Kansas City, Missouri
Published monthly except August for alumnae and friends of Avila
College at 119th and Wornall Road in Kansas City, Missouri 64145.
Trustees: Alfred J. Blasco, Chairman of the Board; Norman P.
Gordon, Ole C. Jensen, William D. Webb, Vita Goppert, Blanche Dow,
Julian Knopke, Sr. Mary Laurent Duggan, Sr. Mary Fitzpatrick, Sr.
Olive Louise Dallavis.
Vol. 16,l\lo. 3 March, 1972
SISTER OLIVE LOUISE DALLAVIS President
RONALD J. BENNETT Development Director
G. RICHARD SCOTT Academic Dean
SISTER MARIE LOYOLA SANDERS Dean of Students
SISTER ANNA SCHLETT Registrar
BARBARA WUELLNER Business Manager
DERRYL D. ROME Admissions Director
HELEN V. ASHMORE Editor
TEN GOOD YEARS FOR THE COLLEGE
Avila will mark ten years on the Wornall campus next January.
A report from Sister Olive Louise, president, suggests that
Avila will stride into the seventies on the strength of some
excellent programs begun as early as the 40's on the old
^wila's good reputation stems largely from professional pro-
grams such as those in nursing and education, and programs to
serve the community remain strong in Avila's plans and
projections for the next ten years. To supplement Kansas City,
Missouri's only B.A. in Nursing, Special Education and Social
Work — and the only Montessori Internationale B.A. degree in
the country — Avila will reactivate the Medical Technology
program and greatly expand the existing Business program.
The Avila theatre department has become one of the most
exciting and dynamic professional training grounds for actors
in the U.S. (see article this issue.) And slated for fall 1972 is an
ambitious Evening Division program.
"Avila is not," Sister Olive Louise notes, "intent on new
programs; we are intent on maximizing educational oppor-
tunities in the enrichment of an urban setting efficiently,
economically, and expertly." And so, to the next ten year
plan, with an eye toward success equal to that of the first ten
on Wornall Road.
TOUCH BASE HERE
The Kansas City chapter of the Avila Alumni Association is
going strong but we are no longer sure of existing chapters
elsewhere. As we often get requests for names of alums in a
p.ven area, offers to entertain them, and so on, we would like
any of you who meet or would like to meet with other Avila
alums in your area to write us so that we may publish your
name in the Avila College Magazine as a contact in your area.
That way you can find each other and keep in touch with
college friends as well as with the college.
PLANNING THE BIG ONE: John O'Hern (r) often hosts
Avila-related meetings at his advertising agency office on
Broadway. Here he and Sister Olive Louise confer with Ed
Thornhill at a February conclave to work out the myriad
details of the 56th annual Avila Birthday Party. Mr. Thornhill
is chairman of this year's celebration; both he and Mr. O'Hern
are members of Avila's Board of Counselors.
YOU CAN COME HOME AGAIN
April 19 has been reserved for Avila alumni who would like to
participate in classes and seminars designed especially for them
by the Avila faculty. Details about the "Campus Revisited"
program will be sent you by the alumni association; partici-
pating instructors include Sisters Paul Joseph, chemistry;
Judith Schloegel, special education; Rosemary Flanigan, phil-
osophy; Miss Elizabeth Norris, social work; and Sister Audrey
Olson, women's studies in history. Sister Germaine will offer
French, and Sister Collette Marie, art. Send in your registra-
tion form or call 942-3204 for more information — contact
The Avila Theatre faculty: James Assad, Artistic Director;
Sister Felice Helmes, Chairman of the Fine Arts division; and
Ron Coles, Technical Director. Their genius, dedication and
hard work have brought the Avila Actors' Laboratory to
unprecedented success and great future promise. Watch them.
D.C. in the spring, and the securing of a U.S.O. tour to be
taken during the winter Interim next year. Through all the
building of the department, one special project has held Sister
Felice's attention — the annual Children's Play.
The first performance in 1948, held in the "round building" at
St. Teresa's old campus, starred Mary Jean Burke Lynch as
Cinderella, and brought school children from Catholic schools
all over the city to fill the 500-seat auditorium. An interesting
transition in audience make-up for the annual play perhaps
reflects the transition in the church and in the society it serves
— for while in the early years the audiences were made up
almost exclusively of children from parochial schoolrooms,
they evolved into groups from the community — girl scout
troops, birthday parties, mothers bringing all the kids on the
block; and finally today, the weekend performances of the
children's play draws individuals and families from throughout
the Kansas City community, along with various groups of
A college is known by the faculty it keeps. Through the years
Avila has been privileged to attract and sustain a body of
teaching professionals, religious and lay, whose excellence
defines the reputation of a degree from Avila. Recognizing the
great value of this superior faculty, the editors of the Avila
College Magazine take pride in this feature: "Who's Teaching
It?" so called because that is the first question the student
asks, and because the answer so often describes the nature of
the course better than does the course title.
Sister Felice Helmes, M.A. Catholic University, Professor of
Speech and Theatre, and head of Avila's Fine Arts division, is a
very gentle determined lady who has brough the theatre
department into the 70's with a bang. No whimpering.
She has not only been a member of the Fine Arts department
since 1948; for most of those 24 years she has been the theatre
department. "We didn't talk about heads of departments in
the old days," she smiles; "you did what needed to be done."
Today she is head of one of the goingest departments on
campus, comprised of herself, James Assad, Artistic Director;
Ron Coles, Technical Director; and Nancie Raether, Dance
Director of the Avila Speech and Theatre Department.
The Avila Actors' Laboratory Theatre, formed in 1970, has
acted with energy and initiative to (1) build their own theatre
from the concrete basement floor of O'Rielly up, (2) perform
a 30-day repertory season this fall, and (3) achieve such
excellence as has drawn national attention to the Avila
campus. Among the achievements of the four-faculty member
department and their 15 loyal majors is a recommendation for
the coveted American College Theatre Festival in Washington,
Of the "adult audience" plays she has done. Sister' Felice
favors "Arms and the Man," "The Importance of Being
Earnest," and Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance," which
had its Kansas City premiere under her direction.
When she moved her 15-year-old department to the new
campus in 1963, Sister Felice found herself in the somewhat
awkward position of being a director without a theatre o(
YOUR BASIC BETTER-THAN-AVERAGE THEATRE KIDS:
AvUa student actors who have received some of the highest
recognition in the nation's college theatre circles: Gus Geiger,
Terry Bickell, Mike LaGue, Susan Hornbeck and Don Carney.
Performers in "Adaptation" and "Next," they went to the
regional American College Theatre Festival at St. Louis and
gained recommendation for the national event in Aprils
Unphotographed: Buddy Zimmer, fellow cast member (a
professional actor) who teaches at Bishop Miege high schooT
Mr. LaGue and Mr. Carney took part in the "Best Actor"
competition, and Miss Hornbeck received a special "Citation
of Excellence" for her performance in "Adaptation."
tVe challenge our readers to correctly identify the name and date of the production and the people of an early Children's Theatre cast.
Send entries to the Alumni Activities Office no later than April 25, 1972.
stage. The kids sat on the floor then, but they crowded in,
enjoyed themselves, and the show went on with the children's
plays the community had come to expect of Avila.
As for the "new" department with all the high-powered
success. Sister Felice regards it as the not unnatural outcome
of the work of her talented and dedicated co-faculty members.
"Mr. Assad and Mr. Coles are," she succinctly sums it up, "the
answers to my prayers."
It is timely that the department has come into such renown
this year, for fall of 1972 marks the groundbreaking for the
construction of the Goppert Theatre, which will give the Avila
theatre students a crack at performing on a large stage for a
large audience, as well as in the 175-seat intimate experimental
Sister Felice looks forward now to easing herself out of the
picture, to leave in place of a one-woman department one of
the best professional training grounds for young theatre people
in the nation. She speaks of the quiet of retirement in a few
years, but it is hard to imaging that this gentle dynamo will
take to inactivity, and one cannot help anticipating that she
will keep up the children's plays that have delighted Kansas
City audiences under her direction for nearly a quarter of a
This year's children's play, "Rumpelstiltskin" will be given on
March 18 and 19, 25 and 26, at 1 :30 and 3:30 p.m. each day
in O'Rielly Theatre on the campus. Tickets are 75 cents and all
seats may be reserved through 942-3230.
STUDENT REFERRAL CARD
Refer a good student to a good school!
YEAR OF H.S. GRADUATION
Director of Admissions
119th at Wornall Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64145
'60 Sister Mary Anne Main recently received the 1971 Federal
Nursing Service Award given annually by the Association of
Military Surgeons of the United States to a nurse member of
the Federal medical service. She was cited for outstanding
accomplishments in the advancement of professional nursing,
notably for her essay, "The Challenge of Flansen's Disease:
Patient Understanding of Sulfone Therapy." Sister Main is
director of the Carville, Louisiana Public Flealth Service
Flospital nursing department.
'62 Patricia Durrant Schuller sends greetings to "any teachers I
know that may still be there." She and husband Frank have
been much transferred with his company, but are now back in
Illinois. Their children are Frank, 8, Michael, 7, John, 5, and
Theresa, 3. Patricia will go to the University of Illinois with
plans to teach next year. She is active in the League of Women
voters and has a Cub Scout Den.
'67 Mrs. James (Helen) Haglund was awarded a master of Arts
degree in Education by the University of Missouri at Kansas
City in December.
'68 Louise lennaccaro Young heads the Social Service depart-
ment at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City.
'69 Mary Ann Schloup is engaged in social service at Baptist
Memorial Hospital in Kansas City.
'69ToniLutz, mathematics major, was recently promoted to
the Programming and Systems department at Mobil Oil
Mr. and Mrs. Neil E. Pritchard (Patricia Day,) a son, David
Edward Robert, on December 15 in Marquette, Michigan.
Mr. and Mrs. Jules Edward De Wilde (Gerry Burnett,) a son,
Dennis Patrick (who was welcomed home by his three brothers
David, Danny, and Donald,) on November 3 in Louisville,
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene C. Heath (Susan Jordan,) a son, Peter
Jordan, on February 2 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh F. Downey (Martha Rose Meagher,) a
daughter, Keren Rose, in Keren, Ethiopia, on February 16.
Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hageman (Linda Davin,) a son, Brian
James, on February 13 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Veerkamp (Mary Fran Pfeffer,) a son,
Brandon Thomas, on January 30 in Savannah, Georgia.
Mr. and Mrs. James Anderson (Mary Terese Frank,) a
daughter, Christine Rose, on January 18 in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. and Mrs. Glennon Donald Jamboretz (Kathy Paradoski,) a
daughter, Kathryn Allison, on February 14 in Kansas City,
Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas Raab (Jeaneane Jones,) a daughter,
Mary Bridget, on January 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Barbara Jean Rush, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward H. Rush,
to James Joseph Frawley on February 19 at Guardian Angels
Church, Kansas City, Missouri.
Teresita Madrigal, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Manuel A.
Madrigal, to Oscar Ferraro on March 4 at Our Lady of Fatima
Church, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Mr. Joseph F. Kessler, father of Mrs. Robert A. Caldwell
(Jeanne Kessler) and grandfather of Terence Caldwell '73, on
February 22 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Mr. James C. Neenan, father of Mrs. Joseph'A. Mermis, Jr.
(Dorothy Neenan,) Mrs. William E. Clarkson (Janice Neenan
'46,) and the late Mrs. Frank Andrews (Jean Clair Neenan '44,)
and father-in-law of Mrs. James P. Neenan (Helen Dierks '43)
and Mrs. Charles Brenneke (Shirley Gier '37,) on February 1 in
Mrs. George Buer (Nadine Carothers) on February 2 at Hays,
Mrs. Bertha Wirthman Kilker, mother-in-law of Mrs. Robert L.
Kilker, Jr. (Rosemary Cannon,) on February 8 in Kansas City,
Mr. Vincent A. Wiesner, father of Mrs. Richard D. Frizell
(Barbara Wiesner,) on February 25 in Kansas City, Missouri.