Graceland Award of Recognition
The Graceland Award of Recognition salutes those who have supported Graceland and its programs in an exceptional way and Gretchen Booz is a prime candidate. When she attended Homecoming for the first time in 1949, she was hooked and is now a proud member of the Class of 1955. This year’s event marks the 67th time she’s attended, having missed only once since her first visit. Gretchen has shared that spirit with her children, Joe and Katie, who are both alumni and say “spending many weekends in Lamoni, as we did growing up, attending a ball game and mingling with the students is the greatest thrill a kid could have.”
Gretchen’s mantra has been “ask not what Graceland can do for you; ask what you can do for Graceland.” Many a student visiting Blue Springs, Missouri, has found a bed, sofa or floor at the Booz home. Sometimes the gatherings were Graceland fundraisers. In 1984, she began a 12-year tenure on the Graceland Board of Trustees where she served as vice chair and chair of the Student Affairs Committee.
Her passion for the University went way beyond administrative work, volunteering as a Go GU! rep, writing articles for the newsletter, sending congratulations to new students and planning luncheons for other GU reps in Independence. In the Colonial Hills Community of Christ congregation, she has kept members updated weekly on Graceland — arranged field trips to campus, including a sleepover in the Closson gym, and promoted a Yellowjacket cheering section for Graceland teams competing in Kansas City.
Mrs. Booz is not shy about sharing how special Graceland is to her, “My involvement with Graceland,” she says, “has been one of the most fulfilling loves of my life and I will continue to spread the good news about such a special place.” For decades of enthusiastic commitment, service and affection, Graceland University is proud to present its Award of Recognition to an alumna extraordinaire, Gretchen Booz.