Celebration recognizes volunteer service

May 21, 2014

Emporia State University will honor its volunteers during an upcoming celebration.

The 2014 Volunteer Appreciation event takes place Friday, June 6 in the Memorial Union’s Webb Hall. Three Emporia residents will be singled out for special honors as recipients of the 2014 University Service Citation.

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, Emporia State president.

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.

The Volunteer Appreciation event begins 5 p.m. The dinner and program start at 5:45 p.m.

The community is invited to attend the celebration. Tickets cost $20 per person. For reservations, please call the Emporia State Alumni Association office at 620-341-6469 by Tuesday, May 27.

The annual ESU Athletics Auction also takes place June 6. Guests who attend the Volunteer Appreciation event may attend the auction at a special admission rate.

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