Bonnie and I attend most of the home football games and enjoy many other functions at K-State. We have many friends who share our enthusiasm for K-State and we always enjoy meeting up with them when we’re in Manhattan. We’ve attended most of the Bowl Games and have been to all of the Big 12 football stadiums. In addition to K-State football and purple Elvis, we have become involved and support K-State in many other ways.
At a K-State function in 2006, Bonnie and I met LTC Art DeGroat, the Professor of Military Science and the head of the Army ROTC program at K-State. They have always had an outstanding ROTC program, but that year it was LTC DeGroat who took K-State’s program to the very top ranking of all ROTC programs in the nation. Art and I immediately connected when we met, having much in common and sharing similar interests. Over the years, Art has become my closest friend and I know I can count on him if ever I need anything.
Each year we help support the general scholarship fund at K-State, and in 2007 we made a major contribution to the Saunders Sports Medicine Center in the football complex in support of their excellent athletic training program. I have given several lectures to the sports medicine students and made myself available when they have had special needs.
Because of Art’s enthusiasm and continued success of the ROTC program, in 2008 we established a ROTC Excellence Fund that funds activities for the Cadet’s to participate in, that would otherwise not be available. We also helped fund a new housing project on campus, The Saunders Barracks, a 48-unit apartment complex providing housing for the ROTC Cadets.
K-State does a great job of getting some top celebrities and entertainers to appear at K-State’s McCain Auditorium every year. 2015 was no exception. In January, William Shatner gave a very entertaining “Shatner’s World” presentation. Art was involved in arranging his visit. We had a great time with him and his wife at dinner afterward. Art also helped arrange an appearance from Jay Leno in November. I don’t think I have ever heard such a funny and entertaining performance! We even had the opportunity to meet Jay personally at a specially arranged meet and greet backstage.
I must not go without mentioning my appreciation for and credit to my fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. The inspiration, support and influence that Delta Sig has had in my life, was not only key to my development as a young man at K-State, but also to my overall success through the years.