Outstanding Recent Graduates

The Outstanding Recent Graduate award recognizes an outstanding recent graduate from each of the undergraduate colleges and schools at Emporia State University. Selection for this award is based on criteria determined by each school/college and the stipulation that the recipient be no more than 10 years past graduation at Emporia State University. This award is sponsored by the ESU Alumni Association.

2015 Recipient

Cory Falldine
BSB 2006-Computer Info Systems
MBA 2006-Business Administration
Emporia, Kan.

Cory F. Falldine is this year’s Outstanding Recent Graduate from the School of Business. As Emporia State University’s associate vice president and chief information officer, Falldine is responsible for ensuring that students, faculty, and staff have access to technology resources to achieve personal and professional goals while at Emporia State. He is a member of the Kansas Board of Regents Information Technology Council and currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Kansas Research and Education Network. He is an active member of EDUCAUSE and has presented workshops at both the regional and national level.

Outstanding Alumni

Every year, the School of Business selects an ESU alumni who have excelled in their professions and provided service to their communities. These alumni must be within ten years of graduation to be eligible.

Click here to fill out a nomination form online.


Distinguished Alumni

The Distinguished Alumni award is the highest honor that can be granted to an alumnus or alumna of Emporia State University by the ESU Alumni Association. Awarded each fall during Homecoming, it recognizes the outstanding professional accomplishments of ESU's finest graduates. Since the inception of the award program in 1960, more than 200 alumni have received the award. 

Candidates are nominated for the Distinguished Alumni award by alumni and current and retired ESU faculty. As much information as possible is gathered on each candidate. The information is evaluated and an initial selection is made by a committee representing alumni and faculty. The Alumni Association Board of Directors approves or makes final selection of those who will receive the award. A maximum of five alumni can receive the award in a given year.

Past Distinguished Alumni have included teachers, research scholars, humanitarians, administrators, public servants, doctors, lawyers, and leaders in business, industry, and the military. All are respected in their professions and community. Most important, they are Emporia State University graduates who have given ESU a rich heritage.

Click here to fill out the nomination form online or call your ESU Alumni Office at 620-341-5440 to request the most current nomination form.  (please note: for consideration during the upcoming calendar year, nominations are due by October 31; nominations received after this date will be considered for the following year)

2015 Recipients

Col. Guy Beougher
BSB 1980-Business Administration
McLean, Va.

Retired U.S. Army Col. Guy C. Beougher, who received his bachelor of science in business administration degree from Emporia State in 1980, now is a senior leader in the Defense Logistics Agency and involved in the fight against Ebola in Africa.

Among his graduate degrees and certifications are a master of science in material acquisition management from Florida Institute of Technology and a master of science in national resource strategy from National Defense University; he is a doctoral candidate in public policy and administration, transactional cost economic theory, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University.

His awards include a Superior Civilian Service Medal, a Civilian Global War on Terrorism, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Kosovo NATO Medal and overseas ribbons.  To read more, click here.

Richard 'Dick' Hawk
BSB 1956-Business Administration
MS 1957-Business Administration
Leawood, Kan.

Richard C. 'Dick' Hawk has succeeded in diverse careers — banking, financial management and upscale restaurant ownership.

Hawk said he came to Emporia to attend Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University, because of a $100 scholarship, “which was a great deal of money at the time.” He earned two degrees here, a bachelor of science in business administration in 1956, and a master of science in business administration the following year. During his time here, Hawk was editor of The Bulletin newspaper and president of the student council. He also served as director of field services at the university.

Later, he served as assistant dean in the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Education and became the first director of the Minnesota State Higher Education Board. He received an honorary doctorate degree from LLD University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn. The Richard C. Hawk Sports Center was named in his honor at Alliant International University in San Diego. To read more, click here.

Dr. Ilene Kleinsorge
BSB 1981-Accounting
Corvallis, Ore.

Dr. Ilene K. Kleinsorge credits Emporia State University for helping her along the journey from single parent and college student working four part-time jobs to executive dean of the Division of Business and engineering and dean of the College of Business at Oregon State University.

“First and foremost, the learning I got from ESU was that I could do anything I wanted to do,” said Kleinsorge, noting that her ESU experience taught her the value of collaboration.  “I’ve been able to compose my life as I go by finding connections that others may not see and making things happen that are greater than first imagined.”

She graduated with honors from Emporia State with a bachelor of science degree in 1981 and received her doctorate from the University of Kansas in 1988. She became a faculty member in the OSU College of Business in 1987.  To read more, click here.

John D. McPherson
BSB 1969-Business Administration
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

John D. McPherson, Jr. built a career primarily running railroads since he graduated from Kansas State Teachers College in 1959 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He later received a master of science degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He served in various capacities for the former Santa Fe Railroad for 25 years and was chief operating officer for the Florida East Coast Railway LLC from 1999 to 2007. He also was vice president of Florida East Coast Industries Inc., and also served as its vice president of rail operations beginning in 1999, according to McPherson's executive profile in Bloomberg Business Week.

McPherson also was president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Central from 1998 to 1999 and as its senior vice president of operations from 1993 to 1998. He served as chairman of the Las Vegas Railway Express in 2013 and 2014, after becoming its director in 2012. He has been a director of CSX Corporation since July 2008, Bloomberg reported. He served as a director of TTX Company from 1997 to 2007.  To read more, click here