In Memoriam - Lucile Fessler
We are saddened to inform you that Lucile Fessler, a member of the Lakeland College Board of Trustees for nearly three decades, former board chair, a board member emeritus and a great friend and supporter of the college, passed away Friday. She was 100.
Lucile, a staunch supporter of liberal arts education and winner of numerous awards and honors for her service to the community, became a Lakeland trustee in 1973, and served as board chair from 1982 to 1986. She is the only female board chair in the college's history. She was named trustee emeritus when she retired from the board in 2003.
In 1999, she was named an honorary alumna by the Lakeland College Alumni Association, and in 2003 she was awarded a doctor of humane letters for her service to Lakeland and the community.
"Mrs. Fessler was a model for civic responsibility and contributing in any way possible to the common good," said Robert Melzer, chair of the Lakeland Board of Trustees. "Her considerable service to Lakeland was but a small part of her work that benefited all of Sheboygan. We are a better place for having been recipients of her leadership and her friendship."
In 2003, when she received the honorary degree, Lucile said, "It's wonderful to see the part Lakeland plays in the lives of so many people. There's a wonderful sense of community that you feel among the young people."
Lucile was a significant financial supporter of the college. She was a member of the college's 1862 Society, and longtime contributor to the Annual Fund for Excellence. In 1990, she was instrumental in establishing the Jacob and Lucile Fessler Professorship in Creative Writing. The position is held by Karl Elder.
Visitation will be between 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Grace Episcopal Church, 1011 N 7th Street, Sheboygan. Family and friends may gather at the Church on Friday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. until reflections by selected family members at 10 a.m. and a funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. See a complete obituary online at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sheboyganpress/obituary.aspx?n=lucile-f-fessler&pid=167647529.
Art Spiegelman coming to Lakeland in November
Graphic novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegelman will share his talents with Lakeland as part of this year's Krueger Fine Arts Series on November 18, 7:30 p.m. Spiegelman is best known for his graphic novel, "Maus," a holocaust narrative where the Nazis are personified as cats, and the Jewish prisoners are portrayed as mice. He spent a decade as an influential contributing artist for The New Yorker. Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear from an artist who has impacted popular culture for nearly five decades.
Watch for more details about Spiegelman's visit.
Lakeland history professor authors biography on 60s counterculture icon
Lakeland College Associate Professor of History Rick Dodgson has completed a biography of one of the most significant figures in the 1960s counterculture revolution.
Dodgson's "It's All a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey" is the first biography of Ken Kesey, counterculture icon and best-selling author of the anti-authoritarian novels "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a Great Notion."
"It's All a Kind of Magic" is published by The University of Wisconsin Press and will be available beginning Oct. 22 in hardback and electronic form. It can be purchased online at http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5162.htm or in many bookstores. This is Dodgson's first book.
Dodgson will read from his work on Nov. 12 as part of a book signing event at Boswell Book Company, 2559 N Downer Ave., Milwaukee. The event begins at 7 p.m.
Dodgson's 256-page work reveals a youthful life of brilliance and eccentricity that encompassed wrestling, writing, farming, magic and ventriloquism, CIA-funded experiments with hallucinatory drugs and a notable cast of characters that would come to include Wallace Stegner, Larry McMurtry, Tom Wolfe, Neal Cassady, Timothy Leary, the Grateful Dead and Hunter S. Thompson.
"This time and these people are still relevant today, because the events of the 60s continue to shape modern American culture in fundamental ways," said Dodgson, a member of Lakeland's faculty since 2007. "Much of our culture, our music, our ideas and lifestyles are products of the decade. Even if young people don't realize the connection between EDM raves and Kesey's acid tests, there is a direct link connecting the two."
Based on meticulous research and many interviews with friends and family, Dodgson's biography documents Kesey's early life, from his time growing up in Oregon through his college years, his first drug experiences and the writing of his most famous books. While a graduate student in creative writing at Stanford University in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Kesey worked the night shift at the Menlo Park Veterans Administration Hospital, where he earned extra money taking LSD and other psychedelic drugs for medical studies. Soon he and his bohemian crowd of friends were using the same substances to conduct their own experiments, exploring the frontiers of their minds and testing the boundaries of their society.
"As a historian, I think there's still much to be learned about the 1960s and its long-term impact on our culture," Dodgson said. "As a teacher, I find my students are fascinated by the counterculture – partly because of the sex, drugs and rock and roll – but also because they see the movement was important. Students recognize it as a period where young people had a significant role to play in shaping history and acting on the historical stage."
With the success of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Kesey moved to La Honda, Calif., in the foothills of San Mateo County, creating a scene that Hunter S. Thompson remembered as the "world capital of madness." There, Kesey and his growing band of Merry Prankster friends began hosting psychedelic parties and living a "hippie" lifestyle before anyone knew what that meant. Tom Wolfe's book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" mythologized Kesey's adventures in the 1960s.
Illustrated with rarely seen photographs, "It's All a Kind of Magic" depicts Kesey as a precocious young man brimming with self-confidence and ambition who – through talent, instinct and fearless spectacle – made his life into a performance, a wild magic act that electrified American and world culture.
Dodgson was a graduate student at Ohio University in 1999 when he first traveled to Oregon to meet Kesey and ask him if he would agree to be the subject of his dissertation. With Kesey's approval, Dodgson spent the next few years researching in archives and libraries up and down the West Coast. Along the way, he interviewed many of the people around Kesey during the 60s, including most of the Merry Pranksters, author Tom Wolfe, Woodstock MC Wavy Gravy and famed amateur LSD chemist Owsley "Bear" Stanley III, whose products fueled the Acid Tests and the whole San Francisco hippie psychedelic scene that developed in their wake.
Dodgson was named Lakeland's 2012 winner of the annual Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. He has work extensively on the Lakeland Oral History Project, an effort dedicated to collecting oral histories related to the college.
Before coming to Lakeland, Dodgson was an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee-Martin. He also worked as an adjunct professor in history and political science at Ohio University and as an ETD instructor in Ohio's graduate student services.
Dodgson has a bachelor's degree in American studies and social anthropology from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom and a master's in political science theory and a doctorate in history (primary field: 20th Century America) from Ohio University. He has won several academic awards, including a Contemporary History Fellowship, the Elizabeth Baker Peace Fund Award and a Student Enhancement research grant.
He has also presented papers at a number of prestigious academic forums, including the American Historical Association Conference, the Southwest Texas Popular/American Culture Association and the Oral History Association Conference.
He is also a music enthusiast who performs occasionally at local venues. He is also the creator and producer of "Mission to the Stars: A Space Rock Opera."
Lakeland football players lend a hand
For the sixth straight year, a group of Lakeland College football players helped make Lincoln-Erdman Elementary School's Halloween extravaganza a success.
Head coach Kevin Doherty brought about 30 players with him to the Town of Sheboygan on Friday night for the popular event, which has been held at the school for more than a decade and which on Friday drew more than 300 students and guardians.
The Lakeland players ran the many various games and activities and handed out candy and prizes. Prior to Lakeland's involvement, parents had to volunteer for those roles. With the players manning the stations, parents and grandparents were able to enjoy their children.
"In many ways, our players get more out of this than the children do," said Doherty. "They realize the impact they can have by being positive role models in the community.
"A real testament to how much our players enjoy this is that we've got quite a few upperclassmen here tonight. They keep coming back each year, even though it's voluntary."
One of those upperclassmen, senior quarterback Dylan Van Straten, said this is his third year helping out at Lincoln-Erdman.
"It's a really fun experience interacting with the younger kids," he said. "To see the smiles on their faces is satisfying. They look at us like we're the Green Bay Packers."
Added senior wide receiver Chris Jaskulski: "We like to do things like this and make our reputation in the community strong. To be involved in your community is always a good thing."
First-year Lincoln-Erdman principal Amanda Barttelt-Schermetzler smiled as she described some of the players good-naturedly scaring the children "in a friendly way" along the school's LEEF Trail, a short outdoor walking path.
"It's a great way for the Lakeland College players to get involved in the community, and they certainly help us out a great deal," she said. "They're a great asset to us and we are very thankful. They're doing an awesome job relating to the children. They're naturals."
In Memoriam – Peter Bemis
Peter Bemis, a member of the Lakeland College Board of Trustees for more than three decades, former chairman of the board and a great friend and supporter of the college, passed away Thursday night. He was 66.
Peter, the president and CEO of the family-owned Bemis Manufacturing Company, became a Lakeland trustee in 1979, and served as board chairman from 1992 to 1998. He was a member and chairman of several board committees over the years, and at the time of his passing he was a member of the board's executive committee and the academic and student affairs committee.
"Our Lakeland College family has lost one of its most insightful and influential leaders," said Stephen Gould, Lakeland College president emeritus and president of Lakeland from 1998-2012. "Peter Bemis' enthusiasm for Lakeland's mission was infectious. During his 34 years of service as a trustee, he advised and counseled three of the college's presidents and played a decisive role in virtually all the initiatives that have made Lakeland College the vital and robust institution it is today."
Peter served on Lakeland's Decade 2000 Task Force, the college's Design for Tomorrow campaign and was a past chair of the community campaign for the annual fund.
Peter and his wife, Susan, were significant financial supporters of the college. In 2008, he funded the construction of a school in Malawi, Africa, to benefit Lakeland's Malawi Teacher Education Program. He was also instrumental in creating the F.K. "Pete" Bemis Senior Endowed Professorship in Business Administration, which honors his father. The position is currently held by Abe Qastin.
The family has close ties to the college. His son, Peter, is a 2012 Lakeland graduate; his daughter-in-law, Nena Jakovac, earned a bachelor's degree in 2006 and a master of arts in counseling in 2009; and his step-daughter, Aleah Altman, is a 2013 graduate.
Interim President Dan Eck said, "On behalf of the college, I extend our thoughts and prayers to the Bemis family. We mourn Peter's passing, but will always be grateful for everything he did for the college."