Article Category Archives: Alumni News

Alumni Reunite to Celebrate and Reminisce

Nearly 200 black alumni reconnected in St. Louis, July 20-22, 2018. More than two-thirds of the participants graduated before Truman became an iteration of Northeast Missouri State, and most had not seen or heard from one another in decades. Throughout the Friday night welcome reception, changes in weight, dress or voice caused a minute of hesitation, but eventually the memories resurfaced.

Saturday morning, alumni of historically black Greek organizations gathered for the Pan-Hellenic Brunch. Two organizations celebrated milestone anniversaries and the historical distinctions of being the first black fraternity and sorority on campus: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., chartered Epsilon Eta Chapter in May 1963, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., chartered Zeta Zeta Chapter in May 1968. Seven of the 12 charter members of Zeta Zeta reunited with “line sisters” and met 45 of the young women who have followed in their footsteps.

On Saturday evening at the Reunion Celebration Banquet, alumni reminisced about “the good, and not so good, old days.” As a co-chair, Beverly Davis (’70) formally welcomed everyone and highlighted that when she graduated there were no co-ed dorms, no male students beyond the main lounge in the women’s dorm, and dorm hours for women but not men. Laughter filled the air. The younger alumni also learned about some of the challenges black students faced from the mid-fifties through the mid-seventies. Regardless of the collective challenges, it was noted and agreed that Truman’s continued commitment to educational excellence had contributed to everyone’s business and professional accomplishments.

During the banquet, Sharron Washington and Janice Sue Williams Burton were honored with a symbolic gesture. Thunderous applause and a standing ovation greeted them as the 2018 Homecoming King and Queen.

On Sunday, the final reunion activity was a picnic at Forest Park. Most missed the classmates who could not make the reunion and acknowledged those who are no longer here. Alumni celebrated the way they were, and perhaps most importantly, they celebrated who they have become.

Late ’70s Greeks Return to Kirksville

The passage of time and distance couldn’t diminish the sense of community for the more than 300 alumni, attendees and friends who came back to Kirksville for the Late ’70s All-Greek reunion, Oct. 6-8, 2018.

Members of 14 fraternities and sororities made it back for the three-day event, which included a golf outing, a “hug fest” at the Days Inn, brunch at the Student Union Building, tailgating at the fairgrounds, a disco inferno at the Kirksville Country Club and an encouragement to do free-form philanthropy in the community.

The reunion wouldn’t have been possible but for the vision that started with Brad (’80) and Teresa (Voss) Borgstede (’86). Nearing retirement after 38 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Brad set out to bring Greek alumni back to campus with the goals of reminiscing, having fun and giving back. To spread the word, Borgstede took to Facebook to track down as many Greek alumni from the late ’70s and early ’80s as possible. Helped by a small army of Kirksville-based Greek alumni, the word spread, and more than 330 people officially RSVPed.

By all accounts, the reunion was a huge success. Not only did hundreds of alumni get a chance to reconnect with one another and their alma mater, they also raised a significant amount of money as a group. By the end of the reunion, in excess of $20,000 had been donated to various Truman State University Foundation funds. One in particular that was highlighted was the Letters Today, Leaders Tomorrow Scholarship fund. The scholarship benefits leaders in the Greek community and was initiated by students.

Buoyed by their success and reinvigorated by connecting with friends and classmates after decades away from Kirksville, the group has already unofficially begun planning for the next reunion, hoping for a return in 2020.