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Labette Community College to celebrate 100th birthday


Parsons, Kan. — For over a century, Labette Community College (LCC) has been providing higher education for Parsons and southeast Kansas. After holding the Founders Day Celebration on Sept. 12 to commemorate the first day of classes held on Sept. 12, 1923, LCC is now planning to throw the birthday of a lifetime to celebrate 100 years.

The community is invited to join LCC Saturday, Sept. 23 at Forest Park to commemorate this milestone. Family fun activities will begin at 4:30 p.m., including free face painting, train rides, splash pad and photo opportunities with “Chris” the Cardinal.

“Chris likes to take pictures with his fans,” stated Janice Reese, Director of Public Relations at LCC. “So there will be opportunities to get a selfie with him. He will be hanging out at the 100-year photo selfie booth. Be sure to tag Labette Community College with all your photos of the evening. It is a great way to commemorate this occasion so visit the 100-year photo booth and take a selfie.”

The athletic teams were christened as the “Cardinals” by Myles Pember, Jr., graduate, and athlete of Parsons Junior College. 

“The Cardinal has remained the LCC mascot for 100 years,” said Reese. “The appearance of the cardinal has changed over the years and somewhere through time has been named “Chris.” So, naturally we incorporated the cardinal mascot in our celebration. Be sure to get your temporary “Chris” the Cardinal tattoo to help in celebrating his birthday!”

The 100-year celebratory program will begin at 5 p.m. The Parsons boy scouts will be presenting the colors and the LCC Community Choir will sing the Star-Spangled Banner. A Proclamation by the City of Parsons will be presented by Mayor Kevin Cruse, and College President Dr. Mark Watkins will recognize past Presidents. Past President Dr. Gery Hochanadel, 1982-1989, will be present for the occasion. Representative Dan Goddard will say a few words, and the feature speaker will be Kenneth Ervin, the oldest known living LCC graduate. 

The celebratory program will end with “All that Jazz and Chatter,” a talk show providing a humorous twist to the history of LCC and written by Lorraine Evert of Parsons.  

Free food will be served while supplies last after the Celebratory Program. In addition to the courtesy food provided by LCC, Outsider’s Taco food truck will be available at the event for purchase.

The Cardinal Cantina beer garden, provided by the Elks Lodge#527 and the LCC Foundation and Alumni Association, will be open, as well as water, and coke items provided by Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company. 

There will be other booths available, including an LCC 100-year memorabilia gift.

Live music will be provided by 2nd House band, playing country, rock, and soul and featuring Jessica Gray, Donna Hensley, and Dennis Laffoon starting at 7 p.m.

Go to www.labette.edu100  for more information about the party, history, and other events scheduled to take place.