Dr. Seuss Day Becomes Family Tradition for Peru State College Professor
By Paul Rieken | Mar 14, 2023
Peru, Nebraska – The Peru Student Education Association (PSEA) hosted the Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash on February 9th and 10th on the Peru State Campus. The event was attended by area preschool and elementary students from Auburn, Johnson-Brock, Johnson County Central, Nebraska City Lourdes, HTRS, Falls City, St. Andrew Catholic School, Sterling, Tarkio, Little Learners Pre-K, and the Peru State Day Care. Several members of the community also attended.
One group has participated in Dr. Suess’s Birthday Bash for several years. Its membership come from: Aurora, Auburn, and Overland Park, Kansas. All have a special connection and are kids and grandkids of Dr. Darolyn Seay, a PSEA faculty sponsor. The group represents three generations of the Seay family and included Dr. Seay’s (Nana D) daughters: Madilyn Jackson, Mallory Siebold, and Myranda Kennedy, and ten grandchildren; Samuel, Annie, Millie, and Bradley (Madilyn); Sheperd, Selah, Shiloh, and SaraJoy (Mallory); and Ellie and Judah (Myranda).
“It’s become a family tradition,” said Myranda.
The tradition first started when Mallory and her oldest son, Sheperd, attended Dr. Seuss Day with Dr. Seay in 2017. Myranda, Madilyn, and their children soon joined, making it a yearly event. All are PSC graduates (Madilyn – 2014 - Elementary Education, Mallory – 2017 - Psychology, and Myranda – 2018 - Business Administration and Marketing). Each cherished the opportunity to return to their alma mater, spend time together, and share a fun experience. As the family has grown, more grandkids have been able to come.
“We now take up two whole rows, it’s getting kind of ridiculous,” joked Myranda. “But it is great to see how the reactions of the kids change over the years as Dr. Seuss starts to become more exciting to each of them.”
The 2023 Dr. Seuss festivities were held in the Performing Arts Center on the Peru State College campus. The pre-show events included a sing-along, bubble machines, and massive beach balls flying across the auditorium. Attendees were then captivated by a series of three plays; Horton Hatches an Egg, The Cat in the Hat, and Green Eggs and Ham. Green Eggs and Ham featured special guest appearances from Dean of School of Arts and Science - Dr. Paul Hinrichs, and Interim Executive Director - Mr. Ted L. Harshbarger, who both got several laughs from the audience. As the shows concluded, the audience read the Reader’s Oath, swearing to read each day. Helping read the oath, along with the cast, were Peru State College President Dr. Michael Evans and First Lady Joanna Evans.
Dr. Seay recognized the opportunity to connect her work and family on Dr. Seuss Day.
“My faculty role gives me the opportunity to blend my work on campus by inviting my family, allowing them to experience some of the excitement by attending events. I want to share with them the importance of hard work, family, and community.” She added, “Dr. Seuss Day is a great opportunity to bring the younger grand kiddos together. They love dressing up, visiting the Cat Cave for a new sweatshirt, and eating lunch in the Student Center.”
Dr. Seay and Dr. Sara Westerlin are faculty co-sponsors of The Peru Student Education Association, an organization for all education majors at Peru State College. PSEA hosts many events throughout the year. The Dr. Seuss event alone has brought up to 1,000 visitors to campus. The activities PSEA members participate in, “are devoted to the improvement of education,” and they work towards that goal in every meeting, event, and group outing. PSEA meets every other Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in T.J. Majors 114 N. Its executive staff are President - Matthew Ramold, Vice President - Shawn Shackelford, Secretary - Laini Fullerton, and Treasurer - Naomi Wilson.
Nestled in the hills of historic southeast Nebraska, Peru State College offers a mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management.
Established in 1867 as Nebraska’s first college, Peru State has transformed over the past century and a half into a state-of-the-art institution offering diverse, multifaceted educational programs annually to nearly 2,000 students.
Where it all started Dr. Seay with grandson Sheperd, in 2017.
Dr. Seay in 2022 with granddaughter Ellie. "Horton" is PSEA student, Sebastian Boelhower.