In 2020 COVID-19 sent us spiraling into a different world where being together with people was not encouraged.

Among the casualties was the yearly Faribault High School induction of people into their Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

The 2020 class is being honored this year at a reception on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at the Faribault American Legion .

Jill Fagerlund and Cheryl Freund introduced the class to KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today.

Social hour starts 5:00 p.m. with a light meal.  Program scheduled for 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Like all classes before the Class of 2020 is filled with Faribault High School graduates who have left an undeniable mark on the world.

  • Michael Gramse, (Class of 1966) founder of MRG Tool and Die in Faribault got his love of working with machines as a junior at Faribault High School in a machine shop class.  Upon graduation he attended the Faribault Area Vocational and Technical Institute where he completed the Tool and Die program in 1968 under the instruction of Page Lawson.  Duo Tool and Die started in 1979, eventually becoming MRG Tool and Die.  MRG has grown to include 73 employees, a 66,000 square foot facility and diverse customer base, including nearly all Faribault's industries.
  • Vernon Van Nelson, (Class of 1962) turned a stint in the Peace Corps into a lifelong love of learning people are people wherever you go.  While in High School he worked at Porier/Paul's Pharmacy while in 10th and 11th grade.  Then worked at Lavender Inn from his senior year in high school through college.  Nelson graduated from the U of M in 1967 with a degree in Humanities.  In 1973 he received a master's degree in education with a focus on adult learning from the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.  The words uttered by President John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" inspired him to join the Peace Corps.  He was exempt from military service.  His service began in Thailand for 3 years and then spent the next four decades in various positions related to the Peace Corps.  Nelson shared he has very fond memories of Faribault Senior High School and the Faribault community.  He hopes today's students will have similar memories to cherish.
  • Bob Dettmer, (Class of 1969) grew up on a dairy farm and attended a two-room country school in Cannon City.  Following graduation from FSHS he attended Bemidji State College, graduating in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education.  He later received his master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the College of St. Thomas.  Dettmer's entire 34-year teaching career was in Forest Lake, Minnesota.  Head wrestling coach from 1975-2007 he accumulated a 399-144-2 record which ranked 25th out of 340 Minnesota high school wrestling coaches.  Dettmer was a three time All-American himself.  He finished his college career with a 90-10 record.  Dettmer was a Greco-Roman Champion and an NAIA National Wrestling Champion. He was named Faribault High School and Bemidji State Athlete of the Year.  He is in the Faribault Sports Hall of Fame and six other halls of fame.  A 25 year member of the United States Army Reserves he served in Kuwait in 2001.  After retiring in 2011 he received the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service to the United State while servign as Senior Intelligence Technician within the Military Readiness Command. Dettmer has been District 39A Minnesota State Representative since 2007.
  • Daniel Lips, (Class of 1973) received his bachelor of arts degree from MaCalester College in St. Paul, Mn. and his M.D from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.  Then a master of arts degree from Oxford University, England as a Rhodes Scholar.  32 scholars from the U.S have been chosen since 1904 to become Rhodes Scholars.  Since 1993 Lips has performed over 5,000 life-changing stent procedures, many as acute treatment for an ongoing heart attack.  He practiced in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota.  From 2007-2017, Lips returned to Faribault every month as the lead Minneapolis Heart Institute outreach cardiologist to Faribault's Allina Clinic.  Lips retired in 2019.
  • Brenda Thayer Eisenshenk, (Class of 1988) was heavily involved in church, school, 4-H and work while growing up in Faribault.  Honored as the Woman in Business Champion by the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce.  They called her a, "woman of many hats" for her leadership in numerous community organizations and activities that benefit from her involvement.  In 2007 she launched her own company, InteleCONNECT, a telecommunications consulting business.  They consult with clients in 49 states, many in Minnesota including Faribault.
  • Anne Carlin, (Class of 1982) became a world traveler after graduating from the University of St. Thomas in 1985.  First London then traveled solo to eastern and western Europe.  Carlin has been a teacher, auditor, evaluator. refugee repatriation officer and editor for a range of institutions iincluding the United Nations, the World Bank, federal government and more. Humanitarian work in Pakistan.  Teaching in China.  She has been to 70 countries and can communicate in French, Pashtu, Mandarin Chinese and Urdu.  Carlin is an accomplished Latin dancer and enjoys attending festivals to dance salsa, bachata and tango.

Fagerlund says people can still get tickets by phoning 507-334-5947 of emailing

Tickets are $20 each for the April 22, 2023 banquet at the Faribault American Legion.  Social hour starts 5:00 p.m. with a light meal.  Program will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

You can listen to the April 6, 2023 program below.

Below is a podcast of AM Minnesoa from April 6, 2023

Parents Should Familiarize Themselves with These Illegal Drugs

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to recognizing and understanding when your child becomes involved with illegal drugs.

More From KDHL Radio