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Sept 2014 Horizon Header

       

James J. Rhatigan retires from WSU Foundation after 12 years

Elizabeth King presents Dr. James Rhatigan with a memento of for his 14 years of service with the WSU Foundation at his retirement celebration
WSU Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth King led well-wishers in applause for James Rhatigan for his 12 years of service with the Foundation.

Friends and colleagues of James J. Rhatigan gathered on June 23 to wish him well on what he described as his “final” retirement. He had worked for the Wichita State University Foundation since 2002.

In 2002, hundreds of people attended a reception to mark his “first retirement” from WSU. Rhatigan was vice president for student affairs and dean of students from 1965 to 1996 and then senior vice president for WSU from 1996 to 2002. He left retirement to accept the job of consultant to the WSU Foundation.

Accompanied by his wife, Beverly, Rhatigan accepted the good wishes of his Foundation colleagues, as well as friends and colleagues from the WSU Alumni Association and the WSU campus.

James Rhatigan in front of a rendering of the newly remodeled Rhatigan Student Center - a gift given to him at his retirement celebration.
James Rhatigan in front of a rendering of the newly remodeled Rhatigan Student Center - a gift given to him at his retirement celebration.

A golf-themed décor recognized Rhatigan’s love of the links; he typically plays two or three times a week. Attendees helped themselves to ice cream sundaes and lemonade.

Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO, thanked Rhatigan for the many contributions he made in raising money for WSU, citing among those accomplishments a gift of $8.5 million from the estate of Evelyn Hendren Cassatt for the speech-language-hearing clinic named in her honor.

A highlight of her comments was when she recited a list of attributes that Foundation employees said best described Rhatigan, including “respected,” “humble,” “wise,” “accepting,” “caring,” “witty” and “one of a kind.”

Rhatigan, often called Dr. R by his colleagues, said that he planned to enjoy his leisure time but that he would continue to drop into his office at the Foundation regularly to write, handle correspondence and take appointments. King assured him that the WSU Alumni Association is allowing him to keep his office in Woodman Alumni Center for as long as he wants.