Shelli Herman ’88 believes personal success came from WSU experiences

Devan Redington
Shelli Herman ’88 has been giving back to Wichita State in various capacities since 1989, including a scholarship established in her own name.


Shelli Herman has gone from a Wichita State University student to an annual fund donor to establishing a scholarship in her own name, all while using her entrepreneurial skills to create her own business.

Herman received her Bachelor of Arts in social work from WSU in 1988. She says those four years were some of the best she can remember.

“Being a Shocker was not only a great deal of fun, but these years shaped everything I have done in my life from that point forward,” Herman said. “Some of my greatest skills as a leader and manager of people came from WSU.”

Crediting her leadership experiences learned at WSU, Herman began giving back at the age of 23, only one year after graduating. She said that although that gift was $25, she knew it mattered.

“I think everyone can give in a way that’s comfortable for them and still feel really good about the overall impact,” she said.

As the years progressed, Herman’s gifts increased, and in 2007, the Shelli Herman Leadership and Achievement Scholarship was established. Herman said that she received several scholarships that were beneficial to her.

“Financially, it made a huge difference for my family and me,” she said. “From an esteem perspective, it’s also relevant because it tells a student that they are doing well, that others recognize this accomplishment and that we want them to continue to be successful.”

Success blessed Herman with the recent opportunity to launch her own company, Shelli Herman and Associates. After working 15 years with a retained executive search firm in Los Angeles, Herman decided to create her own. Working with client companies, she and her associates find talented candidates versus individuals who are simply looking for a position at a top level within an organization.

“The business has far exceeded my expectations,” she said. “Initially, I thought the company would remain small and now I can say it’s growing beyond that!”

Herman said she owes everything she has now to her experiences as a student leader and scholar at WSU and feels that giving back to her alma mater is the right thing to do.

“One of the things my leadership experience taught me at Wichita State, and particularly as a member of Delta Gamma, is that we have an obligation to give back or do well,” she said.

With the economic challenges of today’s world, Herman said it is important for alumni, young or old, to know that they have a key responsibility to give back in some way in order to continue to help students at Wichita State set the stage for their lives as leaders and philanthropists.

“I cannot think of a more deserving place than WSU, nor can I think of a more compelling reason beyond the basic importance of philanthropy as a core value or placeholder in terms of what matters,” Herman said. “I see my gifts as the right thing to do and I am so happy that the impact will be seen by a deserving student.”

To learn more about how you can provide assistance to a student’s education, please contact Terre Johnson, vice president for major gifts, at (316) 978-3808 or email

© 2014 Wichita State University Foundation

Wichita State University Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.