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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Nine to be honored April 29 as distinguished alumni

Nine are honored for exceptional achievement.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release [4-26-11]

Nine Minnesota State University, Mankato graduates – including two Mankatoans – will be honored Friday, April 29, as 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award winners for exceptional achievement and contributions to their professions and communities.

The awards will be presented by the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association during a dinner ceremony at Best Western Plus Hotel and Restaurant, North Mankato.

The event will honor Walt Wolff and David Cowan of Mankato; Eugénie de Rosier, St. Paul; David Frauenshuh, Edina; Todd Kelzenberg and Mary Story, Minneapolis; Michael LaCroix-Fralish, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; Gunder Myran, Stanwood, Mich.; and Betty Wariari, Maseru, Lesotho.

Cowan and Wolff will receive Harold J. Fitterer Service Awards, for giving distinguished service to Minnesota State Mankato and using their time, treasure and talents to preserve and promote university programs.

Wolff, for many years Minnesota State Mankato’s admissions director and interim dean of student affairs, graduated in 1984 with a master’s in continuing studies. He retired in January.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Penn., Wolff moved to Minnesota in 1975, serving as placement director for five high schools. In 1982 he joined Minnesota State Mankato’s Career Development Center, initiating a program to help students find part-time employment.

He moved to the First Year Experience office, developing programs to promote student success and increase retention. He then was appointed director of admissions, expanding the office’s scope and increasing student enrollment by more than 50 percent.

In the last two years he delayed retirement twice to serve as interim dean of students, overseeing all areas of student life.

Cowan, facilities services director at Minnesota State Mankato, graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

As a student Cowan was active in Residence Hall Association and student government. He is an avid supporter of Maverick athletics, serves on the boards of the Hoops and Blue Line Clubs, and supports Theatre & Dance, Urban & Regional Studies and the Alumni Association.

In 2009 he chaired the annual Campus Drive, rallying faculty and staff to pledge more money in support of the University than in any previous year. He also is an active community volunteer.

Cowan is known as the campus “parking guru,” overseeing a team of students who manage traffic flow during major university events.

Frauenshuh, Myran and Story will receive Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, for achieving high rank or honor in their professions and having widespread effect on their communities.

Frauenshuh, CEO of Frauenshuh Companies, a commercial real estate development firm, graduated in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Myran, president and founder of Myran and Associates, a college and school consulting firm, graduated in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in business education.

Story, associate dean for student life at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and an epidemiology and community health professor, graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics (food and nutrition).

De Rosier and Wariari will receive Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Awards, for exemplifying service to humankind and demonstrating exceptional dedication to humanitarian causes.

De Rosier, a principal and writer for de Rosier Writes, graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in English. From 2006-2008 she served with the Peace Corps in the Philippines.

Wariari, who works with families impacted by HIV and AIDS in the African nation of Lesotho, graduated in 2008 with a master’s degree in health science (community health).

Kelzenberg and LaCroix-Fralish will receive Distinguished Young Alumni Awards, for reaching personal or professional achievements early in their careers, positively impacting their communities, and showing promise for continued success.

Kelzenberg, vice president of business development at AdvisorNet Financial, graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

LaCroix-Fralish, director of in-vivo pharmacology and behavioral phenotyping at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, N.Y., graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in biology (toxicology).

More information about the awards is at Alumni Relations website.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,393 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.

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