Jack H. Overman first stepped foot on Pitt State’s campus in 1936, and 82 years later he continues to be an integral part of the university as he plans to celebrate his 100th birthday on campus Thursday.
A yell leader at Pittsburg High School for three years, Overman joined the spirit squad when he went to PSU, which was comprised of four members at the time, but in 1940 he gave up leading cheers at pep rallies to become student body president.
Overman graduated Pitt State with a business degree, emphasis in personnel, and left to pursue a position in personnel at McNally Industries. While there, Overman oversaw approximately 700 employees at one time, giving 10 years of his work to the company. All the while, he stayed connected to Pitt State as a visiting business professor and by attending events such as homecoming.
In 1951, then PSU President Hughes asked Overman to become the director for the new student center. Overman accepted and began the task with full force and dedication, keeping student interest at the heart of the process.
Upon the student center’s opening, Overman continued as director until his retirement in 1984. At this time, the center was renamed in Overman’s honor as the Jack H. Overman Student Center, but his relationship with Pitt State did not end with his retirement.
Along with attending as many Gorillas sporting events as possible, Overman continued to receive recognition from PSU. In 1986, Pitt State awarded Overman with the Meritorious Achievement Award, naming him “the greatest individual fan in the history of Pitt State athletics.” He was then later inducted into the PSU Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, at which during his acceptance speech he led the crowd in a 1930s-style cheer.
Now, Pitt State Gorillas are invited to help celebrate Overman’s 100th birthday this Thursday, Aug. 23, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Gorilla Crossing located in the student center. Cake and light refreshments will be served.