Patricia Miller, Rockhurst University professor and UMKC benefactor, hosted this year’s UMKC English Department Alumni party. Within the rooms on the main floor of her home, all reminiscent of Victorian parlors and studios, the host placed folding tables and chairs to accommodate the more than 40 professors, graduate students, undergraduates and other guests in attendance. She provided homemade chili, mixed green salad with cranberries and feta, brownies and beverages.
With increased attendance from the previous year, the event provided the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to interact with alumni and English faculty. Professors, students and alumni enjoyed conversation and musings of old times and new endeavors.
Also in attendance for this event was the guest of honor, Jayne Anne Phillips, who had given a reading of her novel “Quiet Dell” earlier in the night as part of the Writers at Work Series. Students spoke with her about her writing and accomplishments. Phillips signed books for students and the host.
In an effort to build this community of alumni, the English Department gave gift cards for their alumni. UMKC English professor Whitney Terrell stated that the English Department doesn’t want to stress the money aspect but building a community of graduates.