A memento of Cass Cycle I hangs in the International Building at Wabash Valley College, featuring student’s photos and signatures.

MOUNT CARMEL — Over 20 years ago, two groups of international students came to Wabash Valley College as a part of Georgetown University’s Cooperative Associates for State Scholars (Cass) program.

Cass Cycle I came to Mount Carmel in 1992. Students in the program came from several different central America countries such as Jamaica, Guatemala and Honduras — most without knowing any English whatsoever. Host families in Mount Carmel housed students and helped them adjust to life in the United States despite the language barrier.

The Cass program required students to get a two-year degree and learn English as a second language before returning to their home countries to work. WVC was chosen for its Electronics Technology program.

The second group, Cass Cycle J, came in 1993. Many of the dozens of students who completed the Cass program started successful and long lasting careers in their countries.

But now, they want to return to Mount Carmel to visit the campus, which has grown and evolved since they last saw it.

WVC Cass cycle alumni have planned a reunion, not only to see their alma mater, but also to visit with each other. They are scheduled to arrive Thursday, May 25, and are planning a large cookout at the Red Café on the evening of Friday, May 26, in hopes if reuniting with friends and their former host families.

“I would like to invite any former host families of Cass students that would like to come,” said Terri Harris, WVC International Student Liaison.

Host families interested in attending the cookout need to RVSP with Terri Harris by emaling or calling 618-262-8641 ext. 3351.

(1) comment


My parents, Harold and Eileen Morris, hosted several of these students over the years. Neither one of them can travel now, but I know they would love hearing from their former "children." I know of of their students, Carlos, died in a plane crash soon after he returned to his home in Guatemala. They were devastated! Mom now has dementia and lives with me in Kokomo, Indiana and Dad is suffering from cancer and lives in Biloxi, Mississippi. Please tell the students about them as they dearly loved all the kids they hosted. Sincerely, Niki Webb

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