I was eighteen, in college, as the editor of the KVCC Valley Voice. My most-read editorial ended with the phrase..."Stick with us and we'll show you a rainbow (of opinions.)" Exactly one year later I moved to Hawaii to become a U of H Rainbow. I had stood on the stage at the opening of the college with Kalamazoo Valley C.C. president Dr. Dale Lake. I made a short speech about how thankful we less privileged SW Michigan students were to have a accredited school to continue our education. Dr. Lake and I held an oversized pair of scissors as we attempted to slice the ribbon that would launch this school for it's first group of 600 students (mostly from Kazoo area high schools.) It took three tries to cut the ribbon.
A couple dozen of us had met for two years to determine what kind of curriculum would be presented here. We represented all twelve high schools in the region. The first campus buildings were temporary units set at the eastern edge of a very big paved parking lot. Most of us were not really sure what we would gain from this effort, we just knew that we wanted to continue with our education and this was the only way we could afford to do so. We were quite sure that the ten acre parking lot was overkill.
That was over fifty years ago and it opened my world considerably...my best friend and study partner was a beautiful young lady named Pat Robinson who had attended Kalamazoo Central High School. She was the smartest person on my newspaper staff. I loved hanging out with her. I knew my stepfather was a racist but, I was really taken aback when my mother warned me, "If you bring that girl home you are going to have to find a new place to live." Yes, she was from the other side of the tracks. Black and beautiful.