News Release

Alumni Recognized during Homecoming 2018

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Monday, October 8, 2018

Homecoming was held September 28-30, 2018, with several alumni gatherings including the Class of 1968 and 1969 who celebrated their 50th anniversary reunion. The theme for the week was “There’s No Place like Homecoming.” alumni award recipients

One of the highlights of the weekend is the annual Alumni Awards Celebration. The 2018 honorees include this year’s Outstanding Alumni Award recipients: Nancy Capistran ’71, ’92, ’01; Wayne Freimund ’81 and Peggy Lee Hilton ’68. Inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame were Ken Bond ’96, football and Chancellor Emeritus Charles H. Casey.

Outstanding Alumni

Nancy Capistran 1971, 1992, 2001

She holds three degrees from the University of Minnesota Crookston and could be identified as a Trojan or a Golden Eagle. Nancy Capistran graduated with associate degrees in laboratory technology and accounting and completed her bachelor’s degree in 2001 in foot processing management in 2001.

From 1990 to 2007, she served as a lab technician on campus responsible for lab preparation and set-up along with supply ordering and budgeting. Following her time at the U of M Crookston, she worked in the Cathedral Parish office until 2010.

Her career also includes her partnership in the Capistran Seed Company and countless hours of volunteer work. She has devoted time to serving on a number of boards, including the Care and Share Board of Directors. Capistran was recognized with the U of M Crookston Faculty/Staff Volunteer of the Year in 1999; Villa St. Vincent Champion Award for Outstanding Advocacy in the Elder Care Industry in 2015; and the Rotary Distinguished Professional Community Service Four-Way Test Award in 2016.

Wayne Freimund 1981

Earning his degree in natural resources in 1981 from the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical College, Wayne Freimund headed to the University of Minnesota College of Forestry to finish his bachelor’s degree in recreation, park and leisure studies. He accepted an assistantship that took him to West Virginia to complete a master’s degree in wildland management, and following, he returned to the U of M to earn his doctorate in forestry.

Ongoing research work with the National Park Service that started when he was pursuing his doctorate remains a passion to this day. In 1993, he joined the faculty at the University of Montana in Missoula and continued working with the National Parks.


Published and recognized many times during his career, Freimund received the prestigious Benton H. Box Award from the Clemson University Institute for Parks. The award recognizes individuals for a lifelong body of work helping to manage and preserve local, state, and national parks. As an award recipient, Freimund attended ceremonies in South Carolina, which in turn, opened the path to his current position as dean of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management Department for Clemson.

Peggy Hilton 1968

Graduating with the first class from the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical College, Peggy Hilton recently returned to address the Class of 2018 as the keynote speaker at commencement last May.

Graduating with high distinction, Hilton earned her associate degree in business, specializing in legal secretarial.  She started her 30-year career in Crookston working as a legal secretary and paralegal and went on to work for noteworthy law firms in the Twin Cities and in Seattle. 

In 1998, she retired early in order to thru-hike the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada with her husband, Jim, on his 7-month sabbatical. Hilton has been a competitive runner and has engaged in extensive mountain climbing and hiking adventures.  She works at staying physically active and continues to  challenge herself mentally with a Norwegian language class and as much reading as time permits.

She, and several of her classmates, have been successful in bringing their friends and fellow classmates back for homecoming reunions in 2008, 2013, and to celebrate their 50th anniversary year in 2018.

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Charles H. Casey, D.V.M.

Chancellor Emeritus Charles H. Casey began his appointment at the University of Minnesota, Crookston on September 12, 2005. Prior to his appointment he served as dean and director of the University of Minnesota Extension Service. From 1979 to 1991, he was a member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and from 1989-1991 served as chair.

He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota. Early in his career, Casey served as a captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Following his military service, he worked for 27 years as a practitioner in rural veterinary medicine and was a partner in the Dodge Veterinary Clinic in West Concord and Dodge Center, Minnesota.

In 2007 while serving as chancellor, Casey reaffirmed the U of M Crookston commitment to Division II and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The decision, made by Casey, took place after careful review of a report presented by the 18-member Crookston Campus Athletic Review Committee following five months of data collection and analysis. This pivotal reaffirmation decision was designed to support both academics and athletics in order to provide a complementary relationship that serves all students.

Ken Bond 1996

As a sophomore, Kenny Bond was named to the 1992 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American Football Second Team. He was the tenth Fighting Trojan to earn all-American honors since the program began in 1966.


Bond served as team captain of the first 4-year football team at the U of M Crookston along with teammates Jesse Maruska and Derrick Sanders. He led in all-time sacks in a game with four in an October 1992 match-up with Mount Senario.

He earned Most Valuable Player in 1992. He was known for his athleticism as a player but also for his ability to lead by example and elevate his teammates.

Bond currently works to provide real estate services to residential sellers and buyers in Miami and the South Florida market.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs, 25 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo, left to right, are Peggy Lee Hilton, Ken Bond, Chancellor Emeritus Charles H. Casey, Wayne Freimund, and Nancy Capistran



Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations