Butler Community College Alumnae Diversity Panel Explores 1970s Student Life
Black alumnae share their experiences at Butler.
On April 20, Butler Community College held a Diversity Panel featuring six female graduates from the early 1970s. These accomplished women spoke of what it was like for them to attend school in 1970s Kansas. They spoke of their challenges and their accomplishments. The Diversity Panel was a part of Butler’s 90th Anniversary Celebration.
The six women who spoke on behalf of the Diversity Panel were Carlene Valentine, Joyce Anderson Robinson, Katherine Washington, Venessa Ford Warnock, Jannifer Wimbley Winsett, and Junetta French Everett.
Each of these women told different stories of their time at Butler, but they all shared a common theme: success and acceptance. Warnock said growing up in Kansas exposed her to a diverse atmosphere. She found Butler to be no different.
“The girls on the track team embraced me so,” said Warnock, who came to Butler on a track scholarship. She was the only Black female athlete that year. “All the athletes, they took us how we were.”
All six graduates found that the school offered a family atmosphere. The women found Butler to be safe and nurturing. They made many connections at school. But, they said they created a small group while at Butler. They gravitated toward one another because of their interests.
In addition to speaking of their experiences at Butler, the panelists answered many questions from the crowd of more than 100, including many students. Panelists spoke of hard work and determination. They also focused on telling Butler students to never let anyone tell you, “You can’t.”
Everett, a vice president at Delta Dental of Kansas, encouraged the students to step outside their box and embrace diversity.
“Walk in somebody else’s moccasin,” she said. “Get to know someone else who is not like you.”