Groundbreaking ceremony for the new Chadron State College Sports Complex Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. From left, Dale Grant, CSC vice president of Administration and Finance, Jay Long , CSC head football coach, Randy Rhine, CSC president, Elmo Eagle, Linda Redfern, Chadron State Foundation board chair, Gary Bieganski, Nebraska State College System board chair, Connie Rasmussen, Chadron State Foundation CEO, Erma Lewellen, donor (hospitality area in new complex is named for the Verne and Erma Lewellen family), Con Marshall, the press box is named in his honor.

Tena L.Cook

Academics and athletics shared the spotlight at Chadron State College in 2017. The college’s status as an accredited institution was continued following a successful comprehensive on-campus visit from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), three track student-athletes captured the school’s first-ever NCAA team trophy in any sport, and construction began on the Sports Complex.

The Institutional Actions Committee of the HLC agreed with a peer review team’s finding that CSC met all the core components of its Assurance Argument, the criteria for accreditation, through the Open Pathways option. As part of the reaffirmation process, CSC also successfully submitted the Federal Compliance Review and the Quality Initiative. More than 35 faculty and staff members engaged in six committees focusing solely on the college’s reaffirmation for more than a year.

Tessa Gorsuch, Mel Herl, and Stachia Reuwsaat combined for two individual NCAA titles and five All-America performances at the 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in March.

The Sports Complex project will see the renovation of Don Beebe Stadium, Con Marshall Press Box and Elliott Field. Including the second phase, construction of a competition space for the college’s track and field team, the entire project will cost about $11.1 million. A groundbreaking ceremony during Homecoming was followed by renovation work starting in November after the last home football game.

The second season of volleyball under head coach Riann Mullis made strides forward winning 10 matches for the season, a 10-year high.

Chadron State College bull rider Dakota Rice placed eighth overall at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. He was one of four CSC cowboys to compete at the event.

During Spring Commencement, 108 students earned their master’s degrees and 254 earned their bachelor’s degrees. At Winter Commencement, 81 graduate degrees and 172 undergraduate degrees were conferred.

Civic leaders and private residents alike were eager to offer praise for work accomplished by Chadron State College volunteers during the fifth annual The Big Event. Megan O’Leary, graduate assistant for The Big Event, said 544 volunteers worked at 54 job sites. Other annual events included the StoryCatcher Writing Workshop and Social Work’s annual conference.

The Chadron State College Army ROTC program grew in numbers and in scholarships. Since August 2016, 11 new cadets have been contracted and more than $500,000 in scholarships have been awarded.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day featured alumnus Jovan Mays leading a discussion and dozens of Chadron Public Schools children joined in the MLK march.

As part of Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood, a time capsule was buried during the annual Sandoz Conference near the statue of Mari east of the Sandoz Center. Becky Herian of Alliance, one of three CSC alumni appointed by former Gov. Dave Heineman to serve to the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, attended the event. Dora Olivares of Gering and Dr. Marty Ramirez of Lincoln also served on the commission.

Students and faculty traveled and competed both regionally and nationally, bringing home awards and accolades.

The student staff of “The Eagle” captured its seventh straight “Best in Overall Excellence” title in the Nebraska Collegiate Media Association’s (NCMA) annual Golden Leaf Awards. “The Eagle’s” website,, captured its third straight “Excellence in Digital Medium” award, the NCMA’s highest honor in its Digital Medium Division.

Musical performers celebrated when a new acoustical shell was completed in Memorial Hall’s Auditorium. In other music news, five students attended the Music Teachers National Association conference in Baltimore, Maryland, and Dr. McKay Tebbs represented the Great Plains region in the inaugural class of the College Music Society-National Association of Music Merchants  Summer Fellows Program.

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Seven students were selected to participate in the inaugural Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP). RLOP, approved by the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees in 2016, was designed to meet the need for lawyers in rural area. Some of the incoming RLOP class members were able to attend the Nebraska Court of Appeals when it met on campus for the first time in April.

Theatre students covered an array of genres including comedy and drama in their presentations of “Lost in Yonkers,” “Charley’s Aunt” and “Stop Kiss.” Former theatre faculty and alumni participated in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Post Playhouse at Fort Robinson in July.

Range Day, hosted on campus, included research work presentations by range management students Jacob Tejral and Jedidiah Rice. The two seniors also presented at the national Society for Range Management conference.

The Chadron State College Business Academy was well represented by Phi Beta Lambda members who competed in the final rounds of the organization’s National Leadership Conference. Stephanie Alfred of Mitchell, Nebraska, and Dawson Brunswick of McCook, Nebraska, placed first in network design.

Dr. Nathaniel Gallegos, assistant professor of the Business department, received the Teaching Excellence Award at the annual faculty and staff recognition luncheon.

The campus mourned the deaths of Dr. Janice Haynes, an associate professor in the Communication Arts department, and Aaron Eagle, a senior history major from Laguna Beach, California.

Next year, will undoubtedly hold many exciting achievements and accomplishments for Chadron State College students, employees and alumni.

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