K-State Alumni Association celebrates 15th year on campus

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The K-State Alumni Association celebrated its 15th year on campus Thursday with a showcase open to the public.

Lauren Chard, manager at the K-State Alumni Center, said she wanted to open the event to the entire community whether they are students, alumni or community members.

“We want people to come in,” Chard said. “So we’re hoping that an event like this will bring in people that support us already, but I’ve seen so many new faces.”

The event featured booths of the Alumni Association’s departments, caterers and vendors for the Alumni Center, a book signing with Greg Hardin, author of “When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a K-State Wildcat” and a wine tasting.

Linda Cook, assistant vice president of communications, said the Alumni Association is really about carrying on the tradition and spirit of Kansas State.

“The Alumni Association is a lot about traditions,” Cook said. “And we maintain a lot of the traditions like Homecoming, and you’ll see a lot of the nostalgic pieces around the Alumni Center, like the fireplace is the old arch.”

The Alumni Center keeps K-State memorabilia on the first floor, and the Hagans Library holds more keepsakes, including every publication of the Royal Purple yearbook.

“I’ve worked some weekends where I’ve opened it up for [alumni], and they just go up there and they just look through the yearbooks, look at themselves 20, 30, 40 years ago and just laugh,” Chard said. “I think coming in here kind of brings back the feelings of going to school and the traditions, so we try to keep those alive.”

Current students have the opportunity to study or to get involved with the Alumni Association through the organizations such as Wildcats Forever and Student Ambassadors.

Marcus Kidd, assistant director of student programs for the Alumni Association, said he enjoys seeing all the different faces of K-State throughout the years and the people who are continuing to carry on the traditions, but still maintaining the overall mission of having the life-long connection with alumni from K-State.

“For me, being an alumnus of K-State and still being a current student, I think it’s awesome that there’s a building that’s just dedicated towards all that being an alumni is,” Kidd said.

Regarding the future, Kidd said the Alumni Association is hoping to continue to reach out to more people to raise awareness of what it does. The 15th Anniversary Showcase helped move the association closer to its goal.

“I’m glad we were able to do this event,” Chard said. “We wanted to showcase our staff, we wanted people to explore everywhere, we wanted to give our preferred caterers exposure. We’re just glad people are here, and hopefully they keep coming back for another 15 years.”

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