Fall 2017

Shocker Historian


George Milo Platt, WSU associate professor emeritus of public administration, joined the university’s faculty as director of planning and associate professor of political science in 1969. For some 18 years, he assisted in the planning and layout of the university’s campus. During his tenure, he served as associate vice president of planning and institutional research and as coordinator of graduate studies in public administration. In 1995-96, he was WSU’s centennial coordinator. Through the years, he proved himself one of Wichita State’s most enthusiastic historians.

As a contributing writer for WSUAA publications, including the WSU Alumni News and, most recently The Shocker, he took as his subjects a most sweeping array of Shocker history topics, writing about everything from a lost sundial engraved with “Class 1934” on it, to the story behind a bust of Plato once given as a gift to University of Wichita President Harry Corbin ’40, to the first Shocker baseball player to play in the World Series: Fairmount College varsity pitcher Claude Hendrix, who posted a World Series batting average of 1.000 and a pitching ERA of 0.00 in 1918 with the Chicago Cubs.

A veteran of the U.S. Army who served from 1955 to 1957, Platt held a bachelor’s degree in public administration from South Dakota State University and both master’s and doctoral degrees from Syracuse University. In 1997, he was presented the WSU Recognition Award by the WSUAA.

George Platt died June 2, 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.