Alumni gather for Marymount reunion

July 26, 2009 by

To read a Salina Journal article published Sunday, July 26, click HERE.

Two members of the Class of 81, Mary Moriarity Madrid of Loveland, Colo., left, and Deborah Silhan Britain of Lenexa, Kan., review their yearbook at the Marymount College All-School Reunion Saturday morning.

Two members of the Class of '81, Mary Moriarity Madrid of Loveland, Colo., left, and Deborah Silhan Britain pf Lenexa, Kan., review their yearbook at the Marymount College All-School Reunion Saturday morning.

Nearly 400 Marymount College alumni, faculty and staff returned to the Salina campus this weekend for the third all-school reunion.


The college, started in 1922, had always hosted all-school gatherings but those stopped when Marymount closed in 1989. In 2003, the first post-closure reunion was held, followed three years later by another gathering. The 2009 event — with a chance for graduates from throughout the years to reminisce and renew acquaintances — took place Saturday and Sunday at Salina’s Bicentennial Center and in the Administration Building of what for 87 years was the Marymount campus.


Sister Lucille Herman — a 1961 graduate and now the alumni director — reminisces with Judy Tank Holgerson, a 1968 graduate who now lives in Denver, in the entry of the Marymount College chapel Saturday afternoon.

Sister Lucille Herman — a 1961 graduate and now the alumni director — reminisces with Judy Tank Holgerson, a 1968 graduate who now lives in Denver, in the entry of the Marymount College chapel Saturday afternoon.

Saturday morning participants gathered over coffee and cinnamon rolls at the Center, where they picked up commemorative T-shirts and perused Marymount yearbooks from a broad span of time. They also chatted with a number of Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, who founded the college and served as faculty and administrators for most of the time the college operated.


The Sisters transferred ownership of the college to the Diocese of Salina in 1983. Despite committing more than $2 million to keep the school operating, the Diocese in 1989 decided to close it. Three years later, the diocese sold four of the campus building to the state of Kansas to be used for the Kansas State Patrol Training Center. Then a Salina architect and his wife, Donnie and Mona Marrs, purchased the landmark Administration building, to be developed into office space and condominimums.

Donnie Marrs welcomes visitors to the former Marymount College Administration Building Saturday afternoon. Marrs and his wife Mona purchased the landmark building nearly 17 years ago, and now live on the ground floor.

Donnie Marrs welcomes visitors to the former Marymount College Administration Building Saturday afternoon. Marrs and his wife Mona purchased the landmark building nearly 17 years ago, and now live on the ground floor.

Donnie and Mona Marrs, along with other family members, were on hand Saturday afternoon to welcome alumni who toured the building and its surrounding grounds. The former Fine Arts Building and Antoinette Hall, both operated as part of the Highway Patrol Training Center, were also open for tours Saturday afternoon.


Many of the touring guests commented on the beauty of the chapel and its stained-glass windows, which Donie Marrs and his son Dahx have been working to repair and repaint this summer.

This was the first time since the college closed that the chapel has been open for tours, and it was also the location for a special Marymount alumni Mass late Saturday afternoon.


Saturday evening the participants returned to the Bicentennial Center for a banquet that featured a keynote speech by alumna Dr. Jacqueline Meredith Belcher.


She graduated from Marymount with a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree in 1966. She then went on to earn a master’s degree in psychosocial nursing and psychology, including post master’s work in business, from the University of Washington, and a JD degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. She is an alumnus of the Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education; the League for Innovation in the Community College’s Executive Leadership Institute; and Staub Leadership Consultants’ HILS Program (Helping Individuals Lead Successfully).

One of the stained-glass windows in the Marymount College chapel, where a special Mass was held for visiting alumni Saturday afternoon.

One of the stained-glass windows in the Marymount College chapel, where a special Mass was held for visiting alumni Saturday afternoon.

In 1990, she was honored as Marymount’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.

In 1995, Dr. Belcher became president of Georgia Perimeter, a multi-campus college serving more than 20,000 students. She served there for 10 years before retiring in 2005 to start her own company, OptionsUnlimited, which provides executive coaching, organizational development, and personal and professional development services.


The weekend’s events were the result of the hard work of Sister Lucille Herman, director of the Marymount College Alumni Association. Sister Lucille, who works out of an office in the former Administration Building, said she has made a concerted effort to stay in touch with alumni and to keep addresses current.


If you have contact information for any Marymount alums, please send it to Sister Lucille at lherman@yahoo.com

— Some information for this report came from The Register of the Diocese of Salina

Sister Bernadine Pachta, left, chats with Class of 75 graduate Chris Rohleder McNiece of Wichita at Saturdays informal gathering.

Sister Bernadine Pachta, left, chats with Class of '75 graduate Chris Rohleder McNiece of Wichita at Saturday's informal gathering.

Comments

5 Responses to “Alumni gather for Marymount reunion”

  1. Joan Weimer and Lynne Weimer on June 11th, 2010 7:07 pm

    Joan graduated in 1950 and her niece Lynne graduated in1958. Hello to all of the alumni!

  2. Remo Faieta on October 17th, 2009 9:24 am

    Hello, Sisters.

    I was a French teacher at Marymount in 1967-69 and Sister Francis Riordan was also French teacher there.
    I like to hear about her, how is she, etc.
    Best regards to her.
    Thanks
    Remo Faieta

  3. Lucille Herman on August 11th, 2009 9:05 am

    Sarah,

    Thank you for the wonderful coverage of the Marymount reunion. It was a great celebration put together by a very dedicated planning committee, and you covered it well. Again, thanks.

  4. Christine Doman on July 30th, 2009 8:30 am

    Lucille and MM Reunion Committee,
    What a wonderful experience of the community of faith expressed by the many gifted MM grads and friends during this 2009 Reunion! Congrats and thanks!
    Christine Doman, CSJ
    Class of ’66

  5. Sr. Beth Stover Class of '64 on July 30th, 2009 7:46 am

    The Marymount reunion was a tremendous event, thanks to Sr. Lucille and the planning committee.
    The Mass celebrated by Bishop Coakley was so inspiring due to the overflowing attendance of alumni praying and singing vibrantly as we all gave honor and praise to God.

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