Silent no more


Meet four people who have agreed to help shape the next 150 years for Emporia State University. As co-chairs of Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University, they are leading a transformational effort to engage alumni around the globe to build strength and vitality of their alma mater. Watch interviews with each co-chair by clicking on the photos.

Carolyn Langenwalter

Carolyn Langenwalter

BSE-Elementary Education '64

MS-Educational Administration '69

Wichita, Kan.

Carolyn Langenwalter draws on the inner strength of a medal-winning distance runner for inspiration to propel her not only across the finish line of more than 175 races, but also to help guide Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University. 

That’s right. At 75, Langenwalter has become a competitive finisher in a variety of running events, most of them five-kilometer races. 

Always active during her career as an elementary school teacher in Winfield and later the Wichita Collegiate School, Langenwalter took things a step farther a few years ago. That’s when she read about the Emma Creek Women’s Classic, a five-kilometer race in Hesston, Kan.

She placed second in her age group in that race, felt the bite of the running bug, and hasn’t looked back.  

“It was my goal to run 175 races by the time I turned 75, and I was able to accomplish that in four years,” said Langenwalter, who can usually be found lacing up running shoes and competing in a race of some kind every Saturday.

The parallels between running and raising money to change the lives of Emporia State students are easy to draw, she says.
“For me, running is so much within you. So somehow, it has to be within this university to accomplish the goals that they want to accomplish.”

“If you want to look at this as a race to the finish line, well—how hard are you going to run to get there? My trainer says ‘Run harder, Carolyn, run harder.’ And if everyone makes a total effort, you’re going to come up with some nice gifts and some nice things will happen,” Langenwalter said.

Dr. John Rich

Dr. John Rich

Interim Dean, School of Business

Professor, Accounting and Information Systems

Emporia, Kan.


When he first heard Gabe Andrews and Benny Bowden perform Emporia State’s new anthem, “Right Now,” Dr. John Rich knew the lyrics held special meaning.

“The words in the song say, ‘I’m tired of waiting my turn and never taking the lead,’” Rich recited. “What I think is that it’s our time to step up and do what we can to promote this great school that has meant so much to all of us.”

As a co-chair of Emporia State’s largest comprehensive campaign, Rich says he’s anxious to weave graduates’ stories of professional success into an environment that celebrates sharing and contributing to Emporia State. “It’s very joyful to see how the money is used and how it benefits the students,” Rich added.

John Rich arrived at Emporia State as a newly-minted business faculty member in 1968. In the 45 years since—which he notes with a grin is almost one-third of Emporia State’s 150-year history—Rich has spread his talents beyond Cremer Hall. He’s concluding 23 years of service as a liaison between academics and athletics as Emporia State’s Faculty Athletics Representative, an experience he notes also enabled him to serve a term as president of the MIAA conference. 

Through that history, Rich’s favorite memories are of the students whose lives he impacted. “The students realized that people cared about them, and that somebody took a special interest in them, opened a door, or helped them to aspire to greater things. They weren’t lost in a crowd.”

“Emporia State has encompassed my life and my life’s work,” Rich declares. “It’s also my family. So it’s very meaningful for me, and whatever I can do to help move this university forward, I’m more than happy to do.”

Steve Sauder

Steve Sauder

BSB-Business Administration '68

Emporia, Kan.

What he calls a love affair that dates back to his father’s time is the reason for Steve Sauder’s latest philanthropic connection with Emporia State University. As chair of the Champion Committee for Athletics segment of Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University, Sauder is generating momentum for the effort by cultivating relationships that will secure gifts and pledges enabling Emporia State student-athletes to reach their highest academic, athletic and personal potential.

“I’m pretty invested in the future of this community, and I understand that Emporia State University and the City of Emporia are pretty much joined at the hip,” Sauder declares. The owner of Emporia’s Radio Stations, Inc., Sauder sees his Now & Forever campaign service as another opportunity to give back to his school and community.

It was Steve’s father, Earl Sauder, who initiated the family’s spirit of philanthropy. Generous with a variety of community organizations, Earl Sauder made the lead gift that helped build the Sauder Alumni Center, named in honor of his wife, Stelouise, in the early 1990s.

“That’s how it started, and it just snowballed. My dad and the athletic department created a bond,” Sauder said. That connection led to several campus-wide gifts, including one that created the Earl Sauder Student-Athlete Scholars Program providing awards for student-athletes participating in every intercollegiate sport.

As with other components of Now & Forever, inviting gifts for scholarships is a key component of athletics program support. Sauder says with increased scholarships come additional students, each driving their particular sport to greater success.

“And guess what—it feels a lot better to be 10 – 2 in football. It feels a lot better to be at the Elite Eight in basketball, or to be in the World Series in baseball or softball,” Sauder said, noting the some recent athletic team achievements.

Paul Edwards and Corky

Paul Edwards

BSE-Art '37

Santa Barbara, Calif.

Eighty years ago this fall, Paul Edwards put a pencil to a piece of paper to create what has become the mascot of Emporia State University. While Corky the Hornet has undergone a few changes over the years, Edwards remains proud of both the image he created and his long association with the institution it represents.

Now 98 years old, Edwards’ career has included service in the U. S. Navy, stints as an animator for Disney, an art director for a communications firm in Detroit, Mich., and finally running the communications department for the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest before retiring in 1982.