2010 Distinguished Alumni


2010 Distinguished Alumni


H. Edward Flentje, Ph.D.

Wichita, Kan.

BSE 1964

An outstanding career in teaching, public service, and federal, state and local politics made Ed Flentje an easy choice for Distinguished Alumnus honors. Currently a professor of public administration in the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs at Wichita State University, Flense served on the Cabinets of two Kansas governors, Robert F. Bennett and Mike Hayden. He has been recognized for outstanding service to Kansas by Governors Bennett, Hayden and Joan Finney, chaired the Kansas Development Finance Authority and was a member and president of the Wichita Airport Authority. Flense also served as interim city manager for the City of Wichita in 2008. Flentje is starting his first year as a member of the ESU Foundation Board of Trustees.



Omar G. Rogers, Sr.

Bowling Green, Ky.

BS 1969, MS 1972

From the time he began his first teaching position in Atchison in 1969, Omar Rogers has been working to help people improve their chances for success in life. Most recently the director of adult education for Bowling Green (Ky.) Technical College, Rogers has devoted his career to transforming lives through increased educational opportunities. An innovator in providing adult education programs in a challenging economic climate, Rogers’ expertise is sought by other Kentucky institutions facing similar demands. He received Bowling Green Technical College’s staff administrative award of excellence in 2009 and serves leadership roles in organizations including Lions Club, Salvation Army and Bowling Green Housing Authority. Rogers will begin a term as a member of the ESU Alumni Association in June.



Robert J. “Bob” Gress

Wichita, Kan.

BA 1974, MA 1976

For 24 years, Bob Gress has educated Kansans and visitors from beyond its borders about the natural wonders of the Sunflower State. As director of the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita since 1996, Gress oversees an attraction that more than 50,000 people visit each year to learn the story of wildlife, plants and habitats of the Great Plains. An accomplished photographer, Gress has contributed images to a long list of books on prairie natural history, beginning with “Natural Kansas” in 1985. Gress co-authored “The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots,” which was named a 2009 Kansas Notable Book. The Kansas Ornithological Society named Gress its Avian Conservationist of the Year in 2008.