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2016 Fairmount Society Dinner

2016 Fairmount SocietyThe Fairmount Society is the university's most distinguished support group. Members are invited to the Fairmount Society Dinner, the WSU Foundation's most exclusive event. They are also included in the President’s Club. Associate status is given to corporations, businesses and foundations.

New members for 2016 were honored at a dinner Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the Wichita Marriott. 

[ Click to view new members' biographies ]

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Fairmount Founders' Award

Awarded for outstanding service and exceptional contributions, which consistently manifest the values and ideals of the founders of Fairmount College.

Bill and Donna Ard

Bill and Donna Ard


Board of Trustees' Award

Awarded for significant contributions to the partnership that exists between WSU and the community.

John Tomblin

John Tomblin



p h o t o   g a l l e r y

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F a i r m o u n t   S o c i e t y   g i v i n g   l e v e l s

Lifetime Achievement Member: donations exceed $1 million
Lifetime Distinction Member: contributions between $500,000 and $999,999
Lifetime Member: has donated $250,000 to $499,999
Annual Member: minimum giving is $20,000 during the current fiscal year (July 1 - June 30)

Congratulations to those who have reached
the illustrious lifetime giving levels of the Fairmount Society.



2016 Fairmount Society New Members

2015 Fairmount Society

Honoring our loyal donors

New members were welcomed into the Fairmount Society, the university's most distinguished support group, at a dinner Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the Wichita Marriott. 

Annual members gave a minimum of $20,000 during the fiscal year. Lifetime membership is extended to donors who have contributed $250,000 or more in a lifetime. Lifetime Distinction membership honors supporters donating $500,000 or more during their lifetimes. Lifetime Achievement Membership is extended to donors whose total outright giving is $1 million or more.

Congratulations to the following new members of the illustrious lifetime giving levels of the Fairmount Society.
Click on the headings to see new member bios.

New Lifetime Achievement

  • Craig Barton
  • Curt Gridley and Tracy Hoover
  • Meritrust Credit Union

New Lifetime Distinction

  • House of Schwan
  • Rand Graphics Inc.
  • Ray J. and Delores M. Waldo Revocable Living Trust
  • Samuel M. and Laura H. Brown Charitable Trust

New Lifetime Members

  • Gail and Tim Buckley
  • Shirley and Denis Dieker
  • Katy and Ed Field
  • Karen and Leon Lungwitz
  • Mel Hambilton Ford
  • Dr. Christopher Adams Moeller
  • MTS Systems Corporation
  • Rhonda and Jeff Turner
  • ZE Powergroup

New Annual Members

    • AETNA/Coventry Health Care
      Alex and Pam Ammar
      Gary and Shirley Austerman
      Charlie E. Baker
      Marilyn and Bruce Benyshek
      Gaila and Jim Braun
      Marlin Breer and Joan Russell
      Brenton D. Myers Trust U/A
      Charles W. and Helen M. Brown
      Quincalee Brown and James Simsarian
      John R. and Cindy Carnahan; Carnahan Group
      Charles and Joanne McIlwaine Foundation
      S. Bruce Clark
      David and Aram Coyle; In the Bag Cleaners
      Tom and Colleen Dondlinger
      Fibers National Factory
      Bill and Kathy Glasco
      Great Plains Ventures Inc.
      Rick and Barbara Hemphill
      ICM Inc.
        Paul D. Jackson
      Kevin and Kelly Kelly
      Curt Lagree
      Robert D. and Jennifer Lane; Lane Enterprises
      Derry A. and Kay D. Larson
      LRIco Services
      Ed and Patricia Miller
      NetApp Inc.
      Troy and Jennifer Palmer; Global Parts
      The Print Source
      Quality Solutions Inc.
      Ronald and Renae Ryan
      Bruce and Linda Schreck
      Bill and Jennifer Scofield
      James H. and Ann M. Stevens; Stevens Enterprises
      Thomas Transfer Corporation
      Don L. and Lee Wadsworth
    Gary and Carol Young


n e w   l i f e t i m e   a c h i e v e m e n t   m e m b e r s

Craig BartonCraig Barton

Craig’s devotion to Wichita State runs deep. A 1983 graduate, Craig believes that WSU gave him a quality education and still delivers that quality to students today. He’s especially proud of the university’s strong entrepreneurial tradition and the valuable role WSU plays throughout the community and state. Craig is a member of the WSU Foundation National Advisory Council and a former member of the Foundation’s board of directors. He also serves on the advisory board for the W. Frank Barton School of Business, named in honor of his father.

Some of the fondest memories Craig made at Wichita State are connected to his time as a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He maintains close friendships with his fraternity brothers today and has established the Craig Barton Outstanding Greek Scholarship fund, the first of its kind at WSU. A commencement speaker in 2010, Craig’s support to WSU includes the Shocker Athletic Scholarship Organization, the Roundhouse Renaissance Campaign, the addition to the president’s home and the WSU Alumni Association. He is a member of the WSU Foundation Society of 1895.

Craig also is president of the Barton Charitable Foundation, which was established by his father. The foundation has supported valuable initiatives at WSU, including the W. Frank Barton Faculty Fellow in Finance, the Barton School of Business Dean’s Incentive Fund and men’s basketball-Margin of Excellence. Craig is president, managing member and managing general partner of several companies established by his father. He lives in Wichita.



Curt Gridley and Tracy HooverCurt Gridley and Tracy Hoover


Passionate is one word to describe the way Curt and Tracy feel about Wichita State University. That passion leads them to invest in the university not only with their financial resources, but also with their time and energy. Curt and Tracy are the co-chairs of the leadership council for the Ideas Lab, a facility in Henrion Hall where students, faculty and community participants can pursue technological exploration. As members of the leadership council, they will help guide the campaign to raise private funds for the Ideas Lab.

Curt is a 1980 graduate of Wichita State with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and mathematics and a minor in Spanish. As a student, he was active in the Student Government Association and was a Senior Honor Man and an Emory Lindquist Scholar. He received a master's degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College. Curt is a technical and management consultant for small start-up companies. Tracy graduated in 1985 from Wellesley College with a bachelor's degree in English and computer science. She is an accomplished musician who teaches private lessons in viola da gamba through the School of Music at WSU and is treasurer of the Viola da Gamba Society of America.

Curt and Tracy created the first professorship in the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and also established the Gridley-Hoover Pilot Research Program for the WSU Regional Institute on Aging. They supported the construction of the WSU Biological Field Station and donated a wind turbine to help power the facility. Curt and Tracy also have given generously to the Miró Conservation Campaign and to the renovation of the Rhatigan Student Center. They have donated a piano to the WSU School of Music and provide substantial support to the Ulrich Museum of Art.

Curt serves on the WSU Foundation Board of Directors and the Ulrich Museum Advisory Board. He and Tracy are life members of the WSU Alumni Association. They live in Wichita and have two children.



Meritrust LogoMeritrust Credit Union


Meritrust has been a loyal supporter of Wichita State for years, sharing not only its financial resources but also the expertise and counsel of its staff. The firm has partnered with the WSU Center for Entrepreneurship the past three years to bring the Business Booster Series to companies and individuals seeking strategies to grow their businesses. Meritrust also sponsors Shocker basketball, volleyball and baseball events. It recently provided a gift to help the W. Frank Barton School of Business launch a professional development program for students. Meritrust executives serve on the advisory board for the Division of Student Affairs and the Center for Entrepreneurship. Company leaders also have participated as judges for the Shocker New Venture Competition. Meritrust also awards a $1,000 scholarship to one Wichita State student each year.

Meritrust is a full-service financial cooperative offering checking, savings, loan and small business products and financial resources for 84,000 member-owners. The firm was known for many years in the Wichita area as the Boeing Wichita Credit Union. As it expanded to new markets outside of Wichita, the firm changed its name in 2009 to Meritrust Credit Union. Today, Meritrust has nearly 300 employees who work in branches in Wichita, Derby, Lawrence, Junction City and Manhattan. Meritrust’s support of Wichita State is a reflection of its mission to improve the lives of its members and the communities it serves.



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n e w   l i f e t i m e   d i s t i n c t i o n   m e m b e r s

House of Schwan Logo House of Schwan


Giving back to the community has been important to House of Schwan since Barney Schwan started the Anheuser-Busch distributorship in 1960. Whether supporting Wichita State University or sponsoring community events such as the Wichita River Festival, House of Schwan believes in sharing its success with those who helped make it possible.

House of Schwan is the largest beer wholesaler in Kansas, selling more than 600 brands of beers, wines, spirits and nonalcoholic beverages to liquor stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, bars and restaurants. The company supports Wichita State primarily through gifts to Shocker athletics.

Barney’s son, Barry, became president of the company in the early 1990s and bought it in 2006. Barry serves on the WSU Foundation Board of Directors and is chairman of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce for 2016. In 2008, Barry was the recipient of the WSU President’s Medal and, in 2010, Barry and his wife, Cindy, were the recipients of the WSU Alumni Association’s Alumni Recognition Award. Barry attended Wichita State for one year before receiving his degree in education from the University of Colorado. Cindy is a graduate of WSU with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in gerontology. She serves on the WSU Board of Trustees.



Rand Graphics LogoRand Graphics Inc.


Founded in 1964 by WSU alumnus Ralph Vautravers, Rand Graphics became the largest printer in Wichita with national clients such as Anheuser-Busch, Dr. Pepper, Walmart and Pizza Hut. The company employs more than 150 people with plants in two Wichita locations providing litho, screen and digital printing. Rand Graphics specializes in printing products for the food, beverage and retail industries across the country. It was the recipient in 2005 of the Over the Years Award, given by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce to longstanding good corporate citizens.

Rand Graphics has made substantial contributions to Wichita State since the early 1990s, primarily in athletics but also to the construction of the Marcus Welcome Center and through many gifts-in-kind. Ralph and his wife, Sue, also give generously to WSU in many areas. The couple recently endowed a scholarship for working students. Ralph served on the WSU Foundation board for two terms and now is a member of the National Advisory Council. He and Sue were honored in 2003 with the Fairmount Founders’ Award. Though semi-retired, Ralph serves as chairman of Rand Graphics while his son, Randy, is president.



Ray J. and Delores M. Waldo Revocable Living TrustRay and Delores Waldo

Ray and Delores always believed that education could transform a person’s life. That’s why they were willing to help family members who wanted to improve their circumstances by getting a college degree. And that’s also why they designated that a generous portion of their estate be shared with Wichita State. Part of the Waldos’ gift will be used to support the new Experiential Engineering Building on the Innovation Campus. To recognize this, the Aerospace Propulsion Lab in the building will be named in their honor. The remainder of their estate gift will support WSU athletics. The Waldos were men’s basketball season-ticket holders for many years, and enjoyed following other teams, too.

Ray attended junior college in Hutchinson in the early 1960s. From there he began a lifelong career as an engineering technician for the Kansas Department of Transportation, retiring in the mid-1990s. Delores attended Wichita State for a time, then worked for many years as a claims representative for Farm Bureau Insurance. She also retired in the 1990s. Following Ray’s death in 2014 and Delores’ in 2015, Delores’ brother, Steve Hammersmith, and her nephew, Michael Easter, helped settle the couple’s estate matters. Steve says his sister and brother-in-law would be pleased to see how their gift already is helping WSU students pursue their educational dreams.


Samuel M. and Laura Brown Charitable Trust

Samuel and Laura established their trust in the 1970s to make philanthropic donations to a number of nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in the Wichita area. Though originally from Milford, Illinois, the Browns moved to Wichita when Samuel got a job at what was then Fourth National Bank.

At Wichita State, the Brown Charitable Trust has primarily supported the fine arts, including a significant donation to the project to conserve and restore the Joan Miró mosaic at the Ulrich Museum of Art. That four-year project is scheduled to be completed this fall, when the mural will be reinstalled on the museum’s façade. After 40 years of philanthropic support to the Wichita community, the Brown Charitable Trust will make its final donations this year before being closed according to the terms of the fund.


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n e w   l i f e t i m e    m e m b e r s

Gail and Tim BuckleyGail and Tim Buckley

Tim and Gail have been faithful supporters of Wichita State for more than 30 years, sharing their time and treasure to help advance Tim’s alma mater. One of their most recent gifts was to join other alumni from the early 1970s to endow the Football '70 Scholarship Fund. The general scholarship honors those who were killed in the 1970 WSU plane crash by awarding financial aid to deserving students. With his brothers, Tim established the Duane and Janet Buckley Scholarship in 2005, which is named for their parents. Tim and Gail, with contributions from his entire family, also established the Buckley Family American Indian Scholarship in 2008.

Tim graduated with a history degree from Wichita State University in 1971. He joined the family business, Buckley Industries, in 1972, and relocated to Austin, Texas, in 1986 when the company bought the assets of Polyplastics. He served there as vice president before retiring recently. Tim is a life member of the WSU Alumni Association, a member of the WSU Foundation Board of Directors and also serves on the advisory board for the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Gail received her undergraduate degree in home economics from Baylor University and is retired from the position of food scientist at her business, The Creative Test Kitchen. Tim and Gail have three children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They are active in Rotary International, traveling to many countries around the world for humanitarian efforts.


Shirley and Denis DiekerShirley and Denis Dieker

Some of the best memories Shirley and Denis have of their student days at Wichita State are tied to their Greek life, Shirley as a member of Alpha Phi and Denis as a Sigma Ep. Their loyalty to these organizations and their affection for Wichita State have led them to endow two scholarships for Alpha Phi and Sigma Ep students. They also contribute generously to WSU athletics, and are season-ticket holders to men’s and women’s basketball as well as Shocker baseball. They are members of the WSU Foundation Society of 1895, having formally designated a gift to Wichita State from their estate.

A native of Severy, Kansas, Denis graduated from Wichita State in 1977 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accountancy. He earned an MBA in finance from Wichita State in 1980. He is the chief financial officer of Midwest Drywall Co. and has been involved in many business ventures. Denis is the immediate past chair of the WSU Alumni Association and serves on the alumni volunteer board of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also is a member of the WSU Foundation National Advisory Council.

Shirley received a bachelor’s degree in business education from Wichita State in 1980. She is the IT director for Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters. She previously worked in computing at Farm Credit Bank, Kansas Newman University and Fidelity Bank. Shirley has served in several volunteer positions with the local Alpha Phi Alumnae chapter. Shirley and Denis have two children, including a daughter who graduated from Wichita State in 2015.


Katy and Ed FieldKaty and Ed Field

When Ed and Katy say they want to help Wichita State succeed in all areas of the university, they mean it. Not only are they fierce supporters of WSU athletics, but they also have endowed a business school scholarship and they give to alumni efforts like the WSU Alumni Association and Alumni Women United. In addition, Ed contributes his time and energy by serving on the WSU Foundation National Advisory Council.

Ed graduated from Wichita State in 1972 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accountancy. Before retiring, he was a Certified Public Accountant for 40 years with the firm of Lindburg & Vogel Chartered in Topeka. Katy received an accounting degree from Salt City Business College in Hutchinson. She recently retired after working the past 16 years at the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas.

Ed and Katy are men’s basketball season-ticket holders and are proud to say that all of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are Shocker fans, too. One of their two children is a graduate of Wichita State. In their free time, Ed and Katy like to golf, fish, attend music performances and participate in church activities.


Karen and Leon LungwitzKaren and Leon Lungwitz

Leon and Karen are loyal fans of Shocker athletics and demonstrate this by contributing to funds that strengthen men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and golf. They are season-ticket holders to Shocker basketball and baseball. On the academic side, Leon and Karen endowed a business scholarship in 2006.

Leon received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accountancy from WSU in 1970. He is a member of the WSU Foundation National Advisory Council and a former board member of the WSU Alumni Association. In the community, Leon has been involved with the Wichita Metro Area Chamber of Commerce, Wichita Independent Business Association, Wichita Manufacturers Association and Rotary Club.

Leon and Karen are life members of the WSU Alumni Association and members of the WSU Foundation Society of 1895, which recognizes those who establish a gift to Wichita State through their estate.

Leon and Karen founded their company, The Print Source, in 1982. Today, their son, Stuart, is president of the company and manages day-to-day operations. Their son, Craig, is a 2001 graduate of Wichita State with a master’s degree in education.


Mel Hambelton LogoMel Hambelton Ford

Mel Hambelton believed in the power of education and always regretted not finishing college, says his daughter, Lisa, who now owns the dealership her father started. That’s why the Hambelton family chose to honor Mr. Hambelton by endowing a scholarship in his name. So far, four WSU students have received $10,000 awards from the scholarship, which will recognize Mr. Hambelton’s legacy for years to come. The dealership contributes to Wichita State in other ways, most notably as part of the Wheels Club, which provides vehicles for the WSU Athletics Department to use.

Mel Hambelton purchased the Ford dealership in 1984. Originally located at I-235 North and Broadway, the store was moved to 119th and West Kellogg in 2002. Lisa took over for her father in 2008, and bought the dealership in 2011. Mr. Hambelton died in 2015. Lisa has three children, including a son who graduated from Wichita State, and one granddaughter.


Dr. Christopher Adams MoellerDr. Christopher Adams Moeller

Though Chris grew up in Oklahoma and went to medical school in Iowa, today he is a Shocker through and through. Chris has been a season-ticket holder to men’s basketball the past 25 years and generously supports both the basketball and baseball programs. He’s also been a strong supporter of KMUW 89.1 the past 15 years.

A physician specializing in dermatology, Chris owns his practice, Moeller Dermatology. He also is an adjunct professor for the WSU College of Health Professions and a clinical assistant professor for the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. Chris received his medical degree from the University of Iowa School of Medicine and completed his residency at Duke University Medical Center.


MTS Systems LogoMTS Systems Corporation

MTS Systems Corporation works closely with the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State to provide much of the advanced hardware and software NIAR requires for conducting structural testing of aircraft. The company established the MTS Systems Corporation Fund in 2004 to support NIAR’s work in research and development.

With headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, MTS is a leading global provider of mechanical test and simulation systems used to study the performance and fatigue characteristics of materials, components and full structures. MTS testing technologies and expertise play a critical role in advancing research and development across a diverse array of industries, including aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, biomedical and more.

MTS maintains offices worldwide and employs 2,400 people. The company reported revenue of $564 million last fiscal year.


Rhonda and Jeff TurnerRhonda and Jeff Turner

Rhonda and Jeff wear black and gold proudly. Rhonda graduated from WSU in 1975 and Jeff received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WSU in 1973 and 1977, respectively. They are life members of the WSU Alumni Association, and support their alma mater in other areas including athletics, aviation and the College of Education. In 2007, they established the Turner Family Endowed Scholarship targeted at students who are also single mothers.

Jeff has served on the WSU Foundation Board of Directors and the WSU Board of Trustees. He was selected to receive the WSU Foundation’s Board of Trustees’ Award in 2006. In 2002, he was a WSU Alumni Association award winner for outstanding achievement.

Both Jeff and Rhonda are active in their community. Jeff serves on several boards including those for Intrust Bank and World Impact. Rhonda serves on the Wichita Children’s Home board. Other organizations in which they have been involved include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sedgwick County, the Salvation Army and Pathway Christian Church.

Now retired, Jeff was president and CEO of Spirit Aero Systems Inc. Rhonda is a marriage and family therapist at Pathway Family Counseling.


ZE Power Group LogoZE Power Group

ZE Power Group is a technology company providing customers with software and services that transform decoupled and fragile data-related routines into streamlined, transparent, secure and automated business processes. The company, headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, developed an award-winning data management software called ZEMA. ZEMA offers a modular, end-to-end, automated solution that fulfills an organization’s varied data-intensive business needs. ZEMA users have access to an unrivaled catalog of data sources and complex analytics, which can be easily integrated with third-party systems. ZEMA serves clients of all sizes, operating in any industry.

ZE has provided the software to Wichita State to be used by students in the Koch Global Trading Center, a simulated trading facility located in Clinton Hall. ZE’s donation of ZEMA is part of its corporate commitment to support academic research and promote education.


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