Outstanding Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Recognized at the U of M, Crookston

Alumni from the University of Minnesota, Crookston were honored during homecoming weekend on Friday, September 24, 2010, at the annual banquet and program. It was a chance for the campus community to honor two recipients of the Outstanding Alumni award and the inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame, including three individuals and the 1982 Football Team.

Outstanding Alumni for 2010 are:

OA_Patenaude_Clack.jpgJames Clack, currently the Baltimore, Md., fire chief, was born in Crookston but grew up in Fowler, Calif. He attended the U of M, Crookston Technical College graduating in 1980 with a degree in general business administration. Clack began as a firefighter in February 1986 and spent five years at Station 11 in southeast Minneapolis on the hazardous materials team. In 1992 he was promoted to captain--where he moved from station to station--and in 1998 he was appointed deputy chief of personnel. He became assistant chief and was officially appointed chief in 2007after serving as acting chief for about a year. During the August 2007 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minn., Clack and his department played an integral role. For the first 24 hours the Minneapolis Fire Department was the lead agency of the unified command team, making Clack the primary commander of the rescue effort. He has been Baltimore fire chief since 2008.

Jan Patenaude graduated with an associate degree in institutional management from the U of M, Crookston Technical College in 1977. She went on to the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and then to Viterbo College in LaCrosse, Wis., graduating with a bachelor of science in community /medical dietetics in 1982. She is currently the director of medical nutrition for Signet Diagnostic Corporation in Riviera Beach, Fla. She also works as a consultant dietician and a freelance writer from her home in Marble, Colo. Certified as a LEAP therapist, Patenaude has more than 30 years of experience in the field of medical nutrition. Her work as a consultant has involved work with hospitals, nursing homes, drug/alcohol rehabilitation facilities, home health care, employee and corporate health, food companies, and her own private practice.

Athletic Hall of Fame inductees included:

June Shaver
has been an advocate and ardent supporter of Golden Eagle athleticAHOF_Essay_Shaver_Spaeth.jpg programs. She has been recognized over the years with several awards including the Torch & Shield Award, the U of M, Crookston's most prestigious award in 1994 and the Outstanding Alumni award in 1995. She has also established several endowed scholarships for student-athletes along with the Environmental Landscaping Internship Fund and the Shaver Butterfly Garden located adjacent to Owen Hall on the Crookston campus in memory of her parents. She earned her associate degree in accounting and applied studies in 1976 and 1982 respectively. She was office manager for American Linen Supply in St. Paul, Minn., for ten years, and Portland, Ore., for two years. From 1953-83, Shaver was administrator for the Northwestern Clinic in Crookston.

Ken Essay attended the U of M, Crookston from 1992-94 when he transferred to Minnesota State University, Mankato to complete a bachelor's degree in physical education and health. He earned a master of science degree in educational leadership also from Mankato and is currently the activities director at Mankato West High School as well as their boys' hockey coach. Prior to that time, he was a physical education and health teacher at Mankato West and as a long-term substitute in the New Ulm, Minn., School District. He was a two-year letter winner and captain at the U of M, Crookston and in 1993-94, he was named a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American.

Rick Spaeth
earned his associate degree in restaurant management in 1986 from the U of M, Crookston Technical College. He earned his bachelor of science from St. Cloud State University. He is currently the owner of R & R Masonry, Inc. in Paynesville, Minn. Spaeth was named to the All-Conference offensive line in 1984, and as All-Conference offensive and defensive tackle in 1985. That same year, he also was named to the All-Region defensive and offensive lines, National Junior College All-American First Team and was the team's captain.  He was inducted into the Minnesota College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 1991.

football team.jpgThe 1982 Trojan Football Team, with its 7-1 record, won the Northern Division Conference title. The team advanced to the state title game losing to Normandale Community College and they also played in the Midwest Bowl in Joliet, Ill., that fall. Head coach for the division champs was Jim Sims who presented the award to the team.

The Crookston campus opened its doors in 1906 as the Northwest School of Agriculture educating high-school students for 60 years until 1968. During its last two years of operation, the campus transitioned to a two-year technical college, known as the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical Institute. In 1993, the campus transitioned again to offer baccalaureate degrees and became the first-ever laptop university in the nation.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photos:

Top, left: Outstanding Alumni Jan Patenaude (left) and James Clack (right)

Center, right: Athletic Hall of Fame individual inductees (l to r): Ken Essay, June Shaver, and Rick Spaeth

Bottom, left: 1982 Football Team: (front row, t to r) Jim Sims, Kevin Kovar, Dan Crane, Randy Anderson and Doug Radke. (Back row): Rich Lemke, Dave Janssen, Craig Bitter, Brent Wagner, Rusty Mertens, John "Butch" Schleicher

Contact: Corby Kemmer, director, development and alumni relations, 218-281-8434 (ckemmer@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)