Meet the Donors

The Science and Engineering Building addition and renovation campaign is a symbol of how philanthropy can make exceptional science education at Benedictine College even better. Donors are helping make the $26 million project possible.

For more information on how to donate or name a space in the building, contact

Rosemary Wilkerson
(913) 360-7417

Dr. Michael '81 & Debra Boland

Although he occupied a dorm room in St. Augustine Hall, Dr. Michael Boland ’81, spent so much of his days and nights in the labs of the science building for work study and as a tutor for Atchison high school students, Fr. Conrad Pillar finally gave him his own key to the building. That key opened more than the door to a science building. It opened a pathway for a successful career and a passion for helping others...

Dr. James '77 & Linda Bongers

Dr. James ’77 and Linda Bongers fill their home in Manhattan, Kansas with art from all over the world. As their collection grew, the Bongers knew they needed to share their love of art in a more public arena. In 2005, the couple loaned sculptures from their Frederic Hart collection, including the bronze Ex Nihilo fragment pieces, the Ex Nihilo tympanum, which depicts the story of creation; and the trumeau figures of St. Peter, St. Paul and Adam. Five years later, the Bongers gifted the entire collection appraised at $1.5 million to the college dedicated to the memory of Fr. Conrad Pillar, OSB ’43, Jim’s chemistry professor and Fr. Eugene Dehner, OSB ’37, his biology professor...

Larry '60 & Tresa Buessing

They have traveled all over the world visiting the coral reefs in Australia, touring the fishing docks in Thailand, photographing the amazing architecture in Egypt, riding horses through the mountains of Costa Rica, and meeting a lion up close and personal during an African Safari. For years Larry ’60 and Tresa Buessing accompanied dozens of Benedictine College students on research trips with their biology professors...

Rick & Kathie Weishar '80 Dalzell

“Customer experience matters. You have to invest in the future, not just for the moment,” said Rick Dalzell in 2007, when he was the Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of in Seattle, Washington...

James E. & Elizabeth (Gillespie) Ferrell

For James E. and Elizabeth J. (Gillespie) Ferrell, an investment in Benedictine College is an investment in their hometown. Jim and Zibbie, as they are better known, were both born and raised in Atchison. They have been successful partners at home, in the community, and in business...

Dr. Don  ’75 and Nancy Germano

As a chemistry major, Dr. Don Germano ’75, recalls receiving good natured ribbing from Father Conrad Pillar, OSB, regarding priorities as he juggled tennis team responsibilities while conducting student research.

John Gould Jr. ’66

John Gould Jr. ’66 doesn’t see his gifts to the college as a donation, but rather as an investment in the future of the college and the future generations who will be attending Benedictine College.

Dr. Lisa Kolb ’82 and Hugh Waggoner, and Dr. Terence ’80 and Jill Grewe

They shared lab space and professors in the late 1970’s and now chemistry majors Dr. Terence Grewe ’80 and Dr. Lisa Kolb ’82, along with their spouses, Jill Grewe and Hugh Waggoner, will share the naming of a faculty office on the chemistry floor of the renovated and expanded science building.

Dr. Judith Hemberger ’69

Dr. Judith Hemberger ’69, loves the outdoors. It is not uncommon to find her hiking 7-8 miles in the Rocky Mountain National Park behind her home in Colorado. Although hiking and climbing are both a hobby and a fitness activity for Judy, she has also made quite a climb in her education and career over the years.

Dr. Tom ’83 and Joan Moyer Kemlage ’85

Dr. Tom ’83 and Joan Moyer Kemlage ’85 wouldn’t know a stranger and consider all Benedictine Ravens part of their immediate family. If you are a Benedictine College graduate living in or around the St. Louis area, chances are you have played golf with Tom in the alumni tournament or shared a beer with them at an alumni Christmas party.

Kim Keutzer ’74

It was music to the ears in the College’s Physics Department when alumnus Kim Keutzer ’74, made the decision to pledge $25,000 to name a faculty office on the physics floor of the renovated science building.

Jim ’76 and Nancy McCann ’76 Lahey

Father Paschal Pretz, OSB, was a member of the Physics and Astronomy Department for nearly half a century. He taught in every academic year of the college from 1921 to 1966. He taught physics, serving several years as professor and chairman. For another 15 years he worked in the North Campus Science Hall laboratories, keeping equipment in repair and assisting with student experiments.

Dr. John Leland ’66 and Dr. Mark Leland ’92

Dr. John ’66 and Rita (Zeorlin) ’66 Leland give to a large variety of charities in their community including the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, Salvation Army, Concern, Mary Martha Outreach, United Way, St. James Catholic Church, Mount St. Scholastica and Benedictine College. They both just like to help people.

Dr. Kerry McDonald ’87

For Dr. Kerry McDonald ’87, Benedictine College is a family tradition. Both his father, Kenneth McDonald, and his mother, Barbara Mall McDonald, attended St. Benedict’s College and Mount St. Scholastica College in the early 60’s.

Stephen D. ’82 and Amy Kohake ’84 Minnis

As a student, Stephen D. Minnis ’82, tried to avoid the science building.

“I was a political science major, so I had very few classes in the building, but I did take Latin in the auditorium,” said Steve. “Veni, Vidi, Vici in Westerman auditorium.”

Blish-Mize: John H. Mize, Jr. ’61, and Jonathan Mize

In 1871, three brothers-in-law founded Blish-Mize after making the long journey from Chicago to Atchison, Kansas. David Blish, Edward Mize, and Jack Silliman worked hard to build a respected distributor to outfit wagon trains headed west from the Missouri River. Soon the company was distributing all types of goods to more than 800 hardware stores, lumberyards, and general stores throughout the Midwest.

Mike ’82 and Theresa (McPhee) ’83 Murphy

Mike ’82 and Theresa (McPhee) ’83 Murphy were ready to join the team when they learned of the needs to renovate and expand the science and engineering building. Their varsity level gift will ensure that all of our Benedictine College students receive the very best academic environment. They have a true love of the college and share in its vision for the future. “We are blessed and humbled to be a part of the campus transformation. We strongly feel the renovation and expansion of Westerman Hall will help further support the mission of the college producing successful science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates.”

Jack ’70 and Kathy Newman

“While I wish I had taken science courses in Westerman, in truth, I did not,” acknowledged St. Benedict’s College alumnus Jack Newman ’70.

Jack, who currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Benedictine College, and his wife Kathy have pledged a gift of $100,000 to support the expansion and renovation of the science and engineering building.

Dr. F. Jay ’84 and Jane Wetta ’84 Ohmes

It was a weekend that brought back a lot of memories of college days for alumni Dr. F. Jay ’84 and Jane Wetta ’84 Ohmes, as they watched their son, Michael Ohmes, cross the stage in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium to accept his diploma and join the Benedictine College family as a member of the class of 2016. Family members stayed in residence halls on campus, ate meals in the cafeteria and wandered on the campus grounds. Everything was so familiar, but still new and enhanced, that is until they got to the Science and Engineering Building.

Jamie Lambrecht Raftery ’03

Jamie Lambrecht Raftery ’03 is a firm believer in the adage, “If you build it, they will come.” She knows that Benedictine College has shaped her into the person she is today and she intends to help the college build an environment for future students to flourish.

Chuck ’74 and Marty Latz ’76 Raplinger

Four of the five children of Chuck ’74 and Marty Latz ’76 Raplinger were educated on the Benedictine College campus during the new construction years.

Their sons, Dan Raplinger  ’01, and Eric Raplinger ’10, graduated with degrees in accounting without ever experiencing the new School of Business classrooms in the Ferrell Academic Center, which opened in the Fall of 2012.

Ralph and Mary Kay Holle ’73 Schramp

Ralph Schramp’s destiny was written in his baby book as an infant. His father, William J. “(Art)” Schramp ’42 and mother, Miriam (Correa) Schramp ’45 had written, “SBC Class of 1971,” in his book before he was even old enough to read.

“My dad died when he was 42, so he never saw me go to college,” said Ralph. “My class was the last class to graduate from St. Benedict’s College.”

Dr. Tom and Michele Schnurr, M.D. ’77

“A proud moment for me was a victory over Fr. Conrad at a game of handball. Only one game,” said Tom Schnurr, M.D. ’77.  “Fr. Conrad announced he would do great physical harm to me if I discussed this victory with anyone. He stomped off the court, but called for a rematch a few days later. “

Jim ’68 and Jane De Broeck ’68 Sidoni

Jim ’68 and Jane De Broeck ’68 Sidoni learned about the science building project when Jim called the Benedictine College Advancement office to ask, “If I were to give a $1,000 every year, where should it go?”

The alumni couple remembers the new science building opening on the St. Benedict’s College campus during their sophomore year. However, Jim said the only science class he took was biology and it was on the Mount St. Scholastica College campus with Sr. Aelred Pottinger, as a summer school course.

Patrick ’84 and Janna Crowley Stueve

It was Janna Crowley Stueve’s father, William Crowley and Father Eugene Dehner, OSB, who encouraged her to attend Benedictine College. Janna attended from 1981-1983, and then transferred to Avila University to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, she never forgot the influence that Fathjer Dehner had on her education.

Dr. Tom Thompson ’74

More than 40 years after he graduated from Benedictine College with a degree in chemistry, Tom Thompson ’74, is still interested in the science laboratories at his alma mater. He understands the importance of today’s students having access to up-to-date instrumentation, computer interfacing and laboratory electronics.

Aman Udani ’93

Aman Udani ’93 was an international student from Bombay, India, who came to the United States with $167. He received the Dean's Scholarship, worked as a Residence Assistant during the academic year, and worked every summer on campus. He never went home during his college years.

The Westerman Family

Nearly 25 years after it was built, Benedictine College’s center for scientific study was named to honor a Dallas oil executive who attended St. Benedict’s College in 1946-47. In 1988, the four-story science hall officially became known as Westerman Hall in recognition of the generous contributions made by Howard G. Westerman Sr.