Panelists to Discuss Book on Park University’s 140 Year History

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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As part of Park University’s year-long celebration of its 140-year history during the 2015-16 academic year, the University commissioned the publication of a book to tell the story of how the institution grew from a small Presbyterian school with 17 students into a world-class provider of higher education to more than 17,700 students with 40 campuses across the country and online.

That book, Fides et Labor – 140 Years of Pioneering Education: The Story of Park University, will be the focus of a panel discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the National Archives at Kansas City, 400 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo. The dialogue will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception preceding the discussion at 6 p.m. Admission to the event is free, but reservations are requested by contacting the National Archives at Kansas City at or (816) 268-8010.

Founded in 1875 on a bluff above the Missouri River in Parkville, Park University is a nonprofit private institution that is a national leader in higher education. Serving an ethnically diverse student population and non-traditional adult learners has, for many years, been central to Park’s educational mission. Even in its first year, Park University enrolled women students as well as men, something that was unusual at the time; and two of the original 17 students were Native Americans. Park was also an early integrator when it welcomed African-American students to live in Park’s residence halls in the 1950s.

Panelists for the discussion include: Erik Bergrud, associate vice president for external relations; Carolyn Elwess, university archivist; and Timothy Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history and associate university archivist, all of Park University. Moderating the discussion will be Christopher Leitch, community relations coordinator at the Johnson County (Kan.) Library. The program is presented in partnership with the Park University Alumni Association.

Copies of Fides et Labor – 140 Years of Pioneering Education: The Story of Park University will be available for purchase at the event.

Requests for ADA accommodations at National Archives at Kansas City events must be submitted five business days prior to events at or (816) 268-8010.