University Service Citation Award



Started in 1980 by the ESU Alumni Association, the intent of the University Service Citation Award is to recognize unique and significant service to Emporia State University. Individuals chosen for this award are moved to service by a deep concern for and loyalty to ESU. Their efforts extend beyond the call of duty and usually are performed without expectation for compensation. Award nominations are made annually.

Click here to fill out a nomination form online or call your ESU Alumni Association at 620-341-5440 to request a nomination form.  (please note: for consideration during the upcoming calendar year, nominations are due by December 1; nominations received after this date will be considered for the following year)



Gary Parks
Rose Hill, Kan.

Gary Parks, an active participant in the South Central Alumni Chapter, was described as a "worker bee" in a nomination submitted by Mim Hiesterman, coordinator for South Central Kansas Alumni.

Parks is generous with his time, talents and resources, Hiesterman wrote.

He is involved in the Core Planning Group, taking a leading role in planning chapter activities. He also serves on the golf and Hornet Night committees and works at the events.

Parks is responsible for delivering packages to high schools and volunteers for the Teacher Appreciation Program luncheon project, which is a program designed to thank teachers for their service, recognize alumni and recruit students.

"He is a dedicated Hornet," Hiesterman said.

Mark and Pat Sevier
Kansas City, Kan.

Mark and Pat Sevier have demonstrated their commitment to Emporia State, its students and alumni for many years, according to Roy Mann, director of development at the ESU Foundation, who nominated the couple for the award.

Mann said the Seviers had been tireless volunteers and advocates for the university. The couple had been hosting an active, but informal network in their home outside Atlanta; they wanted to broaden the connection with African-Americans who were connected to the university or the city of Emporia and organize a reunion.

The resulting "Emporia Connection" became recognized by the Alumni Association as an official chapter. It has become more than a social event; it has resulted in creating a legacy scholarship fund that helps create scholarship dollars for future Emporia State students.

Ron Thomas
Emporia, Kan.

Ron Thomas, general manager of Emporia's Radio Stations, was nominated by Kent Weiser, director of athletics.  "It is safe to say that whenever the Athletics Department calls on Ron for help, he always is there to help," Weiser said.

Thomas donates his time and talents in a variety of ways. He tallies approximately 35 Hornet basketball games a year as public address announcer, as well as conference and national events hosted by Emporia State on behalf of the MIAA and NCAA.

"I have had many visiting administrators and conference officials comment that he is clearly the best PA announcer in our league," Weiser wrote.

Thomas also serves as master of ceremonies for fundraising and other events, including the annual auction and the KC Night of Champions event last summer in Kansas City.


Don Hill
Emporia, Kan.

Click here to see Don's video.

Don Hill, a retired pharmacy owner, has represented the Emporia area in the State House of Representatives since 2003.  “Representative Hill has consistently supported and promoted Emporia State University in the Kansas Legislature,” said Vern Swanson, one of Hill’s Statehouse colleagues, in nominating Hill for the award.  “I am hard pressed to find such an active supporter of Emporia State University and higher education,” wrote former Emporia State student government president Jonathan Krueger in supporting Hill’s nomination.  “Not only does Don serve the state but he has a lengthy record of community involvement,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, president. 

Gail and George Milton
Emporia, Kan.

Click here to see Gail and George's video.

Gail and George Milton have been a presence in the Emporia community since the late 1960s, when George was hired as the men’s and women’s tennis coach and a faculty member in physical education. Gail Milton served as a part-time instructor in the English department and later worked as an arts promotion professional with the Mid-America Arts Alliance.  Over the years, the couple’s promotion of tennis for youngsters and the young-at-heart “symbolized the talents and a passion that brought the Miltons to ESU, but which were then shared with the larger community,” wrote Dr. DeWayne Backhus in nominating the couple.  Among the Miltons’ recent efforts is the Flint Hills Piano Project, repurposing brightly decorated pianos for access to the public on the sidewalks of storefronts along Emporia’s Commercial Street business district. “They bring a presence of the arts to the public, inspire spontaneous performances by individuals, and surely catch the attention of visitors,” wrote Backhus.


Joan Lauber
Osage City, Kan.

Her nominator calls Joan Lauber the heart and soul of Emporia State University’s alumni relations efforts during the 26 years she worked as administrative officer for the Alumni Association.

In her work, Joan took the time to get to know Emporia State’s alumni on a personal level and learn their histories. Her knowledge of family trees, professional careers and numerous other connections is legendary.

Under her leadership, numerous student assistants learned the intricacies of keeping alumni projects and priorities on track. Joan continues to show her Hornet pride in many ways, including volunteering at Emporia State’s booth at the Kansas State Fair each September.   

Roy Mann (BME 1979, MS 1998)
Emporia, Kan.

A passion for Emporia State University and developing connections among its alumni fueled Roy Mann’s work with the Alumni Association for nearly 20 years. His work ethic and humor—along with an Elvis Presley impersonation or two along the way—made his workplace friendly and productive.

Roy oversaw the first campus telefund program and worked to build alumni programs throughout the state and nation. As an ESU Ambassadors advisor, he brought the program national recognition. He is also credited with strengthening Emporia State’s relationship with Martha Kruse Furbur, whose later donation was the largest single gift in the history of the institution. 

Rod Turner (BSE 1971, MS 1974)
Wichita, Kan.

As a mainstay of Emporia State’s South Central alumni chapter, Rod Turner does the heavy lifting for many of the chapter’s alumni connection events. His service extends beyond coordinating and unloading refreshments for guests, though, stretching to securing sponsors and teams for the chapter’s annual golf tournament, a scholarship fundraising event.

He visits with alumni, prospective students and their parents at Hornet Night activities, and encourages prospective students to consider Emporia State in their higher education plans.

A member of the Emporia State Alumni Association board of directors, Rod served a term as the organization’s president. He currently serves as president of the South Central Kansas alumni chapter.

2015 Recipients
Gary Parks (BSE 63, MS 69)
Mark Sevier (BA 75)
Pat Sevier
Ron Thomas

2014 Recipients
Don Hill
Gail Milton
George Milton

2013 Recipients
Joan Lauber
Roy Mann (BME 79, MS 98)
Rod Turner (BSE 71, MS 74)

2012 Recipients
Jay Bezdek (BA 69)
Sharon Bezdek (BA 69) 
Ken Hush (BS 82) 

2011 Recipients
Kieth Hiesterman (BA 57)
Gail “Pep” Shanelec (BSE 50)
John Summervill (BSE 62, MS 63)

2008 Recipients
Roger Heineken (BFA 78)
Gilbert Rodriguez (FR)
Dr. Harry Stephens (BA 65, MS 72)

2007 Recipients
Art Bloomer (BS 55, BS 55)
Sue Bloomer
Dr. Marshall Havenhill (FR)
Janet Schalansky (BA 72, MS 73)

2006 Recipients
Russ Jenkins (BSE 73)
Jeannie Jenkins (BSE 75)
Lana Oleen (BS 72, MS 77)
Kim Pember (BSB 88, MBA 89)

2005 Recipients
Charles Hanna (FS 48) 
Doris Hanna (FR)
Randy Steinert (BSB 79)
Jan Steinert (BSB 80)
Shiela Steinkuhler (FR) 
Kurt Steinkuhler (FR)

2004 Recipients
Dale Davis (FR)
Carolyn Davis (FR)
Robert Hodge (BSE 57, MS 60) 
Lois Hodge (BA 50, BSE 60) 
Barney Reeble (BSB 37)
Jane Reeble (FS 53)

2003 Recipients
John Baxter (MS 67)
Norma Hodges (BSE 65, MS 80)
Polly Sauder (FR)
Mary Sue Wade (FR)

2002 Recipients
Barbara (Brinkman) Becker (BSE 60)
C. Clair Hutchinson (BSE 56)
Everett Kadel (BSE 50)

2001 Recipients
Dr. George Downing (MS 58)
Mary Downing (BGS 79, MS 81)
Capt. Don Edwards (BSB 53)

2000 Recipients
Paula Sauder (BSE 68)
R. Hershel Sheperd (FR)
Augusta Shepherd (BSB 44)

1999 Recipients
Mim Hiesterman (FS 57)
Charles “Chuck” Stuart (BSE 47, MS 53)

1998 Recipients
Ray Harvey (BSE 66)
Thomas Tholen (BSB 41)
Charles Wilhite (BSB 51)

1997 Recipients
David Eldridge (BSB 62, MS 68)
Frank Karnes (BA 48)
Helen Nixon (FR)

1996 Recipients
Mary Glennen (FR)
Carl Hoffmans (BSB 55) (Ret. Fac.)
Carl Prophet (BSE 55, MS 57) (Ret. Fac.)

1995 Recipients
Imogene McCosh (FR)
Irene Hendricks (Ret. Fac.)
George Walters (Ret. Fac.)

1994 Recipients
DeWayne Backhus (BS 66) 
John Rich (Curr. Fac.)
Newton Wilson (FS 39)
Lenora Wilson (BSE 43, MS 60)

1993 Recipients
Mary Louise Butcher Boertman (BSE 38)
Paul Edwards (BSE 37)
John C. Lehman (Ret. Fac.)

1991 Recipients
Larry DeBauge (BA 63)
Paul DeBauge (FR)
Earl Sauder (FR)

1990 Recipients
Robert Boles (Ret. Fac.)
Charles C. Evans (BSB 66)
Mike and Sue Waldeck (FR)

1989 Recipients
Darrel Wood (Ret. Fac.)
Marie Berg (BSE 27 

1988 Recipients
Keith Akins (BS 50)
Joseph Cannon (FR)

1987 Recipients
Grace Baehr (FR)
Robert Chatham (BSE 57, MS 62)

1986 Recipients
John Webb (Ret. Fac.)
Esther Welch (BSE 21)

1985 Recipients
Gary Sherrer (BS 63)

1984 Recipients
Blanche Baysinger (FR)
J.W. Maucker (Ret. Fac.)

1983 Recipients
Karl C. Bruder (Ret. Fac.)
Roy A. Norris (BSE 59, MS 64)
Ruth Schillinger (Ret. Fac. 

1982 Recipients
Alden Bowman (BSE 42)
John Breukelman (Ret. Fac.)
Virginia Visser (BSE 75)

1981 Recipients
C.F. Gladfelter (Ret. Fac.)
Bill Wygle (BSE 50, MS 60)

1980 Recipients
Joe Weigand (BME 34) (Ret. Fac.)