Donald R. Cressey was a penologist, sociologist and criminologist who made innovative contributions to the study of organized crime, prisons, criminology and white-collar crime. After graduating from Fergus Falls High School in 1937, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. from Indiana University. Cressey taught sociology at the University of California Los Angeles and Santa Barbara until his retirement in 1986. He wrote extensively, including books on embezzlement and organized crime and co-authored “Principles of Criminology,” the standard text in criminology for 30 years. He served on the Organized Crime Task Force of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice during the Johnson administration, and after his retirement from teaching he became president of the Institute for Financial Crimes Prevention.
As a research scientist, Heidi (Kennedy) Manning is playing a continuing role in the American space program. Following graduation from Fergus Falls High School in 1986, she earned her bachelor’s degree in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota. As a graduate student, she assisted in the development of a mass spectrometer which flew on the space shuttle Endeavor in 1996. She subsequently worked as a research scientist for NASA, where she tested and calibrated an instrument currently orbiting Saturn on the Cassini spacecraft. In 1997 she began teaching physics at Concordia College in Moorhead and has continued her research in planetary science with colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, including the analysis of atmospheric data from the Mars rover Curiosity.
Minnetonka native Roger Johnson began teaching at Fergus Falls High School in 1965 after graduating from Augsburg College. Forty-eight years later, he continues as a substitute teacher and general manager of the Otters boys hockey team. Before retiring from full-time teaching in 1999, he taught American and world history from 34 years. He was the head boys hockey coach from 1965-1972 and assistant coach for the next 27 years, earning the State Assistant Boys Hockey Coach of the Year award in 1991-1992 and Section 4A Assistant Coach of the Year in 1998, when he achieved his 300th victory. For 20 years he covered hockey for the Fergus Falls newspaper. Johnson coached boys golf from 1995-1999, and in 1999 his team won third place in the state Class AA tournament.
Jadie Dahlen has been dedicated to learning and teaching for more than 70 years. Dahlen, a native of Milnor, ND, earned money to attend college by working for the N.P Railroad and U.S. Fire Service for three years, fighting forest fires in Montana, Idaho and Canada. Following college graduation, he taught high school math, science and art and coached basketball for two years in North Dakota before joining the Fergus Falls School District as an art teacher. He earned his master’s degree from the University of North Dakota in 1963 and continued taking graduate classes each summer until he retired in 1993. Missing the students and school, he worked as a substitute teacher in the Fergus Falls School District for another 19 years, until 2012.
Greg “Fuzz” Noren graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1967 and continued his athletic career at Fergus Falls Community College, where he participated in baseball, track and field, and basketball. He attended Moorhead State College for two years, and then in 1975 joined the staff of the Fergus Falls School District. He worked for the school district until 2010 as a custodian and groundskeeper and was the district’s certified pool operator. For 16 years he served as assistant track and field coach for Coach Terry Harrington, and he continues his involvement as a volunteer coach for the sport. In 2002, his contributions were recognized when he was named Section 8AA Assistant Track & Field Coach of the Year.
Battle Lake native Roger Olson earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Moorhead State College in 1967 and began his teaching career in the Frazee-Vergas public schools, teaching math and coaching high school football and baseball. In 1969 he joined the Fergus Falls School District and during his 42-year career taught math at many levels and served as Dean of Students and the District’s staff development coordinator. His athletic contributions include coaching junior high golf, junior high and high school football and high school basketball, as well as serving as middle school activities coordinator. During his tenure he completed graduate work at St. Thomas and St. Mary’s colleges, and for 25 years he has been the familiar voice of Otter football for Lakes Radio.