Innocents Society, Mortar Board members inducted for 2018-19

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Innocents Society, Mortar Board members inducted for 2018-19

Students, faculty and alumni were honored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at its annual Ivy Day ceremonies on April 7.

The event, co-sponsored by Mortar Board and the Innocents Society, recognized outstanding contributions of students selected to serve in the two organizations, as well as the achievements of current members and notable underclassmen and seniors.

Ceremonies took place at the Nebraska Champions Club and concluded with the traditional planting of the ivy by the 2018-19 presidents of the societies, Chase Caverzagie of Papillion for Mortar Board and Skyler Dykes of Topeka, Kansas, for the Innocents Society.

Bob Kerrey, managing director at investment banking firm Allen and Company and former U.S. senator and Nebraska governor, delivered the keynote address. He is also the executive chairman of the Minerva Project, a for-profit educational organization that provides technology, infrastructure and support services for the Minerva Schools and Keck Graduate Institute. Before that, Kerrey was president of The New School, a small private university in New York City, for 10 years. He served three years as a Navy SEAL and is a Medal of Honor recipient. He earned his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the University of Nebraska in 1966.

Honorary memberships in the Innocents Society were presented to Dave Rimington, former interim athletic director for Nebraska and two-time first-team All-America lineman for the Huskers; and Regina Werum, professor of sociology at Nebraska.

Honorary Mortar Board memberships were presented to Mary Garbacz, coordinator of Strategic Discussions for Nebraska; Ronnie Green, chancellor at Nebraska; and J. Kalu Osiri, director of international business and associate professor of practice in management at Nebraska

The Innocents Society inducts 13 new members each spring, with selection based on leadership, scholarship and service to the university and greater community. The Innocents Society was founded in 1903 to promote the spirit of the university and is the chancellor’s senior honorary. It is not affiliated with any national organization.

New members of Mortar Board are tapped into the Black Masque Chapter each spring by Mortar Boarders wearing black masks and robes. The 25 new members were selected on the basis of outstanding scholarship, leadership and service to the university and community.

The following is a list by hometown of the 2018 inductees into the Innocents Society and the Black Masque chapter of Mortar Board. Information includes each student’s academic major(s) and parent names.


  • Bellevue: Katie Kost, Innocents Society, history, philosophy and political science, daughter of Joseph and Dawn Kost.

  • Elkhorn: Jackson Grasz, Mortar Board, management, son of Steve and Verlyne Grasz; Lauren Maciejewski, Mortar Board, finance, daughter of Chuck and Colleen Maciejewski.

  • Gering: Kyle Upp, Mortar Board, finance, son of Jerry and Stephanie Upp.

  • Grand Island: John Pfeifer, Mortar Board, finance, son of Terry and Julie Pfeifer.

  • Herman: Gage Hoegermeyer, Mortar Board, integrated science, son of Greg and Patti Hoegermeyer.

  • Lincoln: Ansley Alberts, Mortar Board, nutrition science, daughter of Timothy and Angela Alberts; Maddie Balfany, Mortar Board, management, daughter of Bob and Becky Balfany; Allison Black, Mortar Board, economics, political science and sociology, daughter of Daniel and Tracy Black; Lauren Bruning, Mortar Board, global studies, sociology and political science, daughter of Jon and Deonne Bruning; Jacob Moore, Innocents Society, chemistry and biochemistry, son of Zachary Moore and Amanda Pollack; Cat Nyberg, Mortar Board, finance, daughter of Matt and Lee Nyberg; Cassidy Taladay, Mortar Board, advertising and public relations, and communication studies, daughter of David and Marcell Taladay; Jake Wilkins, Mortar Board, agricultural leadership, son of Brad and Wendy Wilkins; Kylee Yakel, Innocents Society, actuarial science and economics, daughter of Aaron and Marlo Yakel.

  • Omaha: Ellie Blusys, Innocents Society, biochemistry, daughter of David and Kerry Blusys; Emily Jezewski, Innocents Society, biological sciences, daughter of Jeff and Amy Jezewski; Logan Kalkowski, Mortar Board, agricultural business, son of Christopher and Marsha Kalkowski; Bryan Keating, Mortar Board, biological systems engineering and biochemistry, son of Kevin and Lori Keating; Binh Le, Innocents Society, biochemistry, son of Sen Le and Thi Tran; Katie Pallesen, Mortar Board, political science and history, daughter of Mike and Kathleen Pallesen; Monica Rogers, Innocents Society, elementary and early childhood education, daughter of Scott and Diana Rogers; Hunter Traynor, Innocents Society, political science, son of Brad and Heather Traynor; Mary Woodruff, Mortar Board, management, daughter of John and Lori Woodruff.

  • Ord: Molli Hagge, Mortar Board, agribusiness, daughter of Mark and Dahn Hagge.

  • Papillion: Chase Caverzagie, Mortar Board, actuarial science, son of Kevin and Karen Caverzagie; Trent Hoppe, Mortar Board, computer science, son of Scott and Maureen Hoppe; Joe McCoy, Mortar Board, finance, son of Kevin and Colleen McCoy.

  • Scottsbluff: Aubree Ford, Innocents Society, biochemistry, daughter of Robert and Renee Ford.

  • Valley: Zachary Van Roy, Mortar Board, mathematics, microbiology and biochemistry, son of Jay and Stacy Van Roy.


  • Parker, Colorado: Caprianna Keeler, Innocents Society, civil engineering, daughter of Bruce and Jodene Keeler.

  • Hutchinson, Kansas: Colton Harper, Innocents Society, computer science, son of Wade and Cari Harper.

  • Overland Park, Kansas: Anie Bista, Innocents Society, political science, daughter of Bishnu Paudel and Anita Bista.

  • Shawnee, Kansas: Emma Rutherford, Mortar Board, microbiology, daughter of Jack and Joyce Rutherford.

  • Topeka, Kansas: Skyler Dykes, Innocents Society, music and French, daughter of Christopher and Jill Dykes.

  • Wayzata, Minnesota: Will Schulenberg, Mortar Board, international business, son of Matthew and Anne Schulenberg.

  • Hackettstown, New Jersey: Justice Forte, Mortar Board, political science and communication studies, daughter of Gregory and Daisy Forte.

  • Belgrade, Serbia: Nina Radulovic, Mortar Board, political science, psychology, and women’s and gender studies, daughter of Milan and Nada Radulovic.

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