Tom Vanderhoofven '62 was a lot more than a bell-ringing, cheerleading supporter for Shocker sports; he was a man dedicated to giving back to his community, to his university and to the people in his everyday life. He was always a pillar of support for those around him, whether he did it with a laugh, a cheer — or a meal.
Vanderhoofven graduated in 1962 with a degree in journalism, having worked on both the Parnassus and Sunflower during his student days. He began his years of service to the university as the sports information director, a post he held until 1970.
He went on to work for the American Biltrite Rubber Co., Roof Mechanics Inc. and eventually opened his own commercial and residential roofing company, VanderRoofven Co.
In an article printed in the Wichita Eagle at the time of Vanderhoofven's resignation from WSU, Bert Katzenmeyer, then WSU director of athletics, commented: "Tom's absence will be sorely felt. His replacement shall not be an easy one."
Katzenmeyer couldn't have known that Vanderhoofven's service to Wichita State was just beginning. A dedicated alumnus, he served two three-year terms on the alumni association's board of directors, was a charter member of the Shocker Hellraisers and organized and participated in numerous alumni and university events.
His volunteer work was certainly not limited to WSU. He was a tireless volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels, often making himself available to fill in for other volunteers at the last minute. He even went so far as to put a cell phone in his car so he could keep on top of his roofing business while doing his volunteer work.
"He (was) the most loyal, enthusiastic booster at Wichita State," says longtime friend Dave Crockett '66.
Brad Beets '87, executive director of the alumni association, echoes Katzenmyer's sentiments of a few decades earlier: "Tom was an active alum, who always wore his pride in the university right on his sleeve. He will be missed."
Vanderhoofven died early May 22, 1999. He is survived by his wife Anne fs '79, daughters Sally, Shelly and Sarah, and son Colin.