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Remembering the good old days





The Fort Hays State University campus has changed some since Jack Dufield was a student there in the early 1950s.

Dufield, who is retired and now lives in Liberal, graduated in 1953 with a degree in agriculture and spent his career farming in Seward County.

He was one of four graduates attending their 60th class reunion this weekend. He toured the campus Friday afternoon, along with Bob and Evelyn Mannebach of Colby.

Mannebach, who earned a bachelor's degree in 1963 and a master's in 1968, said he and his wife return to FHSU occasionally.

"We go to the Robbins Center and (Gross Memorial) Coliseum quite a bit."

The names of some of Dufield's teachers are well-known on campus -- several have buildings named after them.

There's "a lot of folks (who) were here when I was here that are gone now," Dufield said.

"That's where I took all my classes," he said when tour guide Kyle Rodriguez, a freshman at FHSU, led the group to Albertson Hall, named for Frederick W. Albertson, one of Dufield's teachers.

The group especially enjoyed seeing the newest academic building on campus, Tomanek Hall. The building is named for Gerald Tomanek, who began his career at FHSU as an instructor in 1947, became chairman of the botany/biology department, and served as FHSU president from 1976 to 1987.

Dufield remembered taking at least one of Tomanek's classes, pasture ecology.

"I learned a lot from him. (He was) an old farm boy. ... He was bright, bright, bright."

A business administration and education major, Mannebach especially was interested in Picken Hall.

"Oh yes, this is where I had all my business classes," he said.

It's changed since Mannebach was a student there. After a recent renovation, it now serves as an administrative building.

Rodriguez, who grew up in Johnson and went to a small school, said knowing his professors one-on-one is one of the things that drew him to FHSU.

Mannebach, who grew up in the Grinnell area, said it was the same for him.

"You did know all the professors."

Also a native of Grinnell, Evelyn Mannebach has memories of coming to FHSU as a high school student.

"We used to come down during the day for band, (and) journalism conferences."  

Remembering it from their own student days, the two men were stunned at the recent $1.4 million renovation of the McMindes residence hall cafeteria.

Rodriguez, an admissions staff member, has given a handful of tours to prospective students and alumni since he was certified to give tours about a month ago.

"It's different guiding alumni around campus than prospective students," Rodriguez said. "Alumni have stories to share."