Eureka Alumni

2013 Opening Convocation

Eureka College Alumni Relations

Michael Murtagh
Vice President Alumni Relations

Shellie Schwanke
Director of Alumni Relations

300 E. College Avenue
Eureka, Illinois 61530
(309) 467-6317

Maroon & Gold — Recapping July 2014

A Note From Home…

Dear Alumni,

Everything Good

It’s Here! The Big Birthday is today. Simple math will tell you the number if you figure I started my career here at Eureka 25 years ago (tomorrow marks that day) and I started when I was 25 years old. Yes, I have spent my whole adult life here in Eureka raising our girls with my college sweetheart, Curt, while working at Eureka College. If you would have asked me back then if that would be my story, I would have said “no.” I loved my college experience but I wanted to go on to go on something bigger: a bigger city, a bigger life! Little did I know then that staying in this beautiful little town working at this beautiful little college would turn into something so BIG!

I do know that it has been a good year. I am excited for what next year will hold. I know that I am blessed with so much and like Ronald Reagan, I can truly say, ‘Everything good in my life began here at Eureka College.” And everything good continues for me here. I hope you as alumni feel the same way.

Shellie Schwanke
Director of Alumni Relations – Class of ’87

Upcoming Events

Visit the Alumni Events page to see details about what is planned.

  • EC Night with the Peoria Chiefs – August 22
  • Sanders Hall dediction – August 26
  • Informational Meeting on Memorials of War: Normandy & Paris and Imperial Cities: Prague, Budapest, and ViennaAugust 28
  • Lincoln Bowl at Knox College – September 6
  • Cupcake Bowl – September 13
  • Homecoming – October 4–5
  • Rocktober in Vegas – October 10–12

For additional information on any of these events and to make your reservations, contact the Alumni Office at 877-892-7823 or email

Paying it forward!

Take a look at this impressive list of donors for the past month. For those who have donated, thank you! If you don’t see your name on this list of esteemed donors, add your name today!

Give to Eureka College

Chaplain’s Corner

Welcome to Chaplain’s Corner, a monthly column presented by Eureka College Chaplain Bruce Fowlkes. Read this month’s Chaplain’s Reflection.

Dr. Logsdon’s Studs Terkel

Dr. Loren Logsdon, Professor Emeritus of English, has captured the spirit of Eureka College history in a special project he fondly calls the “Studs Terkel Project.” The project is a collection of alumni memories and stories which weave a rich tapestry of the Eureka College experience.

The Alumni Office would like to continue the spirit of this project by inviting alumni who attended after 1970 to send in your stories. You can also submit by emailing Dr. Logsdon directly at

This collection of stories is available in the Online EC Bookstore .

Charles Geitner, Class of 1957
Charles and Esther Geitner ('57)

Charles and Esther Geitner (’57)

Charles “Chuck” “Babe” Geitner, a man known in his students days by three first names and many talents, has accomplished a distinction probably no other person in America can claim. At the age of 85 he was tested for and received his Black Belt in Karate. In a ceremony on June 7, 2014, in Fullerton, California, Chuck was one of 20 students ranging from nine to 85 to receive a Black Belt.

Chuck began working toward this high rank in Karate about four and one-half years ago. His accomplishment is all the more remarkable because at that time he could barely stand due to a damaged nerve in his leg from spinal surgery. His teacher said, “His technique is strong. His body’s strong. When he first came in, he could barely stand on two feet so I had a student on either side of him. And now he’s on his own.”

Chuck is in a probationary stage for about a year until his Black Belt will be made permanent. At the end of next year he will take a written test and a performance test.

In his undergraduate years at EC, Chuck was a member of the football team and a writer for the Pegasus as well as being involved in student government and a member of Psi Alpha Lambda fraternity. He majored in history. After graduation he taught history and social studies for over 40 years in Illinois high schools. One of his most important distinctions was coordinating the Veterans’ Oral History project. He guided high school students in interviewing veterans about their experiences. The interviews are catalogued in the Library of Congress American Folklore Life Center database.

Chuck began the process to the Black Belt four years ago. There is a regular progression that students go through on this journey. They start at the introductory stage, and that is known as the White Belt level. Then students go from White to Yellow to Orange to Blue to Purple to Green (three stages to Green), then to Brown (also three stages). There are performance tests at each stage before students are promoted to the next level.

Once students reach the Brown, Advanced stage, they are tested to see if they are ready to study to promote to Black Belt. If they are ready to promote, they are given a Red Belt, which is strictly ceremonial, but the Red Belt tells everyone that students are getting close to that Black Belt.

There are six months of intensive training. At the conclusion of this period, there is a week of testing. Students take a written test, an oral test, and a performance test during that week, with a tea ceremony at the end of the week. The tea ceremony symbolizes the preparation of mind and body.

According to Chuck, “This branch of Karate has its roots in India, China, Okinawa, and Japan. Some of the customs used are Japanese and others are Okinawan in nature. There is a lot of history involved, and I particularly liked that part of it. The major values of the training are values that students in school need, and that was another of the things I found attractive about Karate. Discipline is needed in all areas of endeavor, and that is a big part of the training. In addition, respect becomes ingrained since students have to learn to respond to the instructor’s directions. Another major part of the discipline is the way in which students are aided in following directions. The instructors follow what is called PCP when they correct a student. The letters mean simply Praise, Correct, Praise. (That sounds somewhat like ‘positive reinforcement.’) That way of correcting works very well.

“During the six month preparation for the testing I was at the Karate studio five out of the six days it was open. I had about 12 to 14 hours of instruction during the six months and had to spend a lot of time reading history and weapon history and mastering, to some extent, the use of the weapons. Now I am starting all over with Black Belt Basics and a new series of Katas and additional history and weapons training. My hours have been cut to a bit more than seven to eight hours a week.”

Chuck still volunteers once a week at a cultural center in Fullerton, and he attends a poetry class once a week at Cal State, Fullerton. In addition, he attends a Veterans’ Legacy class once a week in La Mirada, a smaller town about 20 minutes away from Fullerton. He is quite busy but enjoying life. He plans to come back to attend Alumni Weekend next April 2015.

GOLDS: Graduates of the Last Decade

We would love to hear from you! At Eureka College we want to maintain a lifelong relationship with our graduates. We have all heard the saying, “Real life begins after college,” and at Eureka we want to know how our young alumni are faring in their first decade out of college. We appreciate your feedback below, and wish you the very best as you navigate “real life.”

Take Our Brief Survey

Class Notes

We are always looking for news about what you are up to in your in your life these days. Help us all stay in touch and stay connected by providing info as to what’s new. Where are you now? New job? Recently married? New baby? Fun story? Send it to us! We’d love to hear!