K-State is home to many different traditions, from our university color “Royal Purple,” (adopted by the senior class of 1896) to our classic Powercat logo to some of our newest traditions such as the K-State Proud campaign, which in its first seven years raised more than $650,000.
The students who attend or have attended this historic school help create and perpetuate the college’s traditions, both old and new. Some students who may come in with advanced knowledge of K-State’s older traditions are legacies of the university. Some students are legacies of several generations of Wildcats and have family members who attended K-State dating back to World War II.
One of them is the Brady family. They have been part of the Wildcat tradition for three generations.
“I think we would all agree that there wasn’t really any reason to ever consider any school besides K-State,” Sara Brady, senior in marketing and German, said via a Skype interview. “I am absolutely the person I am today because of attending K-State.”
Brady has been a leader among students since her first year at K-State. She held an extensive number of student leadership offices during her college career including serving as the vice president of public relations for Gamma Phi Beta sorority.
Brady is taking this semester off to study abroad in Austria. While she’s been abroad, Brady’s younger siblings have begun their studies at K-State as well. Becky Brady, sophomore in elementary education, is also a member of Gamma Phi Beta.
“We are similar in so many ways, but people set us apart very well,” Becky said.
Whereas Sara has held several offices in and out of her sorority and is passionate about her German major, Becky said she focuses her attention on her incredible ability to control a room.
Becky’s natural teaching talent is now helping her shape the future leaders of K-State. She serves as student senate intern coordinator and works in the dean’s office in the College of Education.
“I would love to make a big impact on the College of Education while I’m here,” Becky said. “I love hearing how the dean used to be an elementary school teacher, then she was a principal and then she worked her way up. I would love to do that.”
Despite their differing majors, both sisters have a passion for what they do and the world around them.
The Brady family’s newest addition to K-State is Steven Brady, freshman in horticulture and landscape design. He said he shares many characteristics with his father, Pat Brady.
“I grew up loving the outdoors, hunting and fishing all the time,” Steven said. “I see a lot of myself come from my dad. They have always been my role models, and I strive to be more like them.”
Steven worked every summer of high school at the family-owned Brady Nursery in Wichita. Here, he developed a love of working with his hands outdoors, and, just like his sisters, Steven has an innate passion for helping those around him.
A member of the horticulture and longboard club, Steven is looking forward to pursing a degree in this area like his father before him. The Brady siblings’ father, Pat, is a 1978 K-State alumnus in agriculture and horticulture.
Pat was helped throughout his time at K-State by Ray Keen, former professor of horticulture, who helped him arrange a donation of trees from Brady Nursery — trees that still stand on campus today. Pat was Keen’s student in school as well as his teaching assistant.
One of his fondest memories while at K-State, Pat said, was during a football game against the University of Kansas in 1978.
“K-State football wasn’t all that good, but we were decent. KU was supposed to be pretty good,” Pat said. “[But] we beat them. Everyone was so excited that they climbed up on the goal post, tore it down and carried it all the way down to Aggieville.”
While celebrating after the game, students brought logs of wood and railroad ties, started a huge bonfire and had an outdoor party to celebrate.
The first Brady to being the Brady family’s K-State tradition, however, was Pat’s father Joe Brady. Joe was a part of the Beta Theta Phi fraternity and was good friends with Ernie Barrett, who was known as “Mr. K-State.”
K-State’s campus was much smaller back then. Joe attended basketball games in Nichols gym, which is now Nichols Hall, since Ahearn Field House hadn’t been built yet. Joe’s friendships within the fraternity and amongst his K-state colleagues lasted until the time of his passing in March 2007.
Amidst a long line of true purple K-State families, the Bradys have left their mark on campus and in the K-State community.