Zurkammer didn't foresee that he would stick around town after
earning his associate degree from Lincoln College. He enjoyed the
small private college atmosphere, so he continued his studies at
MacMurray College in Jacksonville, where he was an NAIA all-American
in both baseball and basketball in 1964-65.
After earning an undergraduate degree at MacMurray, it was fate
that presented the opportunity to come back to his alma mater in
Lincoln. "Coach (Bill) Wall asked me to be an assistant and I was
going to work for him until the phone rang. It was coach (Chuck)
Lindstrom from Lincoln College, who called to ask if he knew of
anyone who could help with the Lynx athletic program," said
Zurkammer. Coach Wall told Lindstrom that he had the perfect
candidate who knew the game, as well as the locals, and the rest, as
they say, is history.
Zurkammer joined Lincoln College in 1965 and taught math and
computer science as well as helping with the athletic program. He
would later go on to coach the men's basketball team from 1967-1970.
Zurkammer said he has seen many changes over the span of his
tenure, and most notably in the field of computer science. "I
remember the early years when we had our Commodore computers and we
had a memory upgrade from 16K to 32K, we thought we had died and
gone to heaven. You have to understand that the mindset was why one
would ever need more than that," Zurkammer chuckled.
In 1982 Dr. Jack Nutt was selected the president of Lincoln
College, and it was during this time that Zurkammer was named the
dean of academic affairs. The transition from teacher to
administrator wasn't a huge leap for him. "Jack would joke with me
and call me his OJT dean, which stood for 'on-the-job training,'"
Zurkammer said. "At the time I didn't know what to expect, but I did
know I wanted to keep teaching one or two courses so I could stay
involved with the students."
He acknowledged that being around college-age students has kept him
young. "You are in the land of eternal youth and each year the
students are the same age, so you don't feel like you are getting
any older," said Zurkammer.
[to top of second column]
Many athletic enthusiasts from the area might recognize Zurkammer
from his hobby of being a referee for the countless number of games
and matches played throughout central Illinois. Zurkammer says he
spent 35 years officiating for baseball, basketball, football,
volleyball and softball. "That was the fun part for me: being around
the kids and feeling their excitement of playing in the game," said
Zurkammer, who said that he has officiated 17 state championships.
Current Lincoln College President John Hutchinson said he feels
the college is losing a valuable employee and friend. "Zurkammer has
served Lincoln College with brilliance and tremendous energy,
touching and enhancing the lives of so many students and
colleagues," Hutchinson said.
Zurkammer plans to spend time with his family, working on his
home, reading and traveling, adding that his wife has been very
supportive of his career. "My wife, Connie, and I want more time to
enjoy our grandchildren," he said. "During my tenure Connie has been
an integral part, attending countless social, sports, cultural and
Zurkammer described his departure from Lincoln College as
bittersweet. "I have enjoyed so much the interaction that I have had
with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members that can
only come from being in the position of provost at Lincoln College,"
he said. "I believe in what we do and how we do it here at Lincoln
College, so my mixed emotions are only natural. But after being here
this long, I can't imagine anything else."
[Text from file received from