Members of K-State Alumni Association board of directors gather for annual meeting

K-State Alumni Communications
Sarah Bylarly, K-State Salina's SGA attorney general and freshman in applied business, shows the Alumni Association board of directors the engineering and technology lab where students work on projects such as 3D printing and building a solar-powered boat and baja car. (Photo: K-State Alumni Association)

The leaders and membership of the K-State Alumni Association board of directors gathered for their annual meeting June 7 at the Alumni Center, with a portion of the meeting being held at the K-State Salina campus.

During the business portion of the meeting, Roger McClellan, Wichita, Kansas, assumed his leadership position as 2014-15 board chair. A 1988 Kansas State University graduate, McClellan is president of Wildcat Construction Co. Inc. He succeeded Aaron Otto, Roeland Park, Kansas, who now fills the immediate past-chair position until June 2015. A 1998 K-State graduate, Otto is the city administrator for Roeland Park. 

Board members elected Travis Lenkner, Chicago, Illinois, as chair-elect. He will become the 2015-16 chair in June 2015. A 2001 K-State graduate, Lenkner is managing director and chief underwriting officer for Gerchen Keller Capital.

In a general election this spring, members of the Alumni Association approved a slate of five new members of the board of directors. These alumni also began their four-year terms at the board’s annual meeting and will continue to June 2018.
                                                                                                      
They are Carolyn Wittorff Jackson ’75, ’81, Arlington, Virginia, executive director of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences; Kendal Frazier ’73, Centennial, Colorado, chief operating officer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Bill Muir ’77, Manhattan, Kansas, assistant vice president emeritus of institutional advancement, Kansas State University; Lori Swart Sporer ’85, Oakley, Kansas, co-owner of Sporer Farms; and Jay Heidrick ’99, Olathe, Kansas, lawyer and shareholder at Polsinelli PC.

Additional board leadership includes Richard Meyers ’65, Arlington, chairman, Kansas State University Foundation board of directors; Curt Frasier ’73, Beloit, Kansas, treasurer; Amy Button Renz ’76, ’86, Manhattan, president and CEO of the Alumni Association and board secretary; and Kirk Schulz, Manhattan, university president. 

Two K-State students filling yearlong standing appointments also assumed their seats on the board. They are Adam Wilkerson, Columbia, Missouri, Student Alumni Board president; and Reagan Kays, Weir, Kansas, K-State student body president.

Outgoing members recognized for their service to the Association’s board of directors were Bill Shaw ’75, Ashland, Kansas; Charles Claar Jr. ’74, Garden City, Kansas; David Brown ’77, Kansas City, Kansas; Marcia Dryden Robinson ’81, Manhattan; Kent Bradley ’88, Valley Center, Kansas; and Mary How Ice ’80, ’88, Westlake, Texas.

Outgoing student members recognized for their service were Eli Schooley ’14, Clay Center, Kansas, past K-State student body president, and Sam Kellerman ’14, Leawood, Kansas, immediate past president of the Student Alumni Board.

Rich Brown, chief technician of the unmanned aircraft systems program, explains how the Aerosonde MK 4.7 is used in training for disaster response and search and rescue missions. (Photo: K-State Alumni Association)
“In keeping with our mission to help alumni stay connected with K-State, it is always enlightening for our board members to visit campus facilities and hear updates on university developments,” notes Aaron Otto, board chair. “Our visit to the Salina campus was very informative and a highlight for this year’s annual meeting.” 

The board members were welcomed by Verna Fitzsimmons, K-State Salina dean and CEO, who provided an overview on the campus history and how it has evolved over the past 49 years.

Since 1965, the campus has undergone four name changes: Schilling Institute, Kansas Technical Institute, Kansas College of Technology and in 1991 it became Kansas State University Salina. 

Today, the Salina campus has nearly 1,000 undergraduate students and offers bachelor's degrees in the fields of engineering technology, aviation, technology management, social work, family studies and human services, and a Professional Master of Technology graduate degree. Following the overview, board members toured the residence halls, the engineering technology labs and the aviation technology labs.

“What we learn during our meetings and tours allows us to be even stronger ambassadors for the university and the Alumni Association,” Otto said. “It adds to the privilege of being a board member and it was an honor for me to serve as the board chair this past year.”

K-State Alumni Association
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