John F. Kennedy College Reunion
October 11th-13th, 2019
suffice it to say,
“A good time was had by all!!!”
John F. Kennedy College opened in 1965 in Wahoo Nebraska, offering a liberal arts curriculum and robust basketball and baseball/softball programs for men and women. The small but mighty college produced its first graduating class of twelve in 1968, and saw graduation size increase to a high of 129 in 1970. In the early 70’s, finances and enrollment tumbled, and the college closed in 1975.
During its short run, the school helped spawn many noteworthy graduates and earned several national titles. From this little college came an Olympic silver medalist, former NBA coach, Saunders County’s largest private contractor, a 50-year wrestling coach and a Florida mayor, while the school won the first NCIA Women’s Softball Title in 1969, a national AAU Women’s Basketball title in 1971 and traveled to The People’s Republic of China in 1973. But perhaps the most significant accomplishment was the establishment of so many long-term relationships.
The school fell on hard financial times early, and three fires did not help. Perhaps it was the passing of Title IX, allowing women to play sports in other locations. Maybe it was a young alumni base, just getting started financially, or the end of the draft deferment. But when the school was not able to bring in enough new freshmen to replace graduating classes, the handwriting was on the wall, until the school closed on July 2, 1975.
The formerly-pristine campus is no longer maintained as it had been, remaining vacant. For those who walk by now, its an eyesore, something that “needs to be dealt with.” But for those of us who attended classes here, it remains a source of fond memories, of friendships...and of a time when we thought we had the world by the tail.
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