2010 Family of the Year
(click here to view photos taken at the Sept. 11, 2010 event)
The University is proud to recognize the Vera and Chester Pitts family whose legacy at Friends University has encompassed a total of eight decades, spanned four generations, and for which more than 20 members have come to call Friends University “home.” Click here to view their family tree.
With their earliest family member receiving their degree in 1949, their most recent graduate in 2009, and with the next graduation scheduled for 2011, a constant throughout the Pitts family has been their involvement with Friends University, both as students and as graduates.
During their collective college years, 12 family members spent time performing in the Gospel Band, with the Singing Quakers, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, and in the University Band.
Athletics also played a significant role as two of the four generations were involved in various campus sports such as football, basketball, baseball, tennis, track, cross-country and even a majorette and baton twirler!
When not performing, the Pitts family was involved in no less than 11 different student clubs and organizations:
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes
- The Student Christian Association
- Student Council
- Psychology Club
- The Talisman Yearbook
- Alpha Chi
- Alpha Kappa Tau
- Delta Rho
- Mu Phi Epsilon
- Sigma Delta Pi
And let’s not forget about college royalty! Overall, the family would
have a Queen of the May Festival, a Homecoming Queen, two Cherry
Carnival Kings, as well as some family that even served on the Talisman
After finishing their degree, four family members returned to serve as employees or sit on the Board of Trustees:
Jim Pitts, son of Chester and Vera, and his wife Jeanne were the resident managers for Friends Village and lived on site from 1990 to 1995.
Daryl Pitts, son of Chester and Vera, served three different terms on the Board of Trustees during a time span of four different decades, and was Chair of the Board from 1982 to 1986.
The granddaughter of Chester and Vera, Pam Pitts Chambers has actively participated on the Board of Trustees since 2006.
Grandson Rod Pitts has served two different terms on the Board of Trustees and has served twice as Chair of the Board: 1998-2003, 2007-Present.
Family members who were present to receive the award at halftime of the Falcon football game on Sept. 11, 2010, included the following persons:
Accepting the award on behalf of 1949 Friends alumnus D. Aldean and his wife Marilyn Pitts, a 1951 former student, were their daughter Carolyn Pitts Palmer and grandson Jimmy Palmer.
1958 graduate Jim Pitts and his wife Jeanne, their daughter Pam Pitts Chambers who graduated in 1981, her husband Doug Chambers who is a graduate of the class of 1980, and granddaughter and 2008 Friends alumna Kendra Chambers. Unable to attend was Jim and Jeanne’s son, Kenneth Pitts who graduated from Friends in 1980.
Daryl Pitts and his wife Gloria, who both graduated in 1957, their son Rod Pitts and his wife Mary Pat, who both graduated in 1982, their daughter Daryla Pitts Grund who is a 1989 alumna of Friends, and her 1990 graduate husband Galen, and grandchildren 2008 alumna Elise Pitts, current student Courtney Pitts and future Friends University student Jenna Grund.
1963 alumnus Ronald Pitts and his wife, Phyllis.
Verna Pitts and her husband Orrin, their daughters 1991 graduate Elaine Pitts and 1986 graduate Traci Pitts Isaacson, Traci’s husband Bruce who graduated from Friends University in 1985, and grandchildren Brendan and Cassandra.