October 22, 2008
Dick and Marty Wikert of Fremont, Neb., have made the naming gift for the renovated main dining room located in Morningside College’s Olsen Student Center. The dining room has been named the Dick and Marty Wikert Dining Hall in their honor.
Morningside hosted a dedication luncheon on October 25 in the Yockey Family Community Room in the Olsen Student Center to commemorate the naming of the dining room and to acknowledge the Wikerts’ gift.
Morningside completed a $2-million redesign and renovation of the dining room in the fall of 2007. In addition to a contemporary décor, the new dining room features booth, table and outdoor patio seating for students, flat-screen televisions, updated food delivery and redesigned food stations that allow chefs to cook more food to order.
“Thanks to the dedication and leadership of people like Dick and Marty Wikert, Morningside has been able to invest $26 million in capital projects since 2002 that have transformed our campus into a student-friendly environment that is conducive to living and learning,” said Morningside President John Reynders.
Dick Wikert is president and CEO of R&M Companies in Fremont. He started his business career as a salesman for Wilson Trailer Company in Sioux City and eventually advanced to the position of vice president and director of marketing. In 1974, he purchased Taylor and Martin Auctioneers in Fremont and became its president and chairman. In the early 1980s, he formed R&M Companies, which includes a truck and trailer leasing company and a real estate holding company.
Wikert has had many other business interests that involved business schools in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska; a soybean farming operation in Brazil, and banking. He was a founder and partner of Liberty Banks in West Des Moines, Iowa, and is the majority owner and chairman of American National Bank of Fremont.
Both of the Wikerts attended Morningside College. Dick Wikert served on the Morningside College Board of Directors for 21 years and received the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995.
The Wikerts have been involved in many boards and civic organizations such as Midland Lutheran College, Fremont Area Community Foundation, Fremont Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Foundation, Fremont Area Medical Center Foundation and Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
They are the parents of three daughters and have eight grandchildren.