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Remembering Dr. Harry Stephens

Harry Stephens copy.jpg

In a message sent to the Emporia State campus:

August 31, 2020

Dear Hornet Nation,

Emporia State University lost a dear friend when Dr. Harry Stephens, a former administrator and current ESU Foundation trustee, died on Saturday. Dr. Stephens was “Harry” to all who knew him, and his love for students, our university and our community was at the forefront of everything he did.

His 40-year career with Emporia State began as he completed his bachelor’s degree in biology when we were still called Kansas State Teachers College. He continued on to a master’s degree in counselor education at ESU and a doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado.

ESU’s Student Recreation Center and the Center for Early Childhood Education were two new programs developed under Harry’s leadership as vice president for student affairs. He was passionate about students, education and Emporia State. Harry served as a mentor to current staff members and administrators as well as students past and present of ESU’s Delta Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma, Harry’s fraternity during his undergraduate days.

In our community, Harry gave selflessly of his time and talents to organizations that help others: Emporia Public Library, Flint Hills Community Health Center, Humane Society of the Flint Hills, Lyon County Council on Aging, Lyon County Extension Council, and the United Way.

We know that the sadness we feel today cannot compare to the grief borne by Harry’s wife, Sharon, his children and grandchildren. I ask that you would keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

When we know more about services and ways to remember Harry, we will share that information.


Allison D. Garrett