Fall 2017

Vivacious Shocker


In the 1948 Parnassus, a write-up about E. Jean (Cline) Curry ’48/76 began with this line: “Vivacious Jean Cline directed Wheaties in pep rallies, convocations, team send-offs and football half-time demonstrations throughout the year.”

That was her senior year at the University of Wichita, where her scope of student activities was far broader than serving as president of Wheaties, the university’s women’s pep organization. She was, for example, named Homecoming Queen that same year, representing her sorority, Pi Kappa Psi. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and went on to teach and serve as media center coordinator and librarian at Wichita public schools as she and her husband, Thomas “Tom” J. ’48, who married in 1949, began a family together. Even with the growing demands on her time with three young daughters, Curry still made time for her alma mater and served on the University of Wichita Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Through the years, the Currys relocated and lived in a number of locales, including Dodge City, Kan., Billings, Mont., and Colorado Springs and Denver. Wherever it was they called home, she saw to it that they kept informed and in contact with Wichita State and its alumni association. While in Colorado, for instance, she helped promote WSU area alumni chapters by reaching out to local Shockers.

Jean Curry – wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and vivacious Shocker – died Aug. 18, 2017 in Wichita.


For Love of Prairie

Donald A. “Doc” Distler, whose German last name – appropriately enough for a biologist – means thistle, was a member of Wichita State’s biological sciences faculty for more than 50 years.

A Conductor's Touch

Jay C. Decker ’56 – Wichita native, 1955 winner of the Naftzger Young Artist Award for his cello performance and music education graduate of the University of Wichita – was first tapped as conductor of the WSU Symphony Orchestra and concurrently associate conductor of the Wichita Symphony in 1971.

Vocalist of Note

In May 1981, when she walked across the commencement stage, LaVerne L. Baker ’56/56/81 claimed the distinction of becoming the first African American to earn a doctorate at Wichita State.

Vivacious Shocker

E. Jean (Cline) Curry '48/76 served as president of Wheaties and was named Homecoming Queen during her senior year.

Shocker Historian

George Milo Platt, WSU associate professor emeritus of public administration, received the 1997 WSU Recognition Award from the WSUAA.

Night of Stars Star

Monty Hall hn '71, star and producer of the TV show "Let's Make a Deal," emceed the 1970 Night of Stars nationally televised benefit for those directly affected by the Wichita State football plane crash.

Sports Hall of Famer

Don W. Lock '70 was a two-sport standout athlete at the University of Wichita from 1954 to 1958.

Motion Graphics Pro

Navarro Linzey d’Artagnan Parker ’97 was an Emmy-winning motion graphics animator who posted more than a decade of experience in post production and motion graphics in Los Angeles, San Diego and Wichita.

In Memoriam

Leaving lasting legacies are these Wichita State University alumni and friends.