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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 41 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."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016: Memories of Park - Hearing the Mackay Chimes

On the last day of the September 2014 Park University Alumni Weekend, I stepped out of Thompson Commons just as the Mackay Hall chimes began to play "Hail, Hail Park College" (updated to "Hail, Alma Mater" after Park became Park University in 2000). Still known by the first version for many of us, there is, for all graduates of Park, something endearing about the "strong as an oak tree, thy name shall never fail," and "to thee, alma mater, hail, Park, hail" that we always cherish in our hearts.

Here's how the chimes sound, referred to here as the carillon, with a photo of the Mackay clock tower where they're located:


And here it is being sung in the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel:

Much as I loved the campus chimes, a search of my 1961-65 diary entries yielded only eight times when I actually mentioned them:

Tuesday, January 2, 1962 [after being in Iowa for Christmas vacation]: I was the fifth one to check in at Hawley. We had just arrived in [Vivien's and] my room when I heard the chimes. They hadn't been working in the first three months we'd been here. It was so nice to hear them - now it is college.

Wednesday, January 3, 1962: I love the chimes - if every 15 minutes isn't too often.

Thursday, January 4, 1962: This has been one of my favorite college days - we've been having such spring-like weather, and I still marvel at the beauty of those chimes sounding against the hills.

Saturday, February 3, 1962: Marge and I went over to sit on Mackay steps tonight and watched the sunset and listened to the chimes.

Friday, February 16, 1962: The chimes have been playing more often recently. We've even had Park's alma mater played.

Saturday, March 24, 1962: Poor Mackay's chimes have been off the beam tonight. [And then I didn't mention them again until 1963:]

Monday, November 11, 1963: The chimes are fixed again! [Note: They would not have been out of order since March 24, 1962.] [And once more:]

Monday, April 5, 1965: Yay - the chimes are working again. [That was the night before those of us in the department of education took our written comps, prior to our graduation day on Sunday, April 25.]  


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