Anthony Preus, Class of 1954, was the first Rhodes Scholar from Fergus Falls. He graduated from Luther College and attended Trinity College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarship, earning a second BA and an MA. He continued at The Johns Hopkins University, writing his Ph.D. dissertation on Science and Philosophy in Aristotle’s Biology. Since 1964 he has taught at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y., where his areas of specialty and research include ancient Greek philosophy, classical languages and medical ethics. Preus is secretary of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy and has edited and written numerous works, including The A to Z of Ancient Greek Philosophy. He is married to Meredith Pell Preus and has three children, Christian, Alexander and Caroline (Linka).
Gary Clambey’s career in science and education traces its roots to time spent growing up on a family farm, attending a rural elementary school and spending hours in the science alcoves of the Fergus Falls Library. A 1963 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, he attended Fergus Falls State Junior College, North Dakota State University (BS and MS) and Iowa State University (Ph.D.) He was a preventive medicine specialist with the U.S. Army Medical Department and has spent nearly 40 years teaching more than 11,000 students at NDSU at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Clambey has earned multiple awards for teaching and service contributions, including NDSU’s Distinguished Educator Award. He and wife Susan, a 1965 FFHS graduate, have two sons, Eric and Bryce.
Geneva Eschweiler had an indelible impact on vocal music during her career in Fergus Falls. Her career began in the public schools in 1948, and she expanded her involvement to community and church vocal groups. From 1962-68 was director of choral activities at Fergus Falls Community College, leading up to five choral groups and receiving an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall. She was music director of the Summer Community Theater from 1972-1988. In 1990 the Minnesota Choral Directors Association awarded Eschweiler its highest honor for her contributions to choral art in Minnesota, and she was recognized by the 1993 Legislature as an outstanding community college educator. She moved to Minneapolis in 1993 and established the Music Loft and its Summer Playshop with daughter Sarah Marie Eschweiler.
Wally Pearson graduated in 1961 from Concordia College, earning degrees in chemistry and math. He continued his education at South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University and taught in Ada, where he was an assistant coach on two state basketball teams. He began a 29 year career as a math teacher in Fergus Falls in 1966 and in 1975 was named Teacher of the Year. Pearson was an assistant coach in track for four years, football for 30 years and basketball for 25 years; he was head basketball coach for four years. Pearson was a founder of the Backcourt Club in 1978 and the Otter Basketball Camp in1968, directing the camp until 1986. He and wife Patty have three children, Keith, Kristi and Kevin.
Jon Pontius earned his first letter as a high jumper in 8th grade. As a sophomore, he placed third in the state in the triple jump. He won silver medals in the high and triple jumps as a junior, and as a senior was the state champion in the high, long and triple jumps. His high jump mark of 7 feet, one-half inch remains one of the state’s all-time bests. At West Point, Pontius broke records in the high jump, decathlon and pentathlon, and in 1997 he became an NCAA Division I All-American in the decathlon. Pontius was a two-event All-Armed Forces selection in track and field in 1998 and in 2000, and he was a five-event champion in the 2004 International Police and Fire Games.