The campus reception to celebrate Jack Overman’s 95th birthday seemed as much like a family reunion as it did a birthday party. It was a reunion not just of the Overman family, but for many members of the Pitt State family as well.
Friends and former colleagues joined community members, current staff and students to wish the campus icon a happy birthday and many more.
PSU President Steve Scott presented a Gorilla statue to Overman, saying “you bring life to us. You inspire us.”
The president said he had a story to tell about Overman, but it was one he would save for his 100th birthday celebration.
Jack didn’t disappoint the crowd. He led early arrivers in a spirited Pitt State cheer, gave hugs and high fives to Gus when he arrived and clearly enjoyed the attention he received from current Pitt State cheerleaders.
“I want you to know,” Overman said, “from the bottom of my heart, how much I love this institution and this community. Thank you for coming to see this old man.”
Overman said the event had him “charged up for the next two weeks!”
Overman, a 1941 PSU graduate, has become an iconic figure for generations of Gorillas. The former cheerleader and student leader, served as director of the student center for nearly 40 years, retiring in 1984. In 1985, the building was named in his honor.
Even after his retirement, Overman remained a part of the day-to-day activity on campus, which was made easier by the fact that he lived just across the street from McCray Hall. Overman rarely misses an athletic contest and is a frequent guest at important events in the life of the university. The cowbell that he rings at football games is the same one he bought as a student in the ‘30s.
©2013 Pittsburg State University