Park University Imprint Express -- October 10, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

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University Advancement announces 2012-13 fundraising efforts

The 2012-13 fiscal year was a very good year for the Office of University Advancement and thus, for Park University. The total raised in cash gifts, in-kind gifts and all pledges was $1,685,754 or 40 percent more than the preceding year. Included in that total were several unrestricted estate gifts. Thanks to the foresight of Park President Michael Droge, Ph.D., funds have been put to use for specific priorities of the University.

For example, Park received a nearly $200,000 estate gift from Pauline Murphy, ’57. Given her affection and appreciation for the social work profession, Droge determined to use the gift for scholarships for social work students as well as current operating expenses to support the marketing and promotion of the new Master in Social Work degree program. Another example is the $41,000 estate gift from A. Hugh and Joyce, ’88, Kensler, who were interested in architecture, gardening and interior design. That gift will be used for specific capital improvements to the Parkville Campus upon rGraham Tyler Memorial Chapel Doors Dedicationecommendations from the Office of Environmental Services.

In addition is a gift from Thom, ’42, and Truth Rinehart Hunter, ’44. Spending their life in missionary and religious affairs, their estate gift was used, along with gifts totaling $45,000 from Rear Adm. Joe Schoggen, ’43, in honor of his wife Charlene Schwenk Schoggen, ’43; Park Board of Trustees member Col. Danny Sakata, in honor of his wife Susan Ditmars Sakata; and Dean Larrick, ’53, in honor of his friend and former roommate at Park, Robert Warriner, ’53, to replace the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel doors with new and environmentally stronger doors. A dedication service with the donors was held on Sept. 10 and a plaque that provides details of this gift has been placed outside the front doors in the landscaping.

Park alumnus establishes endowed scholarship for School of Business students

Clint Blithe, ’71, has endowed a scholarship for students in Park University’s School of Business in honor of his parents with a generous gift of $100,000. Blithe has established the Clinton R. Blithe Sr. and Anna M. Blithe Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student in the School of Business, beginning in fall 2014. “When I received news that I was becoming a grandparent, I was excited to think about my grandchild’s future,” said Blithe. “This new grandchild sparked memories of my father sending me off to Park and I knew that I wanted to help provide an opportunity for another student to receive an education.”

Blithe was encouraged by his parents to attend college, which was a pivotal decision in his life. He has gone on to own and operate Blithe Sales Co. LLC, a manufacturer’s representative of pool and spa equipment, located in North East, Md. Nathan Marticke, associate vice president for development, who worked with Blithe, said, “This is a very generous gift to Park and it is exciting to see alumni like Clint reflecting on their time at Park and being moved to invest in a significant way in our future students.”

Softball volunteersPark softball players volunteer for Special Olympics and clothing center

The Park University softball team recently took time away from their studies to volunteer with the Olathe (Kan.) Special Olympics and the Park Hill (Mo.) Clothing Center. “These events are a great chance for our players to get out in the community to try and become more involved citizens,” said Amy Reif, head coach. “This allows them to focus on others and show the importance of giving back in any way you can.” Members of the team worked with the Olathe Special Olympics by helping teach the game of softball and later worked at the Park Hill Clothing Center, which provides students from the Park Hill School District with new and gently used clothing at no cost. The Pirates worked checking out customers and helped families and their children make selections. They also spent time sorting donated clothing and organizing the store. “I can’t tell you what a pleasure it was for us to work with such a great group,” said Katherine DiStefano, a coordinating team leader at PHCC.

Park University to host annual Fright Night event

Fright Night, Park University’s annual Halloween celebration, will be held on Friday, Oct. 25, at the Copley Quad residence hall on the Parkville Campus, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and children of all ages are encouraged to dress in their favorite Halloween costume. Fright Night will include trick-or-treating for children throughout Copley Quad and booths will be set up for face painting, crafts and carnival-style games. Featured events this year include pumpkin bowling, bobbing for donuts, spider toss and treasure hunts. More than 25 Park student organizations and departments will sponsor a booth. For more information, visit

Parkville Campus hosting River Read Children’s Literature Festival

Park University’s School of Education and the Dorothy Harper Watson Literacy Center will host the annual River Read Children’s Literature Festival on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the University’s Parkville Campus. The Festival provides hundreds of fourth and fifth grade students from the Park Hill (Mo.) School District the opportunity to meet local authors, explore literature and learn about the writing craft. For many of the students who attend the River Read, this is their first time on a college campus. Park welcomes the opportunity to share its beautiful Parkville Campus with young learners and encourage the love of literacy through inspirational and motivational presentations. For more information about the event, visit

University receives funding for Ethnic Voices Poetry Series; opening event set for Oct. 22

Park University has received funding from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency and division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, to support the Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, now in its seventh year. The funding is matched by donations to the University through the Office of University Advancement. The purpose of the EVPS, is to expose individuals to artistic thought and expression that challenges preconceptions about those whose experiences and points of view differ from their own. Because all literature focuses on the human condition, a sharing of that literature promotes a sharing of ideas regarding the challenges, disappointments and celebrations of all people. In addition, literature supports the written and verbal expression of emotions that those activities promote.

The 2013-14 EVPS kicks off on Tuesday, Oct. 22 with poet and author Martín Espada, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. A reception will precede the event at 6 p.m. Espada has had more than 15 books published as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems, The Trouble Ball, was the recipient of the Milt Kessler Award, a Massachusetts Book Award and an International Latino Book Award. In addition, Espada earned the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his collection, Republic of Poetry. For more information about the Espada event, visit

Volunteers needed for Heart of America Stand Down event

Park University’s Department of Military and Veteran Student Services, home of the Park Warrior Center, is looking for volunteers from the University community interested in assisting at the Heart of America Stand Down on Friday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Memorial Hall, 600 N. 7th St., in Kansas City, Kan. A carpool will leave from the Parkville Campus at 9:30 a.m.

The event brings together hundreds of community service groups and organizations from the Kansas City area to provide assistance and help rid the barriers that prevent homeless veterans from re-entering society as engaged, productive citizens, and live more fulfilling lives. Assistance offered includes medical, substance abuse, legal issues, taxes, housing and utility assistance, family counseling, spiritual, mentorships, educational and employment opportunities and haircuts. For more information about the Heart of America Stand Down, visit

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Ashley Beets, student services coordinator, at, by Monday, Oct. 28. When responding, please include your T-shirt size as volunteers will be provided with a PWC shirt, which will be available to be picked up in the PWC on Wednesday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 7.

Dr. Kay DennisDennis documents travels from the summer

Over the summer, Kay Dennis, Ed.D., associate professor of adult education, traveled twice to Liepaja, Latvia, site of her 2010 J. William Fulbright Scholarship Award project. Dennis offered a condensed version of her successful course on intercultural communication. As a redeveloping former Soviet bloc country which has tasted freedom for only 40 of the past 800 years, Latvia continues to experience significant sociopolitical tension between residual ethnic Russians and true Latvians. While the diverse subcultures cohabitate, they integrate very little except through the occasional intermarriage. Consequently intercultural communication remains a sensitive and provocative topic. In addition, Dennis participated in an English language summer school, facilitating practice conversation so that participants could communicate with a native English speaker. She also moderated discussions on intercultural communication.

University seeks public comments for accreditation

Park University is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will host a visit November 18-20, 2013, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Park University has been accredited by the Commission since 1913. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation. The public is invited to submit comments regarding Park University to:
          Third-Party Comment on Park University
          The Higher Learning Commission
          230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
          Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s website at Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by October 21, 2013.

Park In The News

Park University Board of Trustees member Peter deSilva was featured in an article that appeared in the Kansas City Business Journal on Oct. 3 related to his lecture as part of the University’s School of Business Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series event on Sept. 30.

M’Leka Davis, a senior computer science major at Park University’s Luke Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center, was featured in a story that appeared on KOLD-TV in Tucson, Ariz., on Oct. 6. Davis was the focus of a story related to the effects of the federal government’s shutdown.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)

     •  Through October 11 -- Matthew Boonstra Sculpture Exhibit, Campanella Gallery
     •  October 11 -- Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus
     •  October 11 -- Full-Time Faculty/Staff Last Chance Photo Day, 7:30-9:30 a.m., Louise Morden Board Room
     •  October 12 -- Admissions: Pirate Preview Day, Parkville Campus
     •  October 13 -- Fall I Classes End
     •  October 13-20 -- Fall Recess
     •  October 14-November 16 -- Bill Eickhorst Photography Exhibit (Reception: Oct. 21, 4 p.m.) , Campanella Gallery
     •  October 18 -- Center to Advance the Study of Loss Workshop: “The Unacknowledged Grief of Professionals in End-of-Life Scenarios: Weighing in on Emotional Boundaries,” with Dr. Harold Ivan Smith, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center
     •  October 18 -- "Powerful Texts" Lecture: Dr. Lester Laminack, 6 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  October 19 -- Dorothy Harper Watson Literacy Center "Powerful Texts" Conference, 7:45 a.m.-3 p.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center
     •  October 21 -- Fall II Classes Begin
     •  October 22 -- Ethnic Voices Poetry Series: Martin Espada, 6 p.m., Kansas City Public Library Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.
     •  October 23 -- Park University/American Red Cross Blood Drive, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., between Thompson Commons and Millsap Foyer
     •  October 23 -- Know Your Numbers (for those who have UnitedHealthcare medical insurance), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Louise Morden Board Room
     •  October 25 -- Admissions: Athletic Training Day, Parkville Campus
     •  October 25 -- Fright Night, 6 p.m., Copley Quad
     •  October 25-26 and Nov. 1-3 -- Park University Theater Production: “The Art of Murder,” 7 p.m. (except Nov. 3, at 2 p.m.), David Theater, Alumni Hall
     •  October 30 -- Grad Fair, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Park University Bookstore
     •  November 2 -- Defense Supply Center Columbus (Ohio) Campus Center Commencement, 9 a.m., DSCC Building 20
     •  November 3 -- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 2 p.m., Hollenbeck Bayley Conference Center, Springfield, Ohio
     •  November 8 -- Admissions: Graphic/Interior Design Day, Parkville Campus
     •  November 10 -- Northland Community Choir Concert: A Benefit for Elementary School Music  Education, 3 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  November 11 -- Veterans Day holiday (Kansas City area offices closed; no Parkville Daytime classes; Fall II classes will be held)
     •  November 12 -- Wounded Warrior Patriot 5K/10K Run, English Landing Park, noon
     •  November 12 -- Military Appreciation Night at Park Basketball Games, 5 p.m./7 p.m., Breckon Sports Center
     •  November 12 -- Ethnic Voices Poetry Series: Patrick Rosal, 6 p.m., Kansas City Public Library Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.
     •  November 13 – Reading of Names of U.S. Military Casualties from Operation Enduring Freedom, 9 a.m.-noon, Thompson Commons
     •  November 13 -- Veterans Week Movie: “Olympus Has Fallen,” David Theater (Alumni Hall), 7 p.m.
     •  November 14 -- Veterans Resource Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Thompson Commons
     •  November 16 -- Admissions: Pirate Preview Day, Parkville Campus
     •  November 16 -- International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Luis Fernando Perez, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  November 20 -- Coming to America: Iraq, noon, McCoy Meetin’ House
     •  November 20 -- Xerox Global Business Lecture Series: Barbara Corcoran, 7 p.m., Folly Theater, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  November 21 -- Fabio Peixoto Graduate Violin Recital, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  November 26 -- Ellen Finley Earhart Nursing Program Health Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground
     •  November 28-December 1 -- Thanksgiving holiday (Kansas City area offices closed; no Parkville Daytime classes; Fall II classes will be held)

Note: To view a comprehensive schedule for all events, including athletics, visit

Media Contact

Brad Biles
Director of Communications and Public Relations