The Crow's Nest -- September 9, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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Crow's Nest

Alumni Weekend 2015Park University’s Homecoming/Alumni Weekend set for Sept. 18-19

All members of the Park University community are invited to participate in the University’s Homecoming and Alumni Weekend 2015 festivities, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 18-19. Highlights of the weekend include:
          •  Annual Alumni Awards Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Hilton President Downtown Kansas City Hotel, 1329 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, Mo. The Park University Alumni Association will honor the following four stellar individuals: Jack Fowler, ’54, Distinguished Alumnus Award; Tim Decker, ’82, Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award; Wayne Wilbourn II, ’10, Park Promising Young Professional Award; and Ed Bradley, chair of the Park University School of Business Advisory Council and longtime Park athletics supporter. Tickets are $30 each. The University will provide free bus transportation to the luncheon, departing the Parkville Campus at 11 a.m. Read more about the award honorees at
          •  Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing’s new home, 3 p.m. in the Academic Expansion Space in the Parkville Commercial Underground. Join nursing faculty, students, alumni and invited guests in visiting the new space and celebrating a major milestone — the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing’s accreditation of Park’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Completion program.
          •  Women’s volleyball match vs. Hannibal-LaGrange University, 7 p.m., Breckon Sports Center
          •  Women’s/men’s soccer matches vs. Freed-Hardeman University, noon/2 p.m., Julian Field
          •  Crowning of the 2015 Homecoming Court, halftime of men’s soccer match, approximately 3 p.m., Julian Field
          •  Park VIP (Very Important Pirate) Tent at Riverside Music Fest, 6-10 p.m., E.H. Young Riverfront Park, Riverside, Mo. Event will feature a performance by 1980s greats The Romantics and local bands, a fireworks show, and family-friendly games and activities. While the Riverside Music Fest is free, tickets for the Park VIP Tent are $10 and a limited number of spots are still available.

For more information, and a complete schedule of Homecoming/Alumni Weekend 2015 events or to register, visit

Dr. Dennis OkerstromOkerstrom book wins Air Force Historical Foundation award

A book authored by Dennis Okerstrom, professor of English, has been selected to receive the Air Power History Best Book Reviewed award from the Air Force Historical Foundation. Okerstrom and his book, Project 9: Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II (University of Missouri Press, 2014), will be honored at the AFHF’s awards banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Arlington, Va. The book is a narrative of the Allied joint project to invade Burma by air and details the aspects of the covert mission, including the selection of American airmen, the procurement of the aircraft, the joint training with British troops and the dangerous nighttime assault behind Japanese lines by glider. Air Power History is a journal published by the AFHF that chronicles the great campaigns, leaders, successes and failures of air forces in history.

University to commemorate 9/11 anniversary

Park University will honor those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in a commemorative ceremony on Friday, Sept. 11, on the University’s Parkville Campus. The event, which will be held at the Col Lewis L. Millett Medal of Honor Memorial outside Thompson Commons, will begin at 9:11 a.m. with the playing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner,” followed by Park students, faculty and staff taking shifts throughout the day reading names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks. The ceremony will conclude after 1 p.m. with a procession to the flagpoles near the University’s main (south) entrance on Highway 9, where Park University ROTC cadets will present the colors and lower the flag to half-staff, along with the playing of “Taps.” To volunteer to read victim names during a 10-minute shift, contact Wade Abel, assistant director of military and veteran student services, at or call the Park Warrior Center at (816) 584-6530.

Dr. Mark GraberConstitution Day lecture to address Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling

Park University’s annual Constitution Day lecture will feature a discussion surrounding the recent Supreme Court of the United States ruling on same-sex marriage on Monday, Sept. 14, starting at 1:30 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Mark Graber, Ph.D., J.D., Jacob A. France Professor of Constitutionalism at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law and a nationally renowned scholar on constitutional law and politics, will deliver a presentation titled “One-and-a-Half Cheers for Obergefell v. Hodges.”

Constitution Day, or Citizenship Day as it is also called, is federally mandated for all institutions of higher education that receive federal funding. The legislation was enacted in 2004 and implemented by the U.S. Department of Education in 2005. It celebrates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. Park’s Constitution Day event is hosted by the University’s Department of History, Political Science and Legal Studies. For more information about the lecture, visit

Dr. Debra ShefferSheffer to discuss saga of Buffalo Soldiers at National Archives of Kansas City

Debra Sheffer, Ph.D., professor of history, will discuss her recently published book, The Buffalo Soldiers: Their Epic Story and Major Campaigns (Praeger, March 2015), on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at the National Archives at Kansas City. The presentation, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will be preceded by a reception that starts at 6 p.m.

The book follows the fascinating saga of the Buffalo Soldiers — members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the U.S. Army formed in September 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. — as they participated in key events in America’s history. Sheffer discuss the impetus for the earliest black military service, how that service led to the creation of the Buffalo Soldiers and how these men — and one woman — continued to serve in the face of epic obstacles. The work celebrates their significant military contributions to the campaigns of the American frontier and other battles, their fighting experiences and life on the plains.

While this program is free and open to the public, reservations are requested. To reserve a seat, contact the National Archives at Kansas City at or (816) 268-8010. Requests for Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to this event. Read more at

Park Golf Scramble set for Oct. 12 at The National Golf Club of Kansas City

The 2015 Park University Golf Scramble, a four-person tournament that benefits the University’s athletic programs, is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 12, at The National Golf Club of Kansas City. The event begins with registration at 8:30 a.m., followed by the University’s Athletics Wall of Honor induction ceremony and breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Golfers get on the course with a shotgun start at 10:30 a.m. An awards program immediately follows the completion of the tournament at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Tournament registration is $175 per golfer or $700 per four-person team, and includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, lunch on the course, driving range access prior to the event, on-course games and contests, and refreshments. In addition, a variety of sponsorship packages are available, ranging in price from $1,200 to $5,000. To register for the tournament or for more information, visit For questions about the tournament or sponsorship levels, contact Nathan Marticke, associate vice president of constituent development, at or (816) 584-6844.

Department of Nursing to host accreditation site review

Park University’s Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing will host a site review for continued accreditation of its Associate of Science in Nursing program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Interested parties are invited to meet the ACEN site visit team and share comments about the program during a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 3:45 p.m. in the McCoy Meetin’ House on the Parkville Campus.

Written comments are also welcome and can be submitted by Sept. 14 to:
          Marsal P. Stoll, Ed.D., Chief Executive Officer
          Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
          3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
          Atlanta, GA 30326
Or by e-mail to:

Park In The News

Park University and the Park Commercial Underground were both mentioned as part of a story that appeared in the Aug. 26 issue of The Kansas City Star’s “Chow Town” section. A distillery located in the PCU, S.D. Strong Distilling, was the focus of the article. One of the products the company produces, Pillar 136, is a gin named for the company’s address in the PCU. A video story is also available at

Alisha Blackwelder, special events manager, and her son, Henry, were highlighted as part of a story on Parkville (Mo.) Days that appeared in the “816 North” section of the Aug. 26 issue of The Kansas City Star. A photo of children on a ride accompanying the article also featured Mackay Hall’s clock town in the background.

Benay Shannon, ’03, and her husband Michael, were featured in a story that appeared in The Kansas City Star on Aug. 28. The Shannons are two of three partners in Restless Spirits Distilling Co. which is expected to begin production in North Kansas City, Mo., in October and open a tasting room in spring 2016.

Park University’s International Center for Music was featured in a Musical America special report, “A 2015 Guide to Music Schools” (page 29).

Park University was featured in the September/October issue of North, a magazine of news and events for residents of the Northland area of Kansas City, Mo. (page 32). The article features information about the University as it celebrates its 140th anniversary and a number of “did you know” facts about Park.

Laurie McCormack, vice president for university relations and development, provided information and comments for a story that appeared in the September/October issue of KC Studio magazine (page 94). The article was related to charitable bequests through legacies and planned giving.

A pair of technology solutions businesses led by members of Park University’s Board of Trustees are among the top ranked women-owned and minority-owned businesses in the Kansas City area, according to rankings published in the Sept. 4 edition of the Kansas City Business Journal. ECCO Select, founded by Jeanette Prenger, ’09, who also serves as the company's president, was ranked the No. 6 women-owned business and the No. 6 minority-owned business, both based on 2014 revenue. Joseph Melookaran serves as president of JMA Information Technology, which was ranked the No. 2 minority-owned business.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  September 12 -- Fort Myer (Va.) Campus Center / Headquarters Marine Corps/Headquarters Battalion Henderson Hall (Va.) Campus Center  / Marine Corps Base Quantico (Va.) Campus Center Commencement, 9 a.m., Joe Rosenthal Theater, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Arlington, Va.
     •  September 14 -- Constitution Day Lecture: Dr. Mark Graber, 1:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  September 18 -- Ellen Finley Earhart Nursing Program Ribbon-Cutting, 3 p.m., Academic Expansion Area (Parkville Commercial Underground)
September 18-19 -- Homecoming 2015 Weekend, Parkville Campus
     •  September 19 -- International Talk Like A Pirate Day
     •  September 19 -- Admissions: One-On-One Weekend, 9 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  September 23 -- Career and Internship Fair, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Breckon Sports Center
     •  October 2 -- Fort Leonard Wood (Mo.) Campus Center Commencement, 10 a.m., Fort Leonard Wood
     •  October 3 -- Admissions: Pirate Preview, 9 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  October 9-10 -- Board of Trustees Meeting, TBA (Kansas City area)
     •  October 11 -- Fall I classes end
     •  October 11-18 -- Fall Recess
     •  October 12 -- Park University Golf Scramble and Athletics Wall of Honor Ceremony, 8:30 a.m., The National Golf Club of Kansas City
     •  October 13 -- River Read Children’s Literature Festival, Parkville Campus
     •  October 19 -- Fall II classes begin
     •  October 25 -- International Center for Music Concert: The Halcyon Trio, 8 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  October 29 -- Fright Night, 6 p.m., Copley Quad
Note: To view a comprehensive schedule for all events, including athletics and student life, visit