Release Date: 3/28/2000
CLARKSVILLE, Ark. ---Eight different reunions — including long-anticipated gatherings for the Pharmacy School, Choir and Walton Scholars — will highlight this year's University of the Ozarks Alumni Weekend 2000, scheduled for April 14-16.
The theme for Alumni Weekend 2000 is "Looking Forward, Looking Back." U of O Alumni Director Lori McBee said the start of the new millennium is an ideal time to add new reunions to the annual event and encourage alumni who haven't been on campus in a while to return to their alma mater. "The eight reunions are the most we've had in some time, and I know there's been a lot of interest in all of them," said McBee. "A lot of times people associate with groups or departments rather than class years and I think that's why we've received so much interest in reunions such as the Business Reunion last year and the Pharmacy School and Choir Reunions this year. "I've heard from people who haven't visited the campus in several years who plan to come back this year, and it's exciting to hear those things." The Pharmacy School Reunion, titled "RX2000," is expected to draw one of the largest groups back to campus. Ozarks opened the state's first accredited pharmacy school in 1946 and graduated three classes of pharmacists from 1949-51 before the school was closed down and eventually moved to Little Rock. The highlight of the Pharmacy School Reunion will be a dinner at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 15, in the Seay Student Center. Guest speakers for the dinner will include Dr. Charles West, former executive vice president of the National Community Pharmacist Association, and Dr. Richard Beck, executive vice president of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association. Special guests are expected to include J. Harper Albritton, the first Dean of Pharmacy at Ozarks, and Dr. Babu N. Patel, a former professor at the Pharmacy School. The Choir Reunion, which is open to anyone who has ever participated in choir at Ozarks, will be held at the home of Steve and Carol Terry Morgan in Clarksville beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14. Among the special guests who are expected to attend the reunion will be Dr. Michael Farrell and his wife Nancy. Dr. Farrell directed the Ozarks choir from 1981-95. George Pittenger, a 1991 U of O graduate and the university's Director of Church Relations, is coordinating the Choir Reunion. "As far as we know this is the first time for the choir to have a reunion on campus, so it's generated some excitement," Pittenger said. "It will be a great opportunity to share stories and see old friends. We've even talked about having an alumni choir perform 'Beautiful Savior' at Saturday's Memorial Service." The Walton Scholars Reunion will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Hampton Inn. The Class of 1950 will also have their 50-year reunion and will be inducted into the university's 50-Year Club. Highlights of the Class of 1950 reunion include a reception and luncheon on Friday, followed by a group photograph on the Munger Chapel steps. Other reunions scheduled are the Classes of 1975, 1980, 1952-58 and 1990. Along with the reunions, Alumni Weekend 2000 will include traditional events such as a golf tournament, 5K Run/Walk, picnic, President's Open House and Awards Banquet. The Awards Banquet has been moved from Saturday evening to noon on Saturday. Cost for the Awards Banquet is $12. Honorees for the Awards Banquet include Maxine Eggensperger '41 of Fort Smith, Dr. E.F. Bennett '50 of Clarksville, and Joseph D. Reece '94 of Fayetteville. Eggensperger, a retired high school and college instructor, will receive the Alumni Merit Award. Bennett, a retired college professor, minister and missionary, will be the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award. Reece, an estate planning and taxation attorney for Ball & Mourton in Fayetteville, will receive the Young Alumni Service Award. The four-person, scramble golf tournament will be held at Chamberlyne Golf Course near Danville. Shuttle services will be available for golfers starting at 7:30 a.m. Friday. The 18-hole tournament will begin at 9 a.m. The annual 5K Run/Walk through downtown Clarksville will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Registration will be held from 7 to 8 a.m. For more information on Alumni Weekend 2000 or any of the events, contact the Alumni Office at (501) 979-1234.