Distinguished Alumni Awards

  • The MSUM Alumni Foundation seeks to recognize and honor accomplished alumni. We are proud of your success, and in turn, proud of the role MSUM has played in your lives. While many are deserving of recognition, only a select few are chosen each year. Each recipient exemplifies the high standards we have come to expect from graduates of Minnesota State University Moorhead and each has made significant contributions to the communities where they reside and work.

    Nominations may be submitted throughout the year, with review and selection occurring in the early spring. Nomination deadline for Distinguished Alumni 2019 is 12/31/2018. Recipients are honored at the Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony, an integral part of Homecoming festivities.

    Nominations are accepted for the following categories of recognition:

    • Distinguished Alumni Award - recipients are typically at the peak of their professional careers. More than one alumnus may be selected.
    • Outstanding Young Alumni – recipients are graduates of the past decade with notable career or community impact.
    • Outstanding Service Award - recipients have given a significant contribution of time and talent to MSUM.

    To nominate an MSUM alumnus for a Distinguished Alumni Award, please complete the online form. For more information feel free to contact us.

    Alumni Award Nomination Form Past Alumni Awards

    2018 Night of Distinction: Distinguished Alumni, Service and Donor Celebration

    Minnesota State University Moorhead will recognize outstanding alumni and donors at the Night of Distinction: Distinguished Alumni, Service and Donor Celebration Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 in the Comstock Memorial Union Ballroom. Please click below to register for this year's event and choose your meal choices.


    sherry beyer

    Sherry Fieber-Beyer '03 (physics), a research assistant professor at the University of North Dakota, has devoted herself to teaching graduate students the art of scientific space research. She is the sole female faculty member in the department. Sherry also currently acts as the Space Studies Alumni Coordinator and has assisted in the establishment of their alumni website and many alumni events and communication.

    Jeff Hagen

    Jeff Hagen '68 (art) retired in 2000, after enjoying a successful 32-year career teaching students in kindergarten through college; thriving as an artist whose work juried regionally and nationally and is in collections in the U.S. and Europe; and succeeding as an award-winning author with more than eight books to his credit, including the 2018 release of "Hiawatha Passing" featuring 16 new watercolor paintings. He's amassed nearly 20 solo trips to the impoverished heart of Appalachia, including six visits in 2017. One of his most recent business projects he started is Candy Appal Tees, tie dye T-shirts to build, foster, and encourage a new sense of self-esteem and self-worth for the students with whom he works with in Appalachia.

    Sue Koesterman

    Sue Koesterman '03 (philosophy) is the executive director for Churches United for the Homeless where she manages a team of 27. She is one of three founding coordinates of the F-M Sheltering Churches project, which grew to 35 participants. She is an advocate for more affordable housing solutions and was the pastor at Elim Lutheran Church in downtown Fargo.

    Outstanding Service Award

    Mike Benson

    Mike Benson '71 (marketing) has kept his ties with MSUM strong, serving on the MSUM Alumni Foundation Board from 1979-1981 and helping plan the TKE 50th Anniversary Reunion. He is currently working on a Paseka School of Business history project. Benson has volunteered with SCORE, is a member of the Paseka School of Business Advisory Board, was a Fargo Lion Club's president and worked at Warner & Company for 37 years before retiring in 2010.

    Outstanding Young Alum


    Oluwaloni (Temie) Giwa-Tubosun '07 (political science) is the founder of LifeBank, which was formerly the One Percent Project. LifeBank is a business enterprise in Nigeria that is working to improve access to blood transfusions in the country.

    Distinguished Donor Awards

    John Haugo

    John '57 (math and physical science) and Sharon Haugo have been tied to MSUM since John's college days. John is only one of two alumni who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni award. The Haugos have donated to multiple areas at MSUM over the years and are Legacy Society members.


    Rodney Paseka

    Rodney Paseka '71 (accounting and business administration) is the CEO of Hebron Brick where he started as sales manager in 1978. Paseka was one of the original Phonathon callers in the '70s for the MSUM Alumni Foundation and has been a proud supporter ever since.

    Alumni Award Nomination Form Past Alumni Awards