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College Education Is Laborious

September 07, 1987|ANN HEROLD

Parents visiting students at Blackburn College aren't likely to be shown the school's library or football stadium. Rather, they'll probably get to see a newly installed toilet or a particularly fine wall of bricks. As if homework weren't enough, the 510 students at the Carlinville, Ill., college are also expected to maintain the campus by working as janitors, bricklayers, plumbers, painters and secretaries. Sometimes it makes for leaky faucets and less-than-gourmet meals in the cafeteria. "It's OK if you don't mind cold mashed potatoes," said junior Ken Knox. There was the aspiring plumber who brought his mother and father to the college president's house to show off a toilet, only to have it back up while they were visiting. The work system, developed to help students pay the $9,200 yearly cost of attending the liberal arts school, isn't for everyone. The school's transfer rate is "higher than we would like," said President William F. Denman. "We take everything a little more seriously, as far as studying and getting things done," said senior Trina Kirby, who manages the campus bookstore.

--Reconciliation attempts between Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee A. Iacocca and his wife, Peggy, reportedly have stalled, with a Dec. 14 trial date set for divorce proceedings. Iacocca, 62, and the former Peggy Johnson, 37, a one-time flight attendant, separated six months after their wedding in April of last year but have continued to appear together publicly. A statement from Peggy Iacocca said the announcement of the trial date "is awkward in view of the upcoming nuptials of (Iacocca's) daughter Lia on Sept. 18. Mrs. Iacocca has developed a special fondness for Lia and has looked forward to sharing in the joy of her wedding."

--Marriage "hasn't worked for me," "Dynasty" star Joan Collins said as she brushed aside speculation about wedding bells in her future, now that she's involved with British real estate developer Bill Wiggins. Collins, who has been married four times, was in London to publicize the British showing of her TV miniseries "Sins." She recently divorced former Swedish pop star Peter Holm in a sensational court proceeding in Los Angeles.

--And beauty pageant sponsors were confounded on learning that their newest Miss Italy, Mirka Viola, is actually Mrs. Italy. Pageant officials haven't decided what to do in the case of the 19-year-old secretary, who confirmed newspaper reports that she has been married almost two years to a film producer, and has a son.

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