The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 21, 2013

Birthday celebration for Jack Overman set at PSU

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Friends and family will celebrate Jack Overman’s 95th birthday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the same building at Pittsburg State University where he worked for almost four decades and now bears his name.

Overman, a 1941 PSU graduate, has become an iconic figure for generations of Gorillas. The former cheerleader and student leader served as director of the student center, now called the Jack H. Overman Student Center, for nearly 40 years.

Even after his retirement, Overman remained a part of the day-to-day activity on campus, which was made easier by the fact that he lived just across the street from McCray Hall in an historic home built by Professor J.A. Shirk, who retired in 1946. The home earned a spot on the Kansas Register of Historic Places in 2001 and the National Register in 2002.

Overman rarely misses an athletic contest and is a frequent guest at important events in the life of the university. The cowbell that he rings at football games is the same one he bought as a student in the ‘30s.

“Jack Overman is very special to many alumni,” said Johnna Norton, director of alumni and constituent relations. “In many ways, he embodies the love and commitment tens of thousands of alumni feel for Pittsburg State University.”

The reception will be held in the Heritage Room of the Overman Student Center.

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