Buena Vista University

Eight to be Honored at Founders' Day Service

Sep. 4, 2013

Buena Vista University will hold its 36th annual Founders' Day memorial service on Saturday, Sept. 14 to honor eight deceased individuals who have served the institution as faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, friends, and benefactors.

"Over the course of Buena Vista University's 122-year history, the quality of the educational experience for our students has been made possible because of the contributions of a great many individuals who believed in the future of this institution," says BVU President Fred Moore. "Those we honor at Founders' Day this year have been an important part of that legacy."

Inaugurated in September 1978, Founders' Day has become an annual memorial service that has honored approximately 194 individuals through 2012. The service, led by Rev. Ken Meissner, University Chaplain, begins at 11 a.m. at Schaller Memorial Chapel.

Those being recognized this year are:

Dr. Robert "Bob" Borgman, Storm Lake, was a professor of botany at Buena Vista University from 1969 to 1994 and was honored with emeritus status upon his retirement. In 1948, Robert enlisted in the United States Air National Guard where he served his country in the Korean Conflict until he was honorably discharged. After returning, he earned his bachelor's degree from Central College, and then went on to earn his master's degree from Kansas State University as well as his PhD from Iowa State University. Bob began teaching at Buena Vista University in 1969, where he started the interim travel program, served as assistant to the president, and participated in the teacher exchange program where he taught one semester in Kyoto, Japan. He was a long-time member of the Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake. He and his wife, Nancy, were joined in marriage in 1957. Bob passed away on October 20, 2012.

Dr. Art Camburn, Red Wing, Minn., was a professor of management at Buena Vista University from 1991-2010 and was honored with emeritus status upon his retirement. Art enjoyed a 15 year career at Howmet Corporation in Whitehall, MI where he especially enjoyed his time working in their Tech Center in Plant Engineering. He later received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Grand Valley State University, his master's degree from Western Michigan University, and his PhD from the University of Florida. Art's passion was to teach, which led him to a long career of teaching at University of Florida, University of Wisconsin, and Buena Vista University. After retirement, he and his wife moved to Red Wing, MN to enjoy the beauty of the area, and his lifelong interest in river and rail transportation. Art joined his wife, Sharon, in marriage in 1979. Art passed away on March 17, 2013.

Dr. E. Wayne Cooley, Clive, was a member of the Buena Vista University Board of Trustees (1993-2010) and was later honored as a Sir John Templeton Life Trustee. He holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Buena Vista University as well as Morningside College. In 1954, Wayne served as Executive Secretary of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. He also served as the Executive Vice President of the Iowa High School Speech Association until his retirement in 2002. He was active in many other endeavors with the U.S. Track and Field Federation, Drake Relays Executive Committee, Women's College Basketball Association Hall of Fame, Iowa Heart Association, Iowa Games, and the United States Olympic Committee. He has been honored with induction into the U.S. Track and Field Federation Hall of Fame, the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame, and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Wayne received two awards from the BVU— the John Fisher Alumni Award in 1979 and the Henry Olson Alumni Award in 1993. After his wife Gerry's death in 1982, Wayne married Wendy in 1987. Wayne passed away on May 11, 2013.

Margaret Cravens, Spirit Lake, was a Buena Vista University benefactor. She was raised and educated in Des Moines, graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1939. Margaret then attended Francis Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois, and then Drake University in Des Moines. After working for a short time, Margaret was a stay-at-home mother while their children were growing up. Her and her husband Jim made their home in Des Moines, Iowa, Los Angeles, California, and Sanborn, Iowa before moving to Spirit Lake. Jim and Margaret established the John Haywood Cravens Foundation, a philanthropic organization named in memory of their late son. Jim and Margaret Cravens received the Wendell Halverson Outstanding Friend Award from Buena Vista University in 2012. Margaret joined her husband, Jim, in marriage on May 24, 1940. Margaret passed away on March 15, 2013.


Burdette "Burt" Heikens,
Carefree, Ariz., was a Buena Vista University benefactor. He graduated from BVU in 1958, where he majored in business. Prior to that, Burt served as a Personnel Specialist in the United States Army from 1953-1955. After graduation, he married his wife Phyllis and began his career with American Republic Insurance Company where he served as Executive Vice President and COO. Burt retired in 1992, but continued to serve on the Board of Directors until 2008 and was an active member of Desert Hills Presbyterian Church. Burt received the John Fisher Alumni Award in 1970, and he and his wife received the Henry Olson Alumni Award in 1999 from Buena Vista University. They have supported the BVU Entrepreneurial Leadership Fund, 1992 Senior Class Endowed Scholarship Challenge, and several projects in Ballou Library. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis. Burt passed away on August 22, 2012.

Tim Pierce, Storm Lake, served on the Board of Trustees (2010 -2013) and was a Buena Vista University benefactor.&nbsp He attended Storm Lake High School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa. He started his career in the insurance business in 1971 and later co-founded Insurance Associates of Spencer in 1984. Tim was very active in community organizations, including service as president and member of the board of directors of the Storm Lake Area Development Corporation and chief fundraiser for the corporation's special business recruitment projects in the 1980s. He was co-chair of the Buena Vista University Community Campaign, and a charter member and president of Lake Creek Country Club. Tim also served as a board member of the University of Iowa National I-Club. He is survived by his wife, Laura. Tim passed away on March 22, 2013.

D. Jean Schaffer, Naples, Fla., was the wife of the late Buena Vista University Trustee, V.G. "Bob" Schaffer and was a BVU benefactor. Jean graduated from Balaton High School in 1938 and attended one year of college at University of Minnesota. After three years away from Minnesota while Bob served in the Navy during World War II, they returned to Balaton, where Bob worked in the bank. Jean was very involved in politics and in the Presbyterian Church. For many years she served as the Lyon County chairwoman of the Republican Party and was involved in the First Presbyterian Church in Balaton, Christ United Presbyterian Church in Marshall, and served as an advocate for fairness and concern for others. A joy in her life was being a member of the Patrick Henry Descendants' Branch of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, being a fourth great granddaughter of the American patriot. Jean and her late husband, Bob, were joined in marriage in 1940. Jean passed away on October 5, 2012.

Mary Siefer, Storm Lake, was a Buena Vista University benefactor and wife of long-time employee, Robert "Bob" Siefer. Mary was born in Wyoming and later moved to Nebraska with her family. In 1960, Mary and her family moved to Hastings, where Bob took a job at Hastings College. In 1966, she and her family moved to Storm Lake where Bob began a long career at Buena Vista University. Mary worked tirelessly as a volunteer in the church and community. She served as President of PEO, President of Presbyterian Women, an elder of Lakeside Presbyterian Church, and a long-time church choir member. She initiated and led the 4-H club, The Storm Lake Senioritas, and served many years as a Big Sister. She also worked as a volunteer greeter with Bob for special guests and trustees of both Hastings College and Buena Vista College. Mary joined her husband, Bob, in marriage in 1947. Mary passed away on June 16, 2013.

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