The Hornet Heritage Award
The Hornet Heritage Award recognizes a multigenerational ESU family with Hornet fever in their bloodlines. A new family is recognized annually at Family Day.
To learn more about the award or to nominate a family, call the Alumni Relations office at (620) 341-5440.
The 2012 Hornet Heritage Family
The Seacat Family
Click on the photo to view their video.
A family with roots in southwest Kansas and strong ties to Emporia State University was honored as this year’s Hornet Heritage Family.
“From the early 1900s at Kansas State Normal to present-day Emporia State, the Seacat family has created a Hornet connection that deserves to be recognized,” said Tyler Curtis, executive director of alumni relations.
Five of S. H. and Donia Seacat’s seven children left the family farm near Bucklin and pursued their teaching careers with degrees from Kansas State Normal.
Seven second-generation Seacats earned Kansas State Teachers College degrees and spent a combined total of 160 years teaching in Kansas schools.
A third generation includes three Seacat family members who received degrees from KSTC and Emporia Kansas State College. The Seacat family also encompasses a fourth-generation Emporia State University graduate.
Over a period of 90 years, 16 family members have earned degrees from the institution and can account for a combined total of 300 years of teaching, most of which has taken place in Kansas schools.
Surviving family members include Mark (BSB 1973) and Joyce (BSE 1974) Neves of Olathe; Vesta Strader (Teaching Certificate 1945) of Bucklin; Kenneth Fields (BSE 1971) Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Brent (BS 2001, MS 2007) and Tauna (BS 2001) Baker, Topeka; Dale (BSB 1954, MS 1957) and Bertella (BSE 1960) Seacat, Gilbert, Ariz.; Max (BSB 1957, MS 1961) and Joleen (BS 1961) Seacat, Greensburg; and Dona Seacat (MS 1962,) West Barnstable, Mass.
The Seacat family was honored at halftime of the Emporia State/Central Oklahoma Family Day football game Saturday, Sept. 15 at Welch Stadium.
The Hornet Heritage Family award, sponsored by the ESU Alumni Association, annually recognizes a multigenerational family of Hornet alumni and former students
The 2011 Hornet Heritage Family
The Prophet-Brady Family
The family of Carl (BSE 1955, MS 1957) and Kay Prophet, Emporia, were honored Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.
“It's certainly a surprise and an honor to be selected and to recognize all my relatives who've been students here at ESU,” said Dr. Prophet, professor emeritus of biology.
“We moved here [to Emporia] in the fall of 1953 after I got out of the Army,” Prophet explained. After finishing his master’s degree in 1957, Prophet taught in KSTC’s biology department for three years. He rejoined the KSTC faculty in 1962 after earning his doctorate, rising to become chair of the Division of Biological Sciences at ESU before retiring in 1996.
The Prophet/Brady family tree's branches stretch to include 14 family members—including children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews—who have received degrees from ESU and 22 who've attended the university.
Two Carl and Kay’s three children—Stuart (BSB 1978), Topeka, and Kevin (BSB 1980, MBA 1982), Olathe—earned ESU degrees. The couple’s daughter, Peggy, took classes from ESU on her way to earning a degree at another institution. Stuart’s wife, Jan (Latta) Prophet (BSE 1978, MS 1993), earned ESU degrees, as did the couple’s two children, Haley (Prophet) Akin (BS 2005) and Hanna Prophet (BSE 2010).
A nephew, Dr. Mark Brady (BS 1985), Overland Park, is currently serving as a member of the ESU Foundation board of trustees.
The family was recognized at halftime of the ESU/Central Missouri football game at ESU’s Welch Stadium.
The 2010 Hornet Heritage Family
The Simkins-Hartzler Family
From two great aunts attending Kansas State Normal School in the horse and buggy days to graduates from the latter part of the 20th century, Emporia State University has figured prominently in the lives of this year’s Hornet Heritage Award family.
Claiming the 2010 award is the Simkins-Hartzler family. With 18 degrees from KSN, Kansas State Teachers College and Emporia State University between them, the family also includes six more who attended.
“Noting this legacy includes three generations, it is obvious that black and gold runs through your veins,” said Judith Heasley, ESU Foundation president and University Advancement executive director, in a letter congratulating Charles and Frances Ross Simkins on their family’s selection. The family was honored at a Hornet Heritage observance ceremony during halftime of the ESU-Missouri Southern football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010.
Dr. and Mrs. Simkins divide their time between homes in Danbury, Wis., and Aiken, S.C.
A member of Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity since 1942, Dr. Simkins has continued his membership through the years and contributed financial support for the fraternity’s projects.
Charles Simkins and his first wife, Marylouise Walker Simkins, had three children, each of whom graduated from ESU. Marylouise Simkins died in 1991.
Frances Simkins and her first husband, longtime ESU faculty member Findley (Rocky) Hartzler had three children who attended ESU. Hartzler died in 1993.
In 2006, Charles and Frances Simkins established the Walker-Hartzler Memorial Scholarships in ESU’s School of Business in memory of their respective spouses.
The 2009 Hornet Heritage Family
The Spencer-Smith-Brown-Hopper-LeClear Family
A family tracing its roots back 144 years to the very first class in 1865 of the Kansas State Normal School (now Emporia State University) is this year’s Hornet Heritage family.
Claiming the 2009 award, the Spencer-Smith-Brown-Hopper-LeClear family branches out across three centuries of the university’s existence. Three sisters – Martha, Margaret, and Elmira Spencer – were present on Feb. 15, 1865, the first day of class at Kansas State Normal School, under the direction of Lyman B. Kellogg, the college’s first president.
The Hornet Heritage award, sponsored by the ESU Alumni Association, annually recognizes a multigenerational family of Hornet alumni and former students. The family was honored on Family Day at ESU on Sept. 12, 2009.
Two of Margaret Spencer’s great-grandchildren carried on the ESU lineage in the 20th century. Wayne Smith (BSE 1951, BA 1951) had a son and daughter-in-law who attended ESU. Nadine (Brown) Hopper attended the Newman School of Nursing, which later became part of ESU. Four of her children and two of her grandchildren have earned ESU degrees, while a third grandchild, Jami LeClear, is a current student at ESU, working part-time in the Sauder Alumni Center
The 2008 award was given to the Hoelting family
The 2007 award was given to the Edwards family
The 2006 Hornet Heritage winner, the McGee - Hoffmans family
The 2005 winner, the Hastert, Peat and Schlobohm families
The 2004 winner was the Goldsmith family
The 2003 winner was the Breukelman family
The 2002 winner was the Wendling family
The 2001 winner was the Van Voris, Litchfield and Grimwood family.