Wayne State College hosting Homecoming


Wayne State College will host its 2023 Homecoming festivities Oct. 2 to 7 on campus.

Homecoming weekend kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 5, with royalty coronation and a pep rally at 7 p.m. in the Student Center atrium. All community members and students are welcome to attend. Visitors can also enjoy Wayne State students displaying expressions of music, art, language and literature during the annual Arts Walk on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The public can also attend free planetarium shows Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7, in the Fred G. Dale Planetarium, located on the lowest level of the Carhart Science Building.

On Friday, Oct. 6, a ribbon cutting ceremony recognizing the Peterson Fine Arts Building renovation and addition will be held at 2:30 p.m. The public and all current and former Peterson Fine Arts faculty, staff and students are invited.

Reunions and activities scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6, include a Carhart Math and Science alumni reunion from 3 to 5 p.m. in room 105, and an opening reception for the Wayne State Faculty Art Exhibit at 3:30 p.m. in the Nordstrand Visual Arts Gallery, located on the main level of Conn Library.

The Homecoming parade and Band Day will begin activities at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, on Main Street in downtown Wayne. Campus tours are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting in the Student Center. The President’s Society and Honored Classes Brunch takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Frey Conference Suite. Honored classes this year are ’63, ’73 and ’83 for their 60-, 50- and 40-year reunions. The Wildcats take on Minnesota Duluth at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, during the annual Homecoming football game.

Student events throughout the week include “Campus Feud,” a variation of the “Family Feud” game show; Greek Olympics; traffic cone decorating; and a “Make Your Own Trucker Hat” workshop.

Outstanding Alumni and Foundation Service Awards

The Outstanding Alumni Awards banquet takes place Friday, Oct. 6, honoring an alumnus from each of the four schools at Wayne State. Two Foundation Service Awards will also be presented during the alumni banquet.

Outstanding Alumni Award recipients for 2023 are Hannah Thayer-Stout ’16, head of the Domestic Violence Unit at the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office in Kane County, Ill. (School of Arts and Humanities); Rick Wimer ’82, co-founder of INSPRO Insurance in West Point, and Jayne Wimer ’83, retired teacher (School of Education and Behavioral Sciences); Jason Avenell ’98, COO, co-founder, and “chief idea guy” of OneStaff Medical (School of Business and Technology) and Jack Swinney ’97, CEO and co-founder of OneStaff Medical (School of Science, Health and Criminal Justice).

The Foundation Service Award is given to an individual(s) who has enhanced the college through dedicated service, promotion, financial support and other efforts that have benefited Wayne State College. The 2023 recipients of Foundation Service Awards are George Burcum and Susan Boust, M.D.

George Burcum graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1969 and spent the next 35 years working as an actuary for Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, assembling financial statements for health and life insurance. During his career in Omaha, he spent significant time in Wayne visiting his sister, Carolyn Linster, and brother-in-law, Dennis Linster. The Linsters are also very supportive of Wayne State, which had a major influence on Burcum and Boust’s support of the college. Three Linster family members have already graduated from Wayne State, and more graduates are to come. Burcum and Boust want to support the school that this family has chosen.

Burcum is married to Susan Boust, M.D. Boust graduated from Iowa State University in 1972, the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1979, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Medicine in 1985, and UNMC/Creighton residency training in 1989. Her career was focused on teaching psychiatry to medical students and residents in the state. She had a special interest in teaching teamwork to health care professionals. Upon retiring to Wayne, she focused on supporting all things behavioral health on the Wayne State campus.

Burcum and Boust serve as trustees of the Wayne State Foundation, have been members of the Cat Club since 2018, share the support of several scholarships through the Foundation, and attend as many campus events as possible. Their goal is to help make Wayne State the best, most affordable college for Nebraska and Midwestern youth.

For more information about Homecoming 2023, to see a detailed schedule of events, and to RSVP to attend, visit www.wsc.edu/homecoming, or contact the Wayne State Alumni Office at 402-375-7370.