Fall 2014



Redefining Future Shock

Look up “future shock.” Futurist Alvin Toffler’s two words don’t come with positive meanings. Fear of the future. Too much change, too fast. Causing psychological paralysis for individuals and entire societies. Debilitating stress and disorientation.

California Saga

Six of Wichita State’s School of Art, Design and Creative Industries students, led by Robert Bubp, associate professor of painting and drawing, hit the road to California in October for a weeklong artist residency as part of the Professional Practices class.

Everybody's Welcome

During a visit to the U.S. Embassy in his hometown of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Aasiri Fernando ’95/97 found a copy of Peterson’s Complete Guide to Colleges. This book introduced him to Wichita State and its engineering college.



Spring 2014 Notes


Shock Talk

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


Shocker Open Benefits WSU Scholarships

Participants in the 2014 Shocker Open enjoyed a great day of golf at Willowbend Golf Club in Wichita.

One Groovy Bash

The Roundhouse was indeed rockin’ the night of October 18 when the practice gym in Charles Koch Arena was transformed into three party lounges for hundreds of groovy Shocker supporters at the fundraising event of the season.

A Touch of Hawaii

Arriving members of Women United for the Shockers were greeted by WuShock and Women United host Paula Alefs to a members-only WU Luau, complete with colorful leis, tropical drinks and a lavish spread of appetizers fit for Hawaiian royalty.

Coach Jody Adams Energizes Early Risers

Jody Adams, Wichita State women’s basketball coach, addressed a Shocker crowd at the Marcus Welcome Center as the first speaker in the association’s 2014-15 WSU Distinguished Speaker Series.


WSUAA News and Events

Shocker Faces


From the Chair

A message from WSUAA board of directors chair Denis Dieker '77/80


From President John Bardo

President John Bardo welcomes Courtney Marshall, shares his perspective on matters of importance in alumni relations and introduces us to Wichita State's new marketing campaign "Our Time."

Rising Star

Meet Hannah Fernandes, a sophomore musical theatre major from Wisconsin.

Greek Columns

The Shocker’s On the Hill Greek page celebrates WSU’s Greek-letter organizations, their members and alumni members.

Wichita State Welcomes FarmHouse Fraternity

On Saturday, Nov. 15, FarmHouse fraternity was officially welcomed to Wichita State during a colonization ceremony at the Marcus Welcome Center.

Girls on the Run

Members of Wichita State’s Gamma Phi Beta hosted their inaugural Gamma Phive-K on Saturday, Oct. 18.


These Gleanings entries survey the current university scene and feature original illustrations by Scott Dawson ’86.


The Rush of Days

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

James Pringle Cook '72

A native Kansan who now lives in Tucson, Ariz., Cook paints in the best tradition of American landscape painting.

John M. Pototschnik '68

Born in St. Ives, Cornwall, England, Pototschnik grew up in Wichita and studied advertising design at Wichita State and illustration and design at Los Angeles’ Art Center College.


The Rhatigan Renaissance

Built more than half a century ago now, Wichita State's student center began its gig as the campus heart of student life and activity with the name, appropriately enough, Campus Activities Center.


Quoted: Robert Workman

Robert Workman talks about art, education, comfort food and what excites him about the Ulrich Museum and its future.


Memorial Rider

Rick Stephens ’71/86/96, one of nine to survive the 1970 WSU football crash that killed 31, bicycled from WSU’s campus to Silver Plume, Colo., and then climbed to the crash site with a group of some 40 other Shockers who also had been affected by the tragedy.

Ruth David Is Awarded 2014 President's Medal

Wichita State President John Bardo awarded alumna Ruth David ’75 the President’s Medal at the 2014 Fall commencement ceremony, held Sunday, Dec. 14, at Koch Arena.

Kowing Earns NASA Space Flight Awareness Honors

As the unmanned Orion spacecraft rocketed off its launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Dec. 5, for its Exploration Flight Test-1, Jeff Kowing –– who was recognized as a Space Flight Awareness Honoree for the flight –– was watching from NASA’s VIP section about a mile and a half away.


Gridiron Memories

Shocker football players returned to campus for an all-years reunion June 13-14. Of the more than 100 former players in attendance, there were at least two players representing every team since 1950 and at least three from every season since 1954.

Found Stories: Shocker Sundial

The Class of 1934 gave the university a sundial. According to the Nov. 8, 1934 Sunflower, it had been placed on campus, and a picture shows two students checking their watches by it.


Wichita State, Obviously

In the world of college basketball, rankings and lists and orderings of things often function as keys to unlocking the excitement and heightening the rivalry of any given game, or any given season for that matter. This season, Wichita State started its competitive play ranked No. 11 nationally.

No Mean Feats

Wichita State volleyball reached the 20-win mark for the 12th straight season with its 25-16, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Missouri Valley Conference Tournament sixth-seeded opponent Indiana State on Thanksgiving Day in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Wichita State Goes 2-1 at Paradise Jam

A balanced effort led Wichita State to a hard fought victory Nov. 29 in their final game in the Paradise Jam, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where the Shockers defeated the Clemson Tigers, 63-48, at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.

First Pitch Banquet

Head coach Todd Butler and Shocker baseball have set the date for the program’s annual First Pitch Banquet: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015.

Congrats, AD Sexton

Congratulations to Eric Sexton ’87/92, named by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics as one of 28 2013-14 Under Armour AD of the Year Award honorees.

Sports Briefs

Shocker sports news and notes.


Class Notes

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


Wilbur Elsea: WuShock's Creator

Wilbur Elsea ’50 took up his second career as an artist after 40 years as an advertising executive — and with, to Shockers anyway, his most beloved artistic creation already under his belt: WuShock.

George Ablah: An Eye for Deals

George J. Ablah fs ’51, president and board chair of Ablah Enterprises, was a real estate developer with dealings in Dallas, LA, Minneapolis and Wichita, where his successes include Terra Cotta Tower, Tallgrass and Willowbend.

Kathryn Griffith: Sense of Civility

Kathryn (Pearcy) Griffith ’47 earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wichita and went on to receive a master’s degree from Syracuse and a doctorate from the University of Chicago.

Anthony P. Gythiel: Renaissance Man

Anthony P. Gythiel, history professor and WSU’s resident medievalist until his retirement in 2010, was a perfectionist. His work demanded it.

Bob Langenwalter: Five Varied Views

Robert “Bob” G. Langenwalter ’50, longtime Wichita banker and investor, was always a man on the move.

Hazel Miller: Honor Woman

The year Hazel D. (Shanklin) Miller ’51 graduated from the University of Wichita with a bachelor’s degree in general studies, she was one of more than 400 graduating seniors and one of only six seniors of distinction to garner Women’s Honor Group accolades.

Jerry Blue: Entrepreneur and "A+" Banker

Jerry Blue began his successful entrepreneurial career in 1959 when he collaborated with his father in the purchase of Radionic Hearing Aid Service in downtown Wichita.

In Memoriam

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


No Second Choice

As we enjoy another great season of WSU basketball, let’s take a look back at The Shocker’s 2007 Quoted interview with Coach Marshall, who shared a few thoughts on his move to Wichita State from Winthrop, his wife Lynn, spaghetti, the Eagles, Al Green and, of course, Shocker basketball.


Our Royal Shocker

Renowned mezzo-soprano and Shocker alumna Joyce DiDonato ’92 said she wasn’t nervous before performing the national anthem Oct. 29 at Game 7 of the World Series.

Prize Conductor

“Energetic, committed, eminently practical” are among the judges’ comments about Jonathan Griffith ’74, winner of the 2014 American Prize in Conducting.

Colonel Hatfield

B. Karen Hatfield ’79, a medical technology graduate, has been promoted to the rank of colonel, U.S. Army, in a ceremony held this past August in Eastover, S.C.

A Best Lawyer

Ross Hollander ’73, a proud Shocker who served as president of the WSU Alumni Association in 2007-08, has been listed, along with three other attorneys from the Wichita and Topeka, Kan., offices of Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC, in Best Lawyers in America, 2015.



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


About This Issue

The Shocker is published twice annually by the Wichita State University Alumni Association for association members and other selected audiences. Copyright © 2014 by the alumni association.