Class of '73 Celebrates 50 Years

Several members from the class of 1973 gathered on the SCC Milford Campus on Friday, Sept. 8, to reconnect and reminisce. They toured campus, watched a video about the history of the Milford Campus by former instructor Ron Petsch, received updates on the College, and some took a tour of Nebraska Hall to see the renovation plans. For many, it was the first time they had been on campus since they graduated.

“I spent the best six quarters of my life in Milford at SCC,” said Michael Durham, Information Technology graduate from Lenexa, Kansas. “I worked in IT for 48 years, and I learned the basics of everything I needed to be successful in Milford.”

That proved to be a common theme with the alumni in attendance. Bruce Williamson enrolled in Milford after spending a summer working with his uncle on air conditioners. He graduated from the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program and worked in the industry for 47 years.

“I really didn’t know how to do anything as far as repairing air conditioners,” Williamson said. “I knew I had to get more training to do the job right. Milford was the ideal place to go. I learned so much here. If I had to go to college again, I would go back to Southeast Community College in a heartbeat.”

Brothers Donald and Dean Beck both graduated from SCC and eventually went into business together. Donald graduated from the Building Construction program, while Dean graduated from the Diesel program. They went back to the family farm, and their dad built them a shop where they eventually sold and repaired machinery. They both felt SCC prepared them to be successful in their career.

“Because classes were from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., we were trained like we were already on the job,” said Donald Beck. “We were taught the basics you needed to go out and be successful.”

“It almost felt like you were graded more on your work ethic,” added Dean Beck. “If you had a strong work ethic, the instructors would bring you along so you could get a good job.”

Bruce Williamson was apprehensive to come back to the reunion because he hadn’t kept in touch with most of his classmates. The Beatrice native graduated from the Architectural program with a drafting focus (now Design & Drafting Technology). His dream was to design and draw up house plans. He took a little detour to Houston, Texas, to work for Stran Steel and returned to Fairbury doing drafting and sales for the Stran Steel dealer. Eventually, he got out of drafting, but every career move built on something he learned in Milford.

“Today was really well done, and it was a pleasure to be here,” Williamson said. “When you are 18, you really don’t know what you want to do. But, what I learned at Milford I was able to transform into something better at every career stage of my life. I have no regrets about coming here.”

Jennifer Snyder
Communications Specialist