Homecoming For All October 13-15

Homecoming at Central Methodist University is coming up quickly, with a wide variety of events open to all from Friday through Sunday, Oct. 13-15.

Doug Burton of Loch Lloyd, Mo. has been chosen as Central Methodist University’s Grand Marshal of Homecoming this year. He is a member of an honor class (1967) and represents four generations of Central students from 1880 through 1991. He also showcases the level of success that Central students can attain.

While some may think CMU Homecoming is only for its alumni and students, many are open to the public. Events on Friday, Oct. 13 include the 7 p.m. pep rally, on the Howard County Courthouse Square, followed at 8 p.m. by the Campus Ghost Tour that will begin under the Cross Memorial Tower. Kids of all ages are welcome, dressed for Halloween or not.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, the day begins with the second annual Homecoming 5K Fun Run/Walk, benefitting Central Missouri Community Action. At 10 a.m. the annual Homecoming Parade with this year’s theme “Welcome to the Jungle!” Floats, bands, grand memories and candy will parade around the square.

Shortly after the parade, guests can visit the new CMU tailgate zone, which is open to all who want to come build a feast prior to the football game. The game against the Evangel Crusaders will begin at l p.m. on Davis Field. Following the game is a Downtown Block Party under the tents, hosted by the restaurants and businesses of Fayette.

On Sunday, Oct. 15, Linn Memorial United Methodist Church will hold services at 10:30 a.m. The service is open to all, and the CMU Chorale will be singing, including its standard “Beautiful Savior” with all former choir members invited to participate.

The day will finish with a special Collaborative Faculty Music Recital at 4 p.m. in the Kountz Recital Hall. There is no charge and all are welcome to attend.

The Eagle Bookstore will be open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Other special venues include the celebration of the 90th Anniversary Open House at Morrison Observatory in the park, 8–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights; the Stephens Museum in T. Berry Smith Hall on Saturday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; and The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturday, and 1–4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Grand Marshal Doug Burton graduated from high school in Brunswick, then attended Central Methodist College and earned a B.A. in Business Administration in 1967. While at Central, he played varsity basketball and was a member of Chi Delta fraternity.

A fourth generation of his family to attend Central, Doug’s mother, Martha Will Westlake Burton Castro (’45), attended Central College for two years. His grandmother, Scottie Knox Westlake, who graduated in 1905, was founder of Westlake Ace Hardware with her husband, W.I. Westlake, who also attended Central.

Scottie’s mother’s cousin, John Thomas Cross, was the first to graduate from Central in 1880 after attending college for two years. He memorialized their family by leading donations for the Cross Memorial Clock Tower built in 1928 and still used today. Doug’s sister-in-law, Lana Grotjan Richards ’91, also attended Central.

Doug grew up at his grandfather’s knee at a hardware store, and he began his own career as a 25-year-owner/manager of two successful family-owned businesses, Westlake’s in Chillicothe and in St. Joseph. They merged with Ace Hardware in 1992. Doug became senior vice president for marketing and development, which eventually evolved into Executive Vice President in 2002.

Westlake Ace Hardware currently owns 98 neighborhood hardware stores operating in eight states throughout the Midwest. Doug retired in 2009 as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Development for Westlake Ace Hardware.

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