The NDSCS Alumni/Foundation will recognize a group of distinguished alumni and friends as its 2020 Homecoming Honorees. The honorees will be celebrated at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 25 during the Alumni and Friends Awards Recognition in the Hektner Student Center on the NDSCS campus in Wahpeton. While capacity for the event is limited to maintain guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, tickets are available for sale to members the public who would like to attend the recognition ceremony.
Although several schedule adjustments have been made due to the impacts of COVID-19, including the cancellation of this year’s Homecoming Parade, a full line-up of Homecoming events is still planned. Registration details, additional information about the honorees and the up-to-date schedule of NDSCS Homecoming events can be found online at ndscsalumni.com/homecoming.
The 2020 Homecoming Honorees are:
Michael Worner, Alumnus of the Year, grew up in Wahpeton, and graduated from NDSCS with a Liberal Arts degree in 1963. While at NDSCS, he served as president of the student cabinet, managed the intramural program and was a starting player on the baseball and football teams. Worner has always been a champion of NDSCS through his generous donations and by attending events. He currently serves on the NDSCS Foundation Board.
The Anton and Em Krebs Family has been selected to receive the Family Tradition Award. All eleven of their children attended and graduated from NDSCS. They are strong ambassadors for NDSCS, and many have continued to live and work in North Dakota.
Tom Shorma, Wildcat of the Year, is a 1978 business, marketing and advertising graduate of NDSCS and is also an alumnus of the Wildcat football team. Shorma is the C.E.O. / President of WCCO Belting, Inc. Both he and WCCO Belting, Inc. support NDSCS in many ways. The Shorma family made a generous donation to the NDSCS athletics department to update the free weight gym with new rubber flooring produced by WCCO Belting, Inc.
Great Plains Hospitality – Dan Hurder has been selected for this year’s Friend of the College Award. After eight years of operations-based positions after earning his degree in hotel restaurant and tourism management, Hurder ventured into the world of entrepreneurship. He and his many businesses have been consistent supporters of NDSCS through their donations to the DREAMS Auction and hosting the annual summer Meet and Greet events at Ottertail Lake.
Larry Merbach is the 2020 Parade Grand Marshal. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Merbach began teaching, and came to NDSCS in 1966. He transitioned to the private sector in 1976, then went back to teaching. In 1980, he returned to NDSCS, where he’s been a mathematics and science professor ever since. Merbach planned to retire upon completing his 50th year of teaching at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 academic year but is teaching a Calculus class in the fall. A street on campus was recently named Merbach Drive in his honor.
Michelle Nelson has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Commitment to Excellence Award. Nelson began her employment at NDSCS in 2011 in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, then worked in the Grants Management department. She is currently a staff accountant in the NCSCS Business Affairs office and serves as the NDSCS Foundation Treasurer.
Due to inclement weather during last year’s event, the following 2019 Homecoming Honoree will be recognized along with the 2020 honorees:
The Joe and Louise Krebs Family are the 2019 recipients of the Family Tradition Award. Eight of Joe and Louise’s children and four grandchildren are NDSCS alumni, and one is a current student. The Krebs family members came to NDSCS because it offered the programs in their areas of interest, work-study options and strong job placement. The tradition for the Joe and Louise Krebs family started in 1977 and continues today.