CARTERVILLE — The last surviving member of the first John A. Logan College Board of Trustees will be a keynote speaker Nov. 3 as the college celebrates its 50th anniversary during a dinner party.
Harry L. Crisp II — who served with Clifford Batteau, Melvin Brush, Roy Glenn, Rannie Odum, C.R. Walker, and James Walker on the college’s first board of trustees elected in 1967 — will speak during a formal dinner party at the college.
Crisp was 31 when he was elected to serve on the college’s board of trustees 50 years ago. The owner of Pepsi-MidAmerica in Marion has continued to be an important benefactor to the college over the years.
“Mr. Crisp’s contributions to this college over the years are immeasurable,” said Ron House, president of John A. Logan College. “He has provided money for important projects along with direction and advice on important decisions. He is truly one of the greatest friends this college has ever had.”
House had hoped that Crisp could be joined at the event by Nathan Ivey, the college’s first president. Crisp has called Ivey the most important hire the first board made due to Ivey’s experience in founding and directing colleges. Ivey, 90, who lives in Texas, will not be able to make the trip, but is expected to speak to the crowd via video.
“A major part of what we want to do during our event on Nov. 3 is show proper respect to those who laid the foundation for this great college,” House said. “These are individuals who worked hard and began building this college up from nothing. These are the people who made the decision to buy the land where our college sits today and saw the first yards of concrete begin to be poured. We’ve come a long way because of their dedication.”
Also speaking at the event will be William Anderson, the first hire made by Ivey to help lead the college’s administration. Anderson, a history major, is noted for bringing Civil War General John A. Logan to the forefront as someone to name the college after.
“We are going to hear first-hand from some of the college’s most important leaders in founding this institution,” House said. “We may never get this opportunity again.”
Crisp has said the college has turned out “exactly as we had hoped and prayed for.”
Ivey has said that his work at John A. Logan College was the most important of his long career as an education leader.
Anderson brought John A. Logan’s name to the board of trustees when college leaders were considering such names as Crab Orchard College and Little Egypt College.
“John A. Logan’s name has served this college marvelously for 50 years,” House said. “It was the perfect choice.”
Other important founding leaders who are expected to be a part of the event include Jack Hill and Carl Cottingham.
At 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, the college is hosting a Free Family Fun Day at the Carterville campus. Everyone is invited to attend.
The day will include a family fun run/walk, bounce houses, fishing opportunities, an entertainment tent where concerts will be held throughout the day, along with tours of the campus and other family-friendly activities.
For more information about the fun day, contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-3741, ext. 8569.