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Sauder Family, Scholarship Recipients Celebrated at Annual Luncheon

A group of students standing on a spiral staircase

Because of the generosity of Earl W. Sauder, a devoted fan and supporter of Emporia State University, 51 Hornet student-athletes from each of ESU’s intercollegiate sports were honored at a luncheon on Nov. 16 as Earl W. Sauder Athletic Scholars for 2023-24.

Addressing the recipients, Steve Sauder said, “Congratulations! You are the best and the brightest, which is the history behind this scholarship. That is why you were chosen to be here today.”

Steve Sauder’s father, Earl, established the scholarship in 2004 with a substantial gift over $1 million. After Earl’s passing in 2006, the Sauder family committed to carry on the tradition that Earl started. Steve and his wife, Bobbi, made a 10-year pledge in 2013 which doubled the annual output of the scholarship.

“My mom and dad [Earl W. and Stelouise Sauder] created a legacy of generosity and a legacy of giving,” Steve said. “We are doing our part to extend that legacy for our family and to honor Earl and Stelouise.”

In May 2022, the Sauders announced a legacy gift that will ensure the scholarship will support ESU student-athletes for future generations. As part of the Together, Forward campaign, this generous bequest will also help strengthen the athletic program, allowing ESU to continue to recruit high-performing student-athletes.

“The Sauder family’s support and the Earl W. Sauder Athletic Scholarship are invaluable to our athletics department and our student-athletes,” said Shane Shivley, president of ESU Foundation. “They show not only the Sauders’ dedication to the university, but also their deep desire to uplift and encourage our players.”

Braden Gleason, a senior from Muldrow, Oklahoma, who plays quarterback on the Hornets’ football team, credited the Sauders for providing financial assistance and buttressing the career goals of those who wear ESU black and gold.

“The Sauders’ commitment to supporting aspiring athletes like myself is a testament to the positive change that can be achieved when individuals and families invest in the dreams of others,” Gleason said.

Macy Smith, a junior from Olpe, Kansas, who plays basketball, considers the scholarship a vital tool for managing her daily schedule of classes, studying and athletics.

“I want to say thank you to the Sauder family,” she said. “Their scholarship has given me more time to focus on my academics and athletics and enjoy basketball.”

Each year, the student-athletes named Sauder Scholars represent all 15 intercollegiate sports offered at ESU. Also honored during the luncheon were this year’s recipients of the Bobbi Sauder Student-Athlete Nursing Scholarship: Brooke Flewelling, softball, and Kennedy Topping, softball.

2023-2024 Earl W. Sauder Athletic Scholars

  • Abigail Bachman, Soccer
  • Cade Barton, Baseball
  • Brady Beverman, Baseball
  • Harrison Brown, Tennis
  • Ross Brungardt, Football
  • Orianna Clements, Volleyball
  • Alexis Dial, Softball
  • Shelby Ebert, Volleyball
  • Emma Furnish, Softball
  • Gracie Gilpin, Basketball
  • Braden Gleason, Football
  • Angelina Gnezdilova, Tennis
  • Rafe Goucher, Football
  • Jordan Harrison, Softball
  • Josie Harrison, Softball
  • Ehlaina Hartman, Basketball
  • Declan Haub, Football
  • Patryck Hernandez, Baseball
  • Jane Hough, Track
  • P.J. Johnson, Basketball
  • Tyler Kahmann, Football
  • Harris Kossover, Tennis
  • Tristan Madden, Track
  • Gwendal Mazuay, Tennis
  • Rylan Miller, Football
  • Travis Morrison, Track
  • Kadaisha Mpwo, Track
  • Angela Palmer, Soccer
  • Abby Peek, Volleyball
  • Anastasia Pesic, Tennis
  • Gracie Rabe, Softball
  • T.J. Racherbaumer, Basketball
  • Abigael Reid, Track
  • Billy Ross, Football
  • Anton Sarunic, Tennis
  • Dante Smith Posey, Football
  • Macy Smith, Basketball
  • Ainslee Stepp, Volleyball
  • Stevie Stinchcomb, Basketball
  • Paige Stranghoner, Tennis
  • Ally Trier, Track
  • Jayda VanAckeren, Softball
  • Jaylen Varner, Football
  • Abbey Ward, Softball
  • Jack Watson, Track
  • Karli Wehunt, Softball
  • Joanie Westcoat, Soccer
  • Sheriden Wichman, Tennis
  • Jordan Williams, Football
  • Hannah Woolery, Soccer
  • Thomas Zimmerman, Football