Not every college campus can boast a library built directly into a hill.Mark that down as my, “How about that moment?” as I stood waiting for last week’s commemoration ceremony at Park University, honoring 1963 graduate Lewis Millett’s distinguished military service (more on that starting on Page A1 of this week’s edition). There was the entrance to McAfee Library. The roof is just dirt and a parking lot.
I love the campus, and Platte County residents probably don’t ponder often enough what a special place Park can be. Park’s presence always entranced me from an early age.
The obviously rugged and old buildings majestically sit on top of the hill, cornered in by Highway 9’s right angle route down to and then along the Missouri River. You can hear the tollings from a bell located high up in a tower inside Mackay Hall.
There’s athletic facilities that house and serve some very competitive NAIA programs, even if the Pirates don’t have a football program for a centerpiece like many colleges and universities. You can read more about their current athletic accomplishments in next week’s sports section.
All of this comes with a scenic locale that opens up as you drive down 9 on the large hill that leads to Parkville, Mo.’s often bustling downtown and English Landing Park located right alongside the river.
There seem to be many stories to tell with the buildings precariously perched on a hillside as the backdrop. The plaques commemorating Medal of Honor recipients in the Thompson Commons Courtyard are a nice start.
Nearby inside the building is a hangout for military personnel and veterans who are also students at Park. They call the area that includes some office space, “The Warrior Center,” and it’s dedicated to the rich military history the school continues to foster with its programs.
I’ve never spent much time on campus, just been an observer and a passerby to its historical beauty. I need to keep going back because I think there’s plenty more to learn simply from touring the facilities and meeting the people who work and attend classes there.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.