BROKEN BOW— The Broken Bow All-Alumni weekend took place this past weekend which included a walkthrough of the Broken Bow Middle and High School buildings following the luncheon on Saturday. During the luncheon, the Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented to Jim Girardin (Class of 1955) and Nancy Ferguson (Class of 1971). The 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award was also presented to Deb McCaslin (Class of 1969) during this year’s luncheon, due to the event not being held last year because of COVID.
On Saturday, Deb talked reminisced about moving to Broken Bow and becoming involved in the community. She encouraged those in attendance to urge their own families to do the same.
“I invite you as grandparents and parents, that if you children or grandchildren are looking to try and figure where to put down roots, suggest Broken Bow,” said Deb.
Deb returned to Broken Bow after traveling the world where she progressed from writer to the eventual publisher at the Custer County Chief newspaper which had previously been owned by her grandfather and father until the 1980s. She was also an active member of the Custer Economic Development Corporation from its inception where she eventually served as interim Executive Director helping develop community housing projects and revitalizing the use of Community Development Block Grants.
Deb is also involved in the Rotary, TeamMates, Blueprint Nebraska, and other community events and programs. She studied at Hastings College as well as the Universities of Nebraska and Arizona. Deb and her husband Norm have three children and six grandchildren.
Deb concluded with, “Thank you to Broken Bow for allowing me and encouraging me to grow as a leader and as a person.”
Jim Girardin received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska after he graduated from Broken Bow in 1955. He became president of Arrow Seed Company in 1977 and continued the family tradition by making significant contributions to the seed industry and community in Broken Bow.
Jim has served as president of the Nebraska Seed Trade Association, the Western Seed Association, and the Field Seed Institute of America. He has also served on multiple local boards including the Broken Bow School Board from 1976-82.
During the presentation on Saturday, Jim focused on the importance of keeping the connections that each person made in Broken Bow.
“Each of us are members of a specific class and we have those memories and friendships with our classmates, but just as importantly, we are members of a larger group, the Broken Bow High School Alumni. I think it is important that we maintain that connection that we are all part of that larger group,” said Jim.
According to the Alumni biography, Jim has a history of continuous service on boards and committees and encourages others to lead and serve as well. Jim and his wife Marilyn have three children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Nancy Ferguson, who was also recognized as a Distinguished Alumni was unable to attend the event and will be recognized during the Class of 1971 Reunion on September 11.