WILSON, N.C. – May is always a busy month for a college, and Barton started the month with a bang. With a control room dedication, a Founder’s Day luncheon, and a book signing, May 1 was bursting with activity at Barton College.

Family, friends, and members of the campus community joined Phyllis Parish Howard, director of local production for WRAL-TV and Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh, at the morning dedication of Barton College’s television control room, which was named in her honor.

“Jim Goodmon, president and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, chose to recognize the contributions of Phyllis Parish Howard and, through his generous philanthropy, has made the Phyllis Parish Howard Television Control Room a reality,” said Barton president Norval C. Kneten in his opening remarks.

Parish Howard, a 1979 alumna and current trustee of Barton College, said, “My career in television began here on this campus, and so I’m so honored today that this WRAL and Capitol Broadcasting gift will continue Barton’s future in the broadcasting industry.”

Offering her thanks for the gift, junior Brittany Creamer, a mass communications major with a concentration in video broadcast production, said, “The generous donation of equipment has had a tremendous impact on me personally and my fellow classmates, allowing us to utilize the most current technology in our field. We are grateful to receive this generous donation.”

The day was special not just for Parish Howard, but also for her parents Bill and Aileen Parish, who were honored at the Founder’s Day luncheon.

Friends of the Parishes, Juanita Andrews and Dr. Gilbert Davis spoke of their friendship with the couple and relayed humorous memories from their shared past, stories ranging from antics in college to trips abroad.

Bill Parish began attending Atlantic Christian/Barton College in 1943, but World War II called him away to Mississippi in 1944 for training in the Army Air Corps. Aileen Reel also started her academic pursuits at Atlantic Christian in 1943, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1947. After marrying in 1951, the Parishes established their home in Wendell, rearing two daughters Patricia (always known as “Tricia”) and Phyllis, both of whom became Atlantic Christian graduates in 1975 and 1979, respectively.

Late afternoon offered a book signing opportunity as the final activity of the day. Honoring former student-athlete, tennis coach, and athletic director Tom Parham, the gathering provided guests with the chance to meet the 1963 alumnus and have him sign their copy of his new book “Play Is Where Life Is.” According to Parham’s website http://tomparham.wordpress.com, the “stories range from the shenanigans of a preacher’s child, to the adventures of a freewheeling 1950s teenager; from a small college athlete to a National Hall of Fame tennis coach. Topics include crossroads, inventions called the automobile and television, tragedies, accidents, and plenty of drama from a cadre of small town characters.”

With a control room dedication, a Founder’s Day luncheon, and a book signing to start off one of the busiest months of the academic year, many at Barton will find themselves ready for the clichéd lazy summer days.

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Questions? Please contact Ken Dozier, web services manager at Barton College, at 252.399.6596 or email kdozier@barton.edu.

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