Motivated and Engaged Rams

By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)

A key part of CSU’s land grant mission is to provide access and opportunity to anyone with the motivation and ability to earn a degree. Generations of our alumni illustrate the wisdom of that mission; Jeff (B.S., ’89) and Rosie Wierenga (M.B.A., ’01) are two shining examples.

Rosie and Jeff in the Iris and Michael Smith Alumni Center web

The couple grew up in northern Colorado, Jeff in Loveland and Rosie in Windsor. They both worked full time after graduating from high school. Jeff worked in manufacturing and design at Hach Company, which had a tuition assistance program. He took advantage, enrolled at CSU in the industrial technology program, and graduated cum laude in 1989. He and Rosie were married that summer.

He then got interested in business and decided to pursue a graduate degree through Regis University. After completing an MBA, he moved into engineering management for Celestica, and subsequently into project, product, and program management for CoCreate Software and later Hewlett-Packard, totaling about 15 years. Currently he is employed as a senior value consultant with NetSuite, an integrated cloud business software suite that is a subsidiary of Oracle. The past three years he has worked from home in Fort Collins, only occasionally going into the office at the Denver Tech Center as well as to other Oracle offices as far away as Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

Rosie and Jeff on a bike trip along the Danube River

After high school, Rosie worked full time at NCR, which also had a tuition assistance program. She took advantage of it and pursued an undergraduate degree through Regis, earning a BS, majoring in marketing and international business with a minor in psychology. Her next positions were at Teledyne, followed by Hach Company. While there, she and four of her colleagues completed the MBA degree through CSU’s night program. She says she “really enjoyed sharing the graduate experience with her colleagues.” As she was completing her masters, she joined CoCreate Software’s marketing team, staying for three years. She has been employed at HP Inc. for the last 15 years, currently serving as the US commercial field marketing event manager. These days all events are virtual, which she can manage from home.

The pair are avid golfers, trail hikers, and bicyclists. They ride every weekend, logging 1200 to 1500 miles each year. They have biked the Danube River in Europe and had planned a trip to Tuscany this summer, but COVID-19 forced a postponement.

The couple says they are “fortunate to live in Fort Collins,” which gives them “easy access to events on campus.” Jeff has been a CSU sports fan since his undergraduate days; he remembers great times at football games and cheering on men’s basketball teams coached by Boyd “Tiny” Grant. The couple are season ticket holders for football and men’s basketball. They attend the Lagoon Concert Series each year and enjoy Thursday on the New Belgium Porch. They also have attended many CSU special events, including the Grand Opening of the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center and 1870 Club Dinners. They remain active in and helps with events for El Centro. The University is proud to have these two active alumni supporting events and cheering on the Rams!