The Winona State University Heritage Award is given annually to an employee, retiree, alumni or friend of the university who is a well-recognized supporter of WSU and its students, faculty and staff. Awardees are selected based on criteria such as campus and community connections, support of WSU departments or programs, and enthusiastic recognition of WSU.
This year, WSU will recognize four of its biggest fans and supporters with the Heritage award: Troy Fegre, Tom Volkman, Dean Clark and Scott Cyert. The awardees will serve as the Grand Marshals for the WSU Homecoming parade and participate in the coin toss prior to the Homecoming football game.
Below are brief descriptions of the lives of the four men who have exemplified what it means to be a Warrior:
Troy Fegre was born in Winona and grew up with mom, Lois, and dad, Gary. Fegre graduated from Winona Senior High School and works with the Winona ORC and Winona State University’s cafeteria. If there is a football or basketball game at WSU, Fegre is sure to be there, stating that all the athletes at WSU are his favorite. When he isn’t cheering on his favorite Warriors, Fegre likes to play computer games and DJ. The self-acclaimed jokester also loves to go camping and fishing. Someone who inspires Fegre is WSU’s Director of the Student Union, Joe Reed, “because he’s awesome.”
Tom Volkman was born in Winona, and has a large family that includes his mom, stepdad, five sisters and five step-brothers and step-sisters. Volkman graduated from Winona Senior High School and works at Hy-Vee in Winona. Volkman learned from his own godfather how to be a loving godfather to his two nieces. He also enjoys go-carts, reading and word search books. Volkman said his mom and sisters inspire him the most by telling him to try new things and helping him see that he can do anything if he just tries. During the winter, Volkman is a regular at WSU’s basketball games and said he adores all the athletes at WSU. Spending time at WSU is so easy for Volkman because of the people he meets. “The people… They’re so nice,” Volkman said.
Dean Clark was born in Eau Claire, Wis., and attended school there and in Red Wing, Minn. Clark is the son of Mary and Jim and has one sister, Laura. The 55-year-old is now retired, which provides him enough time to go bowling, eat pizza and watch WWE wrestling. Clark moved to Winona in 1995 and “became an instant fan.” His favorite WSU sports to watch are basketball and soccer, and his favorite athlete is Meg Riebau. Clark said his parents inspire him because of their love and support, and his aunt Betty is another “super person,” who has loved and supported him.
Scott Cyert was born in Winona and attended Winona Senior High School and St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. Cyert now works on Chartwells on WSU’s west campus. During his free time, Cyert enjoys professional wrestling and reading about history. Cyert said his favorite part of WSU is the students. He is also a big fan of WSU’s basketball team, and his favorite athlete is Riley Bambenek. Besides watching his favorite Warriors on the court, Cyert lettered in varsity basketball his senior year of high school and was part of a buzzer-beater game during a regional quarterfinal game. Cyert said his role models would be his parents because, “They showed me you have to work hard to get where you want to be and that life isn’t easy.”
More information on these awards and other distinctions during Homecoming can be found on the WSU Alumni website at www.winona.edu/alumni.
More information on WSU’s Homecoming can be found at www.homecoming.edu/sal/homecoming.asp.