Winter 2019

Shock Talk: Winter 2019

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:

“After 118 years in operation, Wichita-based McCormick Armstrong announced it is closing its doors. The company – which provides digital prepress workflow, web and sheetfed commercial and contract printing, digital printing, fulfillment services, mailing and complex distribution – recently ranked No. 322 on the Printing Impressions annual list of the top 400 printing companies in the United States and Canada, reporting its most recent fiscal year’s sales were $11.51 million, a 12 percent decrease from its previous year’s report of $13.03 million.

McCormick Armstrong was started in 1901 by A.G. McCormick ‘in a one-room loft in downtown Wichita. He had a jobber, a few cases of type, and the determination to deliver high quality printing knowing each piece would be used as a sample of his work.’ At one point, the company was publicly traded in the 1950s and 1960s, but it became private again in 1968.”

— The Feb. 25, 2019 entry in Printing Impressions about the closing on March 8 of the venerable Wichita printing firm owned by the Armstrong family. Among the Shocker alumni with key roles at the company: Mickey Armstrong ’45 and her late husband Pete Armstrong ’42, who was chairman and principal owner, and Jake Shaffer ’65, the company’s CEO.

“Every day was a joy. The ride we were on. …When I come up over that hill by Oliver, and I am down, anytime if I am down, and I looked up over that hill and I saw that stadium that has been there since 2015, I just went WOOO!”

— Gene Stephenson, as quoted by KSNW, Wichita’s NBC affiliate, in its reporting of the former Wichita State baseball coach’s Dec. 15, 2018 induction into the Shocker Sports Hall of Fame. He led the Shockers to over 1,800 wins and a national championship in his 36 years at WSU.

The WSU Alumni Association’s The Shocker is proud to have carried, in every one of our issues, an original editorial cartoon by Richard Crowson, who, in addition to his powers as a cartoonist and political commentator, wields talents as an artist — and plays a downright wicked banjo.

Crowson’s cartoons for The Shocker have illustrated major alumni news, chronicled university milestones of note, and poked gentle fun at campus life, including, since he’s fond of football in the fall, Wichita State’s lack of the sport since the program was discontinued in 1986 — which was, by the way, the subject matter of his first cartoon in The Shocker.

At left is a mini-retrospective of his contributions:

Top left, from the fall/winter 2015 issue, is Crowson’s take on the link between two groundbreaking pieces of Wichita State history and progress. In 2015, WSU was poised to enter a time of rapid change with the development of its Innovation Campus, which was the key subject of the issue’s cover story, “Changing Ground.” At the same time, former WSU football coach Willie Jeffries was being honored by the South Carolina State Department of Athletics and the South Carolina State Former Athletes Association for his career achievements. When WSU hired Jeffries in 1979, he became the first African American NCAA Division 1A football coach.

Middle, from the fall 2011 issue, is Crowson’s toon illustrating the issue’s cover story, “You Can’t Miss It,” about Joan Miró’s Personnages Oiseaux and the university’s major undertaking to renovate the monumental mosaic mural, a delicately complicated renewal that absented the iconic artwork from campus for a full five years.

Lower left, from the winter 2001/2002 issue, is Crowson’s depiction of the tragic impact of 9/11. The issue’s cover story “Severe Clear” shared stories of Shockers on campus and around the globe who experienced the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from differing vantages. No graduates were killed in the attacks, but members of the WSU community were, as the world was, seared by the reality of the event.




Shock Talk: Winter 2019

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