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The Hornet Heritage Award

The Hornet Heritage Family award, sponsored by the ESU Alumni Association, annually recognizes a multigenerational family of Hornet alumni and former students with Hornet fever in their bloodlines. A new family is recognized annually at Family Day.

Click here nominate a family online or call the Alumni Relations office at (620) 341-5440.


The 2018 Hornet Heritage Family: The Potter Family

Potter Family

The story of this year’s Hornet Heritage Family began when Robert and Marjorie Osman Potter attended Kansas State Teachers College as non-traditional students. While their three children were young, Bob and Marge finished bachelor’s degrees in education—Marge in 1968 and Bob in 1970.

The couple’s passion for education and learning expanded to the thousands of students they worked with in their careers as educators. Marge taught fourth grade in Emporia Public Schools, while Bob taught elementary school before becoming a principal and eventually working as an administrator at Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia. The couple also completed graduate degrees. Marge earned her masters in 1972, while Bob completed his masters and a specialist degree in 1975.

The Potters’ three children—Robert Potter Junior, Elizabeth Potter, and Jolayna Potter Estes—attended Emporia State as well. Robert Potter Junior earned a bachelor’s degree in 1996, and Jolayna Potter Estes finished her bachelor’s in 2001.

At one time or another, three generations of Potters have worked for ESU’s Memorial Union; several have been active in Greek life on campus, including Chi Omega, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Sigma Pi; and one granddaughter, Jessica Potter Mossman, was vice-president of Union Activities Council during her college career.

The Potters have seven grandchildren, each of whom either has earned degrees from or has attended Emporia State. All told, Potter family members currently hold 22 undergraduate and graduate degrees from the institution, and have contributed to their community by owning small businesses such as Flint Hills Music, working for their church, teaching children, caring for patients as dental hygienists, managing or working for community businesses, and creating graphic design work for the Emporia Gazette.

After Marjorie Potter’s death in 2005, the family established the Marge Potter Education Scholarship through the ESU Foundation to honor her long teaching career.

In the words of Jessica Potter Mossman, “ESU has been a lifeline for our family over the years. The time each of us has spent at ESU has made it possible for us to raise families, meet significant others, develop personal skills, and gain knowledge that helped us build lives and futures. When you see what ESU has given to other members of your family, you want that for yourself.”


Past Hornet Heritage Award Recipients

The 2017 award was given to the Podrebarac Family

The 2016 award was given to the Harkness Family

The 2015 award was given to the Holub/Vajnar/Tajchman Family

The 2014 award was given to the Grimsley Family

The 2013 award was given to the White/Crumb Family

The 2012 award was given to the Seacat Family

The 2011 award was given to the Prophet-Brady Family

The 2010 award was given to the Simkins-Hartzler family

The 2009 award was given to the Spencer-Smith-Brown-Hopper-LeClear family

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.