Sept. 21, 2005
Morningside College Jazz on Historic 4th Street will be one of the main attractions when Morningside celebrates Homecoming 2005, “Feel the Momentum,” Thursday through Sunday, September 29 to Oct. 2.
Morningside College Jazz on Historic 4th Street will feature renowned saxophonist Roger Neumann, a 1962 Morningside graduate, and other alumni from Morningside’s jazz program. They will perform big band and jazz music from the 1950s and beyond from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The Homecoming alumni weekend will feature special reunion events for the classes of 1955, 1965, 1975, 1980, 1985, and 1995. In addition, there will be reunions for the 1994-95 men’s basketball team, Morningside alumni who participated in the jazz band, and alumni who were involved in women’s athletics.
Neumann, former Morningside faculty member Roberta Boothby, and the late Col. Lawrence Roberts will be recognized as the recipients of the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Awards at the Friday evening Alumni Banquet that begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Marina Inn in South Sioux City, Neb. Robin Roberts, co-host of Good Morning America, and members of her family will accept the Distinguished Alumni Award on behalf of her father.
Robin Roberts will also present the eighth annual Peter Waitt Lecture on Friday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. in Eppley Auditorium, 3625 Garretson Avenue. Roberts will address the topic “Put Yourself in a Position for Good Things to Happen to You.” The event is free and open to the public.
Boothby graduated from Morningside in 1964 with a major in sociology and received a master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1969. She will be recognized for her leadership in establishing women’s athletics at Morningside.
Boothby was a longtime professor in Morningside’s physical education department, played a major role in helping organize the college’s first varsity athletic teams, and was instrumental in the organization of the Io-Kota Conference for women. Morningside began competing at the varsity level in the sports of volleyball, basketball, and softball starting with the 1972-73 academic year.
She began her career at Morningside in 1967 as an instructor of physical education and retired from the college in 2001 as associate professor of health, physical education, and recreation (HPER). Boothby served as Morningside’s director of women’s athletics from 1975 to 1995 and was chair of the college’s physical education department from 1985 to 1995.
Boothby is now retired and lives in Denton, Texas.
Neumann graduated from Morningside in 1962 with a degree in music education. He will be recognized for his contributions to and continued support of Morningside’s jazz heritage.
Neumann resides in Santa Clarita, Calif., where he is in constant demand as a jazz saxophonist, arranger and composer. He was the lead saxophonist for the Woody Herman band, worked with the back-up band for the Beach Boys, and has performed with the bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Carter, Bob Crosby, Les Brown, and Ray Anthony. Neumann has written arrangements for Ray Charles, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Ray Brown, and The Beach Boys.
In addition to his professional career, Neumann has remained active as an educator and often returns to Northwest Iowa to participate as a clinician at jazz music camps, including many years at Reggie Schive’s Summer Jazz Camp. He received the 2003 Composer/Arranger Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society.
Col. Roberts, a 1957 graduate, received a total of 19 service medals and awards during a distinguished career with the U.S. Air Force. He was one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and later served in Vietnam, where he won one of his three Legion of Merit medals. The two others came from service at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. (Left: Robin Roberts, the late Col. Lawrence Roberts, and Lucimaria Roberts.)
Roberts served in both technical and command assignments in the United States, Japan, Canada, Turkey, and Vietnam. One of those assignments landed him a command position in Sioux City, at what was then an active-duty Air Force base. It was at that time that Roberts transferred his credits from Howard University to Morningside College and completed his undergraduate education. Roberts attended Morningside from 1954 to 1957.
He was deeply involved in both his church and his community. Roberts was a former member and chairman of the Presbytery of Mississippi Council and an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Bay St. Louis. Roberts was a member of the board of trustees of Leadership Gulf Coast and was actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America, the Pass Christian Rotary Club, and the Pass Christian School Board.
Roberts died on Oct. 12, 2004, at his home in Biloxi.
The Homecoming Coronation and Talent Show will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. in Eppley Auditorium. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Friday events include a reception with Morningside College President John Reynders at 6:30 p.m. at the Marina Inn, a women athletes reception at 6 p.m. in the Helen Levitt Art Gallery of the Eppley Fine Arts Building, the Peter Waitt Lecture, and the Alumni Banquet. An alumni art exhibit will be on display in the Helen Levitt Art Gallery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Saturday events include Morningside College Jazz on Historic 4th Street, campus tours departing from the Olsen Student Center, 3609 Peters Avenue, from 9 to 11:30 a.m.; the M-Club Brunch at 10 a.m. in the Randolph Room of the Olsen Student Center; a pre-game tailgate meal at 11:30 a.m. at Elwood Olsen Stadium; Morningside’s Homecoming football game against Nebraska Wesleyan University at 1 p.m. at Elwood Olsen Stadium; men’s and women’s soccer games against Dana College at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Elwood Olsen Stadium, and class reunion parties at various locations at 6 p.m. A women's athletic banquet will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center with social hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Kristie VerMulm, news anchor at KTIV-TV in Sioux City, will emcee the event.
The annual Homecoming worship services will be at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday at Grace United Methodist Church, 1735 Morningside Avenue.
Reservations are required for the Alumni Banquet and pre-game tailgate meal, and can be made by calling (712) 274-5107. Costs for the alumni banquet is $30. Prices for the tailgate are $10 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Reservations are also required for the M-Club Brunch and women's athletic banquet, and can be made by calling (712) 274-5192. Cost is $10 per person for the M-Club Brunch. Ticket prices for the football game are $6 for adults and $2 for students in grades K-12 and can be purchased at the gate. Admission to the soccer games is free. Cost for the women's athletic banquet is $15.
For more information on these and other 2005 Homecoming events, please call the Alumni office at 712-274-5107.