Freshman Tour (The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round)
Tuesday morning we pulled out of Branson at 7:45 and headed to Joplin where we spent time at Missouri Southern State University, and heard about the impact they are making on the local economy and community development. Through partnerships with Kansas City institutions such as the University of Medicine and Biosciences (located in the district I represent), and UMKC, they are able to offer degree programs that allow graduates to stay in the area and pursue a rewarding career with a good financial outlook. They also are able to provide residents with health care services that might otherwise be unavailable. Missouri Southern also played a vital role in responding and ministering to the victims of the devastating tornado in 2011. Upon leaving, they provided us with box lunches that we ate on the bus as we headed on up to Kansas City.
Kansas City was a whirlwind tour that covered the new Cerner complex at the old Bannister Mall site, to The Whole Person (center for independent living for people with disabilities), to a dinner reception at Union Station hosted by the KC Chamber. The next morning started bright and early at the KIPP Charter School followed by the Conservatory Performing Arts Center, Kauffman Center, and The Kansas City Port Authority. I wish we could have spent more time in Kansas City, but the tour schedule had us going on to St. Joseph, so off we went up I-29.
St. Joseph is home to the Rosecrans Air National Guard Base where they house the 139th Airlift Wing. It was inspiring to be with these good people who put their life on the line to protect our liberty. Also home to St. Joseph is the Walter Cronkite Museum. They have some interactive exhibits that chronicle the events and time period that Walter Cronkite covered as a news anchor. There is even a replica of the broadcast newsroom. Perhaps you recognize the glasses?
Our last event of the day was a dinner reception at Missouri Western University where we heard from some of the University program directors and the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.
And that’s the way it was December 7, 2016.