Clarke University 

Alumni Newsletter

February 2011

February 2011 Newsletter Header




February 24

Florida Reception  


March 19


April 30

Education Conference


June 6




Dear Alum,


For much of this year, the Clarke campus and most of the Midwest has been a winter wonderland. But while the landscape was a blanket of white, the Clarke pride exhibited by those attending our recent events across the country has created a sea of blue and gold.

In December, the Alumni Board hosted a festive gathering at the Cheney Mansion in Oak Park, Ill., with over 60 alumni sharing Clarke memories from their college years and recent reunions. A photo display of Clarke's many holiday traditions (compiled by grant writer Mary Lou Caffery, BVM and archivist Sara McAlpin, BVM '56) helped prompt much of the lively conversation.

At the event, Alumni Board President Sandy Blake '82 invited attendees to start an alumni chapter in the greater Chicago-land area due to interest expressed in recent years. The idea was well received with most alumni in attendance signing-up to be involved!

The spirit of Clarke was present that day, and I am fortunate to witness these same sentiments year-round. The rebirth of potential alumni chapters is just one way Clarke alumni continue to form bonds and traditions that have the potential to last a lifetime. 

Are you interested in getting more involved in Clarke-sponsored events?  I invite you to take a short survey to help the alumni relations office determine interest in future Clarke activities, perhaps even forming additional alumni chapters in your area. Click here to complete the survey.


Thank you again for all of your support and, until next time, go Clarke! 

Katie Bahl '04
Director of Alumni Relations  



Where are they now?  


Carmelle ZserdinCarmelle Zserdin '61, BVM


Professor Emerita of Art Carmelle Zserdin '61, BVM has been a recognizable face on Clarke's campus for more than 47 years - and she has quite a collection of books, pottery and photos to prove it!  She retired last year after teaching at Clarke since 1962.


Today, in her studio on campus she continues to investigate areas of interest, including porcelain and pit fire, and she teaches as an adjunct faculty member. "I love working with young people and watching them develop through their years at Clarke from green freshmen to proficient young artists," she said. She hopes to do more sculptural and small installations in the future. 


Click here to read more about Carmelle or send her a note to    



Annual giving to the Clarke Fund helps support our mission. It also enables Clarke to provide scholarship support, expand existing programs and take advantage of emerging opportunities. Your participation on an annual basis helps increase our alumni participation rate -- a statistic many foundations and corporations take into account when allocating funding. Gifts of all sizes matter, and even moderate level gifts could be the tipping point for Clarke to receive thousands in foundation funding.


To date, Clarke's participation rate stands at 17%. We need your support to reach our goal of 21.4% by May 31. Help Clarke impact a new generation of future alumni at

Save the Date


Homecoming 2011 


Save the date for Clarke Homecoming 2011 scheduled for Sept. 23-25, 2011. We have many exciting events planned this year, so make plans to visit Dubuque this fall!  Check out for a complete hotel listing.   

Don't miss Clarke gatherings in your area. Here's a look at what's coming up...   

Florida Wine and Hors d'oeuvres Reception     

All Florida alumni and friends are invited to attend a reception Thursday, FebWine and Hors d'ouevres Reception. 24, at the Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples, Fla. Hosted by Dr. Tom and Susan Williams and Steve and Sue McGovern Juergens '69.


Clarke Gathering in New York     

Join alumni and friends for a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception hosted by 2001 graduates Matt and Katie Kropf Zelle at their Manhattan apartment in the heart of the financial district, Saturday, March 12. Veteran music faculty member John Lease will be a special guest at the event. Special thanks to Sheryl Schulte '71 for her volunteer assistance with the event.


River MuseumClarke Day at the River Museum    

Join us Saturday, March 19, for the third annual Clarke Day at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque!  Clarke alumni and friends will receive discounts on admission, the 3D/4D theater and gift shop. There will be kids activities, musical performances, wine tastings and an appearance by Clarke's mascot Cuttie Crusader. The 'Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America' exhibit, co-sponsored by Clarke, will also be showing during the event.  


Alumni Golf Classic

As part of the 23rd Annual Clarke University Golf Classic, we will again hold a special ALUMNI Golf Classic on Monday, June 6, 2011 at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club. Cost for the special alumni round beginning at 8 a.m. is $75 fee, which includes greens fees and cart rental as well as a sack lunch. Proceeds benefit 10 scholarships for tri-state students attending Clarke in the fall. Hole-in-one prizes include a set of Callaway Diablo Irons, a Sharp LCD flat-screen television and round-trip domestic airfare for two, as well as the grand prize of $25,000! To register, contact Wendy Scardino, director of annual funds, at (563)588-6513 or 


RSVP for these events by calling (563)588-6405 or on-line at Get the complete schedule of upcoming alumni events and view photos from events gone by at


Wedding Splendor


Celebrating a Valentine's Day engagement? Planning a wedding? Why not have it in the splendor of the 55-foot-tall Wahlert Atrium. The amazing atmosphere at Clarke and some of the area's top culinary offerings are sure to create an evening you will never forget. To learn more, contact Randy Hendricks at or call (563)588-8151.




Clarke to Host Education Conference  

Clarke University Education Department will host "Aligning the Stars: When Classroom Practices and Best Practice Theory Come Together," a conference for professional educators, students, alumni and education-related agencies on Saturday, April 30, at Clarke from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Conference topics will include: educating all learners, best practices in literacy, physical education/coaching, and new trends in education. The keynote speakers are educators Esmé Raji Codell and Mara Sapon-Shevin. 

A Clarke alumni reception will follow the program. If you are interested in presenting a session or would like more information, please contact Michele Vosberg at (563) 588-8196 or

BVM Sisters and Clarke Host Women's Leadership Event, March 12

The Sisters of Charity, BVM and Clarke University are co-sponsoring the presentation, Women's Leadership at the Crossroads: Markers of the Past, Guideposts for the Future, on Saturday, March 12, 2011. The event will be held in the Alumnae Lecture Hall in Catherine Byrne Hall from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on the Clarke campus. The goal of the presentation is to reflect on women's leadership in the past, consider women's leadership today, and draw inspiration to face the challenges in the future. Click here to learn more.


Featured Events 


Women and SpiritWomen & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America exhibit 


Clarke University and the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium are pleased to host the national "Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America" exhibit at the museum February 18-May 22. Conlon Construction Co. is the major local sponsor for the exhibit.   


Organized by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an association of congregation leaders of the Catholic women religious in the United States, "Women & Spirit" features artifacts and materials collected and on loan from more than 400 religious communities. It reveals the mystery behind a small group of American women who helped shape the nation's social and cultural landscape. Dubuque is the only Midwestern stop for this traveling exhibit.

Click here to learn more.


Want to see the exhibit? The Holiday Inn in downtown Dubuque is offering a special hotel rate of $79 plus tax for Clarke alumni and friends throughout the exhibit dates. Request the "Women & Spirit" rate when making a reservation or when checking in. Call (563)556-2000 for more hotel details.  AR_Lisa Ling     


Lisa Ling to Present at Clarke's Mackin-Mailander Feature Lecture 

Acclaimed journalist Lisa Ling will be the featured speaker in this year's Mackin-Mailander Lecture Series focused on impacting positive social change on Sunday, March 27, in Clarke's Robert and Ruth Kehl Center. As the field correspondent for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and former contributor to ABC News' "Nightline" and National Geographic's "Explorer," Lisa Ling has reported from dozens of countries, often about issues that are typically ignored. 

Click here for more details.




Clarke Among '25 Colleges with the Best Professors' says CBS MoneyWatch


It's not uncommon to hear someone say that it's the people at Clarke University who make all the difference. This comment was reinforced in December when CBS MoneyWatch contributor and education writer Lynn O'Shaughnessy reported Clarke was ranked third in the nation for having the best professors.


"The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, an education think tank, crunched the figures from RateMyProfessors, which maintains the Internet's largest collection of college professor ratings. The site contains more than 11 million ratings on over one million professors. The center examined the teacher evaluations as part of its process of producing the annual college rankings for Forbes magazine," according to the post.




NAIA 5 star awardClarke Named Recipient of NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Award

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced this fall that Clarke University has been named a recipient of the Champions of Character Five-Star Award for the 2009-10 school year. Clarke shares the NAIA's commitment to high standards and to the principle that participation in athletics serves as an integral part of the total education process.

To receive the award members scored 60 or more points on the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard. The Scorecard was crafted to convert the NAIA's vision and strategy into measurable goals and to monitor progress towards advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics.  "We are pleased to be named a Champions of Character Five Star institution by the NAIA. The NAIA has stepped up the requirements for institutions to be recognized as a Champions of Character Institution and our coaches and student-athletes have answered the call. I am excited about the future of our character initiatives at Clarke,"  said Director of Athletics, Curt Long.   

Hall of Fame Announced 

Clarke University Athletic Director Curt Long recently announced the formation of the Clarke University Varsity Athletics Hall of Fame to recognize student-athletes, coaches and contributors who have demonstrated extraordinary performances and achievements in athletics.  

Clarke is currently accepting nominations for the 2011 induction class. Nominations may be made on-line at The nomination deadline is April 15. Nominations are open year round, however, nominations received after that date will be included for consideration the following year. Hall of Fame inductions will occur annually during Homecoming weekend. For more information, contact the Clarke athletics office at (563) 588-8186. 


Crusader LogoFollow Crusader Competitions


Stay up-to-date with the latest results and catch live streaming of games at



Cypress SwampClarke Students Dive In Over Winter Break 


The majority of college students go home over winter break. This year, Clarke offered several unique classes to students staying on campus in January. One of the courses, Subtropical Ecology, brought students up close and personal with the various habitats of Florida, which became the classroom. Associate Professor of Biology Andrea Bixler and several students drove to Florida to experience and study "the immense array for different types of habitats, each with its own fascinating plant and animal life," Bixler said. 


Click here to read more.



Do you know the whereabouts of the lost alumni listed on our Web site?  Send us their address, phone or e-mail information and we will include you in a drawing for great Clarke University gifts and apparel. Drawings are held at the end of each month. Call (563)588-6510 or e-mail



Become a Class Agent 

Do you enjoy getting classmates together for your reunion? If yes, then become a Class agent! Class agents help communicate with classmates about all the exciting activities planned for their reunion. E-mail Director of Alumni Relations Katie Bahl at for more details on how you can be part of the excitement!    

Be sure to mark your calendars for Homecoming 2011, Sept. 23-25. Reunion classes ending in one and six will be honored.


Did you know...  

Each year the alumni relations office sends a special valentine mailing to our more than 230 alumni couples! That number continues to grow each year!   Interested in other Clarke fun facts? Have a burning question? E-mail




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