Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 21, 2017

Wall of Honor adds 10 members

Sep 25, 2013
Courtesy of: David Neff William Bangham

Ten distinguished alumni will be inducted into the Parsons College Wall of Honor during the fifth annual ceremony at 10 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.

The Wall of Honor festivities will highlight the Parsons College All-Class Reunion weekend and a host of other activities including Fairfield 1st Friday Art Walk and Oktoberfest.

This year, the Parsons College Foundation Fund teamed with the Alumni Association to combine the events.

The reunion weekend kicks off Oct. 4 with registration at the Fairfield Golf & Country Club followed by an extended happy hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The following day’s events include the WOH ceremony, luncheon at the convention center, Carnegie Historical Museum tour, open house with Lee Gobble and a Walton Club happy hour, again loaded with heavy hors d’oeuvres.

As in past tradition, that Sunday morning the attendees will converge at 9 a.m. at Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store for an informal Farewell Breakfast.

Additional information regarding registration for the events of the weekend can be obtained by contacting David Neff at 919-4640 or by email at neffacres@lisco.com.

With the addition of this year’s distinguished class, the Parsons College Student/Alumni Wall of Honor has grown to 49 members.

During the next few days, The Ledger will highlight a couple of members of the Wall of Honor Class of 2013.

William Bangham

William Bangham graduated from Parsons College in 1970 and now resides in Richmond, Va.

Bangham has had a career in journalism like few others. He is a photojournalist, writer and editor. He also serves as director with Media Production for International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention where he is the editor of “Commission Stories’”magazine.

At Parsons, Bangham learned that life is an adventure of the spirit, mind and body. Bangham had no idea what was in store for him as his remarkable career has taken him to more than 70 countries. Some of his more notable assignments include covering the Panama invasion, refugees crossing the Florida straits on rafts from Castro’s Cuba, multiple stories during the conflict and wars in the Balkans, Iraq, Arab Spring and Arab Revolutions.

However, he’s perhaps best known around the world for an on-going project: documenting children exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. Bangham’s early reporting resulted in his founding the American Belarusian Relief Organization. The ABRO is a nonprofit organization and has provided assistance for more than 13,000 of those children since 1990.

He also founded “FindShelter,” a nonprofit that helped survivors of Hurricane Katrina relocate and find jobs and housing. Another organization he he founded was the Center for Environmental Education and Research in Washington, D.C. Both organizations served their purpose and have been closed.

With success in photography came rewards and recognition. Bangham has received major awards in secular and religious competitions, including University of Missouri “Pictures of the Year,” International and National Press Photographers Association “Best of Photojournalism” competition.

He was photo editor for Cape Town 2010: The Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization; and also has served as faculty, staff, judge and lecturer at a number of colleges and universities. Bangham’s relationships at Parsons spawned a belief that, “Ideas are important, as they shape our life and our world [but] we are to live in relationship; it is where we find satisfaction, well-being and meaning.”

Classmate Frank Challant will present Bangham to the Wall of Honor.


Dorothy Bell

Dorothy Topping Bell graduated from Parsons College in 1948 and resides in Fairfield.

Bell came to Parsons from Stockport High School where she graduated valedictorian of her class and has lived in Fairfield for more than 57 years. She majored in history, participated in a number of activities and was a member of Empyrean Sorority [Delta Zeta].

Bell was instrumental in establishing her husband’s veterinary practice in Fairfield after a short stay in South Dakota. She’s been a pillar in the community ever since, in her church, the social community and the cultural development of Fairfield. At the Presbyterian Church, Dorothy’s done it all from teaching, editing the newsletter and serving as Deacon. Her dedication earned recognition from the Association of Presbyterian Women when she was awarded Honorary Life Membership. Upon the passing of her husband, Dorothy devoted her time and energies to the arts and schools of Fairfield and the surrounding community.

She’s spent this period of her life overseeing the cultural development, school meetings while speaking out “for and/or against” issues, as she deemed necessary.

In 1966 she became a charter member of the Fairfield Art Association and actually lobbied the governor to expand the arts throughout the state. In 1979, she accepted membership to the Fairfield Concert Association Board. In 1985, her passion for the arts was also awarded. She was named an Honorary Life Board Member of the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra.

Bell has been a member of this prestigious organization since 1965. As a means to raise funds for the Fairfield Art Association, she founded “The Fairfield Garden Tour” in 1988. This touring event, showcasing selected gardens throughout the city for public viewing, was renamed “The Dorothy Bell Garden Tour” in honor of its founder in 2011.

Naturally, her home, which annually features more than 800 tulip bulbs imported from Holland, is a highlight of the tour. Dorothy’s tireless work in the community earned her the “Outstanding Citizen Community Service Award” in 1998, and the first ever “Outstanding Fine Arts Promoter Award” for 1994-95.

She is proudest of her four children who are, not surprisingly, all

involved in the arts

Bell recently moved to Sunny Brook Assisted Living of Fairfield. Her dear friend, Vera Price Young, will present Bell to the Wall of Honor.

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