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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • CCC names facilities after Alexander, Oderman

  • Last month, two longtime Central Christian College administrators, Dr. Jerry Alexander and Mr. Ellis Odermann, both of McPherson, were honored by having their names permanently affixed to campus facilities.
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  • Last month, two longtime Central Christian College administrators, Dr. Jerry Alexander and Mr. Ellis Odermann, both of McPherson, were honored by having their names permanently affixed to campus facilities.
    The dedication ceremony was held between a women’s game and a men’s basketball game.
    The south gymnasium in the Ed Pyle Sports Complex was named the Dr. Jerry E. Alexander Arena and the court in the south gymnasium was named the Ellis Odermann Court. Both men have a love for the game of basketball and have been involved in basketball extensively throughout their lives.
    An honorary naming is reserved by the Board of Trustees to memorialize or commemorate individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to Central Christian College.
    “These two gentlemen fit the bill,” President Hal Hoxie said. “They have given the best of their experiences, knowledge, resources, and time to Central, and this is one small way that their outstanding legacy of service will continue at the College.”
    Together, Alexander and Odermann have dedicated 86 years of their lives to Christian higher education, with most of those years served at Central Christian College and several years spent at their alma mater, a sister school of CCC’s that closed in 1968 — Wessington Springs College and Academy in Wessington Springs, S.D.
    At the dedication, family members joined the honorees on the court as esteemed colleagues and friends of the two men, Colonel Gail Arnott and Dr. Barry McKeown, introduced and recognized Alexander and Odermann. Central Christian College Board of Trustees Chair, an alumnus of both Wessington Springs Academy and Central Christian College, Dr. Gary Anderson, acknowledged his mentors and friends at the dedication,
    “We are grateful that Alex and Oats chose early on to dedicate their lives to Christian education,” Anderson said, “and are also grateful that many have reaped the benefits of their unwavering commitment to serving through higher education. We, and this institution, have been blessed by their lives and their significant contributions.”
    For more than four decades, Dr. Alexander served Central Christian as the chief academic officer and, prior to that, as business department chairman.
    In 2009, before the arrival of President Hoxie, he stepped up to fill the position of Interim President, as well as to carry on his responsibilities as Provost and Vice President of Academics.
    Alexander’s passion for basketball began long ago in a small town gym in South Dakota and he earned much recognition for his skills on the court during both high school and college play.
    He has coached, officially and unofficially, for 20 years, and his sons continued his championship basketball legacy.
    Mr. Odermann holds the honor of being the second-longest-serving, now-retired staff person (right behind Alexander) at Central Christian College, having served for 39 years as the Business Manager, Director of Finance and Vice President of Finance. Although he retired in 2000, he is still regularly spotted on campus as he often volunteers his craftsman skills on special projects.
    Page 2 of 2 - Having played basketball in both high school and college, Odermann continued enjoying his love for the game by spending many years as an official scorer at college games. During the 45 years that he has lived in McPherson, he spent well over 500 nights watching the Central Christian College Tigers play basketball. Several years ago, he even put his craftsman skills to work to help repair the gym floor.
    Dr. Anderson concluded the dedication ceremony with a prayer over the facility, praying, “We ask that the Dr. Jerry E. Alexander Arena and the Ellis Odermann Court would be used to mold character, expand athletic skills, shape attitudes and bring glory and honor to You, Almighty God.”

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