Iowa Central Inducts 2023 Triton Hall of Fame Class
by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
Posted on 10/16/2023
Triton Hall of Fame inducts 2023 members
The newest members of the Triton Hall of Fame were introduced Saturday evening, October 14 at a banquet in their honor on the Iowa Central Campus.
The seven inductees included an individual who dedicated her nursing career to improving healthcare while educating students, fellow nurses, doctors and patients; an engineer who has worked with the International Space Station, the chairman of the board of a Fort Dodge-based trucking company known for his leadership and acts of philanthropy, a retired Iowa Central instructor best known as a local historian, a professional basketball player, a well respected coach, and the first ever Triton Softball Team to qualify for the NJCAA World Series.
“Tonight is about celebrating the better lives that Iowa Central has been a part of,” said Iowa Central President Jesse Ulrich as he addressed the inductees. “Iowa Central remains the premier community college of choice in the state of Iowa and that would not happen without our great supporters and alumni.”
Tim Hanneman, Distinguished Alumni
Tim Hanneman graduated from Iowa Central with an associate degree in general studies in 1977.
After graduating from Iowa Central, Hanneman later attended the University of Redland in California where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in management in 1985 and Master of Business Administration in 1989. Hanneman became a nationally recognized member of the engineering profession and served with the American Institute for Astronautics and Aeronautics. He is one of only 350 AIAA Fellows worldwide. Hanneman was named to the 1994-1995 edition of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He served as president of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the National Management Association and led his team to national awards on two different occasions.
Dr. Bailey Adams, one of Hanneman’s nominators, described him as a man who “has an extensive record of positively impacting the aerospace and agriculture machinery industries.”
Nominator Harriet Adams said Hanneman may have moved up the ladder of career success but “never forgot his roots and remains a supporter of education.” Adams went on to describe Hanneman as someone who “prioritized the awareness and promotion of the power of education,” and “saw a need to raise engineering awareness long before the concept of STEM was introduced.”
Hanneman said he is proud of his education and the time he spent at Iowa Central, but that he was also privileged to be a member of the faculty for three years, teaching mechanical drafting. He said that time on faculty played a key role in his successful career which led him to working with the International Space Station.
“If it were not for the networking success that I had in placing students all over the State of Iowa, I would have never gotten the opportunity to move on in the industry and ultimately hold the title of manager of configuration and data management for the International Space Station,” said Hanneman. “It is my honor to have been associated with that project and I will never forget the opportunities it afforded me. Thank you for this wonderful honor and for allowing my story to be told.”
Elizabeth (Maiwurm) Morrell, Distinguished Alumni (posthumously)
Elizabeth Morrell attended Iowa Central Community College on a full scholarship, earning her Associates Degreen in Nursing. She went on to attend the University of Iowa and graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She continued her nursing education, obtaining both a masters and doctorate degree in nursing. Throughout her nursing career, Morrell worked in several leadership and management positions in critical care, cardiology and stroke care and ended her career as a senior director at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. Morrell was instrumental in developing and launching programs which made direct improvements to the overall health and well-being of many in her community. Even as a cancer patient, Morrell continued to advocate to better the lives of those with cancer by participating as a patient in the national forum for a protocol in treatment to help healthcare workers more fully understand ovarian cancer from a patient’s perspective. Morrell passed away in February 2023 after a five-year battle with ovarian cancer.
Iowa Central Board of Directors Chairman Mark Crimmins knew Morrell in high school, and they remained longtime friends.
“I always knew Liz would do something special in life,” Crimmins said in his nomination. “What most impressed me about Liz was even through all her successes, she kept her zest for life. Even when life dealt her a cruel blow, she maintained that zest.”
Tracy Schmoker stated in her nomination that “Liz was one of the most impressive people in my life. She exemplified hard work, determination, and an insatiable drive to make a difference. She was truly inspirational and a true personification of excellence.”
Morrell’s husband, John Morrell, accepted the award.
“I could always attribute something very special to Liz because of where she was from,” he said. “Liz would be very proud to have received this award.”
Roger Natte, Distinguished Faculty
Natte majored in history and social sciences at Iowa Teachers College beginning in 1956. He was among the first group of Peace Corps workers assigned to Libera, serving 1961-1963.
Natte came to Iowa Central Community College in 1965 where he taught history and social science courses for 33 years, retiring in 1998. Natte is a recipient of the Lions Club Community Service Award and received the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Award in 1997. He is the 2018 recipient of the William J. Peterson/Edgar R. Harlan Award, which recognizes an individual, group or organization that has made significant long-term or continuing contributions to Iowa history.
An avid local historian, Natte has written more than two dozen articles and several books related to Iowa history.
Teresa Jackson, who introduced Natte described him as an “indispensable source of knowledge.”
Dr. Gary Astor, one of Natte’s nominators said he worked with Natte when community colleges were new to Iowa.
“We were expected to be part of the communities we serve,” Astor said in his nomination. “Roger Natte fully embraced the concept of a community college."
Astor said Natte taught the history of the area in his classes and made his students aware of the people who settled in Webster County and made it what it is today.
In his address, Natte focused on the history of Iowa Central and its deep roots in the region.
“Iowa Central’s roots go back 101 years when it was established as Fort Dodge Junior College,” said Natte.
Natte recalled the college’s humble beginnings on the top floor of the former Phillips Middle School building as an extension of the local public school system and its eventual move to a wing of the newly constructed Fort Dodge Senior High School in 1959. Natte also saw Iowa Central’s relocation to its present home on Fort Dodge’s southwest side.
“As enrollment increased, we were in an old elementary school, a warehouse and an old bowling alley,” said Natte. “When we moved out here it was a big deal. There was nowhere to go but up.”
Proud to have been part of Iowa Central’s history, Natte said he is impressed with what it has become today.
“Iowa Central is a destination school,” he said. “People who come here see it as a privilege; with all the arts, the music, the sports, the programs, we aren’t second to any school our size. It is an amazing thing and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.”
Donald L. and Dianne Decker, Triton Humanitarian
Don Decker is a 1968 Iowa Central Community College graduate and a 1970 graduate of Drake University with a BA in Business Administration; and post graduate studies in Economics. He is currently the Executive Chairman of the Board of The Decker Companies; he and his wife, Dianne Decker, reside in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Don’s past accomplishments and positions held include:
- Member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Iowa Motor Truck Association
- Two-Time Past President and Chairman of the Board of the Iowa Motor Truck Association
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Truckload Carriers Association
- Member of the Board of Directors of Traffic Insurance Company, Schaumburg, IL
- Member of the Board of Directors of Captive Investors Fund, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
- Member of the World Presidents Organization
- Past Member of the Drake University Board of Trustees
- Past Member of the Judicial Nominating Committee for the State of Iowa
- 2008 Recipient of the Outstanding Philanthropic Business/Corporation Award – Fort Dodge
- Iowa Central Community College Distinguished Alumni/Hall of Fame – the Deckers have been significant supporters of Iowa Central and numerous projects and improvements on campus.
“If Iowa Central had to design a superhero, it would look a lot like Don and Dianne Decker,” Jackson said as she introduced the Deckers. “They are part of the family that founded Decker Truck Line in 1931, a company that was built with integrity. Their nationwide reputation reflects their brilliance; they are the Fort Dodge ambassadors to travel.”
The Deckers have provided scholarships, donated equipment to departments related to truck driving and diesel mechanics, played a key role in starting the college’s culinary and turf grass management programs and donated funds to purchase the electronic scoreboard in Hodges Fieldhouse. Their most recent gift, a pledge of $1 million, will help fund the new Performing Arts Center which houses the auditorium that bears the Decker family name.
Don Decker said he began his education at Iowa Central when it was still housed at Fort Dodge Senior High and witnessed the move to its present location where classes were held in several temporary buildings.
“Iowa Central has played a big role in my life for over five decades,” he said. “I have loved watching the expansion and growth that has happened here over the years. Giving back was instilled in me by my parents; they had a great passion for Iowa Central. We can accomplish a lot when we work together to make the community a better place. There would be a hole in our community if Iowa Central were not here. Thank you for this honor.”
Terell Parks, Triton Athletic Award
Parks started his college journey at Iowa Central in 2009 and was a member of the Men’s Basketball Team. As a Triton, Parks was named an NJCAA Division II First-Team All-American in basketball and set records in career scoring (eighth overall with 991 points), was second in single game rebounds with 22 and first in single game blocks and season rebounds with seven and 420, respectively. He graduated from Iowa Central with an Associate of Arts degree in 2011 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University where he continued his basketball career. At Western Illinois, Parks received All-Summit League Honorable Mention accolades in 2012. He was named Summit League Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and received NABC Second-Team Division I All-District honors.
Iowa Central Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chad Helle was an assistant coach during Park’s time as a Triton.
“I have not witnessed another guy dominate like Terell did,” said Helle in his nomination.
“I believe no one will break his records for a very long time,” said former Triton Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dennis Pilcher. “He played with complete domination.”
Parks said when he came to Iowa Central it was his first experience living away from family, but he quickly overcame the homesickness and found family and a sense of community among fellow Tritons.
“What a great reason to be back,” said Parks. “I remember Coach Pilcher telling me ‘you are only going to be as good of a player as you want to be.’”
Rick Sandquist, Triton Athletic Award
Sandquist earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arkansas State University and Northwest Missouri State University in 1986. He served as an assistant baseball coach at Fort Dodge Senior High School from 1988-1991. In 1991 he was named head baseball coach at FDSH and held that position until accepting the position of head baseball coach at Iowa Central in 1996. One year later, Sandquist was named the 1997 Two-Year College Coach of the Year. He led the Triton Baseball Team to the NJCAA College World Series five times during his tenure as coach. From 2006-2010, Sandquist served as head softball coach at Iowa Central. He led the Tritons to the school’s only NJCAA Tournament berth in three years. In his time as a head coach at Iowa Central, Sandquist saw over 930 career victories: 425 in softball and 390 in baseball. He was the recipient of the 2008 Community Colleges for Iowa Outstanding Support Staff Award. Sandquist served as Athletic Director at Iowa Central from 2010 until his retirement in 2018.
Iowa Central Athletic Director Kevin Twait recalled in his introduction of Sandquist how the baseball program’s fate changed for the better when Sandquist came on board full-time as head coach. He described Sandquist as a “Pillar of strength” for Iowa Central.
“It is difficult to get to the national tournament and to do it five times in seven years is incredible,” said Twait. “It is amazing how he had so much success in both baseball and softball.”
"His greatest impact was how he developed young men and young women,” said former Triton Head Baseball Coach Rick Pederson
“Throughout all the victories it was never about him,” said Twait of Sandquist’s impact. “He built a culture of squads his players were proud to be a part of.”
Sandqusit recognized several of his former athletes and colleagues in his address, reflecting that it was “never about me.”
“It is about surrounding yourself with good people,” said Sandquist. “I am very humbled by this award. I learned a lot from you, and I hope you all got something from me as well.”
2008-2009 Softball, Triton Athletic Team Award
Led by several athletes from the Iowa Central Service Area, the 2009 Iowa Central Triton Softball Team finished the season recording the most wins in school history with 62. Their overall record of 62-8 included the 2009 Region XI and District F championships. The team achieved a fifth-place finish in Iowa Central’s first and only NJCAA Division II Softball World Series and was named the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year. The Tritons broke 13 records in the 2009 season and had their very first NJCAA DII All-American, Brittany Martin. Ashley Willard was named a Golden Spikes Award recipient for the most stolen bases in the country that season. The team also produced 13 Region XI All-Region Winners, and two members of the NJCAA All-National Tournament Team.
Former Tritons Christina (Bradley) Smith, Brittany (Martin) Baier, and Stephanie Graziani reflected on their time as members of the 2008-2009 squad.
“The love of the game is what brought us together then and what brought us back together today,” said Baier. “The team we had was and is very special; I haven’t seen a team have the connection that we had.”
Baier gave credit to Sandquist for the successful team they were and the individuals they are today.
“He turned the average player into a great player, taught us about the game we love, but also taught us a lot about life."
“I’d give anything for one more inning with this team,” said Graziani. “You all made me who I am today. When you put good people around you, good things happen.”
“I will forever be grateful for the lessons I learned here,” said Smith. “I will forever cherish the impact you all had on my life.”
The campus has a spectacular structure. ICCC has individual learning, as it is a school with a "smaller" number of students, the teachers give you more attention which helps you better understand the subject. The ARC helps students, as there is a reading and writing center inside, as well as tutors for general subjects.