Tom Evans Krause '69
“The future of Minnehaha Academy? I think it looks great!” Tom had come back to the Twin Cities to visit his brother, Todd ’76, the summer of 2018, less than a year after the explosion. He asked his brother if they could drive over to MA to see it. They lingered on the property for 30-45 minutes, taking photos of the devastation and getting a sense of what had happened – the people who had lost their lives, others injured, the lost buildings, it all had a huge impact. “Just talking about it and thinking back on it gets me emotional. Then contrast that with attending my 50th class reunion last September and seeing the amazing new building that has literally risen from the ashes. It’s beautiful, functional, and all I can see is great promise for the students attending now and the students yet to come.”
Tom’s cousin Reid Westrem ’84 and wife Robyn both work at Minnehaha Academy and their son Beck is a student there. During the Homecoming weekend reunion, Tom got a chance to watch Beck play soccer and say hi to the cousins he had not seen in a while, including Scott Westrem ’71. Another Westrem cousin, Barb, graduated Minnehaha in 1973. “That soccer field was the football field that we used to play on! Though the campus has been rebuilt, there are still elements of the property that retain the same feeling, if you will, even 50 years later.” It was such a mixed set of feelings--including images in his head of the middle part of the old building--which was no longer there. “Even so--it’s more than a building--it’s a community of students, faculty, staff and administrators from the past, present, and of the future.”
“I only attended my Mom’s alma mater for two years after we returned to Minnesota from Illinois, but completely immersed myself in sports, clubs, academics and was Student Council President during my time at MA.” Tom’s Mom, Betty, and her twin sister Mary (Nokleby) graduated from Minnehaha in 1946 along with Mary’s husband Doug Westrem ’43.
Tom had great teachers across the board, but favorites included Harlan Christianson, Harry Opel, Flora Sedgwick, Gerry Nordstrom and Guido Kauls. “Teachers were knowledgeable, dedicated, and really worked you hard to get the best out of you in a loving way. I remember them very fondly.” Tom finished up college with an education degree, but never thought he would end up in teaching, because by the time he was a college senior, he was deep into broadcasting and already had a part-time job outside of the Twin Cities.
“Broadcasting got inside me, and it was all I wanted to do.” A 21-year career in professional radio as Tom Evans offered many opportunities and rewards including 27 gold and platinum records, hanging out with famous artists, and even a trip to the White House. Then he got an opportunity to teach broadcasting at a Seattle area college. He dusted off his never used teaching degree--and lo and behold-- things came full circle! During the 26 years of a second career in higher ed, Tom drew upon some of the teaching methods that the MA Faculty utilized when he was in their classes.
Life on the Diamond
One of Tom’s favorite past times is baseball. He attended his first pro game at Metropolitan Stadium in 1961, the Minnesota Twins’ inaugural year, and remains a huge Twins fan. “I have been wearing #3 since high school in honor of Harmon Killebrew.” He lettered in baseball during his two years at Minnehaha (and as a freshman and sophomore at his previous high school), but his playing time at MA was limited due to injuries as a junior and senior.
He picked up a baseball again in the mid-‘90’s and his impact and passion is undeniable. As his ‘side job’ he has helped make the 1,100 member Puget Sound Senior Baseball League one of the premier leagues in the national Men’s Senior Baseball League – a 45,000 member organization. He and his Seattle teams have won three International World Series championship rings. He was inducted into the MSBL Hall of Fame in 2012, received the 2016 MSBL Lifetime Achievement Award and is part of the MSBL Honor Roll contingent. For Tom’s leadership abilities and love of the game, MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler named Tom as the 2019 MSBL Man of the Year, the organization’s highest honor.
To Fellow Alums
To this day, Tom believes strongly in the value of a Christian education. “When I attended MA, the only way my family could afford it was by both my dad, Don, and mom working there plus lots of support from others--donors and those in the community who supported MA in various ways, which allowed someone like me to be able to attend. Without that help, I would not have been able to go. My message to other alumni is that we should stay connected and help support students that wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend through programs like the Heritage and Hope scholarship.”