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MAGAZINE Fall 2009

Vol. 1 No. 2


President on campus

Michael H. Droge, Ph.D.

Contents 1 12





Meet Michael H. Droge, Ph.D., Park’s new president


Windows of opportunity honoring the past; envisioning the future


Park University awarded $100,000 for Veterans Award Grant


Paths to service


Park announces new administrators


Park offers online degree in early childhood education


Public service: celebrating our common humanity


Park University’s 2009 Montana dinosaur dig


Bob Kendrick, ‘85, & Buck O’Neil A legendary friendship

Departments 20 In Academia

Park University Magazine is published by the Office of University Advancement and the Office of Communication for Park alumni and friends. Send comments and address corrections to Office of University Advancement, Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152, or call (816) 584-6200 or e-mail

22 Sports 24 Alumniad 26 Director’s corner 27 Bulletins 28 Happenings 29 2010 Events 30 Alumni Weekend 32 Alumni Association Awards 35 Class Notes 37 Park Mourns


The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence that will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community. Our core values: • Commitment to commonalities and differences • Commitment to community among all peoples of the world • Commitment to lifelong learning

Go green with Park

Park University Magazine is available online. To opt out of receiving a printed version of the magazine, please e-mail the Office of Alumni Relations at If you receive more than one copy in the mail, please let us know. Thank you for supporting Park’s efforts to be more eco-friendly.


Michael H. Droge, Ph.D. Park’s new president Since he was young, Michael Droge wanted to teach and help students succeed. He even forced his little brother to do homework just so he could tutor him. Today Droge, as the new president of Park University, is leading the way for thousands of students to succeed. By Mark A. Fairhurst, Park student, contributing writer and editor of Park University’s newspaper, The Stylus. Fall 2009 - 1

Park alumni are going to be shaping the future.”

To Texas and back

His own education began in a modest one-room grade school before graduating with his 26-member class at Stanley (Kan.) Rural High School. From there, Droge attended the University of Kansas where he received his bachelor’s degree in biology and German. As a Fulbright Scholar, Droge began graduate studies in Germany at the University of Bonn. With an interest in zoology, he transferred to Texas Tech University where he earned his master’s degree. Little did he know, his stay in Texas was to span several decades, where he realized his dream to guide students to success. It was also in Texas that he met his spouse, Molly. Together they moved to Galveston where Droge earned his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics and embarked on a 20-year career at Texas Woman’s University. “I’ve enjoyed every stage of my career,” Droge said “but I think the best job is being in the classroom.” While working with students in the laboratory at TWU, Droge received federal funding. “I liked finding the money that enabled more students to be directly involved in research.” Recognizing his talents in grant research and program administration, Droge was promoted to dean of graduate studies and research at TWU in 2000. But a Fall 2009 - 2

— Michael H. Droge, Ph.D.

call from Park University beckoned Droge back home. Former Park President Beverley ByersPevitts, Ph.D., who worked with Droge at TWU, was searching for a provost. In September 2002, Droge was named provost and senior vice president at Park. When Byers-Pevitts announced her retirement last spring, Park’s Board of Trustees selected Droge to serve in the president’s role.

Moving to campus

For Alumni Weekend, Droge moved into the president’s residence on campus with Molly in time to greet Park alumni and friends. “Molly has already immersed herself in helping with events and activities to support alumni, donors and friends of the University,” Droge said. He added that Molly is often spotted strolling with their dog, Teddy, in the park. “We love living on campus and being a part of the Parkville community.”

respond, we need to center our priorities on enrollment and retention while continually assessing our effectiveness.” Droge has been working with faculty and staff to create a new two-year action plan for Park. Droge will also lead the preparation of a report for the Higher Learning Commission, Park’s accrediting organization. The Commission will visit Park next October. Droge is confident about plans for a secure future. “Last year was tough. Like all private universities, Park is largely dependent on tuition,” he said. “The good news is that fall enrollment is up.” Droge is also actively pursuing fundraising initiatives and partnership opportunities for Park despite the challenging economy to bolster revenue streams.

Advice for the future

Focus on students

Droge particularly values alumni relationships. “Park alumni are the most amazing group of people,” he said. “I’m inspired every day by their success stories.”

“Our focus has to be centered on student success,” said Droge. “To do this, we must get the fundamentals right.” For Droge, the fundamentals are providing relevant programs with top-quality teaching. “The world has changed so much recently,” said Droge. “To effectively

True to his roots as a teacher and mentor, Droge offers advice to Park students. To prepare for career success, Droge encourages students to think beyond the classroom. “Students should practice being a professional now,” he said. “Don’t just study biology, for example. Start being a biologist and thinking like a biologist with a global perspective now.”

In his new role, Droge is focused on his top priority: students.

Droge points to the many opportunities Park students have to prepare for the future outside the classroom. “There’s so much happening at the University — national experiences, special lectures, sports, festivals, theater, music — and students should be involved in as much as they can.” Droge believes these activities and other experiences obtained by students at campus centers across the country and world, help them hone leadership and collaborative skills that are essential to the future global workforce. “Park alumni are not just going to be prepared for the future,” said Droge. “Park alumni are going to be shaping the future.” Droge is developing his own technology skills for the future. He recently opened a Twitter account. “It will help me stay tuned into what students and alumni are thinking and doing.” To stay in touch with Droge, you can follow his periodic Twitter postings at www. Park President Dr. Michael Droge (center) with his spouse Molly and their dog Teddy. Fall 2009 -3

Windows of opportunity Honoring the past; envisioning the future Tucked behind Mackay Hall (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) stands the old Carnegie Library. It is now known as Norrington Center and currently houses the offices of Admissions and Financial Aid. As a high profile destination for prospective students, the building does not offer the best first impression for Park University. Unfortunately, 100 years of Midwestern weather have taken its toll on the building’s wood-clad windows. The paint on the window frames is peeling and the wood sashes are beginning to decay. The landmark building is in serious need of repair. To restore the building’s signature feature — its windows — Park University has launched the “Windows of Opportunity” fundraising initiative. The campaign’s ambitious goal of $336,500 will allow Park University to replace all 67 windows at Norrington Center. The new energy-efficient windows will meet environmental standards while preserving the building’s architectural integrity. When complete, the campaign will honor the original design of the building as a place of light and learning.

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Norrington Center (the old Carnegie Library) houses the offices of Admissions and Financial Aid, a high-profile destination for prospective students and their parents.

Park University’s friends and alumni can be a part of this effort by making a tax-deductible gift. Visit for campaign information. Donors will be recognized on a large plaque to be placed in the foyer of Norrington Center and on name plates mounted on each window.

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Park University awarded $100,000 Success For Veterans Award Grant The American Council on Education and the Wal-Mart Foundation awarded Park University a $100,000 Success for Veterans Award Grant in April. Park is one of 20 higher learning institutions — and the only one in the Midwest — awarded a portion of a total of $2 million in grants that recognize model programs advancing access to higher education for veterans and their families.

“We are honored to receive this grant that will provide a more comprehensive and smoother transition to college for veteran students,” said Michael H. Droge, Ph.D., Park president “Higher education is in a unique position to serve the men and women who have so bravely served our nation,” said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education. “These grants will provide needed resources to expand and enhance the work already being done on these 20 campuses, and to support the dissemination of lessons learned to other institutions.” Park University recently launched a website dedicated to assisting veterans and current United States military personnel with their higher education pursuits. The new website,, provides a one-stop shop for current military members and veterans to get information about degrees and online

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programs at Park, as well as the application and financial aid process. Park has a long history of serving those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. In December 2008, Military Advanced Education named Park’s College for Distance Learning among its “Top 20 Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities” citing Park’s “innovative academic degree programs steeped in excellence.” “We appreciate the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military men and women and our veterans, and have historically worked to address some of the special unmet needs facing the military community,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “The Wal-Mart Foundation is proud to support the American Council on Education, its colleges and universities, and many other programs that help our veterans get the resources they need to succeed in their education and their transition back to civilian life.” The American Council on Education received nearly 250 applications for Success for Veterans Award Grants. Thirty semi-finalists were selected and reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of retired college and university chancellors and presidents. Selection criteria included quality and sustainability of the existing programs and initiatives, as well as strategies for disseminating best practices to other institutions.

The Success for Veterans Award Grant will support efforts to: • create online veteransspecific orientation programs • expand on-campus veterans service centers • enhance prospective student outreach efforts • increase capacity for counseling and psychological services.

Visit for information on Park degrees and online programs for current military members and veterans.

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A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” — Mohandas Gandhi

Paths to service Park alumni are delivering on their commitment to their education in public service with varied career paths from government and military, to education and public safety. They are providing vital services to citizens in cities, counties, states and nations around the globe. Mike Newburger (left) and Dean Cull.

Mike Newburger, ‘70

Director, Southern Platte Fire Protection District As a firefighter and emergency medical technician, Mike Newburger is dedicated to public safety. When he’s not in the field, he manages the business side of things — budgets, personnel and daily operations. His greatest satisfaction is working with the district’s devoted firefighters and he makes it a priority to visit at least one station weekly. As a native of New York, Newburger enjoyed his Park education and the quality of life in Parkville, Mo. where he decided to live — and serve — for more than 40 years.

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Dean Cull, ‘84

Division Chief of Services/Fire Marshall Southern Platte Fire Protection District Fighting fires is more than keeping people safe. It’s a business. That’s why Dean Cull values his business degree from Park in directing the safety of southern Platte County, Mo. — including the Parkville Campus. Cull has been fighting fires for 25 years as a volunteer firefighter, instructor, inspector and investigator. He is dedicated to upholding the value of life and property through public education and code enforcement. In an emergency, Cull ensures all critical steps are taken for proper evacuation while containing fire from damaging the surrounding community.

Jaime Taylor, ‘07

Teacher, Northland (Kansas City, Mo.) Early Education Center For Jaime Taylor, nothing is more rewarding than serving children with special needs. She works with children six weeks to 5 years old to help them overcome a myriad of struggles. Taylor views their every step, clap and crayon scribble as a gift — and the true rewards of her profession. Her encouragement literally helped a child with developmental delays “learn” to smile for the first time. Taylor also worked with child abuse victims and spent a year teaching in South Korea.

Erica Zahabi, ‘08

Kindergarten Teacher, Imagine Renaissance Academy of Environmental Science and Math Erica Zahabi is grateful to Park University for preparing her for the teaching profession — both the highs and lows. Like many teachers, she thrives on the personal rewards of working with students dealing with difficult personal situations. Besides academics, she encourages them to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve. Recognizing the impact teachers can have on a child’s life, Zahabi hopes her students will look back and appreciate their classroom experience.

Robin Williams Olson, ‘85 Early Childhood Special Educator Kansas State School for the Deaf

Park’s Portfolio program was exactly what Robin Olson needed to augment her experience as a sign language interpreter and enter the field of deaf education. Today, Olson helps deaf children learn communication skills critical to their academic and personal success. She trains them to access information using visual rather than auditory learning tools and helps their families support their unique learning process. Olson is dedicated to a profession she finds challenging, “incredibly fun” and personally rewarding.

Jaime Taylor reads to her students.

Education is for improving the lives of others…” — Marian Wright Edelman Fall 2009 - 9

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” — Albert Einstein

Thomas R. Mooney, ‘67 Retired Captain, United States Navy Capt. Thomas Mooney has been devoted to serving his country since graduating from Park and becoming a Navy officer. Military service has given him the opportunity to protect national security during several tours of duty, including the first Gulf War. He also served as chairman of the Joint and Surface Warfare Syndicates at Tactical Training Group Pacific in San Diego where he trained senior officers in tactical warfare curriculum. He completed a master’s in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Merideth Neal Parrish, ‘06, M.P.A. ‘08 City Communications Manager/ Public Information Officer City of Blue Springs, Mo.

Merideth Parrish always knew she wanted to empower others with information. At Park, she discovered how to blend her interest in communications and government into a public service profession. Today, Parrish informs citizens about city services through web, print and media communications. Parrish believes that providing accurate and timely information about government activities prompts citizens to be more engaged. Earning her masters in public affairs while working, she said there was nothing better than daily application of her education.

Paul Markworth, M.P.A. ‘87

City Administrator City of Lake Saint Louis, Mo. City growth — new buildings, roads and housing — is the result of many decision makers. But one person develops the

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policies to make it all happen. That’s Paul Markworth. As a city administrator, he enjoys working closely with residents, elected officials and city staff to forge community improvements. Most rewarding for Markworth is leading projects from concept to completion. He values Park professors for “hammering home” the many factors — including good judgment and decisionmaking skills — that are crucial in public management.

Ben Coughran, ‘78

Air Pollution Meteorologist, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Major metropolitan areas in the state of Texas rely on Ben Coughran for daily ozone and air quality forecasts — a vital factor in protecting natural resources and guiding sustainable economic development. Coughran helped develop the state’s ozone watch/warning system to monitor ozone levels and hazardous conditions. He relies on his Park education every day to analyze and deliver critical data that impacts the well-being of the public and supports critical decisions for civic and business leaders.

Randall C. Duncan, M.P.A. ‘06

Director of Emergency Management Sedgwick County, Kan. Randall C. Duncan is dedicated to helping people when they are in the greatest need — in the aftermath of disaster. Duncan coordinates the services of local, state and federal agencies to help citizens recover from emergencies — including natural disasters and threats to security. After years in the field, Duncan returned to Park for his masters in public affairs where he gained a greater respect for the connection between knowledge and real world application of emergency services.

Park announces new administrators From left to right: Dr. Daniel Donaldson, Dr. Jane Wood and Dr. Thimios Zaharopoulos.

Donaldson named associate vice president for academic affairs Daniel P. Donaldson, Ph.D., who previously spent his entire professional career at the University of Central Oklahoma, has been appointed Park University’s associate vice president for academic affairs. Donaldson had been at UCO since 1999, including the last four years in its Office of Academic Affairs. He served as the school’s assistant vice president for professional and distance education, and was the assistant vice president for academic affairs. Donaldson earned his Ph.D. in geography from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. He earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from California State University, Fullerton. He is a graduate of the 2008 Institute for Management and Leadership in Higher Education from the Harvard University Institutes for Higher Education.

Wood appointed CLAS interim dean Jane Wood, Ph.D., has been appointed interim dean of Park University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Wood takes over the position previously held by Thimios Zaharopoulos, Ph.D., who was appointed interim provost (story at right). Wood previously served the University as an associate professor of English and department chair. Wood has earned a number of awards, including the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award, as an outstanding online course developer from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Outstanding Department Chair; and the Outstanding Board Member of the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation. She also received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for Park University’s The Big Read program.

Zaharopoulos tabbed as University’s interim provost Thimios Zaharopoulos, Ph.D., has been appointed Park University’s interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. Zaharopoulos, previously the dean of Park’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, takes over the position previously held by Michael Droge, Ph.D., who is now serving the University as its president. Born in Greece, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 13. He earned all of his degrees from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, including a Ph.D. in journalism. Prior to coming to Park, Zaharopoulos was on the faculty at Washburn University and Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and The American College of Greece. In addition, he was a Fulbright visiting lecturer at Panteion University in Athens.

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Park offers online degree in early childhood education Addressing a national need of qualified preschool teachers, Park University is now offering its Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Science program online. Park is one of only a few nonprofit higher learning institutions to offer online early childhood education degrees.

“Park’s Early Childhood Education program will address a serious need identified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for more than 115,000 preschool teachers between now and 2016,” said Jo Agnew-Tally, Ed.D., dean of Park’s School for Education. “The online degree program meets all national requirements and it will be especially helpful to child care providers who often must work late and are not Fall 2009 - 12

able to attend face-to-face classes,” she said. “Most non-traditional students work full-time and have family obligations, and the online learning environment will allow students the flexibility to attend classes at times convenient to their personal schedules.” Park expanded its degree access to an online format in part to help teachers of young children meet the National Association for the Education of Young Children requirements that call for higher training standards. The Association’s Academy for Accreditation has mandated that at least 75 percent of early childhood teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. “Park University is prepared to respond with these programs as teachers seek ways to comply with the new requirements,” Agnew-Tally said. It is also important to note, the dean said, that beginning in 2011, a higher proportion of Head Start teachers in center-based programs nationwide must

have a bachelor’s or advanced degree in early childhood education (or comparable coursework and experience teaching preschool-age children) to help satisfy new education standards mandated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that go into effect in two years. By 2013, at least 50 percent of Head Start teachers must meet that requirement. There are more than 800 such accredited early childhood centers in the U.S. Park offers an online degree for teachers of infants, toddlers and preschool-age

children, and a degree in early childhood education and leadership for directors. Students will complete practicum experience and their full-time internship face-to-face in a classroom. Designed especially for educators in Head Start programs, preschools and early childhood programs, the degree combines a solid academic curriculum with the flexibility of online learning for non-certification candidates. Although the coursework can be completed online, 95 percent of the education courses require interaction and/or observation with young children, educators and the community. Practicum courses and internships are considered “hybrid,” a mix of online seminars with coursework in the field.

Park University’s education programs and certifications are approved and accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Contact the Park Student Success Center at, (877) 505-1059, (816) 746-2526 for application information. Visit for program information. Fall 2009 - 13

Public service:

celebrating our common humanity Park’s Hauptmann School for Public Affairs inspires grad students to prepare for the promise of a better life By Laurie N. DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D. Dean, Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Interim Executive Director, Park’s Graduate School

Americans are united by powerful ideals that affirm human dignity: equality and freedom, opportunity, participation in self-government and the promise of a better life. Millions of people, seeking a place to live those timeless values, have come to these shores from all over the world to be part of a nation that fervently embraces individual rights and human worth. Indeed, American history can be described as the saga of a nation’s struggle to bring these principles into reality. Despite numerous times that the nation failed in this noble endeavor, we tenaciously cling to our collective ideals and try harder as a people. As Americans have sought to build a society with the highest of values, they have engaged in service to their communities, to their neighbors, to the nation; at times seeking employment in publicbenefit professions, in governments at all levels, in education, medicine and nonprofits — to help make things better for everyone. This is public service.

Grounded in the commitment to make things better for everyone, public service is how we solidify for generations to come the values and ideals that define us. The late Jerzy Hauptmann, Ph.D., Park University professor emeritus of political science and public administration, well understood the significance of human dignity in society. A native of Poland, he helped lead resistance to the Nazis in Warsaw. He watched as an army dedicated to denying the humanity of fellow human beings marched across Europe. Every day for months he read a posted list of individuals who had disappeared overnight, sometimes seeing names of his relatives on that list. He did not know who would be on the list the next day, or when his name might appear.

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Jerzy Hauptmann,

Ph.D., professor emeritus of political science and public administration, was one of the most revered figures in Park’s 134-year history. He died in January 2008, but left a tremendous legacy for Park University to lead the way in preparing students for service.

At a very young age, Hauptmann knew on the profoundest level what happens when the basic value of human dignity is violated. He observed the capacity of people to dehumanize others, and also witnessed courage and heroism as some were rescued.

His time as a prisoner of war and in concentration camps taught Hauptmann a profound truth — service to others is the prime mechanism for ensuring the triumph of human dignity. He knew firsthand that service requires empathy to another’s feelings. Public service is the glue that ties us together and protects us against the evils that deny we are human. He understood the importance of public service for individuals, for communities and for the world. Fortunately for us at Park University, Hauptmann created the Master in Public

Affairs degree and the Hauptmann School for Public Affairs, to perpetuate this nation’s ideals and to inspire students to do likewise. Hauptmann’s former students report how he reminded them that, regardless of their chosen profession, their responsibility is to serve, to work to make things better. The motto he created for the HSPA, “Preparing for Service,” is but one indication of his passion for this principle. Now, in the 21st century, America still remains “the last best hope of Earth,” as expressed by President Abraham Lincoln. We face uncertainties in a tumultuous world of relentless change fostered by globalization, technology, climate change and economic interconnectedness. Hauptmann’s motto has taken on renewed urgency. Serving others allows us the privilege to increase understanding of our neighbors and their circumstances. In a time where refusal to offer understanding increasingly abounds, public service embodies the future’s promise.

Park University Graduate School Masters’ degrees and certificate programs are available online or on campus in downtown Kansas City The Graduate School offers programs with a practical focus, high academic standards, and flexible, online course scheduling to meet the challenges faced by today’s professionals. Visit for more information.

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Park University’s 2009 Montana dinosaur dig Members of the group followed signs to discover a much larger bone under the surface.

Imagine uncovering the bones of ancient creatures — and YOU being the first living thing to see them in 150 million years. Park alumni and friends gathered in July for the experience of a lifetime during Park University’s first dinosaur dig in Jordan, Mont. The three-day excursion, hosted by Park’s Office of Alumni Relations and the Department of Natural and Physical Sciences, drew hopeful “diggers” to the Hell Creek Formation near Jordan. The area is famous for being the best dinosaur hunting grounds in the world — with fossil finds such as Triceratops Horridus and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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The group hunted prehistoric treasures under the guidance of Park professors Scott Hageman, associate professor of geology; and Brian Hoffman, ‘86, Ph.D., professor of biology and mathematics. Plans are under way for the next Montana Dinosaur Dig, July 5-10, 2010. E-mail to be added to the trip mailing list. Visit for more photos and information about this year’s event and the 2010 event.

The group excavates a site on a canyon wall in Hell Creek Formation.

Associate Professor Scott Hageman overlooks one of the areas where fossils were found.

Robin Moore, ’07, prepares plaster to stabilize a fossil being moved.

Photo credits: Faye Whobrey, adjunct instructor of mathematics, Park University’s Scott AFB Campus Center, and Julie McCollum, director of alumni relations.

From left to right: Christian Hoffman, Bob Harmon, ’73, and Christian Stallings, ’08, excavate a triceratops vertebrae discovered by Professor Brian Hoffman. Fall 2009 - 17

Bob Kendrick, ‘85, Buck O’Neil


A legendary friendship Park alumnus continues the mission of baseball pioneer

From left to right: Bob Kendrick, Buck O’Neil and then Astros pitcher Roger Clemens.

By Stephen Wilson, contributing writer

If you’ve read The Soul of Baseball — a book by The Kansas City Star sports columnist Joe Posnanski chronicling travels across America with baseball pioneer Buck O’Neil — you know Bob Kendrick. Even if you haven’t read the book, odds are you recognize the name Buck O’Neil. To say that O’Neil (1911–2006) was a baseball legend is an understatement — and Kendrick, a 1985 Park graduate and vice president of marketing at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum — was that legend’s right-hand man. Fall 2009 - 18

O’Neil played for and managed the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues before becoming the first black coach in Major League Baseball. He became one of the most recognizable faces in Kansas City. He knew everyone — baseball fan or not.

From fan to friend

Bob Kendrick was fortunate to call O’Neil a dear friend. “It was incredible,” Kendrick said about the extraordinary experience accompanying O’Neil for Posnanski’s

book that captures the baseball legend’s memories and encounters with fans. “When we were in the midst of it, we were all lamenting how much we were on the road. Buck would say ‘your wife isn’t going to let you back in the house’ because we were gone so much. I look back on it now as the greatest summer of my life.” Over the years, Kendrick worked closely with O’Neil to put the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving the Negro Leagues’ history, on the national map.

Buck O’Neil (left) and Bob Kendrick at the Padres’ salute.

“I got a chance to be around a legend — and I got paid to do it,” Kendrick said. “Not many people my age have someone who is 94 years old that they consider to be their best friend, but that’s how it was with Buck.” Their friendship endured the good times and the difficult days. Kendrick was there when O’Neil was snubbed by the Baseball Hall of Fame. And, he had the unfortunate duty of being the public spokesperson during O’Neil’s last days. If it wasn’t for a letter from Park University that Kendrick received unexpectedly many years ago, the two may never have met.

Letter changes plans

Kendrick almost never made it to Kansas City. In his last year of high school in a small Georgia town, Kendrick planned to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. A letter from Park turned that plan on its head. “I’m not sure how Park found me to be honest,” Kendrick said. “Literally at the last minute, I got a letter about an opportunity to play basketball in Kansas City, so I headed to the Midwest chasing that basketball…and I never looked back.” In Kendrick’s basketball days at Park, the 1,200-seat Breckon Sports Center didn’t exist. Home games were played in the Labor Hall Gymnasium on the Parkville Campus.

“People used to pack it in to that old gym and it was loud,” Kendrick recalled. “If you had big feet, you could barely take the ball out because the line was so close to the sides.” Kendrick’s basketball career ended with a foot injury. But that’s when his real career started. He began writing for the student newspaper and broadcasting games on the school’s radio station. He also covered high school sports for a Platte County (Mo.) newspaper. “That’s really where I got my start in communications, and it led to an internship with Townsend Communications,” Kendrick said. “Afterwards, I started with The Kansas City Star as a printer. It gave me an opportunity to see how the paper was put together and my mindset was ‘let me get in the door.’ I worked with a lot of great editors, writers and advertising people, and in the end, I gravitated toward the advertising side. Eventually, I found my way to the promotions department, which has shaped my career since.” Kendrick got his big break with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in 1998 before the Museum had a marketing department. “We had to elevate awareness to a point where we could generate revenue and sustain the Museum,” he said. “It’s been a great ride with a lot of success and challenges along the way. “The great thing about the Museum is that you don’t have to be a baseball fan,” Kendrick said. “A fan of American history will love this place. A fan of underdog stories is going to love this place. But if you are a baseball fan, you’re going to be in hog heaven here.”

Continuing the legacy

Kendrick believes baseball fans have been robbed of the game’s complete story. “Some of the greatest players to ever put on a uniform are enshrined here, and a lot of baseball fans don’t know about them. That’s unfortunate,” Kendrick said. “Most people believe that the game started and stopped with Major League Baseball, but we’re here to introduce you to what I call America’s unsung baseball heroes. A lot of people ask if these guys were good enough to play in the Major Leagues — and that’s not even a question for us. The question we’ll never know is how good Major League Baseball could have been if it had opened its doors earlier.” Today, he continues to carry on O’Neil’s mission to educate people about the Negro Leagues and is working to raise funds for the John “Buck” O’Neil Education and Research Center to preserve Buck’s legacy in Kansas City. Looking back, Kendrick’s concern for the lack of diversity in baseball history reflects his appreciation for his Park education. “I’m not sure you can get a more rounded experience than you can at Park. It offers everything an education should be,” Kendrick said.

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In Academia Publications


Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., English associate professor and Honors Program director, wrote a critical essay, “The Artist/Intellectual as Politician,” that was published in Woolf Editing/Editing Woolf: Selected Papers from the Eighteenth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. The essay examines Woolf ’s lack of self-confidence and resulting artistic insecurity that caused her to produce failed projects.

Gary E. Bachman, social work associate professor and director of field internships, conducted a two-day cultural diversity workshop for Missouri state juvenile court officers in Jefferson City, Mo., April 1-2. Participants discussed how to recognize and respond to cultural influences, as well as working with children of immigrant and refugee families. In February, Bachman spoke at the National Association of Social Workers Student Legislative Action Day in Topeka, Kan., about proposed federal and state legislation related to the social work profession.

Kenneth Christopher, D.P.A., criminal justice administration assistant professor, had his book, Port Security Management, published. The book explores the evolution of security in the maritime sector and provides a framework for understanding security’s role in coordinating interests of port users. Carolyn Elwess, ’71, University archivist, wrote a series of articles about pre-Prohibition temperance advocate Carrie Nation and her connection to Park. The series of articles appeared in The Parkville Luminary in March and April. Silvia Giovanardi Byer, Ph.D., modern language assistant professor, and Spanish and French program coordinator, had her book, Celestial Crusades and Wars in Heaven: The Biblical Epics of the Late 1500s, published. The book examines two examples of Biblical epic literature — Antonino Alfano’s Battaglia Celeste (1568) and Erasmus of Valvasone’s Angeleida (1590). Jeff Glauner, Ph.D., English professor emeritus, had a book published that included many items inspired by the environment at Park University. The True Book of Sam Clear Water: Wisdom from Walden-San is a philosophical almanac comprising vignettes, poems, drama, fictional stories and dialogues. Debra McArthur, academic support services director, had her eighth book, A Student’s Guide to William Faulkner, published. The book is a biography and reader’s guide to Faulkner’s works in Enslow Publishers’ Understanding Literature Series, which is targeted for use by high school students.

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Ronald F. Brecke, Ph.D., political science professor, and James F. Pasley, Ph.D., (left) political science associate professor, participated in a presidential inauguration panel discussion, “The Obama Inauguration: Historical Context, Political Imperatives,” on the Parkville Campus prior to Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremonies on Jan. 20. Clifford Ferby, director, and Scott Graves, executive director, at Park’s Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus Center made a presentation in March to the post’s command sergeant major meeting. The presentation supported unit-level recruitment at Fort Bliss. Scott Hageman, (right) geology associate professor, and Brian Hoffman, ‘86, Ph.D., (below) biology and mathematics professor, presented two papers at the Kansas Academy of Science annual meeting in March in Topeka, Kan. The first paper was a report on the geologic setting in the GGP 390 (Field Paleoecology) course taught by Hageman; the second was an analysis of microscopic fish remains found in the walls of the Parkville Commercial Underground. In addition, both presented lectures at the Kansas City, Mo., Gem and Mineral Show in March, and hosted an exhibit of Park’s Charles H. Sternberg Collection. Robert Mayer, School of Business executivein-residence, moderated a panel session, “The Current Challenges and Issues for Banks,” on May 20 to the Commercial Brokers Association of Kansas City. The panel discussed current business and lending conditions faced by local and federal banks, and future market conditions for commercial real estate lenders.

Carol Sanders, Ph.D. (right), and Don Williams, Ed.D. (below), biology associate professors, presented “The Use of Applied Projects as Enhancements in a Personal and Community Health Course” at the Conference on Applied Learning in Higher Education in February in St. Joseph, Mo. Their presentation focused on three major student projects used in the BI 214 (Personal and Community Health) course at Park. They shared how class projects such as an analysis of one’s health family tree are incorporated into the larger course.

Awards, Appointments and Recognitions Josephine Agnew-Tally, Ed.D., School for Education dean, was appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education. The journal is dedicated to the improvement of teacher education by fostering discussion, analysis and dissemination of ideas from research and innovative practices in teacher education. Kay Barnes, Center for Leadership founding director and public leadership distinguished professor, was appointed to the National Council of the American Society for Public Administration. Barnes was selected by ASPA President Paul Posner to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., Hauptmann School for Public Affairs dean, Graduate School interim executive director and public administration professor, who resigned to concentrate on her dual HSPA and Graduate School responsibilities. Barnes will moderate a panel of mayors at the 2010 ASPA Annual Conference in San Jose, Calif. Erik Bergrud, M.P.A., ’94, community and government relations senior director, was elected national vice president of the American Society for Public Administration. Bergrud will ascend to the association’s presidency in spring 2011.

Marthann Schulte, Ph.D., education associate professor, was appointed to national and regional positions with the Association for Continuing Higher Education, an institutionbased organization of colleges, universities and individuals dedicated to the promotion of lifelong learning. Schulte was appointed to the ACHE’s national constitution and bylaws committee.

Grants and Other John Noren, Ph.D., sociology associate professor, was awarded the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s first Instructional Innovation Grant Award. The honor awards $250 to faculty who incorporate innovative approaches into their teaching and mentoring of students, and who share these projects for the benefit of all Park faculty. Jane Wood, Ph.D., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences interim dean, received a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for The Big Read program. In the fall of 2007, Park hosted the program with events celebrating the life of Ernest Hemingway and his book, A Farewell to Arms. The selection for this year is Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson’s novel about young women coming of age. Scheduled for the spring of 2010, the event will be one of 269 Big Read events hosted throughout the country. The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA designed to revitalize the role and transformative power of literature in popular culture. Steve Youngblood, communication arts associate professor, traveled to the war-torn African country of Uganda. In June and July, Youngblood taught five seminars in peace and development journalism — four in the northern reaches of the country and one in the capital city of Kampala. Youngblood, a two-time J. William Fulbright Scholar, has organized peace journalism seminars in the United States, Azerbaijan and the Republic of Georgia.

Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., Hauptmann School for Public Affairs dean, Graduate School interim executive director and public administration professor, was appointed to the Review of Business editorial review board. The journal publishes research findings and other current topics to the business community.

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Women’s soccer makes push for conference crown

Sports Park University’s Ashley Maxwell takes the ball down the field.

By Zach Swalley The excitement of a new season can ease the pain of the last. Hard work over the summer has prepared Park University’s women’s soccer team for plans to dominate the American Midwest Conference and get back onto the national stage. Since opening the season with a 7-0 win over Avila, the Pirates kept four more opponents off the scoreboard before suffering their first loss of the season, a 1-0 overtime setback at Graceland. Park also earned its first conference win of the season over William Woods University to start the season at 1-0.

They return with firepower from last year’s squad while blending in new talent to make a push not only for a conference crown, but a national one as well. Sophomore forward Ashley Maxwell knows the challenges that lie ahead, but is happy about the team’s progress. “We’re further along now than we were at this point last season,” Maxwell said. Maxwell skyrocketed as a freshman in 2008 to the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and earned NAIA Third-Team All-American honors with 47 shots on goal, converting 13 of them.

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Park University’s Nichole Hemmingsen attempts to score a goal in a recent game Junior midfielder Lisa Buzzotta, who landed on the secondteam all-conference squad, said the intense summer workouts — running, weights and scrimmages — set the stage for a successful season. “All the hard work is starting to pay off.” Adding to the mix are two incoming freshman twins from Shawnee Mission East (Kan.) High School. Dana and Nichole Hemmingsen racked up a truckload of honors before arriving at Park. After their first game, they gained confidence about playing at the college level. “At first I was really nervous,” Nichole Hemmingsen said. “Now I know I can do it.”


Reco Anderson, Park University’s men’s basketball sophomore guard

Basketball Outlook Men’s

Park University men’s basketball team began the 2009-10 season with head coach Jason Kline in his fifth season at the helm. Park enters the American Midwest Conference with national powers McKendree University and Columbia College. The Pirates kick-off the season with eight returning players and 11 newcomers. Park has two NCAA Division I transfers, Mark Halsell (Kentucky) and Juston Hairston (Michigan), in its crop of newcomers, while returning starters Reco Anderson and Herschel Rodgers will be the team’s leaders. The regular season began Nov. 3 at home against Central Methodist University.


In his 13th season, head coach Joe Meriweather is preparing Park’s women’s basketball team for success. The 2009-10 season started on the road Nov. 6 against Avila University at the MidAmerica Nazarene Classic in Olathe, Kan. Park’s first home game against Missouri Valley College was Nov. 10.

The Pirates defeated Missouri Valley both on the road and at home last season. The Pirates return eight players to this year’s squad and bring in eight newcomers. Leading the way for returning players is three-year starter Traci Oden. Last season, the Richmond, Mo., native appeared in 26 games and started in 18. Point guard Stefany Jones also returns after starting 15 games last season. Fall 2009 - 23

2009-10 Alumni Council Dr. Neal McGregor, ’89, M.A.R. ‘92 President Susan Kensett McGaughey, ‘74 Vice President Jay Flaherty, ‘71 Treasurer David Barclay, ‘53 Jeff McKinney, ‘81 January Rogers Miller, ’05, M.B.A. ‘08 Michael Newburger, ‘70 Cynthia James Null, x58

Staff Liaisons Julie McCollum Director of Alumni Relations (816) 584-6206 | Alisha Coggins, ‘03 Alumni Relations Coordinator (816) 584-6207 |

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Let us hear from you! Contact the Office of Alumni Relations with news, comments and questions about the Park University Alumni Association and its members. Phone: (816) 584-6206 or (800) 488-PARK (7275) Fax: (816) 505-5409 E-mail: Address: 8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 37 Parkville, MO 64152

News and notes for Park University alumni

Alumniad Fall 2009

Vol. 99 No. 1

The purpose of the Alumni Association is “to assist and advance the interest of Park University and to cherish the spirit of friendship among its members.� Fall 2009 - 25

Director’s Corner Volunteering at Park University Dear Alumni, Volunteerism has been at the heart of Park University from the day it opened its doors. Volunteers have supported their alma mater through some of its tougher times and contributed to its growth into the vital institution it is today. Volunteers participate in many aspects of the operation of this University. They speak in classrooms, help with events and serve on committees, boards and councils to ensure Park’s success. If you are interested in joining your civic-minded fellow alumni in their efforts to continue the growth of Park, many opportunities are available today. Here are a few examples: 1) Positions are open on the Alumni Council and many of its committees. Council members are organizing a drive to collect supplies, gifts, magazines and more to send as “care” packages to our deployed students. They need volunteers to collect and mail the packages. Let me know if you would like to join this committee. I will forward your name and contact information to the correct person. 2)Staffed by volunteers, the School of Business Advisory Board is assisting the Career Development Office to find mentors for our students and recent graduates. 3)The track and cross country teams are planning a fundraiser for May 14-15, 2010. The event is scheduled to start with a barbecue on Friday night followed by a 12-hour run/ walk relay on Saturday. Student captains will be paired with alumni co-captains to create teams. You do not have to be a former track team member to volunteer. 4)Campus centers across the country are interested in alumni volunteers who are willing to offer their knowledge and expertise to students. Speakers and mentors have value in most fields and locations.

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5)Soccer players from all decades are invited to return for a reunion June 25-26, 2010. Volunteers are needed to plan this two-day event. These are examples of the ways Park University relies on its volunteers. Many more possibilities exist and develop as we grow and progress in our service to the University community. Call or send an e-mail to me to discuss how you can volunteer. There is a place for you at Park University.

Julie McCollum

Director of Alumni Relations (816) 584-6206 or (800) 488-PARK (7275)

Positions on the Alumni Council are currently open. Membership committee chair Susan Kensett McGaughey, ‘74, is accepting applications, nominations and questions about serving on the Alumni Council. If you are interested in serving your alma mater or would like to nominate an alumnus/a to fill one of these positions go to for information and instructions.

Alumni Association Award Nominations

The Alumni Council is looking for suggestions for honorees for its annual Alumni Association Awards to be presented at the Alumni Weekend Banquet on June 26, 2010. Three categories of awards are under consideration: 1) The Torchlighter Award is given to honor those who have made a significant, longstanding contribution and commitment to Park, whether alumni, faculty or friend. 2) The Council awards the Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award for volunteer service to Park or to civic organizations. 3) The Distinguished Alumnus/a Award is given to an alumnus/a who has distinguished himself or herself through career or community achievements. If you would like to nominate someone please send the nominee’s resume and a cover letter explaining why you believe this person should be recognized to: Awards Chairperson Michael Newburger, ’70, Office of Alumni Relations, Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152 or to The deadline to submit nominations is January 1, 2010.

Alumni Recruiters Wanted

If you are a high school teacher, coach or counselor we will send you a Park pennant to put in your classroom/office and a t-shirt to wear on casual days. Send your name, address, t-shirt size and school to

Career Services for Alumni

The Career Development Office offers career services to all alumni at no charge. Go to for a list of services, job databases, career fair schedules and more.

Stay in Touch with LinkedIn

Join the Park University LinkedIn Alumni Group by going to and putting the group name in the search engine. With nearly 2,000 members, the group allows you to network with fellow alumni in your profession and your geographic area.


Alumni Council is seeking new members

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Candi Hernandez Spreitzer, ‘99, and Jason Spreitzer, ‘98, with their son Jake at the cross country meet.

Recent Events Cross Country Meet and Kids’ Fun Run

Alumni gathered for the Park University Cross Country Festival in Platte City, Mo., on Oct. 3. Many came just to watch the teams compete. Others joined in and ran the 5K course with the athletes. Some brought their own children to participate in the Kids’ Fun Run that was held prior to the featured event. Afterward, alumni, coaches and parents celebrated the victories and enjoyed barbecue with their friends at Coach Brian Renshaw’s home, sponsored by Karen Backues, ‘87.

Baseball Alumni Game

Twenty-two baseball alumni challenged the Park University 2010 baseball team to a game on Comfort Field Oct. 10. After completing the 9-inning game, alumni gathered at Nick and Jake’s restaurant to renew old friendships.

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Bethany Oyster Villaverde, ‘01, and her son, Jase.

2010 Events To receive details and invitations to the following events, keep your e-mail up to date in Pirate Link at

Tucson, Ariz., in January 2010

Watch your e-mail for details on this alumni event with Park’s president and Board of Trustee members.

Park After Hours - KC on January 28, 2010 Meet Park’s new president, Michael Droge, Ph.D.

Weekend at Great Wolf Lodge

Spend the weekend with Park’s alumni, family and friends. This special package makes a great holiday gift for the family. Go to for details. February 5 and 6, 2010 Kansas City, Kan.

February 19 and 20, 2010 Mason, Ohio

Basketball in St. Louis/Scott AFB Area on February 27, 2010

Join alumni and students to cheer on Park’s women’s and men’s basketball teams when they play at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill. Women play at 2 p.m. and men play at 4 p.m. Join the alumni and teams for a get-together after the games.

Park After Hours - KC on April 29, 2010 Track Barbecue and 12-Hour Run/Walk Relay on May 14-15, 2010

This is a fundraiser for the track/cross country teams. Volunteer to organize or join a relay team, co-captained by a student-athlete and an alum. Join the team for barbecue on Friday night, camp out on the field and join the relay the next morning.

Alumni Weekend on June 24-27, 2010

PirateMail becomes Park Alumni E-mail PirateMail has become Park Alumni E-mail, a Google Apps powered, web-based e-mail service available to all Park University alumni, FREE! Your Park Alumni E-mail address stays with you “forever.” Use your Park Alumni E-mail account through the Google Mail web interface, or forward your Park Alumni E-mail to any e-mail addresses you have (home, work, etc.). In addition to Google Mail, Park Alumni have full access to all aspects of Park University’s Google Apps services, which includes a personal calendar, online documents creation/ storage/collaboration and text/ voice/video chat.

Soccer Reunion on June 25-26, 2010

If you are a recent graduate, your Park student e-mail account automatically becomes a Park Alumni E-mail account and will remain available as long as you keep it active.

Montana Dinosaur Dig on July 5-10, 2010

E-mail to request a Park Alumni E-mail account. Be sure to include your name and Park I.D. number.

See page 29 for information.

If you played soccer at Park, mark your calendar for a reunion with your teammates on campus. Volunteer to serve on the planning committee by contacting Julie McCollum at We want your ideas to make this a great reunion for all former Park soccer players. Sign up for the mailing list at

Hell Creek Formation near Jordan, Mont.

Alumni Travel in August 2010

Mark your calendar for eight days and seven nights in two of the greatest cities in the world — London and Paris. The Park University Alumni Association invites its members, family and friends to take advantage of this escorted tour in August 2010. Sign up to be put on the mailing list at See the ad on the back cover for more information.

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Alumni Weekend 2009 Men’s basketball alumni were recognized during the alumni basketball game by Laurie McCormack, Park’s vice president for university advancement.

Derek Stanley, ’04, Ozzie Greene, ’04, Nick Richmond, and David Waters, ’95, wait on the bench to enter the alumni basketball game.

Park University’s Alumni Weekend was held June 25 through June 28 on the Parkville Campus. The weekend was filled with opportunities to reminisce, party and enjoy being on the campus. Alumni played golf, celebrated class reunions, watched and played basketball, and got books signed by author and Distinguished Alumnus Stephen Cox, ’88.

Distinguished Alumnus Stephen Cox, ‘88, presents a keepsake for the library to Ann Schultis, director of library systems. Fall 2009 - 30

Additional photos can be viewed at

From left to right: Ronald Johnson, Carolyn Peeke Johnson, ‘59, James Peeke, ‘65, and Hal Henderson, ‘64, participate in the golf scramble.

Save the Date

June 24 -27, 2010

Destination Parkville Anna Nechvatal, ‘06, and Elizabeth Weese, ‘05, at the June 26 family picnic.

Alumni Family Picnic

Soccer Reunion and Games • Golf Scramble Young Alumni | Club Park • Family Picnic Meet and Greet President Droge • Campus Tours and History Lessons • Class Reunion Luncheon and Photos for all classes ending in “0” and “5” • Golden Reunion for the Class of 1960 • 25th Anniversary Celebration for the Class of 1985 • Alumni Association Awards Banquet

Social Clubs Celebration

Above: Jill Stauch Snow, ‘04, and her son Cooper. Below: Gwen Brazil, ‘79, with her granddaughter.

Anthony-Cleopatra | Lancelot-Elaines Lowell-Lucernes | Orian-Auroras Parchevard-Calliopeans | Men of Chesnut Hermits | Tikis

Alumni Association Awards Send nominations to by January 1, 2010.

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Alumni Association Awards The 2009 Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award annually recognizes alumni who provide outstanding service to his/her community. The Park Alumni Association is proud to honor Dean Larrick (left) and Robert F. McGowan.

Dean Larrick Class of 1953

After leaving Park, he earned a master’s degree in political science from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., and graduated from the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Va. He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. Larrick “has demonstrated throughout his adult life his ability to recognize people in need and to help them,” Watson said. Before and after retirement, he has been an active volunteer in his community and church. He has been active in Boy Scouts as a scoutmaster, merit badge counselor and camp leader. He taught Sunday school and served as church deacon in Virginia.

In her nomination letter, Dorothy Harper Watson, ’52, wrote, “Dean Larrick is the best of what we lived and learned at Park…He enriches the lives of others quietly, with no fanfare, and with no expectation of reward.” Larrick’s professional career was spent in human resources management, specializing in recruitment and staffing. Over a period of 30 years he served with the Department of the Army, Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Personnel Management. He advanced to the Senior Executive Service (highest career service ranking), serving as the director of the Washington, D.C. area office, managing a staff of 300, and director of staffing operations, overseeing the federal career service recruiting and examining system. Fall 2009 - 32

Now a resident of Columbia, Mo., Larrick provides his services to the mid-Missouri area. He has served as president and on the board of directors for the Boone County (Mo.) Council on Aging; and president of the Advisory Council, Retired Senior Volunteer Program for Boone County. Currently, he volunteers at two cancer clinics at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and writes articles for the RSVP Program (connecting seniors with volunteer needs); serves on the RSVP Advisory Council; sorts clothes at a local clothing closet and is a pen pal for two third graders at an inner-city school. He volunteers with Rainbow House’s blood drives, AIDS Outreach, United Way, officiates at the Show-Me State Games and coordinates “55 Alive” driver safety programs.

In his list of volunteer jobs and accomplishments, it is apparent that Larrick chooses to be closely involved with those he helps. His friends share stories where he unexpectedly stepped in as the “best man” in a hospital wedding, took a patient from the Veteran’s Hospital on a fishing trip, winterized homes and assisted low-income seniors with Christmas shopping. Between all his community activities, Larrick enjoys painting. He has won numerous art show prizes and is experiencing commercial success. Even in the art world, he combines his management skills with his natural tendency to help others. In addition to exhibiting his work with the Columbia Art League, he helps the organization by coordinating community art exhibits. Larrick’s devotion to community service has been recognized by others. Among his awards, he has received the Lieutenant Governor’s Service Award from the Missouri Services Community and RSVP’s Jane Brinton Award “for service and advocacy on behalf of older adults” in 2007. Larrick and his spouse, Charlotte, have been married for 46 years. They have two children, Rick and Lee Anne, and two granddaughters.

2009 Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award Robert F. McGowan Class of 1956

Robert “Bob” McGowan has made a career of volunteering his service to the communities in which he lives. Whether it is his college, his country, his city or his favorite civic organization, McGowan has been at the forefront giving of himself wherever needed. McGowan originally came to Park in 1949. However, his academic career was interrupted by a call to the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He served from 1952-54 as a psychiatric technician and chaplain’s assistant at Brookfield Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Upon his discharge, he returned to Park, graduating in 1956. During his early years as a student, McGowan developed a close relationship with his alma mater. He shares his memories of filling sandbags during the

1951 Missouri River flood and fighting the fires at Chesnut and Nickel Halls. He also served formally on the Judicial Council, participating in the integration of the school, and as Student Senate president his senior year. McGowan has continued to support Park University through two terms on the Alumni Council, as its president and as a member of the Board of Trustees. McGowan was a member of the search committee that hired President Emeritus Beverley Byers-Pevitts, Ph.D. Professionally, McGowan spent 35 years in the field of purchasing. He retired as corporate director of purchasing from Tension Envelope Corp., Kansas City, Mo., in 1996. McGowan served on the board of the Kansas City Chapter of the National Association of Purchasing Management for 10 years; chaired its Professional Development Committee for six years, and held the office of president for two years. He was recognized as the NAPM Professional Development Man of the Year in 1978, and he received its Samuels Award (Distinguished Purchasing Manager of the Year) in 1992. As a resident of Johnson County, Kan., McGowan has been active in the city administration of both Roeland Park and Prairie Village. In Roeland Park, he served on the planning and zoning committee, city council (including a stint as the council’s president) and as its police commissioner. He was a charter member of the Johnson County Human Relations Council, which was formed to deal with racial strife in the 1960s. He helped to create the Northeast Johnson County Animal Control Unit for six participating cities. He is a Johnson County election poll worker. He serves on the Prairie Village Sister City Committee and was

the event co-chair of the International Sister City Conference held in Kansas City in 2008. He also helped initiate new sister city twinning of Prairie Village and Dolyna, Ukraine, entertaining two groups from Dolyna in 2008. McGowan has a passion for helping special groups. He currently volunteers as a “Catch-A-Ride” driver for the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging, driving elderly and disabled people to appointments. He has volunteered with the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) School District as a second grade classroom assistant, grading papers and tutoring students in math and reading. He has also served as a member of the Greater Kansas City Elderhostel Alumni Steering Committee. Currently, he volunteers as a tour adjunct and special events volunteer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. In 1982, McGowan joined the Greater Kansas City Chapter of People to People International. He has served the organization as a board member and first vice president, PTP Student Ambassador Scholarship and loan program administrator and home stay coordinator. He and his spouse, Mary, have sponsored international military students and their families at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for 13 years. McGowan has been married to Mary for 52 years. They have two children, Bill and Cathy, and three grandchildren.

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Alumni Association Awards

Park University’s 2009 Distinguished Alumnus: Stephen Cox, Class of 1988 An accomplished journalist and author, Stephen Cox, ‘88, was recognized by the Alumni Association at the Alumni Weekend Awards Banquet on June 27 for a career that began before he left the Parkville Campus. A former student of Park University associate professor John Lofflin, Cox learned and practiced his craft as a student. He was co-editor of The Park Stylus, earning the title of Missouri College Newspaper Association Journalist of the Year his junior year. During his senior year he wrote his first book, The Beverly Hillbillies, about the television classic. Twenty-one books have followed, covering subjects on pop culture and favorite classic television series and films. His most recent, The Incredible Mr. Don Knotts, co-authored with Kevin Marhanka, was published in 2008. Additional works such as Here on Gilligan’s Isle, The Munsters, The Addams Chronicles, The Hooterville Handbook: A Viewer’s Guide to Green Acres and Dreaming of Jeannie have become favorites of television viewers who grew up watching these shows. Several of his books star beloved classic film characters. The Munchkins of Oz, and One Fine Stooge: Larry Fine’s Frizzy Life in Pictures tell the tales of the actors from those early movies. Cox worked closely with actor Buddy Ebsen (Beverly Hillbillies and The Wizard of Oz) to write his autobiography, The Other Side of Oz. He enlisted the help of Lofflin to write The Abbott and Costello Story. Using the interview skills he honed at his alma mater, Cox has interviewed and written about some of the world’s best-known Fall 2009 - 34

celebrities. Cox especially cherishes his interviews with radio and TV pioneer George Burns, British comedian Benny Hill, actor Mickey Rooney, sports icon Joe DiMaggio and comedians Jerry Lewis, Dick Van Dyke, and Jerry Seinfeld. Cox has the distinction of being the only writer to obtain an interview with Johnny Carson, host of The Tonight Show, to be used in a book. The interview culminated in Here’s Johnny! Considered an expert on vintage television programs, Cox has contributed articles to TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly magazine, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Los Angeles Times. He is a popular television interview guest, appearing on such programs as Larry King Live, Good Morning America, CBS Nightwatch, E! True Hollywood Story, A&E Biography and the 2009 PBS documentary Make ‘em Laugh.

Class Notes Alumni Fred E. and Reatha (Rickie) Yunker Willett, both ‘49, celebrated their 60th anniversary on Sept. 1. Darold Farless Jr., ’73, retired last spring and has moved to the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. William J. Cleckner, ’80, earned a juris doctorate degree from the Stetson University College of Law. LaDonna Frazier Ebright, ’80, has come full circle back to Park University. Upon retiring after teaching for 20 years in the Park Hill (Mo.) School District, she returned to Park as a teacher and administrator in the School for Education. She currently is the practicum coordinator and teaches in the early childhood program. David Williams, ’82, is vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer of Innospec Inc. He is based in Littleton, Colo. Karen Backues, ’87, is chief financial officer for GBA Master Series Inc., an in-house infrastructure software developer located in Overland Park, Kan. She also is the proprietor of Olive or Twist Fine Wine and Spirits with stores in Platte City and Liberty, Mo., a sponsor of the Park University track and cross country teams. Tyrone Austin, ’91, was presented with the “Academic Staff Distinguished Service Award” for 2009 by Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich. Vincent M. Ortega, ’91, M.P.A. ’01, is the assistant director of COMBAT (Community Backed Anti-drug Tax). Ortega was former deputy chief of police with the Kansas City, Mo., Police

Department, and was a member of the KCPD Executive Committee. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James A. Roy, ’91, is the top U.S. Air Force noncommissioned officer. Formerly the senior enlisted leader and adviser to the U.S. Pacific Command combatant commander, Roy became the 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force on June 30. Mary Howlett-Brandon, ’96, is principal of Liberty High School in Bedford County, Va. Tim Byers, ’97, is assistant track and field/ cross country coach at Park University. Victoria Chance, ’97, earned a doctorate degree in English language and literature at the University of Tulsa.

Holly Starr, ‘99, is the host/spokesperson for “38 The Spot” (KCMI-TV) in Kansas City, Mo., and for Vegas TV (KTUD). In addition to her professional career, she is an active volunteer with SAFEHOME and Harvesters - The Community Food Network. Les Washington, M.P.A. ’00, retired after 24 years as a Kansas City, Mo. employee. He served the last seven years as director of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department. Lisa Kerley Callaghan, ’01, works for College Bound Selection Service in Belton, Mo. Jaime Anderson, ‘03, is a software quality engineer for Harris Corporation in Lee’s Summit, Mo. She was appointed by the mayor to the Arts Council for the City of Lee’s Summit.

Dionysius Sebwe, ‘97, visited the Parkville Campus during the first week of September. He spoke to and scrimmaged with the 2009 men’s soccer team coached by his friend and former teammate, Efrem Shimlis, ’97. Sebwe is deputy minister for operations for the Minister of Defense in his home country, Liberia. Previously, he played professional soccer with the Kansas City Wizards, Minnesota Thunder and FC Utrecht in Holland. Members of the Park University soccer team donated dozens of pairs of shoes, jerseys and soccer cleats for Sebwe to give to local soccer athletes in Liberia.

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Class Notes David A. Gippner, ’03, is a senior analyst, Ambulatory Services & Insurance for Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. Stephen Farrier, ’05, opened United Wall Systems Inc., a commercial drywall company in Orlando, Fla. Farrier has more than 14 years experience in the construction industry. Chauncey Lane, ’05, graduated from the Texas Tech University School of Law and the Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business in May with a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Master of Business Administration. Sarah Hopkins, ’07, and Lenes Chery, ’09, (right) attended the Park University cross country meet on Oct. 3 to support their former teammates. They were married on Sept. 3. Eric Bonner, ’08, is director of operations for Paddock Laboratories in Minneapolis, Minn. Aleksandra Kleczek, ’08, former student worker and administrative assistant at Park University’s Cherry Point (N.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center, has joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Olisa Cifligu, ’09, is the third secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Albania to the United Nations. As part of her duties, Cifligu is assigned to a United Nations’ committee. She is responsible for preparing reports and serves as a spokesperson.

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Brooke Henderson, ’09; Megan Haley, ’09; and Tamara Jenkins, ’09, volunteered to conduct a program with inmates at the Federal Prison Camp, Leavenworth, Kan. Taught by criminal justice associate professor Carol Getty, Ph.D., the program includes students from the Parkville Campus and students from the prisons. After graduating from the program, they chose to continue the program as volunteers, creating and conducting four sessions in July. Mark Lebedzinski, ’09, broke his jaw in two places just six days before he was scheduled to graduate from the Randolph Air Force Base Campus Center in Texas. No one expected him to walk the stage. Two days after he was released from the hospital, Lebedzinski decided he wasn’t going to let anything stop him from celebrating what he had worked so hard to achieve. He walked the stage and is now headed to Officer Training School. Ryan Wagner, ’09, a staff sergeant, received the Air Medal from the Missouri Air National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing in St. Joseph, Mo. He was honored for working under “extremely hazardous” conditions between December 2007 and January 2008 while flying at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.

Birth and Adoption Announcements Phil Wheeler and Carol Groundwater Wheeler, both ‘62, welcomed new granddaughters, Shibere, age 4, and Meskele, age 2, to the family. Their son, Steve, and his spouse, Katie, adopted the girls from Ethiopia.

Rich Wolf, ’93, and Mishca Waliczek, ’95, welcomed Tobias Crittenden Wolf to their family on May 10. He weighed eight pounds and was 21 inches long.

Faculty and Staff President Emeritus Don Breckon and his spouse, Sandy, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their family on a cruise to Alaska. They were married Sept. 4, 1959. Breckon was president of Park 1987-2001. They continue to live in the Parkville area.

Send a birth or adoption announcement and receive a “Baby Pirate” bib or t-shirt.

Submit your news for inclusion in Class Notes to the Office of Alumni Relations, Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152 or

Park Mourns ‘30s

Harold Swischer, ‘33 Nevada, Mo., May 7, 2009 Dorothy Whysong Swofford, ‘34 Sun City West, Ariz., August 3, 2009 Lois Keifer Pedigo, ‘35 Louisville, Ky., June 27, 2009 Marilyn K. Hutchison, ‘39, M.D. Lee’s Summit, Mo., May 17, 2009 Ada Mary Sandercock Melonuk, ‘39 Ft. Laramie, Wyo., March 29, 2009 Narcissa White Saadeh, ‘39 Houston, Texas, April 23, 2009 Laura Stansell Timmons, ‘39 El Paso, Texas, June 22, 2009


Gladys Listrom Owens, ‘40 Parkville, Mo., August 17, 2009 Gladys Reid Tarves, ‘40 Loveland, Colo., October 19, 2008 Neil C.P. Dukelow, ‘41 Lenexa, Kan., July 1, 2009 Bill Ketcham, ‘41 Kansas City, Mo., August 30, 2009 Lois A. Powers Thomas, ‘41 Princeton, N.J., February 23, 2009 Zona Schroder Ketcham, ‘42 Olathe, Kan., July 25, 2009 Dorothy Gaiser Decot, ‘42 Fairfax, Va., July 14, 2009 Carroll Hall, ‘43 Marquette, Mich., May 1, 2009 Lowell H. Listrom, ‘44 Mission, Kan., November 1, 2008 Wilda C. Osborn, ‘44 Carpinteria, Calif., May 31, 2009

Dr. Donald H. Martin, ‘45 Asheville, N.C., December 20, 2008 Dr. William S. Yamamoto, ‘45 Bowie, Md., March 6, 2009 Henry E. Little, ‘48 Edmond, Okla., January 10, 2009 Reese L. Pollard, ‘49 Overland Park, Kan., February 15, 2009 Allen O. Sachs, ‘49 Berkeley, Calif., March 16, 2009 Jesse Holmes Simms, ‘49 Albuquerque, N.M., March 1, 2009 Nadine Estes Winslow, ‘49 Capitola, Calif., November 13, 2008

David Dallam, ‘65 Topeka, Kan., May 5, 2009

Donald L. Patten, ‘81 El Paso, Texas, March 16, 2009

Retired Col. Glen D. Irwin, ‘66 Shreveport, La., April 4, 2009

James M. Vaughn, ‘81 Alamogordo, N.M., February 6, 2009

Ronald S. Deitch, ‘68 Tamarac, Fla., May 13, 2009


Frank Miler, ‘72 Minneapolis, Minn., November 25, 2008 Tech. Sgt. Thomas L. Wells, ‘74 Austin, Colo., May 13, 2009 Richard H. Lawson, ‘75 Mocksville, N.C., September 22, 2008 Susan Alfred Ulrich, ‘75 Springfield, Mo., March 10, 2009

Laurence Wurtenberger, ‘82 Shawnee, Kan., May 6, 2009 Robert D. Grimes, ‘85 El Paso, Texas, July 21, 2009 Raymond S. “Pete” Foster, ‘86 Columbia, S.C., July 25, 2009 John R. Fowler, ‘89 Gladstone, Mo., May 19, 2009


Ricky Lee Culp, ‘90 Belton, Mo., April 14, 2009

Glant West, ‘75 Kansas City, Mo., May 28, 2009

Karen A. Pettyjohn, ‘90 Overland Park, Kan., November 2, 2008

Ara Eghigian Jr., ‘51 Belleville, Ill., March 4, 2009

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Elbert Ivy Jr., ‘76 Olathe, Kan., April 2, 2009

Sue Christopher-Glasgow, ‘92 Kansas City, Mo., September 29, 2008

George L. Snider, ‘51 Orange, Calif., August 25, 2009

Peter A. Moffatt, ‘77 McCormick, S.C., January 9, 2009

Barbara J. Schoemaker, ‘92 Richard, Mo., February 23, 2009

Dr. Don P. Filson, ‘52 Springfield, Ill., November 28, 2008

John G. Hancock, ‘78 Trevor, Wis., December 8, 2008

Hugh Murphy Jr., ‘93 Weatherford, Texas, March 10, 2009


Guy Clardy, ‘50 Kansas City, Mo., August 9, 2009

Dorothea Nicholson Parkhurst, ‘55 Feasterville-Trevose, Pa., March 5, 2009

Dorothy Mae Conley Jones, ‘78 Columbus, Ohio, April 4, 2009 Dr. Gertrude Keith, ‘78 Surprise, Ariz., March 18, 2009

Betty K. Edwards-Meyers, ‘59 Topeka, Kan., April 20, 2009

John W. Kosick, ‘78 Elmore, Ala., November 26, 2008

Robert M. McFadden, ‘59 Alexandria, Va., May 08, 2009

Jeanna Stewart, ‘79 Benbrook, Texas, March 13, 2009



Pauline Lincoln Masunaga, ‘62 Wahiawa, Hawaii, September 4, 2008

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Thomas M. Drosdak, ‘81 Dayton, Ohio, April 5, 2009

Lee Irving Pickering, ‘63 Independence, Mo., April 27, 2009

Emma Givings, ‘81 Hillsboro, Texas, April 28, 2009

Marilyn Copeland Riat, ‘60 Abilene, Kan., May 14, 2009

Connie Mae Paugh Lane, ‘80 Kansas City, Mo., March 30, 2009

Mignon Hatfield Valerius, ‘93 Platte City, Mo., January 2, 2009 Ira Joe Beasley, ‘99 Mountain Home, Idaho, April 10, 2009


Robert C. Boynton, ‘03 Phoenix, Ariz., April 1, 2009 Sarah “Sabre” Moore, ‘03 Swansea, Ill., June 19, 2009

Fall 2009 - 37

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8700 N.W. River Park Drive Parkville, MO 64152

Profile for Park University

Park Magazine, Fall 2009  

Park University alumni magazine, published Fall 2009

Park Magazine, Fall 2009  

Park University alumni magazine, published Fall 2009