Sunflower Journeys Videotapes

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Sunflower Journeys Videotapes
1989, 1992-1995.
0.75 Linear feet
Videotaped recordings of “Sunflower Journeys” television programs featuring Emporia State University alumni and faculty.

Preferred Citation note

“Sunflower Journeys” Videotapes, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

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Biographical/Historical note

Sunflower Journeys

Public Broadcasting Station KTWU-TV in Topeka, Kansas, began producing the Sunflower Journeys series in 1987. The program relies upon local experts and scholars to express its primary focus of discovering and sharing the history, geography, and culture of Kansas. Each 30-minute episode contains three segments on related topics. 13 episodes are produced each season.

Betty “Kepka” Hochman Belton

Kepka Belton was born March 11, 1934, near Wilson, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in art and from Fort Hays State University with a master’s degree in art education in 1966. She taught art classes for Unified School District #328, Wilson, Kansas, before retiring in 1998. Kepka has dedicated years to preserving Czechoslovakian folk art decorated eggs, or Kraslice, and was named a Master Folk Artist in Czech Kraslice by the Kansas State Historical Society. She received the Emporia State University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni award in 2002.

Robert Linder

Robert D. Linder graduated from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree. As a student he participated in the Spanish Club, Social Science Club, Kappa Delta Pi national education honor society, and K-Club; he was also a member of the cross-country and track teams. He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate degree from the University of Iowa then continued his studies at Oxford University and Cambridge University. He joined the faculty of Kansas State University in Manhattan in 1956. Teaching awards include the Senior Faculty Award for Research Excellence in the Social and Behavioral Sciences in 1997, a University Distinguished Teaching Award, being named an Outstanding Educator in America and a Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Scholar, and selected for a Fulbright award in 1987.

David Edds

David Edds earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Independence Community College, Independence, Kansas, in 1974, a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1977, a Master of Science degree in Zoology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Zoology from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, in 1984 and 1989 respectively. He joined the faculty of Emporia State University in 1989 and in 2004 became coordinator of the Department of Biology’s Biology of Animals Laboratory. David received the President’s Award for Research and Creativity in 2003. He served as a Peace Corps fisheries volunteer in Nepal from 1977-1979 and returned there as a student Fulbright scholar from 1984-1985. With a faculty Fulbright research grant he studied fish ecology in Nepal’s Himalaya mountains in 1996. A species of sucker catfish from Nepal was named in his honor in 2007.

David Matheny

David Leon Matheny was born October 15, 1931, in Reno, Oklahoma. His family moved to Wichita, Kansas, and then to El Dorado where he graduated from high school and attended El Dorado Junior College from 1949-1951. At junior college David participated on the debate team, winning the state junior college championship twice and the national Junior College Tournament in Houston, Texas, in 1951. He then became a student at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia in 1951 on a debate scholarship. As a senior, he and his debate partner qualified for the quarterfinals of the National Debate Tournament. Other activities included membership in Pi Kappa Delta national speech fraternity, Radio Club, Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, and Alpha Sigma Rho, the honor society of the National Broadcasting Society. He served the United States Army in Panama and married Mary Wylli on January 3, 1955. David began graduate school at Kansas State Teachers College in the fall of 1955 on a graduate assistantship that enabled him to teach four classes and be the assistant debate coach; he earned a Master of Arts degree in 1957. David accepted a job at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oklahoma, in Norman, in 1965. David joined the faculty of Kansas State Teachers College’s Speech Department in 1967 and directed the debate program from 1976-1983. He began phased retirement in 1994, and completed his tenure in 1997. He served as President of the Faculty during the 1971/1972 school year. In September 2007 he was one of the charter inductees to the Kansas Speech Communication Association’s Hall of Fame.

Loren Pennington

Loren Pennington graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1945, from Brown University with a Master of Arts in 1956, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in American History from the University of Michigan in 1962. He joined the History Department faculty of Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia in 1960, and began phased retirement in 1992. From 1992-2008 he served the History Department as an adjunct professor. Loren was honored as a Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor in 1980. He helped found the Kansas Chautauqua, a traveling show of Kansas historical reenactments in which he performed the role of Governor Alfred M. Landon, in 1985.

James Hoy

Jim Hoy was born December 15, 1939, near Cassoday, Kansas. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English from Kansas State University, Manhattan, in 1961, a Master of Arts degree in English from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia in 1965, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1970. He taught at the El Dorado (Kansas) Junior High before joining the English Department faculty of Kansas State Teachers College in 1965. He has served as President of the Kansas State Historical Society and on the Board of Trustees of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center. James serves as Director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University and in 2003 received the Xi Phi Outstanding Faculty Award.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of seven videotapes. Each tape contains one recording of a Public Broadcasting Station KTWU’s Sunflower Journeys episode. Each 30-minute episode contains three stories on a related topic; this collection is only concerned with those segments featuring alumni or faculty of Emporia State University. Episode #210 highlights the Czechoslovakian folk art Kraslice, an egg-decorating technique, as practiced by Kepka Belton. Episode #507 follows a research team led by David Edds as it analyzes the effects of environmental variables on turtles found in Kansas streams. Episode #509 explores the impact of Populism on Kansas history from 1892-1992 with co-contributor David Matheny. Episode #603 captures a modern-day Chautauqua in which David Matheny portrays Dr. John R. Brinkley and Loren Pennington portrays Governor Alf Landon. In episode #606, Jim Hoy shares weather-related folklore. Episode #707 is about baseball’s history in rural Kansas as described by Robert Linder. Episode #805 demonstrates “water witching” to find a well; Jim Hoy contributes personal memories and other stories.

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Arrangement note


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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives February 2008

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

Conditions Governing Use note

Requires VHS videotape player and television to view.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Books by Robert Linder, David Matheny, Loren Pennington, and Jim Hoy are available from the William Allen White Library. David Matheny’s interview for the World War II Veterans Oral History Project includes information about his participation as John Brinkley in Chautauqua programs. Loren Pennington’s interview for the Flint Hills Oral History Project is also available. The Bulletin contains articles featuring David Matheny, Loren Pennington, and Jim Hoy.  Sunflower yearbooks contain information on David Matheny (1952-1953) and Robert Linder (1955-1956).

Separated Materials note


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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Kansas -- History.
  • Kansas -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950

Personal Name(s)

  • Belton, Betty.
  • Brinkley, John Richard, 1885-1942.
  • Edds, D. R.
  • Hoy, James F.
  • Landon, Alfred M. (Alfred Mossman), 1887-1987.
  • Linder, Robert Dean.
  • Matheny, David L.
  • Pennington, Loren.


  • Baseball -- Kansas -- History.
  • Chautauquas -- Kansas.
  • Czech Americans -- Kansas.
  • Dowsing -- Kansas.
  • Egg decoration -- Kansas.
  • Folk art -- Kansas.
  • Governors -- Kansas.
  • KTWU-TV (Television Station: Topeka, Kan.)
  • Mutation (Biology)
  • Physicians -- Kansas.
  • Populism -- Kansas -- History -- 19th century.
  • Populist Party (U.S.) -- Kansas.
  • Quacks and quackery -- Kansas.
  • Sunflower Journeys (Television program)
  • Television programs, Public service.
  • Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc. -- Kansas.
  • Turtles -- Kansas.
  • Variation (Biology)
  • Weather -- Folklore.
  • Weather forecasting – Folklore.

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