GetReConnected

August 2019


     

  Denton Sederquist - Special Boilermaker Award

Staff Profile

Denton Sederquist – A Special Boilermaker

It’s been 17 years since Denton Sederquist first served as a supervisor of a group of resident assistants in Wiley Hall. Walk into his office and he can still tell you something about nearly every one of them. He still has pictures of each student which he can pull out, recalling their successes, sharing their accomplishments and memories of his own relationship with them.

It’s this personal investment in being a mentor for Purdue students that has been the hallmark of Sederquist’s work with University Residences. His commitment to student success in University Residences is one of the primary reasons he is being honored with a Special Boilermaker Award. Sederquist was informed of his selection for the award at a surprise reception with colleagues and students.  

“It’s very humbling,” says Sederquist. “The award has my name on it, but it’s the people I work with, the department I work for and this university who are the actual winners, not me. I’m blessed to work for a great institution with a lot of great people. It’s easy to do good work when you’re surrounded by other people who do good work as well.”

Established by the Purdue Alumni Association in 1981, Special Boilermaker Awards recognize and honor faculty and staff who have contributed significantly to the improvement of the quality of life and the betterment of the educational experience for a substantial number of students and whose life-works have improved the public image of the university. Sederquist will be presented with a pewter locomotive keepsake during an on-field presentation at a Purdue home football game this fall. Additionally, his name will be permanently etched into the achievement obelisk on the Engineering Mall. 

Sederquist’s service to Purdue dates back to his days as a student, when he began working as a  student night access clerk in Shreve Hall. Thanks in part to the mentorship he received and the personal interest shown by his resident assistant, Sederquist decided to become more involved in his residence hall community. He went on to spend six years as a resident assistant or staff resident. After reconsidering the track he was taking towards a career in accounting, Sederquist earned a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Purdue in 1997.  

After brief stints at Central Washington University (four years) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (18 months), Sederquist returned to his roots at Purdue. He has been a fixture in University Residences since his return. Sederquist currently serves as the assistant director of Residential Life, overseeing four professional staff and 64 paraprofessionals, made up of resident assistants and residence education assistants.

Sederquist is known for his tireless work ethic and his policy of having an open-door for students to come in and receive guidance. Other visitors are known to drop in from time to time, such as a former resident who stopped by during STAR.  

The one-on-one attention he gives to students extends to group settings and he is often requested as a presenter by numerous campus organizations. One particular area of expertise Sederquist frequently shares with students is financial literacy, on which he shares information ranging from spending habits and establishing a budget to the basics of investing. He has presented on the topic at national and regional conventions as well. Sederquist also presents at University Residences’ Jay Severson retreat, something he considers a way to honor the life of Severson.

Whether it’s individual attention in a one-on-one setting or sharing his expertise with a group, Sederquist’s mind is always on the outcome for the students involved.

“It’s about what’s best for the students. Yes, it’s a service, but there’s also education in it,” says Sederquist. “I don’t think you can give education without service and I don’t think you can give service without education. That’s what my motto is. Everything’s an educational moment if you make it that way and make yourself available to let students ask you the ‘why.’”

In addition to working directly with students, Sederquist gives to the RAISE Fund, which helps defray the cost of providing tuition for resident assistants. He currently endows RAISE Fund scholarships in Wiley Hall and Cary Quadrangle. He and his wife, Kim, also support a scholarship for Purdue Bands. Sederquist says he’d eventually like to support another area in honor of his brother and add another RAISE Fund to Tarkington Hall to be able to support the three buildings he’s worked in at the University.

For Sederquist, it all comes down to the ideal of paying what mentorship he received forward and doing what he can to help students make a long-term impact on their peers. 

“It makes me feel good when I get to watch my RA staff and professionals go out and succeed,” says Sederquist. “The day I received that wonderful surprise, all of my colleagues who used to work with me and my former supervisees flooded me with messages. How neat is that? I want that for all of my RAs. That’s the beauty of our field.”


     The Wild Bunch - 2019 Reunion 

Members of "The Wild Bunch" on a tour of the Football Performance Complex during their 2019 reunion. Photo courtesy AJ Borromeo, ShadowFox S&P Photography.

Alumni Profile

Tarkington's "Wild Bunch" Reunites

Family. Camaraderie. Memories. These are some of the words that might come to mind when thinking about the bond that exists in friendships developed during college. 

These words especially apply to a group of Purdue alumni who forged a bond during their time in Tarkington Hall during the late-1970s that continues today. Stylized “The Wild Bunch,” the group continues to hold an annual reunion in Tarkington every year as a way to stay in touch and relive some of their best memories. It all started with a small group of young men and eventually expanded to include 17 members from seven graduating classes.

“We formed a brotherhood with each other,” says Rick Repp (’82). “I never grew up with brothers, so it was kind of nice to have guys the same age and with the same interests around. It all started with having open doors, which we had to have in Tarkington because there was no air-conditioning. I think that was a big part of it. A lot of people would come and go and you would just find people talking and soon enough you’d be a part of the conversation.”

Eating as a group in the Tarkington Dining Hall was a staple of day-to-day life for The Wild Bunch. It didn’t matter how late someone got out of class – the rest of the group would always wait so everyone could be involved in the meal. As the group of friends grew with more members and the strength of their bonds deepened, so did the extent of their activities and antics. Participating in intramural sports, attending football and basketball games, cramming everyone into a room to watch the TV show M*A*S*H* on Monday nights, road trips, camping trips and general mischief became a constant part of The Wild Bunch experience.

Eventually, members of The Wild Bunch graduated and went their separate ways. Despite gathering at weddings and other occasions, the group gradually lost touch with each other over the years. Promises to reunite fell by the wayside, as sometimes happens with old friends as people scatter around the country to pursue their careers and start families.  

Mike Becker (’84) was the one who had the idea to get everyone back together. He and Repp got to work tracking the group down and reconnecting old friends. It was decided that the group reunite and stay in Tarkington Hall, their old haunt, during the summer. The first reunion was held in 2006.

“It was almost like we were back in school again,” says Repp. “We had such a great time. After that first year, all of us figured we were really missing out by not doing this. I think I can speak for everyone when I say these were the closest friends any of us had made anywhere in our lives. We had spent 24 hours a day, seven days a week with these guys for four or five years and it was just great to have everyone together again.”

The four-day reunion has become an annual tradition that Repp says the group now has down to a science. One of the highlights of the weekend is a euchre tournament, played for the right to take home a bleached cow skull that serves as a trophy – and a nod to past adventures. While in school, members of The Wild Bunch would borrow camping equipment from the CoRec and camp on property owned by one of the friend’s parents.

“One time while we were camping, one of the guys ran across a cow skull,” says Repp. “So they took the skull, bleached it and ended up turning it into a Halloween costume. It became a mascot for us. When we all got back together, we found a plaster of paris cow skull and now, it’s our traveling trophy. If you win the euchre tournament, you have to put it up on your wall and take a picture and send it to everybody to show that it’s permanently displayed.”

The weekend also typically includes walks around campus, a barbecue in Pickett Park and a special tour or activity on campus. This year’s reunion included a tour of the new Football Performance Complex. The weekend wraps up with breakfast at XXX restaurant.

Since establishing the annual reunion, Repp says members of The Wild Bunch are more regularly in contact with each other. They have email and text groups, and pool their money to contribute to celebrations of big occasions in each other’s lives. The group holds season tickets to football games and shares tickets among its members. Though three members of the The Wild Bunch have passed away, 8-10 members typically attend a reunion in a given year. Each participant gets a specially designed t-shirt at the reunion.

Repp says he is thankful for the ways reconnecting has brought the rest of The Wild Bunch back into his life and hopes current students will continue to cherish the friendships they build in college.

“The most I can say is do not lose contact with those guys,” says Repp. “They’re the best friends I’ve ever had and probably will ever have in my life. I’m just kind of sad that we waited about 20 years to get together and we spent maybe 10 years completely disconnected. Just don’t lose touch.”

Members of the Wild Bunch say they have every intention of continuing to reunite every year to celebrate their friendship and create more memories. 

The Wild Bunch are:

Michael Becker (’84)
Ken Black (’77)
AJ Borromeo (’79)
Scott Covey
Les Dant
Mark Johnston (’80)
Dan Kelly ('80)
Rick Kramer (’82)
Bob Morris ('81)
Tom Neal ('82)
Tony O’Neil (’82)
Rick Repp (’82)
Marvin Short (’83)
Mike Sutherlin (’81)
Danny Tarrh (’83)
Sean Timmons (’80)
John White (’81)


    

Photo Gallery

University Residences Welcomes Residents to Campus

University Residences welcomed 14,800 students to their home on campus during move-in this year. Below are some scenes from move-in week. You can also view a full gallery on the University Residences Facebook page. 

University Residences Move-In Welcome 2019 University Residences Move-In 2019  University Residences Move-In Instructions 2019 University Residences Checking In 2019 University Residences Students Playing Cards
    

Alumni and Guest Center

Alumni News

Alumni Meal Cards Available at UR Guest Center

Alumni Meal Cards are now available at the University Residences Alumni and Guest Center, located in Cary Quad. The guest center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you cannot pick up your card during these times, please arrange an alternate pick up by calling 765-496-0278 or emailing urguestcenter@purdue.edu