Blue Key recharters at Emporia State


Blue Key inaugural classWith a crowd of more than 80 Blue Key alumni filling the room to watch, Emporia State rechartered a chapter of the national honorary leadership and service fraternity during 2012 Homecoming weekend. Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, Emporia State president, and Gary Sherrer (BSE ’63-Speech and Social Sciences), former Kansas Lieutenant Governor and past chair of the Kansas Board of Regents, will co-advise the new class of 12 junior and senior class members—six men and six women.

“Essentially, people are selected for two things—one, their leadership abilities; and two, their willingness to serve,” said Sherrer.

Dr. Christopher Sieverdes, Blue Key’s national executive director, initiated the new class. Observing in the audience, members of Blue Key classes from past years felt not only strong ties with their classmates of the past, but also an emotional investment in this new class of Blue Key members.

Blue Key was a highly visible force at ESU for 26 years before deactivating in 1986. Members dedicated themselves to service, both on campus and in community events. In the mid 1980s, Blue Key members led a $180,000 fund-raising effort for the Emporia Senior Center.

Interest in a Blue Key presence at Emporia State resurged after a 2009 reunion, which former advisor Dick Reicherter attended before his death later that year. Blue Key members raised more than $15,000 to create the Richard F. Reicherter Blue Key Scholarship, and have since raised an additional $100,000 to name and furnish the Blue Key Leadership conference room on the second floor of the renovated Memorial Union.

As part of the rechartering and reunion event, Ed Eilert (BSB ’61-Business Education, MS ’62-Business Education), Dr. Sam Hayes (BA ’63-Chemistry), Ken Hush (BSB ’82-Business Administration and Marketing), Gary Sherrer, and Brig. Gen. Keith Tedrow (BSB ’64-Business Administration, MS ’65-Education) were the initial Blue Key Hall of Fame inductees.  Fellow Blue Key alumni nominated the five Hall of Fame members and will select additional honorees in the coming years.

Additionally, Blue Key members made it a plan to reunite every year during future Emporia State homecomings. The next Blue Key reunion will be Oct. 11, 2013.