NDSCS presents 2015 Homecoming Honorees


Five awards will be presented to distinguished alumni and friends of the College

The North Dakota State College of Science will recognize a group of distinguished alumni and friends on October 2, 2015 during the Alumni & Friends Awards Recognition at 7 p.m. on the Wahpeton campus. Honorees include Perry Miller, Alumnus of the Year; The Ballweber Family, Tradition Award; Fred and Wanda Strege, Wildcats of the Year; Minn-Kota Ag Products, Friend of the College; and Gayle Gruebele, Parade Grand Marshal.

Perry Miller, Alumnus of the Year, graduated from NDSCS in 1981 with an associate’s degree in Ag Business. He then went on to graduate from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. The Miller family owns and operates a property management company dealing with hotels, apartments and commercial property. Miller has served on many local boards throughout the years, including the NDSCS Foundation Board where he served for over 12 years including two as president. He is married to Denise, and together they have three children, Courtland, Carson and Abby.

The Ballweber family, recipients of the 2015 Tradition Award, have a long history with NDSCS dating back to when Duane Ballweber and Delfena Woytassek were students at the College. Duane was a 1952 graduate of the Auto Body Repair & Refinishing program and Delfena is a 1951 graduate of the Secretarial program. Duane became an instructor and department chair in the Auto Body Repair & Refinishing department until his death in 1985. He is the author of one of the textbooks used in the Auto Body curriculum, was a member of the North Dakota Auto Body Association and reigned as the 1951 Homecoming King. Delfena was a member of the faculty friends, worked in the game room, and helped in the computer lab and Enrollment Services. Together Duane and Delfena raised six children: Brad (1975 NDSCS alum with an A.A.S. in Civil Engineering Technology), Bruce (attended NDSCS from 1977-79 in the HVAC/R Technology program and received an A.A.S. in Environmental Science in 1985), Blake (attended NDSCS in 1979 for Architectural Drafting and General Studies), Beverly (1981 NDSCS alum with Practical Nursing and General Studies degrees), Bonne (attended NDSCS from 1982-1986 and graduated with a Liberal Arts degree in 1983 and an A.S. degree in Dental Hygiene in 1986) and Barb (attended NDSCS from 1982-1986, taking courses in business administration and graduating in 1986 with an A.S. degree in Dental Hygiene).

Fred and Wanda Strege were nominated as this year’s Wildcats of the Year. Fred obtained his law degree at the University of North Dakota in 1977. He then moved with his wife, Wanda, to Wahpeton where he began practicing law with the Johnson, Milloy, Johnson, Stokes and Robinson Law Firm. Fred is currently an attorney with Smith, Strege, Butts and Frederickson. He and Richard Smith formed the firm of Smith and Strege in 1981. Since moving to Wahpeton in 1977, Fred and Wanda have maintained a close relationship with NDSCS. Fred has served on the Alumni Board and both Fred and Wanda have been Catbackers and annual supporters of the DREAMS Auction for many years. The Strege’s have three daughters: Sara, Laura and Angie, who all took classes at NDSCS at one time or another.

Minn-Kota Ag Products (MKAP), which was founded in 1985 and merged with Schuler Grain Inc., received this year’s Friend of the College Award. MKAP is a fourth generation family owned and operated Grain Marketing and Production Agriculture Supply Company. MKAP owns and operates five locations throughout the southern Red River Valley located in Breckenridge, Minn., Wahpeton, Kent, Minn., Barney, N.D., and Wyndmere, N.D. The focus at MKAP has been to provide their producers with superior products along with superior service while providing a backbone for the communities they are a part of.

Gayle Gruebele, Parade Grand Marshal, began her career with NDSCS in 1992 by working in the Financial Aid office. Five years later, she was recruited to the Athletic Department by then Athletic Director Don Engen as his Administrative Assistant. Gruebele also attended college at NDSCS in the early 70’s. Her favorite time of the year was Alumni Weekend and Gruebele loved getting reacquainted with the former athletes that came back to participate. She also enjoyed working with the other departments on campus. Gruebele retired in September of 2014 and together with her husband, Cal, has enjoyed spending time with their family.

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