• Spotlight

    Kady Johnson

    Dreams Coming True

    Kady Johnson ’13 MA remembers crying the day she was accepted to college. She cried because she hadn’t expected it to be an option for her—and because she didn’t think that she would be able to pay for it. Johnson grew up in a home with limited financial resources. She had no expectation of being able to go to college, but she applied anyway. So when an acceptance letter arrived, she … Read full article »


    Stage Presence

    It sounds like folklore, but Lou Bellamy ’67 says it’s all true. It goes like this: Theatre director Ted Paul needed black actors for a production of “Finian’s Rainbow.” Meanwhile, the overall student body at Mankato State College in 1964 was as white as typing paper. Faced with few suitable solutions, Paul walked into the McElroy Residence Hall, where Bellamy and a few other black … Read full article »

    Rod Schmidt

    Suited for Sales

    It was the fall of 1972, and Rod Schmidt ’73 wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He knew what he didn’t want to do: move back to his hometown of Larchwood, Iowa, or end up working in a Sioux Falls, S.Dak., packing plant with many of his high school friends. Beyond that, however, he was a “walking generality,” as he terms it, casting about for a path to lead him out into the … Read full article »

    Peter Buerhaus

    Nursing in a New Light

    When Peter Buerhaus graduated from Minnesota State Mankato in 1976, his plan was to use nursing as his ticket to travel the world. He figured he’d work long enough to fund his first flight, then go abroad, working as a nurse wherever he was able. “See the world,” he says. “That was my plan.” He only made it as far as Ohio. That’s where he fell in love, got married and started … Read full article »

    austin lee 0910 mtu I

    Worth the Work

    A typical day for Austin Lee at Minnesota State Mankato started with a warm-up run with his hockey teammates and lifting weights before jogging to morning classes. After classes, he had practice on the ice, then reviewed game videos. Finally, he went to his night classes and then studied at the library until it closed. That dedication is part of what earned Lee ’12 a $5,000 Fellowship from … Read full article »

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  • Maverick Sports

    Coach Loren Ahonen

    Two For One

    Legends cast long shadows. Just ask Jim Dilling and Loren Ahonen, who were hired last summer as head coaches of the Minnesota State Mankato men’s track and field and cross country teams, respectively. A conversation about legendary Maverick coaches will always include mention of their predecessor: 34-year Maverick head coach Mark … Read more about Maverick Sports »

  • Emeritus Profile

    Gladys Olson at International Festival in 2012.

    Noticing a Need

    During Olson’s tenure teaching journalism in Minnesota State Mankato’s Mass Communications department, she became increasingly concerned about the isolation she saw some international students endure and the economic struggles they faced outside of the University. Minnesota State Mankato … Read full article »


    A More than Fair Career

    Longtime Minnesota State Mankato professor Bill Bessler spent nearly 40 years at the University, introducing as many as 2,000 students a year to Biology 100. A quick bit of math suggests that during his tenure, tens of thousands of students probably heard him lecture at least once in that general … Read full article »