The new Elizabeth and Irving Jensen Softball Complex was dedicated on March 19, 2007.
Irving F. and Carolyn “Tigger” Jensen, Jr., who made the naming gift for the new softball complex in honor of his parents, and other Jensen family members who also contributed to the project were recognized during the ceremony. Remarks were given by Morningside College President John Reynders; Rich Waller, chair of the Morningside College Board of Directors and president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Security National Bank; Morningside Athletic Director, Jerry Schmutte; Morningside Head Softball Coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann; and Irving F. Jensen, Jr.
“The completion of this softball complex has enhanced the Morningside experience for our students,” Reynders said. “We deeply appreciate the generosity of the Jensen family.”
Irving Jensen, Jr., said, “When you are privileged to live in a good community, it is your responsibility to give back to the community. Our family has many ties with Morningside College; many of us attended or graduated from the college. In giving back to the college and this community, we hope to inspire young people by our example.”
Other Jensen family members who have made significant contributions towards the softball complex include his brothers and their wives, Colin and Alice Jensen, of Sioux City; Erik and Mary Jensen, Franktown, Colo.; and Mark and Kay Jensen, Sioux City; and their sister and her husband, Susan and Sherman Wollesen, Lawton, Iowa. Contributions have also been made by Irving and “Tigger” Jensen, Jr’s children, Mia O’Malley, Jackson, Wyo.; Juliana Mayne, Sioux City; Nancy Kent, Sioux City; Carolyn Bender, Dallas, Texas; and Irving F. Jensen III, Dakota Dunes, S.D. Irving and “Tigger” Jensen, Jr. also made special gifts in honor of their grandchildren Nancy Nicole Bekins-Kent, a 2006 Morningside graduate, and Alex Kent, who will be a freshman at Morningside this fall. The complex and renovated Bass Field were also dedicated in memory of Julie Wollesen, daughter of Susan and Sherman Wollesen.
The new softball complex features an agri-lime infield, built-in concrete-block dugouts, fencing, and stadium seating for 400.
Irving and Elizabeth Jensen, Sr. were longtime supporters of the college. Elizabeth Jensen graduated from Morningside in 1954. Irving Jensen, Sr. was awarded the Order of Morningside and the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering by Morningside in 1976. He served as a member of Morningside’s board of directors from 1957 to 1976 and was vice chair of the board from 1970 to1976. He was the chair of the college’s 1965 fundraising campaign.
Irving Jensen, Jr. served on the college’s board of directors from 1988 to 2000 and was chair of the board for the 1993-94 academic year. He is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of the family-related companies that employ 500 to 600 persons. He served as chairman, secretary-treasurer, and director of Irving F. Jensen Co., Inc., Brower Construction, Castle Rock Construction Company, and Jebro, Inc. He is president of the Orpheum Theatre Preservation Project, Ltd., and was a member of the board of the Woodbury County Courthouse Preservation Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration from the School of Engineering at Yale University and served in the U.S. Air Force from November 1954 through November 1956. In 2003, Morningside awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Colin Jensen served as president of Irving F. Jensen Co., Inc., in Sioux City. Erik Jensen, who served on Morningside’s board of directors from 1981 to1986, is president of Castle Rock Construction Company headquartered in Castle Rock; Colo. Mark Jensen is president of Standard Ready Mix Concrete Company in Sioux City.