It's September - the month those of us who graduated from Park in 1965 as well as those who graduated in many other years have been waiting for. The 2015 Alumni Weekend September 17-19 promises to be enjoyable, starting with a Golden Reunion dinner for graduates and guests of the Class of 1965 on Thursday evening, September 17, at 6:00 in the Park University Underground.
In September 2014, soon after the Park Class of 1964 had their 50th reunion at Park, Julie McCollum created a Facebook cover photo and established a group page for the Park College Class of 1965 50th Reunion. Julie was then Director of Alumni Relations at Park (and is now Director of Membership Sales and Service for the NAIA at its headquarters in Kansas City).
Julie asked if I would like to help plan and promote our 1965 50th reunion. Having had a fondness for Park since my parents, three younger sisters, and I first saw the campus on September 9, 1961, I agreed to do so.
Nancy Rohlfing Potter from the Class of 1966 soon volunteered to help with promoting our reunion. I've been very grateful for Nancy's assistance. She has offered many insightful suggestions and has made numerous contributions on our Facebook page and on other Park and Parkville sites.
Erik Bergrud in the Alumni and Constituent Relations office in Mackay, along with Alisha Blackwelder and Bobbi Shaw in the Office of Alumni Relations at the Park House have been working tirelessly as they prepare for AWE15 while giving special attention to our Class of 1965 milestone 50th year reunion. All three of them are Park graduates.
The Meetin' House will be open on Thursday and Friday afternoons for members of our class to catch up on what has happened - in many instances - in 50 years.
To be included in a Reunion Memory Book, questionnaires that the Alumni Office sent us asking for our information and photos need to be returned by September 19. Class members submitting information will receive a copy of the book even if they are unable to attend.
On Friday afternoon at 2:00 Paul Gault, member of our Class of 1965 and a career long administrator with Park, will lead us on a tour of the place limestone has played in Park's history, from Mackay and other buildings above ground to the Park Underground - an extensive space carved out from beneath our campus as we knew it.
On Saturday morning, September 19, at 9:00 in the Copley Quad conference center, John Roushkolb, the Social Media manager at Park, will talk about using Social Media to Connect with Park Family Members. I'll talk about my blog, A 1961-65 Park College Diary.
The Park University annual Alumni Association business meeting will be held on the Copley Quad patio Saturday at 10:15. After the meeting members of the Class of 1965 will receive Golden Diplomas.
Nancy Taylor Custead began attending Park with our class in 1961. Marriage and children meant that her graduation year was 1968. While at Park Nancy frequently played the organ and piano and was an accompanist for the Park Singers. She has agreed to play for us when we sing "Hail, Hail, Park College...." and "Near to the Heart of God " with the organ and 60s songs with the piano in the chapel at 1:30 on Saturday.
There will be opportunities to see how Park and Parkville have and haven't changed, sports events and social gatherings throughout the weekend. We're looking forward to seeing those who are coming home to Park. And we'll miss those of you who can't make it.
About the diary writer
- Barbara McDowell Whitt
- Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
- In the first half of the 1960s I wrote nightly entries on the pages of one-year diaries. A 1961-65 Park College Diary is a transcription of those entries. The first entry was on January 1, 1960 when I was a junior in high school. I grew up on three farms within 30 miles of Iowa City with the University of Iowa and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. As the oldest of four daughters, I sometimes referred to my sisters as "the kids" or "the girls." We helped our parents, but we also had good, wholesome fun - a characteristic I took with me to Park. Park College was 300 miles from West Chester, Iowa in Parkville, Missouri, on the Missouri River 10 miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri, and across the river from Kansas City, Kansas. In 2000 Park College became Park University. Today Park's flagship campus is in Parkville and there are an additional 40 campus centers across the nation. Park was one of the first educational institutions in the United States to offer online learning. Beginning August 10, 2015, 50 years after I wrote my last entry in a one-year diary, I've written Park related Blogger blog posts to keep A 1961-65 Park College Diary "current."