Park news: Iconic Mackay Hall lights up

As the fireworks finale of the Parkville Independence Day celebration came to an end last week, Park University’s historic Mackay Hall was lit up in LED red, white and blue lights to honor “Old Glory.”

The lights, permanently installed by DuraComm Lighting, a Kansas City, Mo., based business led by chief executive officer Benny Lee, a past member of Park’s board of trustees, will allow the university to showcase the iconic building during the overnight hours every day.

The default lighting on Mackay Hall will be white, but Park will light the building with appropriate colored lighting for holidays and traditions, such as Christmas and Halloween; canary and wine (Park’s official school colors) for special university occasions; and Kansas City Chiefs games (Park is the Chiefs official higher education partner) and other community partners.

 Andrew Audsley/Park University Red, white and blue colors adorned Park University’s Mackay Hall following the Independence Day celebration in Parkville earlier this month. The school had lights permanently installed by DuraComm — ran by a former Park board of trustees member — to showcase the building that is celebrating its 125th year.

Andrew Audsley/Park University
Red, white and blue colors adorned Park University’s Mackay Hall following the Independence Day celebration in Parkville earlier this month. The school had lights permanently installed by DuraComm — ran by a former Park board of trustees member — to showcase the building that is celebrating its 125th year.

Park’s Office of University Engagement will oversee the system.

This LED proprietary application, created and developed by DuraComm’s lighting division, is a new way of creating an outdoor display of LED light.

According to Lee, DuraComm’s LED team “developed the only custom software in the LED marketplace that permits the designer and end-user to see exactly how their LED lighting displays will appear in true colors on the exterior of their buildings.”

The process begins with a series of photographs of the subject (in this case, Mackay Hall), and using proprietary software developed by DuraComm — it develops a 3-D model to manipulate placement and colors — to achieve an optimum LED lighting solution for any building. From the computer model, the customer can easily manipulate the colors and movement from their desk.

Mackay Hall is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Constructed using limestone mined from the grounds surrounding the Parkville Campus and built by students, Mackay Hall was named in honor of Duncan Mackay, a banker from Illinois who donated materials for the structure. Mackay Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Park adds 2 new trustees

The governing body of Park University — its board of trustees — has elected two individuals to serve as members of the board. Judge W. Ann Hansbrough, J.D., and retired Col. Andrew Shoffner were both elected to serve a three-year term on the board, effective July 1.

Hansbrough is an associate circuit judge in the Circuit Court of Platte County, where her docket responsibilities include felony criminal, civil and juvenile cases. She was appointed to the position in 2014 by then-Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, becoming the first appointed female judge in Platte County.

 Judge W. Ann Hansbrough

Judge W. Ann Hansbrough

She is also a member of the Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Realignment Task Force and has been on the board of directors for the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges since 2015.

Prior to becoming a circuit court judge, Hansbrough practiced in the law offices of Stout and Hansbrough LLC in North Kansas City, Mo., from 2004 to 2014 with her husband, David Stout. She began her professional career in 1985 as an attorney at Swanson Midgley LLC in Kansas City, Mo.

Shoffner, a retired U.S. Army colonel, serves as a senior consultant for CGI Federal in Leavenworth, Kan., and is a seminar leader at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. At the UFMCS, he teaches Red Teaming, which provides commanders an independent capability to fully explore alternatives in plans, operations, concepts, organizations and capabilities in the context of the operational environment.

 Col. Andrew Shoffner

Col. Andrew Shoffner

Shoffner previously served as the garrison commander of Fort Leavenworth from 2015 to 2017, stewarding a $65 million budget and managing 700 employees that supported a daytime population of 35,000. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he served 27 years as an armored cavalry officer. His career included four tours in combat (three in Iraq and one in Afghanistan). One of his notable assignments was serving as the director of the Commander’s Action Group for Strategic Initiatives where he advised the commander of the International Security Assistance Force – Afghanistan on U.S. interagency policy development and helped the commander prepare for meetings with the president, the secretary general of NATO, Secretary of Defense and other cabinet-level officials.

Shoffner earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, and he has three master’s degrees in military history, operational planning and national security studies.