Nov. 16, 2010
Homecoming marks special anniversary for former graduates
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Homecoming at Northwest is a time of tradition, pride and honor, but for Dick '66 and Donna McLarney '69 Borchardt it is filled with nostalgia from a day that would change their lives forever.
It was Nov. 2, 1968: the date of Northwest's Homecoming, and Donna was set to meet up with Dick for the first time on a blind date arranged by their mutual friends and classmates Carl '66 and LaVella Hutson '69 Hinton. Carl and Dick attended the same high school in St. Joseph, and LaVella and Donna had been friends during the time they attended community college.
"We both thought they would be great together. They have so much in common," LaVella said.
That November day in 1968 the foursome attended the Northwest Homecoming parade and football game followed by a nice dinner and the dance.
"Dick had a wonderful sense of humor, and we had a nice time together on our blind date" Donna said.
The relationship quickly developed into something serious, and in April 1970 Dick and Donna were married.
The couple settled in Overland Park, Kan., where Donna was an elementary teacher and Dick had a successful career in the finance industry.
The Borchardts, who are now retired, still find time to see their friends, the Hintons, who live in St. Joseph, when they make their annual trip back to Northwest for the Homecoming festivities. LaVella continues to work at CarterEnergy Corporation in Overland Park, Kan., and Carl is retired from American Airlines.
And much like they did in 1968, the couples attend the parade together, go to the game and have a dinner on their way home. This year was no different.
"We've really connected with Northwest," Donna said. "We have friends in the area who we like to visit. In all the years we've only missed a few games just because of illnesses and things of that nature."
Seeing the University through many years, there are bound to be some changes.
"Northwest has some things that are the same and some have changed. When I was in school the cannon was shot when the Bearcats got a first down because touchdowns were hard to come by. Of course now they're national champions," Dick said. "The campus is beautiful, and the University always seems to be improving."
The couples also return to experience the nostalgia of times gone by.
"It's a good way to try and keep our youth," said LaVella. "It doesn't always work, but we try."
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