Peru, Nebraska – Several Peru State College employees were recognized for their years of service at a luncheon on the Peru State campus on May 1, 2023. The luncheon and recognition awards were sponsored by the Peru State College Foundation. 

The annual event is an opportunity to highlight milestone years of service, recognize retirees, and show appreciation for Peru State faculty and staff members’ dedication to student education and the college experience. Dr. Michael Evans, President of Peru State College, recognizes the importance of hosting such an event to acknowledge the contributions and caliber of employees. 

“It is an honor to recognize the people who have dedicated significant portions of their careers to Peru State College and our students. Peru State is known for its strong sense of community, and the people of this College are exceptionally dedicated, talented, and engaged.” 

Ted Harshbarger, Peru State Foundation Interim Director, served as the host for the event. Dr. Evans thanked those present for celebrating and congratulating their colleagues’ service to the College. 

Harshbarger recognized part-time employees and the Fresh Ideas dining services team. The following employees were then recognized for their years of service:

5 year

Five years of service: Left to right: Helane Folske-Starlin, Charles Hicks, Max Kathol, and Sara Westerlin.  (Not pictured) Susan Moore,  J.L. Thomason, Jacob Bents, Matt Thielen, Deb Clopton, Richie Kincaid, Jude Wright.

10 year

Ten years of service: Left to right: Amy Oestmann and Laura McCauley


Fifteen years of service: Left to right: Susan Abrahams, Deb Haveman, Jackie Whisler, and Darolyn Seay


Twenty-five years of service: Lisa Parriott


Thirty-five years of service: Delyn Clifton


Forty years of service: Kathy Tynon 

Retirees: Phyllis Dierking (fourteen years of service) and Annette VonBergen (twelve years of service). 

* Both retirees are not pictured

In his closing remarks, Dr. Evans thanked the Foundation and those who were recognized. He also reminded those in attendance about the importance of, and appreciation for, each person’s contribution. 

“We all contribute in different ways,” said Dr. Evans, “keeping the buildings clean, teaching the classes, managing schedules and processes, and so much more—but each one of us, in our own way, adds to the support that this College gives our students. When we do it well, they earn degrees, collect their diplomas like they will a few days from now, and jump off another cliff, leaping into a future they can’t predict. But when we do it well, they make that leap with confidence, and the people we celebrate today have been doing it well for some time. For that, on behalf of Peru State College, I am grateful.”  

Nestled in the hills of historic southeast Nebraska, Peru State College offers a mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management.

Established in 1867 as Nebraska’s first college, Peru State has transformed over the past century and a half into a state-of-the-art institution offering diverse, multifaceted educational programs annually to nearly 2,000 students.

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