More than 30 years of annual fund giving for Gaylord Brockway

Gaylord Brockway

Gaylord Brockway ’66, in Phoenix, Ariz., where he has resided since graduation. Although he is more than 1,000 miles away, Brockway still feels a connectedness to Wichita and WSU, resulting in his 34 years of annual fund giving.

Gaylord Brockway always thought he’d follow in his father’s footsteps and be a Wichita fireman.

“You had to be 21 years of age, so after I graduated from high school, I waited around a few years before applying,” said Brockway.

“I passed the tests and met the requirements, but there were no openings at the time. I was very disappointed.”

Rather than wait for an opening, Brockway pursued other options and found his calling in the electrical engineering field through the United States Army Signal Corps RADAR Repair school.

In 1959, he enrolled at the University of Wichita (WU), but the small grant he was awarded for the second semester was not enough to cover all costs, so he took a position with Boeing, working the second shift on B-52s’ RADAR systems. He earned his degree in electrical engineering in 1966.

Brockway felt his degree, plus his RADAR background in the Army, provided him a hefty resume and upon graduation he received four job offers from General Electric, IBM (two locations) and McDonnell Douglas. He joined General Electric in Phoenix, Ariz., in June 1966.

In 1974, Honeywell purchased the Process Control Division of General Electric and, a few years later, Brockway made his first gift to the WSU Foundation Annual Fund for Excellence.

“I began giving to WSU because I could finally afford to. I’d always wanted to give back to the university, so when I felt I could, I did,” said Brockway from his home in Phoenix.

Brockway does return to Wichita at least once a year, visiting former grade and high school friends.

“Being born and raised in Wichita, I still feel a connectedness to the city and university.”

And while he hasn’t visited campus in 15 years, he remembers vividly certain aspects from his days at WSU.

“I recall working in cyclical testing at Boeing and listening to the radio broadcasts of Shocker basketball. Those were the days of Dave ‘The Rave’ Stallworth and I never missed a game, even at work.”

Brockway also recollects the envy he felt towards the students who were able to play cards in the Campus Activities Center, now the Rhatigan Student Center, or just hang out after classes. He always wished he could join them, but was usually rushing off to study or to work. This memory is the motivation behind his annual fund giving for 34 years.

"Each year I give to the College of Engineering through the annual fund, I hope my contribution will help a student who is possibly starting his or her college career a little later in life, or who is married and working.”

Brockway retired from Honeywell and now spends his days with his four sons, three of whom live in Phoenix, and his six grandchildren.

He also loves to travel, visiting Mexico each year, but Wichita and WSU are never far from his mind.

“I know there are many out there who would like to help, but cannot. But I believe if you have the means, if you have the affinity and you are able, you definitely should.”

To contribute to the WSU Foundation Annual Fund for Excellence, please go to wichita.edu/giveonline. For more information about the annual fund, please contact Krista Voth, WSU Foundation director of annual fund, at (316) 978-3819 or krista.voth@wichita.edu.


 
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