Office of the Dean
Dear K-State Salina family,
Welcome to a brand new year with brand new possibilities. The future is looking bright for K-State Salina so I’m very excited for the spring semester to begin. Though most of you reading this newsletter probably have your college days behind you, I’m going to make you nostalgic for a moment with a history lesson.
In 1965, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill that would transform Schilling Air Force Base in Salina into Schilling Institute, a school offering two-year engineering and science technology programs. After a few name changes - Kansas Technical Institute in 1969 and Kansas College of Technology in 1988 - the college merged with Kansas State University in 1991 and became K-State’s second campus. In 2015, K-State Salina will be honoring the rich history of this campus with a 50th anniversary celebration throughout the year. Kicking off in April, I encourage you to visit our website, http://www.salina.k-state.edu, and explore the many events that are open to our community, supporters and alumni. We are very proud of the tradition of innovation this campus has exemplified over the years and we hope you will celebrate with us!
Before the new year began, the month of December was very busy as students prepared for finals and seniors prepared their final goodbyes. Fall commencement was held on Dec. 9 and we graduated more than 40 students. I am so proud of our graduates’ dedication to their education and I can’t wait to hear about their future successes. The commencement speaker, Larry Farmer, has a 30-year history with the campus dating back to Schilling Institute. He was an electronics technology professor and later became a department head. It was such a joy hosting him on campus and hearing stories about the early days.
December was also a travel month, giving me a chance to continue promoting K-State Salina’s amazing programs and research. On Dec. 2, I was in Washington D.C. at the National Academy of Engineering conference speaking on the topic “Opportunities and Challenges Facing Employers and Educators.” Then Dec. 3-5, I was enjoying the winter sunshine in San Diego while meeting with supporters of our university. It is always encouraging when I experience purple pride outside of Kansas.
Back on campus, our flight team helped host Candy Canes and Airplanes with the Salina Airport Authority. Open to everyone in the community, families watched as Santa flew in and made a pit stop at the airport to take pictures with and take toy requests from the children in attendance. This is such a fun event for our university because we get to be a part of many children’s first experience with aviation.
After the holidays, the K-State Salina campus is looking forward to welcoming middle school and high school students for two events. This month we are hosting the Teen Women in Science and Technology conference, also known as TWIST. The event encourages young women to consider careers in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. The following week, the campus will bring science to life with the Science Olympiad competition. This showcases a variety of events focused on science, engineering, math and aviation that students compete to win not only their event, but also the right to advance to the state competition. The Salina campus has been a Science Olympiad regional site for almost 20 years. Both TWIST and Science Olympiad are excellent opportunities to connect with our community and provide services that will expand young students’ education.
As everyone gets back into the swing of things after the holidays, I just encourage you to keep K-State Salina in mind when filling out your calendar. Along with the 50th anniversary celebration this semester, there will also be alumni gatherings, on-campus learning opportunities and our annual Open House. K-State Salina is very grateful for the continued support and also looks forward to seeing new faces on campus.
I hope your new year is off to a good start and I wish you the best in 2015.
Verna M. Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
CEO, Kansas State University Salina
Dean, College of Technology and Aviation