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Monmouth College earn high marks from Golden Scots

Barry McNamara
06/12/2018
Mike '73 and Ann Doherty Kramer '73 are interviewed about meeting at Monmouth College as undergrads and about returning to their alma mater for this year's Golden Scots Celebration.
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – While at their alma mater June 7-10 for the annual Golden Scots Celebration, more than six dozen Monmouth College alumni were reminded of the many changes that have taken place in the last 50 years.

At one of the event’s programs, alumni heard from Monmouth President Clarence R. Wyatt, who reflected on Monmouth’s recent success and also looked at what’s on the horizon for higher education.

“The only constant is change,” Wyatt told a room of alumni.

Alumni could certainly appreciate that sentiment when they toured the campus, which looks vastly different from the one they graduated from a half-century ago. Yet throughout the weekend, there were moments when memories came pouring back and it was the 1960s again.

That was true for Janet Forbes Myers ’68, who was wowed by the “gorgeous” campus, but also appreciated how Wallace Hall and Dahl Chapel are still in use and look much the same as they did when she was a student.

Two returning alumni were transported even farther back, to 1954. Janet Forsythe Fishburn and Joan McMillan shared a room on campus 64 years ago, and they were pleased to be in each other’s company again, celebrating the 60-year reunion of the Class of 1958.

Members of the Class of 1968, gathering for a 50-year reunion, had a similar experience.

“I haven’t seen Mary since graduation, and we’re just the same, aren’t we?” said Jean Hutchinson Randolph to classmate Mary Hills Kuck.

“As my mother always said, ‘Just the same, only more so,’” Kuck replied with a laugh.

For their classmate and former football player John Schroeder, the Golden Scots Celebration exceeded his expectations.

“I got a chance to talk some guys I played ball with 50 years ago,” he said. “We all look just the same, of course. It’s been a good time. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

One of those Fighting Scot football players Schroeder reunited with was classmate Bob Mabry. The fraternity brothers were part of a group who visited the home of their Monmouth coach, Bill Reichow.

“That guy, I tell ya, I looked at him as a father figure,” said Mabry, who retired after 28 years in the Navy. “He was my role model away from home. I’ve met some great men – a lot of them in battle – and I don’t think any of them surpass Bill Reichow.”

Helping the weekend run smoothly was Monmouth’s development and college relations team. Their efforts did not go unnoticed by the guests, who hailed from 19 states.

“They keep us busy, and they’re there to accommodate anything we want,” said Dee Ann Smith Shuff ’63. “It’s been fantastic. And the College – it’s absolutely amazing to see what’s happened since we were here in the beginning.”

Added Randolph: “A-plus service, and the special programs have been really interesting, too.”

Several programs were given by members of the Class of 1968, focusing on elements of their careers.

Accomplished historian Joan Rezner Gundersen highlighted the many “amazing” women on Monmouth’s faculty while members of the Class of 1968 were students, detailing their innovations and the way they stretched boundaries.

“That gave us an understanding that women could BE on a college campus,” said Gundersen, who became a history professor and author. “It was normal, not extraordinary, and that changes the whole perception.”

Politician Bob Brink, who has served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 20 years, joined two Monmouth faculty members to discuss “Politics in the USA from LBJ to the Age of Trump.”

Mathematician Won Yang Everett, a member of the Missile Defense National Team, spoke about her career and how her Monmouth education prepared not only her, but her father, who went on to found the Korean section at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and her son, Billy Everett ’00, who’s had a successful career in the business world.

Members of the Class of 1973 also held a reunion during Golden Scots Celebration. Among the class members present were Mike and Ann Doherty Kramer, who began dating as Monmouth students and have been married 44 years.

“The weekend was excellent – well-planned, well-orchestrated and thought out,” said Ann. “We really appreciate all the work that everybody’s done. The staff seems to be having so much fun. We’re going to get working on our 50th now to get more people back.”