2018 Alumni Achievement Award
Charles N. Beck ’48, a former naval pilot, completed his master’s degree in art at the University of Iowa (1950). He taught printmaking, drawing, painting and art history at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls, Minn., from 1960-87. A revered Midwestern regional artist, Beck produced woodcut prints, wood carvings and oil paintings. Known for its vivid representation of Minnesota, his work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Denver Art Museum; the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, both in Minneapolis; the St. Paul Gallery; and the Rourke Art Gallery in Moorhead as well as many other colleges and universities, area businesses and public spaces throughout the region. Beck designed the Otter Tail County Historical Museum in Fergus Fall in the early 1970s and was the featured founding artist upon the opening of the Kaddatz Gallery (2009), formed to foster visual arts appreciation in Fergus Falls and to maintain a permanent, publicly accessible space for local artists. A clear champion for arts education and preservation, Beck built visual arts programs for the Fergus Falls Center for the Arts and began a permanent selection at M State, now numbering more than 400 works in all mediums, by asking students to leave a work behind and purchasing from featured artists in the Waage Gallery. The school honored him in 2007 by naming the Charles Beck Gallery located in the newly constructed Legacy Hall. Beck was inducted into the Fergus Falls Sports Hall of Fame (1986) and Fergus Falls High School Arts Hall of Fame (2003), awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts Degree from Concordia College (1979), and received the Lifetime of Creativity Award from the Plains Art Museum, Fargo, N.D. (2012). Until 2009, Beck and his wife, Joyce, managed a gallery in their home and welcomed countless visitors to view Charlie’s work. In September 2017, Beck passed away at the age of 94, still creating as he employed a new style of painting from a studio in his room at Broen Home.
Dr. Richard K. Sibley '67
Darnell E. Carter '75 is a retired assistant prosecuting attorney for Clark County, Ohio (1980-2008), where he tried many capital murder cases and was appointed head of the criminal division in 2005. He was one of the first, in 1988, to gain a conviction based primarily on DNA evidence, an emerging science at the time. In 1993, the same year as the siege on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, Ohio Gov. George Voinovich appointed Carter as one of the lead prosecutors during a prisoner riot at the maximum-security prison in Lucasville, Ohio, from which he earned the Governor’s Commendation and Resolution. The riot, one of the largest in the U.S. for number of participants, resulted in a 10-day standoff and the death of nine prisoners and one guard. Prior to being an attorney, Carter grew up as the son of a sheriff’s deputy and jail warden and was a National Merit Commended Scholar. He graduated from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa (1979), taught English at Springfield South High School and obtained his master’s in history from The Ohio State University (1993). Chosen from among 1,500 assistant prosecutors, Carter was named Assistant Prosecuting Attorney of the Year by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association (2007) and received The Ohio State University Humanities Alumni Award of Distinction the following year. Carter has also received the Springfield Community Award of Excellence and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Gold Star Award. Carter spent decades raising awareness of Black History Month and the African-American experience in the 20th century. He lectures on integration in the sports arena at the University of Drayton, taught criminal justice at Wittenburg University, and has frequently written guest columns in the Springfield newspaper. Now retired, Carter serves on the Clark County Park Board and Clark County Historical Society, coaches football at Springfield High School and tutors language art and history at a local alternative school. He says, “A lot of these students already have probation officers. I have too much urgency to grab a fly rod and go down to the riverbank.”
Claudia S. Swendseid '78 served 31 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota before retiring as the senior vice president in March 2017. During her tenure at the Federal Reserve, Swendseid served as a senior officer on the Reserve’s Financial Services council and as an overseer of many projects and various departments. Swendseid’s contributions have led to innovation and improvement of many of the Reserve’s processes, notably converting much of its payment operations to digital form. She also made advances toward eliminating operational costs, saving the bank millions annually. Swendseid’s work reaches further than the financial sector through her community involvement with United Way, Community Thread, Valley Outreach, Young Life, Feed My Hungry Children and the Women’s Economic Roundtable. Swendseid has served seven years on the board of directors for Solid Ground, a nonprofit social service agency that offers housing, education, development and empowerment services for homeless families. In addition, Swendseid has volunteered with Women’s Venture, Tubman Family Crisis and Support Services and Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women. She is very active at Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater, Minn., serving as the chair of the Trinity Lutheran Stewardship team.
2018 Sent Forth Award
Tammy M. Frisby '99
Arday N. Ardayfio '02 is the founder, president and CEO of Blueprint IT Solutions, which provides networking and information technology service to small to mid-sized businesses. A computer science and business major, Ardayfio came to Concordia from Ghana. He worked in college admissions, banking and other entrepreneurial enterprises before starting his Fargo-based business in 2011. He is a member of the Fargo Kiwanis Club and served as its president when the organization set a Guiness World record for the number of pancakes served in 8 hours – 35,000 pancakes. He was named to Prairie Business Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list for top business professionals and has served on the board of Charism. Ardayfio and his wife, Kara, live in Fargo and have three children.