Lamar University Press will host reunion Jan. 29
The University Press, the newspaper of Lamar University and Lamar Institute of Technology, will host a reunion of former staff members Jan. 29 to celebrate the legacy of long-time director Howard Perkins, who died Oct. 22 after 34 years at the paper. The event will include the unveiling of a plaque dedicating the office as the Howard A. Perkins Newsroom.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the University Reception Center on the eighth floor of Mary and John Gray Library on the Lamar campus, with a buffet scheduled for 7 p.m. Tours of the University Press office will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. People planning to attend are being asked to respond by Jan. 25.
“Howard was keen not to have a memorial,” said Andy Coughlan, interim director of student publications. “But so many people reached out to the paper after he died, we decided to have this reunion. Over the years, there has been such a connection between members of each generation – mainly through their respect for Howard – that the chance to have these people interact with each other seemed like a lot of fun.
“Howard was always so proud to hear of former students’ accomplishments. He thought of the staffers as family.”
Former UP staffers have worked in all branches of media, as well as becoming teachers at all levels. A survey several years ago found 47 former staffers at work in Golden Triangle media alone.
Linda Barrett, UP advertising director, worked with Perkins for 18 years and Coughlan for 17.
“It’s a great chance for Andy and I to see what our former students are up to,” she said. “We are seeing second-generation UP staffers. While it makes us feel old, it is that sense of continuity that has contributed to the paper’s success.”
Andrew Strange, UP editor, said that he always enjoys meeting former staffers.
“I think it’s interesting to see where they are and how they are using what they learned at the UP,” he said. “And even though there may be three decades separating our experiences, we share a common bond and a pride in our contributions to a quality publication.”
University Press T-shirts will be available for sale at the event, with proceeds going to a scholarship being established in Perkins’ honor.
To confirm attendance, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.lamaruniversitypress.com, or call (409) 880-8102. The dinner and other activities are open to former UP staff members and friends of the UP without charge, but donations will be accepted to defray costs of the event and to support the Perkins scholarship.
Contributions are being accepted for the scholarship, which will benefit future UP staff members. Checks may be made out to the Lamar University Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 11500, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77710, with “Howard Perkins Scholarship” in the notation.