How many of us have been impacted by Tarkio College? Perhaps you were an alumnus of Tarkio or of a rival school such as Peru or William Jewell and remember competing against Tarkio College. Maybe your high school came to a production in the Mule Barn Theatre. Were your parents or grandparents alumni, and you grew up hearing stories from the “glory days”? All too many of us may only remember Tarkio College as an abandoned set of buildings left to die a slow death of neglect and disrepair, but we have a chance to change all of that.
A very real opportunity exists that could change the fate of Tarkio College for generations to come. This may very well be the last opportunity we have to impact the fate of Tarkio College. Let us not sit by and idly watch another building be erased from our history.
Many people in the community may not realize that in 2016 the Tarkio College Alumni Association was given the main campus. They have worked tirelessly to breathe new life into the college. Beginning in 2012, repairs began while a plan was being formulated. Approximately three years ago the Tarkio College Board began working on a new and different Tarkio College with the idea of forming a community college and applying for certification through the Missouri Department of Education. Thousands of pages of documentation and volunteer hours later from a small group of individuals, a new mission of creating Tarkio College with Technical School priorities emerged. This dream is now one step away from becoming a reality.
Thompson Hall has been approved for classroom space. As soon as the final repairs are made, it will serve as the primary location for classrooms. The main floor of Rankin Hall has been restored with additional repairs needed to preserve the rest of the building. The Tarkio College Alumni Association needs to raise additional funds to complete the repair of the roofs and complete the restoration required in order to pass the final inspection by the State. Simultaneously, the Tarkio College Board has been given an indication that in order to become a certified college they need to raise the first year of operation capital in advance to complete the certification process.
As a community, let us show our support for this cause. Together let’s show the State that as residents (or past residents) of Tarkio, Atchison County and the surrounding area, that Tarkio College means more to us than just another set of empty buildings and that we truly care what happens to the campus today as well as in the future. Let us show our support to the cause in any way we can. If every person in the county donated just $20 that would raise nearly $100,000.00. Make donations to Tarkio College Founders Fund, P.O. Box 231, Tarkio, MO 64491. They are 501(c)3 tax exempt. If you can’t support financially, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 660-736-4208 (leave a message) at the alumni association about helping during a work weekend. Ask organizations you’re involved in to complete a service project on campus. Also contact Mary McAdams with the Tarkio College Alumni Association to support the building restoration process. Contact Kristi McEnaney, Rich Pearson, Phyllis Ottmann or Bill Slaughter with the Tarkio College Steering Committee if you have questions. Donations over $5,000 can be earmarked with your name in a refundable account in the event the college does not become certified. Any and all help provided from the community is greatly appreciated and shows support from this great place in which we live. Let us work together to make great things happen; after all, the College may hold the past for the alumni but it holds the future for our community.
Thank you for your support on behalf of Tarkio College Steering Committee, Kristi McEnaney, Rich Pearson, Phyllis Ottmann, and Bill Slaughter