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Education Foundation of Albert Lea announces Pathways to Success Distinguished Alumni

Published 2:34pm Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Education Foundation of Albert Lea and Albert Lea Area Schools are pleased to announce their recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Foundation will be “Celebrating 14 years of Success in 2014” with all who attend this year’s banquet.

Recipients of this year’s awards will be recognized at the Education Foundation’s Pathways to Success Celebration on Sept. 11 at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. All are welcome to make a reservation to attend this event to share in the foundation’s commitment to the community’s children.

The event will begin with a social gathering and cash bar at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and program at 6:30 p.m. Reservations may be made by going to the foundation website at, filling out the response form and mailing it and a check for $40 per adult ($11 per child age 12 and younger) to the Education Foundation of Albert Lea, P.O. Box 828, Albert Lea, MN, 56007. Questions should be directed to Lilah Aas, President of the Foundation board of directors at the Foundation email address

Prior to the evening’s banquet, the Education Foundation will host a public forum moderated by Lyman “Manny” Steil, former Pathways Distinguished Alumnus and former foundation board member. This year’s topic will be “Exploring Opportunities and Challenges of Post-Secondary Education and Training.” The keynote speaker will be David Anderson, President of St. Olaf College in Northfield. In addition to Anderson, other panel members will include Mike Funk, superintendent Albert Lea Area Schools; Adenuga Atewologun, president of Riverland Community College; Ryan Nolander, executive director of Albert Lea Economic Development Association; Gerry Vogt, ALHS Distinguished Alumna; Jerry Tostrud, ALHS Distinguished Alumnus; Steve Leuthold, ALHS Distinguished Alumnus; and Jim Brill, ALHS Distinguished Alumnus. The purpose of the 2014 public forum is to generate excitement, focus, and extended discussion on important educational issues that impact all citizens of Albert Lea. The event will be held at Wedgewood Cove from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. This event is free; the public is encouraged to attend by emailing an RSVP to Registration for the banquet is not necessary to attend the forum.

The following morning, Sept. 12, the three living 2014 Distinguished Alumni will lead an open discussion with members of the senior class in an assembly at Albert Lea High School.

Distinguished Alumni awards are given annually to graduates of Albert Lea High School who have achieved success in the area of Business and Economic Achievement or Humanitarian and Public Service Achievement. In addition, awards may be given posthumously to candidates in either of the categories.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni follow:

Humanitarian and Public Service (posthumously)

Philip S. Tennis (Class of 1946): Staying on the family farm of his childhood, Phil’s lifelong vocation was running his family’s rural dairy operation and raising his family to carry on the business and learn to lead as productive a life as he did. However, he was just as busy with his life’s avocations — his commitment to education and a love of reading and singing. In addition, Phil also made a lifelong commitment to his local, state, and national organizations. He served as a member and leader of various boards and organizations. He was appointed by Congress to chair the Minnesota State Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.

Humanitarian and Public Service

Dr. Judith Watland McIntyre (Class of 1948): In her childhood and youth, Judith’s focus was on music, especially her piano. The focus moved to French with her bachelor’s degree from Carleton, but she found her life’s work with an interest in birds that became a doctorate in ornithology from the University of Minnesota and a career as a Professor of biology mostly at Utica College. Almost 40 years and over 26 publications later, McIntyre’s focus has been most devoted to loons at work, to her standard poodles at home and to the many groups which she has either founded or served in her colleges and communities.

Business and Economic Achievement

Daniel A. DeBoer (Class of 1974): From his childhood roots on the family farm near Hollandale, Dan has stayed local but he’s been expanding his skills and services to his community ever since. First a trucker then a trucking company owner, Dan has responded to local needs by expanding his business offerings and the number of local people he employs. He’s also using his talents and skills to aid others locally in his church and the downtown Cornerstone Project. Beyond Albert Lea Dan has expanded his mission work in Jamaica.

Business and Economic Achievement

Eric J. Nyquist (Class of 1990): Eric has been on the career fast track long before he began working for NASCAR in 2005 as Vice President of Strategic Development. After his bachelor’s degree from Carleton and an MBA from the University of Chicago, he added a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. Loving sports, he worked for the National Football League in New York, then returned to Chicago as Executive Vice President of Chicago White Sox Enterprises until joining NASCAR and NASCAR Media Group. He guest lectures at many universities to share his insights with college students.

Look for full biographical details of this year’s Distinguished Alumni in the Albert Lea Tribune.