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Same place, different time

Posted by Judy Korn on Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2008

When Dean Kalmoe ’75 and Mary Martin ’75 lived and studied at UMM, an entire dorm floor of students shared one phone mounted to a hallway wall. Computers were virtually nonexistent. In contrast, cell phones and sophisticated software populate the memories of son Ryan Kalmoe ’08. Although technology utilized, buildings frequented, and favorite professors differ between the three alumni, this legacy family shares a lasting impression of UMM, a deep sense of belonging to a special community.

Faculty influences
Dean’s UMM career started in 1965 in wildlife biology, but four years in the U.S. Air Force delayed graduation and, indirectly, changed his major. “When I returned, I met the late Professor William Peterfi, remembers Dean, “and I fell in love with sociology and history.”

He also met another significant person in his life, Mary Martin, although the two hold different memories of exactly where that happened, in the science building or the Iota Psi Sorority House.
Many of Dean and Mary’s most vivid recollections revolve around a favorite campus hangout. “I have strong memories of Louie’s Lower Level,” shares Dean. “I remember the blue cloud of haze and the camaraderie. It was a focal point of student activity on campus, and the professors came, too.”

Notes Mary: “That is something that has stayed the same—the close contact with faculty, being on first name basis with professors. Ryan has definitely had the same experience.”

Like Dean, Mary spent many hours in Social Science, now Imholte Hall. One summer, she worked with Eric Klinger, professor of psychology, on his Project on Fantasy. She also assisted Ernie Kemble, professor of psychology, with his research on amygdala brain lesions. “I’ll never forget drinking tea with Ernie in the psychology lab,” remembers Mary, “In glass beakers, he’d serve instant tea made with hot tap water.”

Research is central to Ryan’s UMM experience, too, but the physics major’s memories originate in the science building.

A Morris Academic Partnership allowed him to work with Kristin Kearns and Len Keeler, assistant professors of physics. “Using UMM’s telescope, located in the science building’s observatory, Kristin and I conducted photometry measurements with a charge-coupled device camera,” shares Ryan. “Basically, we took pictures of stars to figure out how bright they were. We also coordinated public observation nights. With Len, I calibrated remote ultrasonic range finders that we designed and constructed for Keith Brugger, professor of geology, to measure snow accumulation on glaciers for his research.”

Summer on campus
All three alumni experienced campus during the summer months. Like his mother, Ryan conducted research. Both father and son served as residential life advisers throughout their UMM years, and both worked one summer for Residential Life. But neither Ryan nor Mary share Dean’s most memorable-and challenging-summer memory.

“Plant Services was remodeling Education,” Dean narrates. “And Arnie Anderson was in charge of restoring the walls with plaster. At that time, the center stairs still existed in that building. My job was to haul wet plaster to Arnie, buckets and buckets of wet plaster up those steps, hundreds of times.”

Gift for the future honors the past
As an expression of their gratitude for this learning community and to celebrate their family’s campus connections, Mary and Dean have established a bequest to fund a UMM scholarship. “We’ve all had such very positive experiences at UMM,” says Mary. “Education is so very important. It’s nice to be able to give back.”

Mary and Dean make their home in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Mary, a 1981 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Law, is an attorney at The Law Offices of Mary K. Martin. Dean serves as the assistant director, Administrative Services, for the Minnesota Disability Determination Services.

Ryan, a 2008 recipient of the Abbott Award in Physics and Honors Program Scholar, has been accepted to the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School and is enrolled in the Nuclear Propulsion Program.

Photo above: The Kalmoe Martin legacy family-Dean Kalmoe ’75, Ryan Kalmoe ’08, and Mary Martin ’75