With new scholarship, Rob '79 and Tammy '85, '89 Kenagy give music education students a hand
With their new scholarship, the couple hopes to enrich the lives of many through the power of music
Rob and Tammy Kenagy are shown here in the Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy West Point, where their youngest daughter performed recently as a member of the West Point Glee Club.
Music has been a strong force in the lives of Tammy and Rob Kenagy. By establishing a new music education scholarship at Wichita State, they hope countless others will be touched by its power.
The Rob Kenagy and Tammy Menhusen-Kenagy Scholarship for Music Education will be awarded for the first time next fall. At $5,000 a year, it will be the largest scholarship in the College of Fine Arts for music education students.
“The amount of this scholarship should significantly aid students who are at the top of their class and know how important teaching is, as well as performing,” says Russell Widener, director of the School of Music. “I am thrilled that the Kenagys have been so generous in this area. So many of our music education majors begin their careers with significant loans looming.”
Tammy Kenagy said she and Rob, both WSU alumni, have looked forward to the day when they could endow a scholarship at Wichita State. They were inspired to help others become music educators by the role that music has played in both of their lives.
"The amount of this scholarship should significantly aid students who are at the top of their class and know how important teaching is."
- Russ Widener
“We believe music education is a fundamental part of a well-rounded educational experience and important in maintaining a civil society,” Tammy said.
Rob’s mother graduated with a degree in music education from the University of Wichita and filled his childhood home with music of many kinds, and Tammy benefited from taking piano lessons from a dedicated music educator.
“Our children benefited from great music educators in the Wichita Public Schools,” Rob added. “We also enjoy the contributions to sacred music performance made possible by music educators.”
Born and raised in Wichita, Rob earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1979. After working for Boeing for two years, he returned to WSU to pursue the prerequisites to apply for medical school. He graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1987, practiced family medicine for 22 years, then completed a Master's of Medical Management degree from Tulane University in 2010. He was chief medical officer for Wichita Clinic and CEO of Via Christi Clinic before moving to Tulsa in 2012 to become senior vice president of St. John Health Network.
Tammy earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1985 and a master’s degree in education administration in 1989. Until relocating to Tulsa in 2012, she was a reading intervention teacher for Wichita public schools. She now works as a substitute teacher in the Tulsa public school district.
Both Tammy and Rob have fond memories of their years at Wichita State. As an undergraduate, Tammy was involved in many campus activities, including holding leadership offices in several student organizations.
“My fondest memories at WSU centered around the flurry of activities associated with football games — putting the Greek letters on the hill before games, Homecoming, pep rallies,” she said. “The excellent teaching in the classroom along with mentoring from university faculty and staff prepared me for my career in the Wichita public schools.”
For Rob, the education and insight he gained from his experience as a business administration major opened leadership opportunities and shaped his approach in leadership roles.
“I remember being exposed to excellent faculty in the business school,” he said. “I also have many fond memories of cheering for the men's basketball and baseball teams. I particularly remember driving night and day to be a part of the ‘Battle of New Orleans, 66-65’. ”
The family tradition at Wichita State continues with Hannah Kenagy, the couple’s oldest daughter, pursuing her degree in elementary education. She plans to graduate in 2015. Their youngest daughter is completing her second year as a cadet at the United States Military Academy West Point.
Though residing now in Tulsa, Rob and Tammy return often to Kansas, particularly to tend to their farm in southeast Kansas. They intend to keep donating to their endowed scholarship to provide a significant award each year.
“We hope that the scholarship will allow students to pursue a career in music education with less of a financial burden from their studies,” Tammy said.