Michelle Elkins '87
Associate director of awards and special events
The K-State Alumni Association presents the Flinchbaugh Family Wildcat Pride Award to a current or emeritus K-State faculty or staff member for advocacy of alumni relations, with a special emphasis on support and participation in alumni programs that engage members of the Wildcat family.
The Wildcat Pride Award is made possible by the generosity of the Barry Flinchbaugh Family.
Working with Thurston’s connections and guidance, the Association has established the International Block Party, launched student scholarships specifically for international students, created the International Graduation Celebration and created 4 annual Association International Leadership Awards.
Thurston is also an advocate and a conduit to worldwide events with K-Staters living internationally. In 2023 Thurston hosted alumni receptions in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
“Sara is a passionate leader on campus and intentionally strives to impact the lives of our international students and their families. The opportunities she provides to the Association to establish relationships with our international students and international alumni help us to succeed in our goal to be the link for life for all K-Staters. We are a better Association because of advocates like Sara,” said Amy Button Renz ’76, ’86, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association. “The Alumni Association is honored to recognize her with the Flinchbaugh Family Wildcat Pride Award.”