Athletes reminisce at reunions


Fifty years ago Emporia State enrolled young men from diverse regions of the United States—Florida, New Mexico, District of Columbia, New York, Missouri, and Texas. Despite their regional differences, they formed a very close friendship.

Kansas RelaysMillrose Games

Most participated in track and field, football, or basketball, and they created a very deep social and emotional bond that has stood the test of time.

Five years ago Jim Walker (BSE’61), a retired educator who now resides in Texas, initiated a reunion in Austin. Shortly after, Landis Franklin suggested the former Emporia State track athletes attend the Millrose Games in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, and the first meeting took place in 2007.

A photo taken just before they departed the meet shows, by coincidence, the foursome—(left to right) Edward Washington (BSE’62), Landis Franklin, Noel Certain (BSE’63) and Mel Mayo—standing in the same order they stood fifty years ago with coach Fran Welch when they set the school record that lasted more than 30 years.

The group continues its tradition of mini-reunions at locations around the country. Anyone wishing to participate may email Noel Certain for more information on upcoming events.