More than 330 alumni, students, faculty and administrators from Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) recently gathered to celebrate Homecoming 2018. Held Oct. 12-14, at the Marriott Kansas City Overland Park (Kan.), the annual weekend event once again provided an opportunity for participants to learn new things, as up to 20 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) were available for attendees. A healthy addition of social time with friends and colleagues made the gathering a memorable mix of both business and pleasure.
Featured speakers included Dr. Steve Agocs, Dr. Donald DeFabio, Dr. Corey Campbell, Dr. Christina Petrocco-Napuli, Dr. JC Smith, Dr. Mark Charrette, Dr. Brian Porteous, Dr. Jonah Yakel, and Kathy Mills Chang. Session topics ranged from chronic pain to research trends in spine care, and provided a solid mix of CEU offerings for doctors in attendance. Also on site during the event were 23 vendors offering a wide range of products and services for the chiropractic community.
This year the festivities were moved from the CUKC campus to the nearby Marriott hotel. The new surroundings offered a change in the environment for the event, but the same friendship and camaraderie as before. Jalonna Bowie, director of campus and alumni relations, coordinated the weekend gathering and said the change in locale was just one of the memorable aspects.
"It was exciting to host the event at a new venue. As with any change, there were some growing pains, but overall the event was a success," Bowie said. "I was very happy to see so many recent alums attend. It means that a lot of students are graduating from CUKC and then choosing to come back for their postgraduate continuing education."
Special moments usually abound during Homecoming, and this year was no different. Two CUKC alums were recognized for financial gifts to the University. Dr. Patrick Hammond '97, CUKC board of trustees president, and Dr. Clark Beckley '75, vice president of campus and alumni relations at CUKC, received plaques that will be displayed in areas of the Health Center now named for their respective families. "The Hammond Family Intern Lounge," and "The Beckley Family Reception Area," will now be permanently associated with these two benefactors.
"Chiropractic has been a rewarding profession for me in many ways, and it's a privilege to be able to give back to my alma mater," Beckley said. "My family and I are honored to have the plaque in the student clinic reception area."
Another distinguished alumnus was lauded for his dedication and service to the profession. Dr. Jerry A. Lakin a 1963 Cleveland graduate, was named "Alum of the Year," by the Cleveland Chiropractic College Alumni Association. The announcement of Lakin's award was made by the 2017 Alum of the Year, Dr. Brian Porteous '81.
After earning his Doctor of Chiropractic degree, Lakin had offices in Rowland Heights and Glendora Calif., and also worked with a medical group in the City of Industry, Calif. He had two daughters who worked in his practice, one of whom became a chiropractor and is also a Cleveland alum. A lifetime member of the Cleveland Alumni Association, Lakin is now retired, and lives in Arizona.
In addition to the Alum of the Year award, alumni classes were also honored during the weekend. This year graduates were recognized from 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008. Special thanks go out to the Cleveland Chiropractic College Alumni Association for hosting the happy hour Friday evening. What a fun event.
Those in attendance left the hectic pace of their professional lives to become students once again. Along the way, they shared time, stories and laughter with fellow alumni, while maintaining the bond with their alma mater. It served as a positive reminder of how Homecoming can nurture mind, body, and spirit.
Make plans today to attend the 2019 CUKC Homecoming, Oct. 11-13.