Winter 2001


Second Nature

The 2001 Board of Trustees Award recipient, Christopher S. Shank ’69, vice president at Dulaney, Johnston & Priest, Wichita, considers his association with WSU to be second nature, as if he were genetically predisposed to be a Wheatshocker.

His great grandfather, H.W. Darling, was a charter member of the Fairmount College Board of Trustees; his grandfather, Howard U. Darling ’08, was chief student fundraiser in 1909 for a new gymnasium; his great uncle, Lyman Strong Darling ’09, played and supported Fairmount football; and his father, Gerald Shank ’37, mother Vera Darling Larson ’37, stepfather Olaus Larson ’36 and brother Michael Shank ’65 all attended the university.

Shank’s involvement with WSU rivals that of his forbearers. The current president of the WSU Alumni Association, he has served on nearly every association committee, chairing the Shocker Auction twice and spearheading the Feb. 1 George Will Gala.

As a student, he was a Senior Honor Man, a member of the Spirit Squad and president of his senior class, Beta Theta Pi fraternity and the Interfraternity Council.

He’s consistently given his time, talent and resources to many university entities, in particular, the alumni association, the College of Fine Arts and athletics. In the wider community, he serves on many boards, including the Via Christi Foundation, Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, the United Way and Big Brothers and Sisters. He received that agency’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999.

Shank was presented the Board of Trustees Award at the annual President’s Club Gala Nov. 2. The award is given to a citizen of Sedgwick County who has made significant contributions to the vital and rewarding partnership that exists between WSU and the community.

Welcome, Gallagher

Anne M. Gallagher ’90/92 has joined WSU’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research as a research associate. She has extensive experience in researching and analyzing market and economic conditions to support business growth. Among her duties are responding to requests for economic, demographic, wage and salary information and providing information packages on the city of Wichita for those moving into the area.

Technology Trick or Treat

On Oct. 26 the College of Education and the Center for Teaching and Research Excellence held a Technology Trick or Treat workshop, featuring a mini-technology fair and technology-helpful presentations by Rob Gibson, WSU instructional developer in computing and web development, and Marguerite Schmidt, WSU application training coordinator for university computing.

Vomit Comet

David Koert, associate professor of mechanical engineering and fellow in the National Institute for Aviation Research, is working with a NASA program director to develop a student team project for the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program next year. The NASA-Glenn program allows engineering senior design groups to plan, build and perform experiments aboard a DC-9 or KC-135 — nicknamed “vomit comet” because the first experience in one is usually more than most people can stomach.

From Newlywed to Widow

This fall Second Stage University Theatre presented “Wives” by M. Lynda Robinson, winner of the 28th annual WSU National Playwriting Contest. Directed by Bela Kiralyfalvi, director of theater and chair for the School of Performing Arts, “Wives” is a series of short plays about women as spouses from newlyweds to widows.

Diagnosis: Excellent!

Wichita State’s College of Health Professions has received a Kansas Award for Excellence. The award program annually recognizes companies from across the state that have utilized the Baldrige National Quality Criteria for Performance Excellence. The college was among 58 Kansas businesses and organizations recognized Oct. 23.

An Award of Distinction

French professor Ginette Adamson was made an honorary French knight in the presence of Olivier Boasson, French cultural attaché, and Donald Beggs, WSU president, during a Nov. 30 ceremony on campus. Adamson, who has taught at WSU since 1972, was given the title Knight of the Order of Academic Palms, an award given by the French Ministry of Education for those who have made significant contributions to French culture and language. Her contributions include introducing French literature classes at WSU and founding a faculty and staff study abroad and exchange program.

A Writer’s Perspective

Larry McMurtry, whose books include The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove, visited campus this fall as a Forum Board speaker. The Pulitzer-Prize winning author also talked with students in two Q&A sessions, one for aspiring writers, the other for students interested in film. In the session for writers, moderated by Phil Schneider, WSU English professor and director of creative writing, McMurtry offered glimpses into the ups and downs of his career. “Writing,” he said, “depends upon pulling together a lot of energies.”


New Chemistry

The home of “new chemistry,” McKinley Hall, was rededicated Sept. 26 after the state’s “crumbling classrooms” funding — plus private donations — created a state-of-the-art academic department.

Of the Greatest Value

The roots of WSU Bands go back to 1902 when the university was Fairmount College.


University Tidbits

Shocker Scholars Banquet

Nearly 400 top high school juniors and members of their families, university administrators, students and alumni volunteer hosts came together this fall to talk about Wichita State.