the 1920s and 1950s
April 10 from 10:30 a.m. - noon

Central RED Class: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Interstate 80
April 15 from noon - 1:30 p.m.

Central in the City - Davenport
April 17 from 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Register Now

Bob Maurer Retirement
April 26 from 6:30 - 9 p.m.
Register Now

Cafe Diem - Ames
April 30 from 7 - 9 a.m.

Alumni Profile

Emily McPherson ’10

Emily McPherson ’10

Current town: Seamill, Scotland

Education: Cultural Anthropology and Spanish

About me:  I grew up in Urbandale, Iowa, and graduated from Johnston High School. I knew I wanted to go to a smaller college in Iowa and I was intrigued with the study abroad program. I also knew a few people that attended Central and after visiting, I was completely sold!

Hobbies: Traveling and experiencing other cultures, spending time with family and friends, cooking, bringing awareness to justice issues in the world, playing tennis, writing cards, drinking coffee and reading.

Fun facts: I spent last Christmas in a small village in Cambodia, where I was leading an outreach team for three months. I have many fun stories of “squatty potties,” spider attacks and trying new foods, like grilled frogs and fresh honey with bee larva!

Employment: For the past year and a half, I have been part of an international Christian ministry called Youth With A Mission, and our base (usually mistaken for a castle) is located on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Our organization runs Discipleship Training Schools and other missions/leadership training programs, along with local and global outreach. My schedule varies greatly day-to-day but highlights have been the opportunity to travel to and serve in Cambodia, Turkey and Spain.

Memorable Central College moments: Studying abroad spring 2008 in Granada, Spain, working in the Student Activities Center, playing Ultimate Frisbee every week, Campus Ministry trips to Reynosa, Mexico, and late-night hang outs with friends (usually involving pranks or other adventures).

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

Student Spotlight

Ryon Rasmussen ’15

Journey Scholarship Student: Ryon Rasmussen ’15

High school: Elk Horn-Kimballton High School

Hometown: Elk Horn, Iowa

Major: Secondary Education and Sociology

Minor: Psychology

Residence hall: Ruth Mount

Abroad plans or experience: Studying in Leiden, The Netherlands during spring 2014, where I hope to have an internship.

What are your future goals: I would like to become a high school counselor and baseball coach.

Activities: I am part of the Central Teacher Academy and work for America Reads through Central.

Favorite professor/class:  Shawn Wick in the sociology department and Katie Gaebel in the education department. They have both been a positive influence to me during my time at Central.

Message to donors: I appreciate the help. Paying for school is not an easy task so any help is beneficial. Sincerely, thank you for your help!

Anything interesting you might want alumni to read about or know about you: I will be the first member of my family to graduate from a four-year college.

Hobbies/interests: Baseball, other sports and hanging out with friends.

Fun fact about yourself: I am the oldest of four.

Off-campus activities: I work as a server and bartender at Applebee’s.

Why I chose Central:
 When I visited for the first time, everyone was extremely nice and actually welcomed my family. The campus felt like home, and I just knew.

Favorite food in Central Market:  Breadsticks with the cheese inside at the grill.

Best Central memory:  The Lemming Race my sophomore and junior year. Sophomore year I was a monkey that chased guys dressed as bananas and my junior year I was a crayon box while my friends dressed as crayons.

Why I love my major:  My majors allow me to help kids in an important stage in their life. It allows me to help them through good personal traits of mine—communication and people skills.

Why I love Central:  There is a sense of family that is hard to find on most other campuses. I love the friends I have made and the experiences I have been introduced to.

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|