Every year since 1955, members of the Wichita State University community celebrate the achievements and service of extraordinary alumni, faculty and staff with an annual awards presentation sponsored and hosted by the WSU Alumni Association. This year, seven exemplary individuals add their names and stories of accomplishment to the roll call of honorees.
The 2001 award winners, introduced below, will be presented their awards Fri., Jan. 25, 2002 during a banquet at the Hyatt Regency, Wichita. Each of the winners has, in unique and far-reaching ways, made superior contributions to Wichita State and to society.
Jeffrey L. Turner '73/77
The award for outstanding achievement in a chosen profession goes to Jeff Turner, vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Wichita Division. Turner began his career at Boeing as a part-time programmer in 1973, while completing his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Wichita State. In 1975 he joined Boeing Computer Services as a systems analyst and then held a number of director positions. He earned a graduate degree in engineering management from Wichita State and a master’s degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Turner was named to the position he now holds at Boeing in 1995.
Alumni Recognition Award
David J. ’68 and Susan W. ’72/75 Anderson
Dave and Susie Anderson are being recognized for their unflagging service to their alma mater — and in particular to WSU’s athletic department, foundation and alumni association. Dave, the president and owner of Dealer’s Leasing Inc., Wichita, and Susie, who prior to 1991 worked in Washington, D.C., and then in Wichita for two members of the U.S. Congress, have both proven to be tireless university and community volunteers.
Faculty Recognition Award
Dr. Gerald H. Graham
Among WSU’s most widely known faculty members, Gerald Graham holds the R.P. Clinton Distinguished Professor of Management Chair in the Barton School of Business and is lauded near and far as a business expert of considerable talents. His knowledge is not only disseminated in the classroom and among scholars but to the wider public through such enterprises as his weekly column in the Wichita Business Journal.
Distinguished Service Award
Gordon F. Vadakin ’82
In the world of bowling, few — if any — can match Gordon Vadakin’s accomplishments. In each and every one of his years as head coach at WSU, one or both of the men’s and women’s teams have advanced to the National Championships. And he’s coached at Wichita State since 1977. He’s the first coach to lead both men’s and women’s teams to a national intercollegiate title and has coached in nine National Championships: women, 1978, 1986, 1990 and 1994; men, 1980, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1998. As a competitor, he’s also amassed impressive honors and is a member of the Kansas Men’s Hall of Fame. His high game: 300 (20).
Young Alumni Award
Jeffrey C. Gates ’98
A marketing representative for The Wichita Eagle, Jeff Gates has earned the award for service to WSU and its alumni association by an individual who is 40 years of age or younger. A key creative force in such association events as its annual Shocker Auction and Fall Fling, Gates is a member of the association’s board and active in the Young Alumni Association.
Michael C. Oatman
He may not have graduated from WSU, but Mike Oatman, a retired CEO of Great Empire Broadcasting and a partner in The Mikes’ Investment Co., is a true Shocker. His service to WSU includes stints as chairman of the board of trustees and as a member of the foundation’s National Advisory Council. Awarded the university’s President’s Medal in 1999, he is well known in the wider world as “Ol’ Mike,” a KFDI radio personality.