July/August 1998 WSU Alumni News


Senate Applause

In a Kansas Senate resolution penned earlier this year, senators recognized WSU President Eugene M. Hughes for his dedication and "uncommon commitment" to Wichita State, its students, faculty, alumni and its many community constituents. The resolution acknowledges that Hughes has improved the image of WSU by coining the term "metropolitan advantage," which refers to the unique opportunities students have at WSU, the state system's only metropolitan university. He also is credited with overseeing an increase in enrollment through four consecutive enrollment periods as well as record-setting giving to the university. WSU's endowment grew from $59 million in 1991 to nearly $94 million in 1997. The resolution reads, in part: "Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Kansas: That we congratulate and commend Dr. Eugene M. Hughes upon retiring as President of Wichita State University." Hughes will retire from WSU Dec. 31.

Family Affair

Since Harry Shuler '13/30 became the first WSU Alumni Association president back in 1913, two sets of husbands and wives have made service to their alma mater a family affair and served separate stints in office as Alumni Association president. First came James '21 and Ruth (Miller) '20 Ross, with James serving in 1923-24 and Ruth taking the helm in 1926-27. The others were Elliott '36 and Kathlien (Robertson) '33 Edmiston. Kathlien headed up the association in 1943-44; Elliott, in 1953-54.

Orienta Dawn

Wichita artist Michael L. Nicholson '72 is hot this summer, and we're not talking weather. First, he was invited to exhibit his painting "Orienta Dawn" in the national juried exhibition American Watercolorists of 1998 at The Stage Gallery in Merrick, New York. The exhibition closes Aug. 30. Then, on July 10, his artwork received the Salmagundi Club Cash Award in the 45th Annual Exhibition of the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, Inc., 47 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. And his work is being shown at the 27th Annual Seven-State Kansas Watercolor Society Exhibition at the Wichita Art Museum through Aug. 30.

President Pelton

This July, Lee Pelton '73 takes up the presidential reigns at Willamette University, Salem, Ore. Highlighted in the May issue of Black Issues in Higher Education, Pelton, who majored in English and psychology at WSU, is quoted as explaining, "I set out to be a professor of English, and I discovered that I had some administrative talent. Enough people told me over time that I would ve a good president that I began to believe it." Now, he'll be able to act on his belief. His previous appointments include serving as lecturer at Harvard University, from which he earned his doctorate in Englishh and American literature in 1984; as dean of students, Colgate University; dean of the college, Colgate; and dean of the college, Dartmouth College.

X 34

Xavier McDaniel '87/96, known simply and fondly as "X" to Shocker fans, will be one of three honored guests at an induction ceremony for selected greats from the Missouri Valley Conference. McDaniel, along with other MVC basketball standouts Bob Kurland of Oklahoma State and Chet Walker of Bradley, will be inducted into The Valley Hall of Fame Sept. 1 (1998) in St. Louis, Mo. X was one of the most aggressive and physical players to ever wear a WSU uniform. One of only four Shockers to have his uniform number — 34 — retired, McDaniel ended his brilliant career as the Shockers' all-time rebounding leader with 1,359 and second in scoring with 2,152 points. In 1985, he became the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in scoring (27.2) and rebounding (14.8), while earning consensus first-team All-America honors. He twice led the nation in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds in 1982-83 and 14.8 in 1984-85. He twice broke the 40-point barrier with 44 points against West Texas State and 43 against Bradley, and he scored 30 or more points 14 times in his career. He was three times a first-team All-MVC performer and was named MVC Player of the Year in 1984 and 1985, while becoming only the third player in Missouri Valley history to score 2,000 points and have 1,000 rebounds. He was a first-round draft choice of the Seattle Supersonics in 1985 and was inducted into the Shocker Hall of Fame in 1991.

Banking on Pauly

Marilyn Pauly '72, president of NationsBank Wichita, will take the helm of NationsBank Kansas, becoming president and assuming responsibility for coordinating communication with NationsBank branches throughout Kansas, excluding the Kansas City area. Pauly began her banking career with Bank IV in 1969. She will retain her position as president of NationsBank Wichita.

Below the Plow Line

Don Blakeslee, WSU professor anthropology, and WSU grad student Todd Bevitt were among 60 volunteers helping excavate an archaeological site near Fowler, Kan., this summer. Armed with spades, brushes, screens and directions from professional archaeologists, the volunteers dug below the plow line and into the past. Sponsored by the Kansas State Historical Society and the Kansas Anthropological Association, the dig uncovered arrowheads, pottery shards and other items dating back 500 to 1,000 years. Blakeslee, who teaches a class on how to identify artifacts, relates that the site was fairly intact. "People were here apparently for a long enough time to leave a lot of garbage for us to dig up," he says.

Golden Apple

Unlike Sir Isaac Newton's apple, this one didn't just fall from a tree. Debra (Hardy) Gurule '74, a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at Cuba Elementary School, Cuba, N.M., has worked exceedingly hard for her apple. Gurule is one of five winners of the 1998 Golden Apple Award presented by the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico for excellence in teaching. Says Gurule, "Not only do I want to help students gain academic skills, I also want to provide them with the tools and skills necessary to be contributing, well-adjusted, confident people. When children become my students, I believe it is my responsibility to help them grow and develop as well-rounded individuals."

Good Hearts

Three Shockers have proven their hearts are in the right place — and have been rewarded for it with some cold, hard cash. Wichita Public Schools personnel specialist Martha Bruce Fair '83/89, Sedgwick County interim budget director Kathleen Sexton '88/98/92 and City of Wichita acting citizen participation coordinator Misty Bruckner '95 were selected as winners of the DeVore Foundation's 11th annual Excellence in Public Service Awards this past spring. The winners were surprised at work during separate ceremonies and presented with checks for $2,500 for their extraordinary commitment to their communities. The three collectively volunteer at a host of local public-service organizations, including the Wichita Children's Home, the Kansas School for Effective Learning, United Way of the Plains, the Humane Society and the March of Dimes Walk-a-thon.

Young Strings

A. Kay Gardner '65, a member of the viola section of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, shares her love of music with young minority talents through an organization called Young Strings, which offers free instruction to Hispanic, African-American and Native American students. Involved with Young Strings since 1994, Gardner took over as the program's lead teacher with the title of artistic director in 1995. She firmly believes in giving back to the community, something she says was deeply ingrained in her by her father, Glen E. Gardner, "a fund-raiser all his life for nonprofits in Wichita."



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