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From the 1960s

We both graduated from FFJC in 1967. We made good friends from all over and have great memories of our time there. In the 1970's, John spent a few years as the football coach at the college. Both of our sons, Jason and Ben, are also graduates of the college. Michelle (Simons) and John Lindquist - AA degrees - 1967 Dalton, Minn.

Girls did not have cars back then so we spent a lot of time walking between Washington Junior High and Roosevelt Senior High for classes that first year (1960-61). I was a cheerleader for the Spartans. Kathleen (Fabian) Van Sickle - AA - 1962 Rochester, Minn.

Psychology professor Dr. James Condell and biology professor Dr. Yvonne Condell mentored me at FFJC. I played golf for the Spartans. The Condells went way above and beyond to help me obtain a golf scholarship to Florida A & M University. Ron Tate - AA - 1963 Tallahassee, Fla.

I kept the statistics book at the J.C.'s basketball games. It was a lousy night the time FFJC Spartans scored 148 points! My most embarrassing moment was when a UND freshman hit my first pitch over the fence in Grand Forks. David L. Jacobson - Pre-professional Certificate - 1966 Shoreview, Minn.

I have nothing but fond memories of FFJC. It was a great place to start my college career and gave me the foundation I needed. Thanks to Mr. Portmann for guiding me through my needed science classes. He made science fun and enjoyable! Allan Windom - AA - 1966 Rosemount, Minn.

Both my wife Susan (Smith, 1966) and I had excellent experiences with faculty, fellow students and in extra-curricular activities while at the college. We enjoyed being back for the 50th anniversary celebration and visiting with the Waage family as well as numerous other friends. Gary Clambey - AA - 1965 Moorhead, Minn.

After finishing my military enlistment, I began my education at Fergus Falls Junior College in September 1962. While there I played basketball with the Spartans. My two years at FFJC were the best college years. Also, all three of our children attended FFCC and loved their experiences there. Warren Nelson - AA - 1964 Ashby, Minn.

Fergus Falls Junior College was there to help me transition from being a "kid" to becoming a responsible adult. Norm Sunstad - AA - 1964 Sedona, Ariz.

Lee Krogh was a strong influence, both as an English professor and as head of the drama department. He challenged me to do things I did not think I could. Victoria (Anderson) Drake - AA - 1965 Asheville, N.C.

I enjoyed FFJC (the name at that time). I got to personally know many instructors because I worked in the college office. Wherever I go I still see people I met at the college. Instructors cared about you and your success - you were not just a number in a class. One of the best experiences in my life. LuAnn (Hanneman) Rudh - AA - 1966 Fergus Falls, Minn.

FFJC was a great starting place for me. It gave me the opportunity to transition from a small high school (Elbow Lake ) into the college world. The teachers all seemed to truly care about us. Mr. Portmann stands out as a teacher who took the time to really help me through my science classes. I finished the last 12 years of my career teaching science! The students at FFJC seemed to get along quite well. FFJC was like a family to me. Allan Windom - AA - 1966 Rosemount, Minn.

English instructor (and drama coach) Lee Krogh was a decisive influence on my life - the first of three "masters" with whom I have "apprenticed." I have made my livelihood on the spoken and written word ever since. Also, FFJC was a valuable transition from a provincial youth to a more cosmopolitan adulthood. Owen Heiserman - AA - 1965 Marshalltown, Iowa

I recall, in the spring of 1966, carpooling to a basketball tournament game in Willmar since a bus was not provided for the pep band. The car did not survive the return trip, so we were put up by the Kerkhoven police on spare cots in their jail cells. I don't know about the others in our carpool, but for me it was my only night in jail. Lowell Wilcox - 1966 - Richville, Minn.

Dean Waage enrolled a high school drop-out as an Adult Special who went on to earn four degrees. He never lost the faith and inspired us to do all that we could. Thanks to Dean Waage! I was a member of the first class at FFJC. Shirley Erickson, who later became the registrar at the college, encouraged me to get started that first fall. I was the single parent of three children. When I first met with Dean Waage, he said that I did not really fit into any of their student "categories." So he labeled me an "Adult Special" student. They were great years that gave me the foundation I needed to pursue a rewarding career. Retirement led me to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, where I now live. What a pleasure to visit the campus in August 2010 to see what the college has become! Kent Van Meter - AA - 1963 St.Croix, WI

We were in the first graduating class of Fergus Falls Junior College. We did not have a campus, but we had fun! Dr. Wayne Jacobs - AA 1962 - Fergus Falls, MN


I walked to the Washington Junior High School campus of FFJC every day. It was a long walk from my home in the northeast part of Fergus Falls. On a VERY COLD January day, 10 degrees below zero, I just did not think I could make the walk. I called the college and asked if someone could pick me up. I was more than surprised when Jim Worner pulled into my driveway driving Dean Waage's station wagon! That was way beyond showing personal concern for each student. What a great memory of my FFJC days. Now I live only a few blocks away from M State! Janice Stroschein Stenger - AA - 1962 Fergus Falls (A member of FFJC's FIRST graduating class)

Fergus Falls Junior College began its life the same year that I graduated from high school. There was little money available for college, and I was thrilled to receive a call that spring telling me that the Pelican Rapids Rotary Club had awarded me a year's tuition scholarship to FFJC! How surprised I was to find that my high school math teacher, Lyle Fox, was now the math department at the new college. His fine teaching and encouragement led me to a degree in the math field. Herb Kjos, the English department, influenced my choice of an English minor.

Many of us who attended in those first two years came from simple beginnings. But we were determined and talented and smart. FFJC gave us a wonderful - and affordable - foundation for the years of advanced study and contributions to business and society that we have realized. We, the first graduating class of FFJC, are the legacy of Wesley Waage and that small band of wonderful teachers and administrators. Carol Tanberg - AA - 1962 Sun Lakes, AZ (A member of FFJC's FIRST graduating class.)


My most memorable instructor was Dr. Joseph Kise. He brought a wealth of knowledge to the classroom and required much of his students. We not only had to know the answers to the test questions but had to spell them correctly. This was particularly challenging in Minnesota history. A sample question went something like this: "Henry Schoolcraft married Jane Johnston who was of Scotch/Irish and Ojibwe descent. What was her Ojibwe name?" Correct Answer: OBAHBAAMGEZHEGOQUA (or was the "Z" after the "H"??) Allan Jacobson - AA - 1962 Brainerd, MN (A member of FFJC's FIRST graduating class)

My college years were a very maturing experience. Wayne Jacobs and I stayed late at the campus one day working on some tough trigonometry problems. After solving the toughest problem, we danced and yelled. Little did we know that Dean Waage was also still on campus. He came into the room and suggested we try to restrain our exuberance! Gene Wells - AA - 1962 Fergus Falls, MN (A member of FFJC's FIRST graduating class)


Both Darrell Iverson and I came off of four years in the United States Air Force in 1960. We ran into Wes Waage one day and got sold on signing up for the new FFJC. That turned out to be a life changing event. Later, instructor Joe Kise was instrumental in steering me to Moorhead State University, where I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree. I worked in the business field until retirement. Robert L. Anderson - Pre-Professional Certificate - 1962 Becker, MN (A member of FFJC's FIRST graduating class)


Fergus Falls Junior College prepared me for further education. It helped me adjust from being a 1940s and 50s farm boy to being ready for a larger world. I had Dr. Yvonne Condell as an instructor in high school (Underwood HS) and at Fergus Falls Junior College AND at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Nine total years! She was and is an inspiration. Robert Schachtschneider - AA - 1962 Andover , MN (A member of FFJC's FIRST graduating class)

There are three things that come to mind. Ken Peeders taught English and helped me appreciate reading and literature. Second was a piece of art created by a fellow student, Coleen Nelson, that made me think. Third was when the campus was housed on the grounds of the State Hospital in 1968. The location gave the campus the look of an old campus. We received a totally new insight into life and learning through the lives of the residents at the State Hospital. The college was a great step in my learning and development. Don Wedll - AA - 1969 Bethel, AK


My most influential instructors were Lyle Fox and Wayne Needy. Orris Anderson - Pre-Professional/Math and Physics - 1967 Fergus Falls, MN

I remember how dedicated Dean (he was called dean before acquiring the title president) Wesley Waage was in administering the then fledgling junior college. "We were like one big family in that first year," I remember President Waage saying. And that we were. At an early convocation at the college in the Washington Junior High building, Dean Waage told us, "Remember, all of you can say, 'I was there at the beginning.' "And that is most certainly true. There was camaraderie among the students and faculty knowing, I suppose, that somehow we were all making history.

The quality of education even in that first year was superb; equal to that I received in transferring later to the University of North Dakota, and later in graduate school, at the University of Missouri-Columbia. That first faculty was tremendously gifted and went over and beyond to impart their vast collective knowledge. I must credit Wes Waage for giving his heart and soul to the college during his years of service as its leader. His first hires as faculty helped the college get off to a running start and placed it in an excellent situation to progress to where it is today, and I thank him for it. Gary Wigdahl - AA - 1962 Rothsay, MN (A member of FFJC's FIRST graduating class)


I was a cheerleader for Spartans Basketball Team. I was the Spartan Snowball Queen in 1962. I was Winter Wonderland Queen Snowflake in 1963 and Miss Fergus Falls 1964. The instructors in 1961-63 were excellent. My youngest son, Jeremy Pederson, also attended M State and played football from 1994-1996. Faye Stadsvold Pederson - AA - 1963 Fergus Falls, MN


I credit Warren Olsen, who was my English instructor, with providing me with the tools to have greater academic and professional success. Really all of my instructors at the time had a hand in that, as well. I did not have much hope or desire for success when I started, but I was enabled and pushed to do better by all of them. I am thankful to them for caring and helping me. John Wagner - AA - 1967 Fergus Falls, Minn.

Last modified: May 3rd, 2012 at 02:26pm