Alumni Spotlight: Muriel Stone (’64)

Muriel Stone has always had a life-long passion for the fine arts and music. This passion led her to Morningside College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education in 1964.

Stone found her way to Morningside through a Morningside admissions counselor. She explained how she was impressed with the great music program and the scholarship she received helped as well.

During her time on campus, Stone was very involved both inside and outside of the music department. She participated in band, choir, orchestra, and a woodwind quartet. Additionally, she was in a music sorority on campus. Outside of the music department, she served as a hall counselor, was a member of the student religious group, a student council secretary and a member of LASS, a group for freshman women who were outstanding freshman students who had gotten off to a great start in college. Her sophomore year, Stone also served as the sophomore women student of the year.

Although Stone’s professional career did not include much music, she is now an active part of the Phoenix Chamber Music Society and a musician in the Sun City Chamber Orchestra.

“My love of music has taken me into an area of chamber music,” Stone said.

Stone currently serves as a board member on the Phoenix Chamber Music Society. “Our goal as a society is to bring the world’s finest chamber musicians here to the valley.”

She additionally is a musician in the Sun City Chamber Orchestra. This group of talented musicians performs four to six concerts a year and plays a variety of musical selections ranging from classical, to jazz. Stone is the first flute in this group, an accomplishment she is very proud of.

Stone had numerous pieces of advice for current students.

“Do very well academically and love the area you choose to study,” she said. “Be involved and be connected on campus and encourage curiosity and a sense of excellence.”

Her advice for young alumni?

“Stay connected to the college. Always be grateful for what you have been able to do and have. Be a very productive citizen and remain a productive and intellectual learner.”

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You may not realize, but 100% of full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid at Morningside. Muriel Stone is one of those students who received a scholarship during her time at Morningside that helped make the choice to come to Morningside an easy one. Scholarships, along with a passion for music and performing arts, led Stone to a novel idea.

“I would love to have a challenge scholarship, so to say, that challenges alumni to step forward and give back.”

Her vision for the scholarship includes one of which would encourage the recruitment of fine musicians as well as help with retention. Stone’s goals for the scholarship include helping with recruitment, helping music students financially, and helping to strengthen the performing arts and music program at Morningside.

“I hope (by establishing a scholarship) other alumni who were music majors will establish scholarships in their area as well.”

By this Stone indicated that she would love to see a variety of scholarships in different areas, for example, one for a clarinet player that wants to be part of a woodwind quartet, or one for a trumpet player who would like to be part of a brass quartet.

“I would love to see this idea grow and watch as others give back.”

 

Published in: on May 2, 2018 at 10:40 AM Comments (0)

Alumni Spotlight: Karla Santi (’98)

A 1998 Morningside graduate, Karla (Engbard) Santi is a founding partner and CEO of Blend Interactive, a website design and development company founded in 2005 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Santi also has two other Morningside graduates working for her company. As Interactive Designers, Sam Otis (2001) and Weston Burkhardt (2014) put their Graphic Design and Computer Science majors to use as they focus on design, accessibility, and front-end web development.

Santi is married Jayson Santi, a 1996 Morningside graduate, and they have two children.

Santi said she was originally drawn to Morningside because it was one of the few schools with a proper computer lab for graphic design students.

“At the time, I was also considering both private and public colleges in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but it was this small, private college in Iowa that proved to be cutting edge,” she said.

She majored in graphic design and minored in business at Morningside, participating in Student Government, Alpha Lambda Delta, Creative Edge Ad Club, and the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition and Alpha Delta Sigma Honor Society.

She played on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II women’s tennis team, where she still holds several school records.

Santi said her favorite thing about Morningside was the people.

“Professors cared about my academic success, and their advice (or rules) shaped how I tackle projects and deadlines today in my role as CEO,” she said. “The friends I made at Morningside also played an important part in my career path. My roommate, Sarah, lined up my internship, which turned into a career in web design and development. I remember many late nights in the computer lab working alongside my fellow graphic design classmates, many of which have gone on to be very successful in their careers as well.”

In addition to running a business, Santi serves on the board of directors for the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She is a mentor through EmBe’s Women’s Leadership Program and has a passion for encouraging young women to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math. She also takes part in a weekly tennis league and even finds time for a ballet class.

Her advice for students was to learn not just from your major but from your entire college experience.

“Some of the most valuable takeaways from college aren’t always related to your degree,” she said. “When I see job applicants with four-year degrees, that tells me they can commit to a process of rigorous, structured work. It’s in these years of independence where you learn how to prioritize tasks, set expectations and communicate with others – all while making mistakes along the way. The experience and relationships you form while earning your degree are equally as important to the subject matter of your major.”

Her advice for young alumni was don’t be afraid to get started.

“It’s advice that I’ve been given and have to work on every day: ‘Don’t wait for perfection to start something.’ If we wait for perfection, it will never happen. Start something and refine as you go. It’s difficult advice for us perfectionists out there, but even with time, nothing is ever perfect.”

 

Published in: on at 10:32 AM Comments (0)