Alumni Stories

Alumni Stories

 Erv and Marilyn Kessel


 

For Erv and Marilyn Kessel, it seems that becoming part of the Dickinson State family was inevitable. Both being born and raised in Dickinson, they headed to DSTC after graduating from Dickinson High School in 1955. Erv majored in physical education with an English and social studies minor. Meanwhile, Marilyn stopped attending after two years to help put Erv through college when they got married.

 

Erv was the quarterback for the Savages for four years. He helped the team win conference titles in 1955 and 1958. He also played basketball for a year before deciding to focus on school and football. He graduated in 1959 and the couple moved to Beach where Erv spent six years teaching physical education, English, and social studies and coaching football and track. During this time, he worked on his master’s in health, physical education and recreation from the University of Wyoming in the summers graduating in 1967.

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Lavern Jessen


A man that cares a lot about the College on the Hill is one way to describe Lavern Jessen.  As a retired administrator, residents of Dickinson will usually always see Jessen proudly wearing Blue Hawk gear. As a man who coached at Dickinson State before taking on an administrative role, Jessen’s pride continues to run deep through his veins. 

 

During Jessen’s time coaching Dickinson State University’s men’s basketball team, wins in Scott Gym were almost guaranteed. In fact, he said that some seniors on his 1968 team had only lost one game in Scott Gym in the four years they had been on the team. In the five years that Jessen coached, he won four conference championships and took three teams to the national tournament. Though if you ask him, it wasn’t just his coaching that got them there.  “I was extremely fortunate to have the kind of athletes that I had. They not only were great basketball players, but they were wonderful human beings,” Jessen said.

 

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