Spring 2017

Shock Talk

Crowson Cartoon

Shockers everywhere, at events long ago or happenings just the other day, always have something interesting to say. Take this sampling as a Shock Talk example:

“This is an event of great importance in defining the future of Wichita State.”

Wichita State University President John Bardo as quoted from a statement provided to USA Today for the newspaper’s April 7 article about WSU joining the American Athletic Conference. 

Alicia Thompson
Alicia Thompson

“I want to promise the students of the Wichita Public Schools that I will continue to work hard for you, and I believe in you and your future.”

Alicia Thompson ’15, who received a doctorate in educational leadership from Wichita State, in a Feb. 21 Wichita Public Schools news release announcing her selection as incoming superintendent, effective July 1. Thompson will be the district’s first female and first African-American superintendent. 

“Taking first place in the overall performance category were Gamma Phi Beta and Phi Delta Theta for Willy Wonka and the Great Invention; second place, Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Phi Epsilon for A Bad Villian’s Invention; and third place, Delta Gamma and Sigma Alpha Epsilon for A Shocking Invention.”

— From a WSU Student Involvement announcement on the winners of Hippodrome 2017: Huxley’s Great Invention, held April 9-15.

“Wichita State bowler Sydney Brummett won the Intercollegiate Singles Championship women’s title on Saturday in Baton Rouge, La. Brummett, a junior from Fort Wayne, Ind., beat Taylor Bulthuis of Webber International 225-170 in the championship match.”

— From an April 22 news article in the Wichita Eagle, which also reported that Brummett had been chosen Bowler of the Year by the college coaches association. 

Joe Stone

The Joe Stone Adult Learning Lounge, dedicated on April 27, is named for Charles Joseph “Joe” Stone ’03 (1913-2003) who was at 90 the oldest student to receive a degree from WSU. The lounge, located within the Office of Adult Learning in the Grace Wilkie Annex, received its name after a current adult student suggested the name honor WSU’s oldest graduate. The Office of Adult Learning assists older students as they finish a degree, change course or begin a new path:

Joe Stone’s five children are pleased the lounge has been named after their father, who was born in January 1913 in the back of his parents’ grocery store in Frizzell, Kan., in Pawnee County. His arrival boosted Frizzell’s population to 10.

Stone, who grew up in the Burrton-Halstead area, started at the University of Wichita in 1934 under the College Student Employment Program, part of U.S. President Roosevelt’s New Deal. At WU, he studied political science and met his wife, Catherine.

According to his daughter Marilyn, Wichita State was an important part of Stone’s life. “It is where they first met and began their courtship. My mother, then Catherine Lucille Bordner, studied art and worked the switchboard in the bookstore,” she says. “Dad, because he could drive a team of horses, was hired by the groundskeeper. He was allowed to sleep on a cot in the horse stable. Dad planted most, if not all, of the trees on the grounds.” Anything but typical, Stone was a true adult learner.

And his life’s occupations were colorful and varied. “The development of his professional life — through police work, military service, government service, reporting, freelance writing for broadcast and publication — illustrates the ideal of learning over a long lifetime,” says Stone’s oldest son Milburn. “Wichita State University was a powerful influence on his life at the beginning and at the end. As a child in Wichita, I can remember the pride he revealed on the many occasions when he brought me on campus.”

Stone received his degree in May 2003, thanks in part to some help from a former Elliott School of Communication professor, the late Les Anderson. Some of Stone’s classes had to be recalculated — they were worth more credits than they were back in the 1930s — and he received credit for some of his life experiences, which included working not only as a journalist, but also as a police officer and farmer.

His writing credits include a screenplay for a 1967 episode of Gunsmoke. (Stone’s older brother Milburn, BTW, was the Emmy-award winning actor who played Doc Adams for some 500 episodes of the TV show.) For more about Joe Stone, read “Ninety Years to Pomp & Circumstance,” the 2003 article Anderson wrote about this dedicated lifelong-learner.