Membership in the Pro Rege Society is the highest non-academic recognition that Hastings College bestows. Criteria for selection may include, but is not limited to, extraordinary service to Hastings College, significant philanthropic contributions and/or unusual commitment to the college over an extended period of time.
2015 Pro Rege Inductees
George Lundeen ’71
Bronze sculptor George W. Lundeen has crafted a remarkable career. Characterized by their realism and expression of emotion, George’s works can be found in public and private collections around the world.
After graduating Hastings College in 1971 with a degree in art, he continued shaping his skills in bronze sculpture, earning a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Illinois and studying at Academia de Belle in Florence, Italy, through a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship.
In ensuing years, his fascination with the human form has shone in statues depicting the people of the Plains. Among those on display in Nebraska are seven Hall of Fame busts in the Nebraska State Capitol Building; “Mary Lanning” at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings, Nebraska; “Players” at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and “Promise of the Prairie” in his hometown Holdrege, Nebraska.
George’s presence extends well beyond Nebraska, though. He sculpted the life-sized “Nike Girl” and “The Valentine” for Nike INC, corporate headquarters in Oregon; astronaut “Jack Swigert” and aviation pioneer “Amelia Earhart” for Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.; and “Holly Coors” for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Furthermore, he has earned many awards and honors for his art from organizations such as Allied Artists of America, the National Academy of Design and the National Sculpture Society. In 1995, he received the Distinguished Nebraskan “Pioneer Award” from the Nebraskaland Foundation and Governor E. Benjamin Nelson. In 1999, the University of Nebraska conferred on George the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. In 1981, he received a special citation from the China Exhibition Agency, Beijing, China for his sculpting.
George has shared his success with Hastings College, most visibly by installing the “Joy of Music” sculpture in 2011, donated by Douglas Soderquist in honor of his wife Julie. However, he also has returned to teach current students and sculpted the medallions presented to the presidents of Hastings College and members of the Pro Rege Society. Additionally, James W. and Marjorie Barrett Hewitt ‘54/’54 donated George’s “Robert Frost” to the College in 1998. In recognition of his achievements and service, George received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1986 and the President’s Award in 2011.
Currently, George lives and works in Loveland, Colorado. He and his wife, Cammie, have three children.
Following his retirement from Hastings College in 2004, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and former Chair of the Chemistry Department Frederick H. Mattes has remained a distinguished and honored member of the Hastings College family.
After earning his B.S. from Carroll College (WI) (now Carroll University) and his Ph.D. from Indiana University, Fred joined the chemistry department at Hastings in 1976 where he served for 28 years. During his tenure at Hastings, Fred earned a reputation as one of the College’s most challenging professors. He received the Alpha Chi Outstanding Faculty Award.
Outside of the classroom, Fred served as a faculty co-sponsor for Alpha Chi academic honorary, an academic advisor and an active recruiter for admissions. Additionally, he served on the local and regional boards of the American Chemical Society, visited small high schools in Nebraska to promote the study of science and coordinated several National Chemistry Week celebrations.
In 1999, Fred was named to the Richard B. and Dorothy K. Tickler Endowed Chair in Science and held that position until 2002. Upon his retirement in 2004, Hastings College conferred an honorary doctorate on him for his outstanding record as a classroom professor and for his distinguished service.
Fred has demonstrated continued support to Hastings College and the chemistry department since retirement by teaching labs during sabbaticals and supervising several senior projects. In 2013, the Dr. Frederick Mattes Chemistry Achievement Award began. It is given annually to the top first-year student in the College Chemistry course, a course Fred taught for more than 26 years. In addition, Fred has been an active volunteer to the Hastings College Alumni Foundation and for various events.
In the community, he has contributed his time to numerous service projects including Habitat for Humanity in Hastings; mission trips to Alaska, Louisiana and Oklahoma; and served as a Cub Scout Pack Leader. Fred has also devoted his time to the Grace United Methodist Church where he has served on the Board of Trustees and taught vacation bible study.
Fred and his wife, Carol, have two children -- Gretel Beck and Philip -- and five grandchildren: Graydon Mattes, Finley Mattes, Katherine Mattes, Meredith Beck and Grant Beck.
Gretchen H. Lainson '37
Cindy and Bobby* Gottsch
Dr. Ladd Cochrane ’58
Pepsi Cola Bottling of Hastings
Thomas C. Jorgenson*
Dr. William Locke
Jo Ann Klemmer
Phillip Dudley Jr.
Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc.
Fred Hawkins, Jr.
Armstrong McDonald Foundation
John "Jack" Osborne
James Walter, Sr.*
Leonard (Lynn) Farrell
Duane (Bear) Johnson
Grace Riley Leinart*
Charles Uerling, Jr.*
Walter Scott, Jr.
Thomas Creigh, Jr.*
B. Keith Heuermann
Harry (Hal) Lainson*
Harrold (Hal) Shiffler*
D. Lloyd Wilson*