Conrow family selected as Kansas State University's Family of the
YearK-State Communications and
|The Conrow family received
the 2014 Kansas State University Family of the Year honor at Family Day on
Sept. 27. (Photo courtesy: K-State Communications and
Four generations of the Conrow family have been steadfast Kansas State
University fans since 1913 and now their legacy has been formally
The Conrow family received the 2014 Kansas State University Family of the Year
Family Day on Sept. 27. They were honored at the football game against
University of Texas, El Paso. William Augustus and Lena May Conrow moved to
Manhattan in 1913 so their nine children — Aubrey, Lena, Grace, Sarah, John,
Ida, William, Frank and Ned — could continue their education at Kansas State
Agricultural College. Four generations later, decedents carry on as current
Kansas State University students, alumni and supporters.
junior honorary, selects the university's Family of the Year based on three
criteria: how the family is affiliated with the university; the way they show
their loyalty and pride in Kansas State University; and what role family plays
in their lives.
"Chimes Junior Honorary chose this family because of
their extreme dedication to K-State," said Ciara Chambers, junior in political
science, Spanish and international studies, Derby, and Chimes co-chair of
events. "We loved that in their application they stressed how their family lived
out every part of the alma mater in their everyday life."
junior in finance, Derby, and Chimes co-chair of events, said, "Chimes had many
outstanding applications and it was difficult to choose just one family to
honor. However, this family stood out to us because Kansas State has been a part
of every family event and they have been dedicated members of the K-State family
for so long."
The Conrows gather in Manhattan, Kansas, every year for
Thanksgiving, which often ends with a family football game at Memorial Stadium.
Supporters of university athletics, the family has had season football tickets
since 1940. In 2001, the university honored Ida Conrow McGehee, one of the
family's first nine children to attend Kansas State University and a former
rowing athlete, by naming one of the rowing team's boats after her.
Although athletics are a large part of the family's extracurricular activities,
they are passionate about their education.
"William and Lena Conrow had
the foresight to realize the importance of higher education back in the early
1900s," said Debbie Lair, a third-generation Wildcat who nominated her family
for the award. "We know we have good educations because of them and the
traditions they instilled in their children."
Lair and her husband, Jeff,
along with other family members, were presented with a plaque at the football
game. Members of the Conrow family who were present at the ceremony
Leanna and Luke Chaffee, Auburn, fourth-generation Wildcats; Sam
McGehee, third-generation Wildcat, and Sammy McGehee, fourth-generation Wildcat,
both from Goddard, Kansas.
From Hesston, Kansas: John McGehee,
second-generation Wildcat; Greg and Mary McGehee, both third-generation
Wildcats; and Scott McGhee, fourth-generation Wildcat who is a freshman in
personal financial planning.
Debbie and Jeff Lair, third-generation
Wildcats, and Sara Lair, fourth-generation Wildcat and a junior in elementary
education, all from Leawood, Kanas; Rita and John Cassida, third-generation
Wildcats, and Calvin and Katherine Cassida, fourth-generation Wildcats, all from
Louisburg, Kansas; Janet Conrow, second-generation Wildcat, Manhattan, Kansas;
Arch and Chili McGehee, second-generation Wildcats, Ottawa, Kansas; Jenn
Marasco, fourth-generation Wildcat, and Titus Marasco, fifth-generation Wildcat,
both from Overland Park, Kansas.
From Wichita, Kansas: Richard McGehee,
second-generation Wildcat; Dwight and Fern McGehee, third-generation Wildcats;
Blair McGehee, fourth-generation Wildcat and a freshman in agribusiness; and
Rachelle McGehee, fourth-generation Wildcat and a senior in secondary
From out of state: Steve McGehee, third-generation
Wildcat, Yukon, Oklahoma.
"This honor is a true celebration of our roots;
our grandparents and parents who loved Kansas State University and blessed us
all with a commitment to higher education and most importantly to remember to
get together often," Lair said. "We grow our children to love the purple and the
white because K-State is family to us."