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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 2017 Hornet Heritage Family: The Podrebarac Family

Podrebarac Family 2017

The Podrebarac family has had deep ties to Emporia State University ever since 1974. Over the past 43 years and counting, several generations of Podrebarac family members have become Hornet alumni from the two most recent Emporia State eras—Emporia Kansas State College and Emporia State University. Their deep connection to the University has led to the family being recognized as the 2017 Hornet Heritage Family Award recipient.

Sponsored by the Emporia State University Alumni Association, the Hornet Heritage Family Award annually recognizes a multigenerational family of alumni and former students who have maintained close relationships with Hornet Nation.  “The Hornet Nation is grateful for families who make Emporia State University a family tradition, and it’s a special honor to recognize the Podrebarac family as this year’s Hornet Heritage Family,” said Tyler Curtis, assistant vice president of outreach & engagement. “They certainly have a lot of black and gold flowing through their veins.”

Linda (Anderson) Briggs was the first in the Podrebarac family to earn a degree from Emporia State (while known as Emporia Kansas State College) when she obtained her bachelor of science degree in Psychology in 1974. Since then, eight other family members have become Hornet alumni with Sydney Main (BS 2017—Psychology) as the most recent alumna. A total of 12 Podrebarac family members have attended the University.  Nine Emporia State alumni within the Podrebarac family earned a total of 12 degrees. Three of the nine, Michael Podrebarac (BGS 1990—General Studies, MA 1992—History), Angela (Briggs) Podrebarac (BSE 2001—Elementary Education and Physical Education, MS 2007—HPER) and Michael’s sister Clarice Podrebarac (BS 1993—Rehabilitation Services Education, MS 1996—Rehabilitation Counseling), earned a pair of Emporia State degrees. Clarice’s daughter Madelyn Young is currently a freshman at Emporia State.

“We’re excited to be this year’s Hornet Heritage family,” says Clarice. “When we look back at all six of us siblings attending Emporia State with five graduating, it was a nice accomplishment for our parents. They encouraged us and assisted us to get through school. We all look back at what they did for us and are very appreciative.”

The Podrebarac family was introduced as the 2017 Hornet Heritage Family on Friends and Family Day during halftime of Emporia State’s home football game vs. Central Missouri on September 23, 2017.


Past Hornet Heritage Award Recipients

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.