Spring 2018

Shock Talk: Spring 2018

Shockers everywhere, at events long ago or happenings just the other day, always have something interesting to say. Take this sampling as a Shock Talk example:


“The original Pizza Hut building has opened as a museum at Wichita State University.”

— The opening sentence of an April 26 article in The Washington Post about Dan ’53/04 and Frank ’00 Carney’s first Pizza Hut building, a converted beer tavern located at Kellogg and Bluff.

“Best day of my life! So blessed. So grateful for the people in my life. And so excited to be a 76er!”

— Landry Shamet on Twitter after being selected in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. The first Shocker first-rounder since Xavier McDaniel (1985), Shamet was the 26th overall pick – chosen on June 21 by the Philadelphia 76ers.

“Congratulations, Gloria!”

— Courtney M. Marshall, WSUAA president and CEO, to Gloria Farha Flentje, who won the 2018 Women United for the Shockers “Bracket Chatter” trophy, which is awarded to the WU member who best completes the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament championship bracket.

“I am a member of the class of 1974 – a very proud member of that class. And a high point for me was when I discovered the beauty of poetry with Fran Stevens, who was a wonderful faculty member in the English department.”

— M. Lee Pelton ’74, president of Boston’s Emerson College, recalling one of his “high points” as a Wichita State student.

The Wichita State University Alumni Association was proud to sponsor Los Angeles-based steel drummer and 2017-2018 WSU Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series presenter Chris Arpad at this year’s Wichita River Festival. Arpad performed Saturday, June 2 at the Quantum Credit Union Food Court Stage, prior to performances by Matisyahu and Stephan Marley.

As a musician, Chris Arpad is known for his solo steel drum performances that combine his own vocals and live steel pan with custom instrumental and vocal backing tracks — creating a full band sound that covers such genres as reggae, calypso, world music, pop and even Scottish highland. Arpad’s playlist at Riverfest was an eclectic mix of songs, ranging from tunes by Carlos Santana and Bob Marley, to the less expected – the Motown classic “Just My Imagination,” for example.

It was as a student at Wichita State that Arpad fell in love with the steel drum and got his career start performing with and managing the band Stainless Steel from 1986 to 1991. The band’s six members — Arpad, Darren Dyke, Curtis Jackson, Benjamin Munevar, Phil Hawkins and Brad Evilsizer — rehearsed in a basement room at WSU’s Duerksen Fine Arts Center. Billed as “the Midwest’s Only Steel Drum Band,” Stainless Steel was a regional success, appearing at the annual South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, in 1990 and 1991 and touring Minnesota, Kentucky, Colorado, Texas, and Missouri, in addition to Kansas — with Arpad driving the band’s “refurbished” bus, he recalls with a laugh. Stainless Steel opened concerts and shared stages with such notable acts as Santana, Andy Narell, Stanley Jordan, Tower of Power, Bonnie Raitt, Head East, Jeff Healey, and Steel Pulse. 

A native Kansan, Arpad has made California his base for a busy — and varied — touring and performing schedule. “I’m a proud Wichita State alum,” he says. “So it’s a pleasure being here at Riverfest representing my university and the alumni association.” For more: chrisarpad.com.



Shock Talk: Spring 2018

Shockers everywhere, at events long ago or happenings just the other day, always have something interesting to say.