Spring 2012


Gleanings Illustration

College Graduation Ceremonies Feature Standout Speakers

This spring, more than 2,225 students were counted as eligible to participate in Wichita State's 114th commencement ceremonies May 11-12, when undergraduate and graduate degrees were conferred during individual college ceremonies that featured addresses by six standout speakers.

Betty M. Drees '79/79, dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, spoke during Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences commencement exercises on May 11. About 780 las students were eligible to graduate.

The commencement speaker for WSU College of Health Professions ceremonies on May 11 was James Rhatigan, emeritus dean of students at Wichita State and a consultant to the WSU Foundation. The number of health professions students eligible to participate was 350.

Nearly 380 business students were eligible to walk in W. Frank Barton School of Business graduation exercises on May 12, when Ted Vlamis, president and CEO of Pioneer Balloon Co., addressed the commencement crowd.

Rhonda Turner '75, a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist at Wichita's Pathway Family Counseling Center, spoke during the WSU College of Education ceremony on May 12. More than 330 education students were eligible to graduate.

Almost 300 engineering students were eligible to participate in the May 12 WSU College of Engineering ceremony. The commencement speaker was Ihssane Mounir '94/96, vice president of sales and marketing for greater China, Taiwan and Korea at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

For the May 12 WSU College of Fine Arts ceremony, more than 100 students were eligible to participate. The commencement speaker was Matt Wilson '86, a celebrated jazz artist and Grammy nominee. 

Félicitations to Knight Davis

Lynne Davis, who holds WSU's Ann and Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction Endowed Professorship of Organ, has been awarded one of France's most distinguished titles, that of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by Frederic Mitterand, the French minister of culture and communications.

"It is a very great honor for me to receive this distinction," she says. "Through my music, I have always striven to carry high the colors of France, its language, its beauty and that singular undefinable quality that sets it apart from other cultures. At such a time as this, I can't help thinking of how proud my parents and my late husband, Pierre Firmin-Didot, would have been."

Since 1957, France has awarded l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to recognize eminent artists and writers and people who have contributed to furthering the arts.

Davis, an associate professor, received WSU's annual Excellence in Creativity Award in 2011 for finding new ways to showcase the world-famous 4,600-pipe Marcussen organ, bringing attention to the quality of her music students and fostering her own creativity. She also recently recorded a CD in performance at Wiedemann Hall; all proceeds from its sales go to student scholarships for the organ program.

After earning a bachelor's degree in organ performance from the University of Michigan in 1971, Davis went to France for further study. There, she studied organ with Marie-Claire Alain, Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Durufle, Jean Langlais at the Schola Cantorum and Edouard Souberbielle.

She joined the WSU faculty in 2006, after holding organ professorships at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Clamart and the National Regional Conservatory of Music and Dance in Caen, both in France.

Miró Mural Restoration Project Gains Grant Assistance

The Ulrich Museum of Art has been awarded two federal grants totaling $250,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the conservation of the landmark mural and masterpiece by modern artist Joan Miró.

The announcement of the Ulrich Museum as a grant recipient from both organizations in 2012 is significant because the Ulrich is the only Kansas museum to receive both the NEA and IMLS grants in 2012 and is the only Kansas museum to receive the maximum grant amounts from the NEA ($100,000) and IMLS ($150,000).


Elite 8

Seniors Brian Box and Matt Munday made up the WSU team that reached the final round of eight at the National Debate Tournament, March 29-April 2 in Atlanta, before losing to Gonzaga.

Airline Quality Rating Sees Best Overall Score in 22 Years of Research

For the fourth consecutive year, the performance of the nation's leading carriers improved, according to the 22nd annual national Airline Quality Rating, a joint research project funded as part of faculty research activities at Wichita State and Purdue University.


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