The graduate classes of 1965 and 1990 returned to the Manhattan campus on April 16-17, 2015, to celebrate the inaugural Graduate School Reunion. The reunion gave the attendees an opportunity to experience how the university campus has changed since they were students and participate in networking events that reconnected classmates, colleagues, faculty, current graduate students and K-State administrators.
The first day of the reunion, alumni toured K-State’s Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI). Dr. Stephen Higgs, Research Director of the Biosecurity Research Institute, shared information about the Institute and the research that was being conducted. The group also took a stroll through K-State’s University Gardens. Immediately following, the ’65 and ’90 classes made their way back to the Alumni Association to network with the 2015 Graduate School’s Alumni Fellow, Linda Simon. The group concluded with a tour of the K-State campus that ended at Call Hall for an ice cream social.
“We’ve had so much fun telling people about the wonderful reunion we were blessed to attend,” said Thyra Davis, 1965 alumna graduate. “I’m so glad we accepted the invitation to come. Thanks for making it possible.”
Day two of the reunion started off with a guided excursion of the Konza Prairie Biological Station led by Dr. John Blair, university distinguished professor of biology and PI of the Konza Prairie LTER Program. Alumni witnessed buffalo roaming throughout the prairie and saw the by-product of a controlled field burn. From there, alumni had a meet and greet with Sean Starowitz, artist-in-residence at the Beach Museum of Art, to discuss Starowitz’s on-going projects. The second half of the day included a tour of K-State athletic facilities where they met head football coach, Bill Snyder, and heard the latest about K-State football. The alumni then went to tour the university’s President Residence and visited with first lady Noel Schulz.
“My favorite experience was attending the Konza Prairie Research Station,” said ZoeAnn Homes, 1965 graduate alumnus. “Not only was it interesting, but I really thought their research was well structured and comprehensive to the area’s needed. That plus, other KSU research facilities enriches both the students and faculty, but also the people of Kansas.”
The two-day alumni reunion concluded with a reception and dinner at the K-State Alumni Association, where alumni reminisced about when they were students and discussed the experiences of being back on the Manhattan campus. The university’s art department student club, Pottery Guild, created a unique K-State ceramic keepsake for the guests attending the reception. Additionally, the Graduate School presented the 1965 class with a graduation card which showed the major professor’s marks and the final classes as a graduate student. President Kirk Schulz, Alumni Association CEO Amy Button-Renz, Graduate Student Council Representative Morgan Bialas and Carol Shanklin, dean of K-State’s Graduate School, all commemorated the past, present and future times of the 1965 and 1990 graduate alumni through storytelling, speeches and a 1965 and 1990 Graduate Alumni Reunion video.
For the classes of 1966 through 1950! Mark your calendars, because the 2016 Graduate Alumni Reunion will be Friday and Saturday, April 8-9, 2016.