Kemper Military School Old Boys came to Boonville to celebrate the Kemper Alumni Weekend held by the Kemper Alumni Association. The event included a presentation of a bell to State Fair Community College, raising of the American, state and Kemper School flag on campus and banquet held at the Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel. The event was held last Friday and Saturday.
The Kemper Military School Alumni Association has been holding its annual Alumni Weekend ever since the school was in session. After the school closed, places to have the annual weekend have changed many times but in the last three years, it has been held in Boonville on Campus. The alumni weekend is usually held on the first weekend in October, which has also stayed with tradition.
This year even included an alumnus from the last graduating class of Kemper in 2002. While Friday was the beginning of the event, Saturday was in perspective the main day which began bright and early with the Annual Trap Shoot between Kemper Alumni and Wentworth Military School Alumni. The trap shoot has been an event that keeps the rival between the schools alive. The teams consisted of three members each. With Kemper alumni winning the previous two years in the trap shoot, Wentworth won by two shots this year.
Following the lunch at the Library and Learning Center on Campus, a remembrance of the 10 years that the campus had been closed was observed. The closing was remembered by ringing the same bell that had been rung at the beginning of each school year. Alumni President Laura Gramlich said that before the signing of the contract with State Fair Community College, Mayor Julie Thacher tracked down the bell so that the president of State Fair could ring the bell to signal the start of classes on campus
Ten Old Boys and staff rang the bell. Once the ringing was completed, a new bell was presented to State Fair for the purpose of carrying on the tradition.
"It's a very emotional marking. We have a lot of people here from different time periods. I think we pretty much remember the same thing about Kemper," Gramlich said.
Mayor Julie Thacher was on hand to speak about the current conditions of the campus and that State Fair was also interested in expanding to Science Hall. She even told the group of the good things that the YMCA was doing at Johnston Field House as well. She also told the group how grateful she was with all the support coming from the Alumni of Kemper.
"We are very excited to have State Fair here in Boonville. When community colleges come to communities such as ours they bring a lot in the form of opportunities," said Thacher.
Thacher also said that with two corners of Kemper being utilized they had to work on the middle portion now.
Page 2 of 2 - Gramlich said she was very happy with Mayor Thacher and the city council for being patient at finding good tenants.
She also thanked State Fair and the City of Boonville for allowing them to be on campus.
The Alumni were glad to hear about the progress made between the city of Boonville and State Fair.
A brick pad was also dedicate near the flag pole. These bricks were purchased by Alumni before and after the school closed and since the closing were stored by Gramlich until they could be restored back to campus. The restoration of the bricks was completed this year. The bricks were put back in place by the parks department.
Gramlich hopes to see more bricks purchased so new projects can be completed with them in the near future.
The flag pole that once flew the American Flag was again flying after a ceremony of raising of the colors near the Administration building. The ceremony included saxophone music of Old Boy Ivan Bonner who played Amazing Grace and America, the Beautiful. The bricks were also dedicated with a prayer by Old Boy Tom Maxwell.
The Day's events came to a close with the banquet at the Isle of of Capri Casino and Hotel. Music for the Evening was provided by the band, Sons of Mitches'. A meeting was held which concluded with the voting in of the current Alumni Officers.