Just … wow.
That was the reaction of many of Stark State’s alumni and retirees who returned to campus Sunday to celebrate the College’s 50th anniversary.
“I could not believe how many buildings there are,” said Jeanne Ullman, a 1993 accounting technology grad. Claude Paumier, retired from the continuing education division in 2000, said he’s kept up on the College’s expansion in both facilities and enrollment through newspaper accounts, but he still marveled at the changes over the past decade. “Plus I’ve seen some people I haven’t seen since I retired,” he said.
More than 250 guests with connections to the College attended the event, which included displays by the decades, refreshments, tours and plenty of reminiscing and recollecting. Sisters Lisa Moore Blakley, business management technology, ’06, and Carolyn Moore Oliver, accounting, ’06, most remembered a committed, caring faculty and staff.
“There are three reasons I went to Stark State,” Blakely said. “It’s close, it’s affordable and it’s people-oriented. You got a lot of one-on-one instruction. I loved the atmosphere; it made it comfortable and easier to get your degree. I would come back in a heartbeat. “ Oliver, too, said she found her instructors “friendly and helpful” when she enrolled after her job was outsourced overseas. “I had the best experience here,” she said.
Kristopher Shrewsberry, ’01, was chatting with Patti Meeks in front of the career development display. He never would have had the great job he does, he said, if not for the assistance of her office a decade ago. His electrical engineering technology degree, he said, enabled him to hit the ground running with Daktronics where he now serves as district manager of the Great Lakes region.
Ullman was a nontraditional student who needed to go back to school at night while holding a full-time job. “I had good teachers,” she said. Her son, a teenager at the time, witnessed firsthand that Stark State was a good place for a nontraditional student. He followed in his mother’s footsteps as a non-traditional student, recently graduating from SSC in the business entrepreneurship program. “He saw if you didn’t go to college right out of high school,” she said, “you can go back and succeed.”
Clare Stasis remembers her interview at Stark State took place during a 1982 February snowstorm. “I ruined a good pair of velour shoes to get the job here,” she said with a laugh. “The parking lot wasn’t even paved. The College was small then, and look at it now!” After a 14-year career working in many departments with many good people, she said she doesn’t regret any of it. “I’ve never been sorry I worked here.”
Read more about the College's 50th Anniversary celebrations and what's to come at www.starkstate.edu/50.
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