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Spirit of MVL Banquet set Saturday

November 15, 2012
The Journal

NEW ULM - The 2012 Spirit of MVL Banquet will take place on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Turner Hall. The evening will begin with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by the meal at 6:30 p.m.

The recognition portion of the event will take place after the meal. Those being honored are Jerry Bentz, Pat Miller and Eric Woller.

Following recognition of these recipients, Pat McGill, a national motivational speaker from Spirit Lake, Iowa, will speak.

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Jerry Bentz

Jerry Bentz

Jerry Bentz has lived his entire life in southern Minnesota, spending earlier years in Gibbon and then relocating to New Ulm in 1973. He received his education from St. Peter Lutheran Grade school; Martin Luther High School, New Ulm; Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm; and Mankato Commercial College. He served for 31 years in the U.S. Army, including active duty, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserves.

He has served on many boards and committees for his church, St. Paul's Lutheran Church in New Ulm, and WELS Kingdom Workers, in addition to his work with MVL and the MVL Foundation. He served as MVL treasurer for five years, chairman of the MVL Foundation for 10 years, and treasurer of the MVL Foundation for 13 years. He has shown guidance and direction to the annual MVL Veterans Recognition Program and been a guiding force to the leadership of MVL.

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Eric Woller

Eric Woller, a 1990 MVL alumnus, spent most of his youth in Fairfax, where his father was pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church. During his time at MVL, he served as class president and student body president, and participated in choir, Chargeliers, basketball and track and field. He still holds the school high jump record.

After graduation from MVL, he attended Bethany Lutheran College, and then attended Hamline to finish his bachelor's degree. He was inspired by his MVL chemistry teacher, Paul Willems, and elected to attend graduate school to study chemistry. He earned a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska and returned to Bethany College to replace Cynthia Weberg, his college chemistry mentor. He finished his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Montana State University, and returned to Bethany to serve on the faculty and help develop a chemistry major.

He has since served as chair of the faculty assembly, as chair of the chemistry department, and as chair of the Math and Science division at Bethany. Most recently he has served the college as Dean of Academic Affairs.

President Dan Bruss, Bethany College, said about Eric, "He certainly has brought both his education, skills and spiritual-mindedness to the work he does for us."

Pat Meyer

Pat Meyer began her teaching career at MVL in 1979, just as MVL was opening. She had prior business experience from her work at a local bank, and combined with her B.A. degree from Dr. Martin Luther College, she became the developer and designer of the business curriculum for MVL. When it was determined which business classes MVL would offer, she became the business teacher. She navigated the transition from IBM typewriters to Apple computers at a time when few schools were doing so, and even fewer teachers had the knowledge and skill set to do so. It has been said that she was "instrumental in making MVL a cutting edge school"


Reservations for the dinner can be made by calling or emailing MVL, Mae Tacke, at 507-233-8662, or



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