I recently had the opportunity to visit Northern Kentucky University’s campus. As I sat among the tulips surrounding the recently opened Loch Norse, I recalled those long-ago Rites of Spring bathtub races on Lake Inferior. Looking at the University Center and the other towering buildings, my thoughts drifted back to the early 70s, when I knew NKU as Northern Kentucky State College (I still have the sweatshirt to prove it!). I remembered the no. 24 TANK bus that dropped me off on Route 27 and my daily walks into and out of the NKSC campus. I was even given a ride once by the snow plow!
Nunn Hall housed all the classrooms and administrative offices then, and I fondly recalled my various work-study jobs on the fifth floor-the Admissions Office and the Office of Research and Institutional Studies. My lunches were usually bought out of the first floor vending machines, or later at a temporary trailer called “The Grille.” In 1976, my Imaginative Writing class sometimes met outside in the courtyard adjacent to the then brand-new Steely Library.
During my recent visit, I was happy to see the Johns Hill Road houses still standing, one of which housed “The Northerner,” where I was on staff as a feature writer. I remembered my May 1977 graduation at Regents Hall. We were the first graduating class of NKU, not NKSC! There was plenty of room then in Regents Hall for my entire graduating class, friends, family and then some.
So 30 years later, as I stood in the middle of a sprawling and vibrant campus and gazed upon the steel skeleton of the soon-to-be-completed Bank of Kentucky Arena, I realized how grateful I was that NKSC made it possible for me to go to college in Northern Kentucky, and how thrilled I am to see how the college dream continues and grows for the future graduates of NKU.
Marianne Osburg Schwartz B.A. in mass communications NKU class of ’77