1983 Alumni Medallion Winners

Posted July 01, 1983

Three individuals — Marianna Kistler Beach, McDill "Huck" Boyd and Harriett Morris — were awarded the Kansas State University Alumni Association's Alumni Medallion during commencement, exercises in May. 

The Medallion is the most prestigious of the alumni association's honors. Eighteen alumni have received the award since the program was begun 1969.

The awards are based on a criterion of humanitarian service to society. Service to Kansas State University is not a requirement. For the purposes of the award, an alumnus is any person who completed at least one semester of work at the university.

The selections were made by a secret panel of prominent K-State alumni and faculty members.

Marianna Kistler Beach, Hays, is a 1941 honors graduate with a B.S. in journalism and minors in home economics and radio.

She was the United States representative to the Directing Council of the Inter-American Children's Institute, a specialized body of the Organization of American States, and was recently elected president of the Institute. She was a representative of the Partners of the Americas at the first inter-agency meeting for programs for Youth in Latin America and has traveled extensively in Latin and South America in connection with her activities on behalf of children.

Beach served on the President's Committee on Mental Retardation and as chairman of that group's subcommittee on International Activities. She also served on the coordinating committee for the Second Hemisphere Congress on Mental Retardation, as vice chairman of the Kansas Special Olympics and as vice president for the Kansas Association for Mental Health.

Larry Weigel, alumni association executive director, said the Medallion judges, were most impressed with Beach's service to mentally-retarded children in South America and the United States. Since she speaks fluent French and Spanish, Beach is able to talk with these children in their native tongue, he said.

"The committee felt that her contributions as a goodwill ambassador for the United States and the success of her humanitarian work were especially noteworthy and deserved recognition," Weigel said.

Beach's letter of nomination from Norma and Ann Jeter of Hays provided this summary for the judges:

"Marianna is the most unselfish, dedicated person of our acquaintance. Her state, national and international contributions have never interfered with her thoughtfulness in extending a helping hand to her relatives, friends and the local community."

McDill "Huck" Boyd, Phillipsburg, attended K-State from 1924 to 1927. He is editor and publisher of the Phillips County Review and president of Boyd Printing Co. He has often been honored for professional excellence and is the only person to receive both the William Allen White and the Victor Murdock awards for distinction in journalism.

Boyd was one of two U.S. citizens invited to attend the United Nations Economic and Social Conference in Switzerland in 1970. In 1979 he was chosen "Distinguished Kansan" by the Topeka Capital-Journal and in 1980 Boyd was named the first "Kansan of the Decade" by the Native Sons and Daughters.

He was a member of the Republican National Committee Executive Committee from 1972 to 1980 and served as media chairman for three national GOP conventions.

The Boyd family has two permanently endowed scholarship at Kansas State, one for women in journalism in honor of Mamie Boyd, and an athletic scholarship in honor of Frank W. Boyd.

Weigel called Boyd "one of Kansas' most distinguished citizens," and said the Medallion judges noted his concern for, and significant contributions to, the people of his hometown of Phillipsburg, and to the state of Kansas.

"When North Central Kansas was faced with the possibility of losing railroad service, Huck became personally involved on behalf of all the citizens who would be affected," Weigel said.

Weigel said the committee was impressed that Boyd has done so much work behind the scenes to solve community problems.

"His caring attitude has helped bring industry to Phillipsburg, prevent the closing of a rest home and solve a rural doctor shortage," he said.

Harriett Morris, Wichita, a 1918 K-State graduate and Methodist missionary in Korea for 23 years, was instrumental in developing a home economics program at Ewha Woman's University in Seoul, Korea. Because of her dedication to home economics instruction at the university, a new six-story home economics building at the school was named in her honor in 1976.

Morris, who holds an M.S. in home economics from Columbia University (1929) and an honorary Ph.D. from Ewha Woman's University (1959), received a Distinguished Service Award from the College of Home Economics at K-State in 1981. She has received citations from the Home Economics Alumnae of Ewha Woman's University and the Child Development Research Institute of Yonsei University in Seoul. In 1982 she was commended for contributions to Korea — United States relations.

Weigel said Morris' work in Korea was a primary factor in her selection.

"The judges were impressed that she was the first person to introduce the field of home economics to the entire Korean society," he said. "They also noted that she helped establish the first home economics department at Ewha University in Seoul, and now Ewha is said to be the largest university for women in the world."

Among the background material reviewed by the judges was a feature article about Morris that was published in the Wichita Eagle and Beacon. It quoted her as saying: "These Ewha girls are just doing everything all over the country. They are nurses, pharmacists, doctors and lawyers. There's nothing worthwhile going on that there isn't an Ewha girl involved in it."

Her commitment of service to the Korean people, resulting in improved living conditions, convinced the judges that Morris is a true humanitarian and deserved the award, Weigel said.