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Alumni Association To Recognize University Service Citation Recipients

The ESU Alumni Association’s University Service Citation Award honors both alumni and friends who have made unique and significant contributions to the University, its students and its staff members. This year’s recipients will be recognized during the ESU vs. Washburn football game on Oct. 14. They are:

Emporians Nick and Jan Laurent’s passion for building community and helping ESU students found outlets through philanthropy and hands-on learning experiences.

The couple recently contributed to ESU’s Together, Forward campaign. A portion of their gift creates the Nick Laurent Emporia Internship Fund, which, in partnership with the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, will place students in internships with local businesses that are compatible with the students’ skills and education tracks.

Another component of their gift enhances the work of ESU’s Studio E advertising collective, which offers a variety of marketing services to the public, while getting hands-on experience in career fields, such as graphic design, marketing and public relations.

“College courses provide theoretical knowledge and active learning, but there are things you learn from an internship you couldn’t learn in the classroom,” said Ed Bashaw, dean of the School of Business. Internships also give a pathway for students to remain in Emporia after college. “The big picture is to make Emporia a better community. These internships do that by providing talent pipelines to Emporia businesses,” Bashaw said. The Laurents also set up the Dena Laurent Sorenson Career and Internship Fund and the Dan L. Scheller Scholarship.

Nick Laurent, who for years was a pharmacist in Emporia, received his MBA in business administration from ESU in 1990. He has been involved in the Catholic Campus Center and the School of Business’ Dean’s Advisory Council. Jan Laurent received her BS in political science from ESU in 1985 and is a retired teachers’ aide for the Emporia school district. They are parents of a daughter, Anne Butera.

Beth (Lewis) Paladino’s dedication to Emporia State is so deeply rooted she routinely traveled about 900 miles from her home in Royal Oak, Michigan, to attend on-campus meetings. She has showered her alma mater with generous donations of her time, energy, leadership and funds.

At ESU, she had been a student bookkeeper at the Memorial Union and was a member of the Accounting Club. After graduating in 1979 with a BSB in accounting, she began a career that ultimately took her to the position of accounting manager for Cargill. She retired from Cargill and now is employed by Craig Companies LLC. She was a member of the Foundation Board of Directors from 2010-2021 and is past board chairwoman and past head of the Trustee Development Committee. She also is a member of the Kellogg Society, the Black & Gold Society, the Accounting Advisory Council and the Foundation’s President Search Committee.

In 2013, Paladino established the Lewis Family Endowed Scholarship in honor of her parents, John and Donna Lewis, for undergraduate students with financial needs. It gives first preference to business majors and second preference to education majors.

Paladino was nominated by ESU Alumnus Steve Williams of Newton, Ks. “Beth is a very involved Trustee with the University Foundation,” Williams wrote, describing Paladino’s commitment to the board, especially when she was chairwoman. “During her time as chairwoman, the Foundation continued to see significant growth in alumni support and Trustee involvement.” During her tenure as chairwoman, the board also made significant changes to the Foundation’s bylaws and operational procedures, Williams said.

Mark Schreiber of Emporia makes time to stay involved on campus and in the community. Schreiber graduated in 1978 with a BS in biology and in 1981 with an MS, also in biology. He retired as vice-president government affairs for Westar Energy and has served since 2017 as 60th District Representative to the Kansas House of Representatives.

Schreiber served on the Foundation Board from 2011 to 2020 and is a Theatre Angel. He spoke to ESU School of Business students on the Importance of Sustainability and Leadership; sang, danced and acted as co-lead in a unique production of “White Christmas” for Veterans Tribute Week at Albert Taylor Hall; and was involved in the planning for the Prophet Aquatic Research and Outreach Center (PAROC).

Schreiber also has been involved in numerous groups in the community, including as chair of the Trusler Foundation Advisory Committee, chairman of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce chair of the SOS board of directors, and as an Emporia Community Foundation Trustee. He has served as the board chair for the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, and vice chairman of the Emporia-Lyon County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. Schreiber graduated from the Leadership Emporia Class of 1996 and the Leadership Kansas Class of 1996.

He is married to Angie (Moreland) Schreiber, who received a BSE in speech from ESU in 1979 and a BSB in accounting in 1984. The couple have two children, Ben and Gretchen. The Schreibers are members of the Didde Catholic Campus Center.

Loyalty to Emporia State University is almost engrained in Emporian Marvin Tajchman’s DNA. Tajchman, who graduated from ESU in 1974 with a BSB in business administration, retired in 2018 after a 46-year career at Tyson Fresh Meats. And, he has become the unofficial photographer for ESU Athletics and, now, is the recipient of the University Service Citation award.

“You can find him on the sidelines at almost all sporting events—on his own dime,” according to information in his nomination documents. “He often tags the Alumni Association Facebook page with all of his photos, so all alumni can enjoy” them. His photos capture his loyalty for Emporia State University Athletics.

This loyalty for ESU runs deep in his family. Tajchman’s extended family tree—the Holub-Vajnar-Tajchman family—includes 29 family members who received degrees from Emporia State and many more who were former students. They were honored as the Hornet Heritage Family in 2015 by the Emporia State University Alumni Association. The award is given annually to a multigenerational family whose alumni and former students have maintained close relationships with Hornet Nation.

This relationship with Hornet Nation can be seen through the legacy Marvin and his family have built. Through sons, daughters, cousins, nieces, nephews and now grandchildren who have earned and continue to earn degrees at ESU, Marvin has instilled the power of the Black and Gold. He was the youngest of three cousins—all grandchildren of Adolph and Lucy Holub of Marion County—who graduated from the university between 1962 and 1974. “Recognizing Marvin who has such deep ties to Emporia State is a special honor,” said Tyler Curtis, former executive director of Alumni Relations. Tajchman and his wife Carol are the parents of three children: Angela Yates, Jason Tajchman and Scott Tajchman.