Summer 2003



Training for the Tone

A sturdy log cabin and a stately white two-story are tucked in a secluded grove ringed by wheat fields on this sleepy summer morning in southern Sedgwick County. For months, it has been a hands-on training station for dozens of county firefighters. Today, it burns to the ground.

Group Dynamics

Tatted from nine disparate threads,the knotty collective called famous dead artists has enlivened Wichita’s art scene for a decade now.

Animal Acts

The fabled Doctor Dolittle has nothing on Emily Weiss. The conversations this animal behaviorist has with beasts in every shape and size at the Sedgwick County Zoo enrich their lives, and hers.



Readers write in to comment on The Shocker and its contents.


Shock Talk

Shockers everywhere, at events long ago to happenings just the other day, always have something interesting to say.


Shockers Return

Nineteen hundred fifty-three was the year that President Truman announced the development of the hydrogen bomb — and the year members of the University of Wichita’s senior class earned their college degrees.

Director's Corner

Brad S. Beets ’87, WSU Alumni Association executive director, looks forward to the year ahead.

President's Corner

Jeff Degraffenreid ’88 sums up his year as association president.

Nerds, Radicals & Turkeys

It is a truth universally accepted that what Shockers want is a good time.

A Most Fashionable Affair

Shockers of every age — including Dee Anne and Haley Fahnestock — were out in style April 11 at the Olive Tree Banquet Hall.


WSUAA News and Events

Being the Ball

The 2003 Shocker Open — sponsored by the WSU Alumni Association and better known as “Be the Ball” Caddyshock III — invaded the links at Wichita’s Willowbend Golf Course April 28 and challenged golfers to some steep alumni competition.

Thank You, 2003 Heritage Fund Contributors

The association salutes these generous individuals and couples who contributed to the 2003 Heritage Fund.


The Exhumation of Jeremiah (Jesse?) James

Old legends take a long time to die, and some never do.


These Gleanings entries survey the current university scene.


Shock Art

A gallery of both literary and visual art, Shock Art showcases work by Wichita State University alumni, faculty and students.


Dharma's Garden

Although his work plate is more than full, Dharma deSilva still finds times to enjoy the tastes of his native Sri Lanka.


Quoted: Jim Ziegler

Jim Ziegler ’79 looks for the upside in every down situation, enjoys riding his motorcycle and singin’ the blues, and, as vice president and general manager of Bombardier in Wichita, he knows when he has to make that tough business decision.


Ninety Years to Pomp & Circumstance

Joe Stone walked across the stage at the Kansas Coliseum to pick up his long-awaited bachelor’s degree — and received a standing ovation from fellow graduates, faculty and those attending Wichita State’s commencement ceremonies for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


The Pleasure of Your Company

James Merriman, who died in 1995, had a special knack for teaching — and entertaining. One of his former students takes a Look Back at this formidable English professor.


Order Restored

Wichita State coach Gordon Vadakin ’82 insists he didn’t hear any whispers, but surely there were some floating throughout the collegiate bowling community.

Saving the Season

The image should remain a memorable one for Wichita State baseball fans: Moments after pitching the Shockers into the NCAA tournament, David Sanders, the unlikeliest of heroes, stood near the mound and pointed to the heavens in appreciation and triumph.

Shocker Golf: National Players

The Wichita State men’s golf team captured its fourth Missouri Valley Conference Championship in the past five years during tournament play April 28-29 in Silvis, Ill.

Sports Briefs

Shocker Sports News and Notes


Class Notes

Comings, goings, appointments, retirements, honors, accolades and other personal alumni news.


In Memoriam

Leaving lasting legacies are these Wichita State University alumni and friends.


Wichita's Shakespeare's Rennaissance

Most of us experienced him first in high school, where we were force-fed Julius Caesar because, like some variety of intellectual spinach, it was good for us.


True to Tru(man Capote)

He has the quirky ability, the high voice and the debonair manners to pull it off.

In the Thick of Things

Julie (Stallard) Acosta ’80/84 never thought of herself as a minority while studying electrical engineering at WSU.

A Name to Remember

Douglas Ladnier ’92 says he’s living his dream.



Newsworthy info about alumni and university personalities and happenings — all packaged up in bite-size reads, with illustrations by Wade Hampton.