Alumni and friends from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s gathered together this evening to share their fond memories about their time at K-State and experience in the United States.
During a part of the evening, alumni and friends had a chance to introduce themselves and share their favorite memories of their time at K-State.
Memories that were shared were flying on a small plane to Manhattan for the first time (a 4 or 6 seater plane) and being scared to death; experiencing their first winter snow and only having sandals to wear or using an umbrella because they did not know how to function in the snow.
Alumni and friends reminsced about cheering on the Wildcats at women’s basketball games, eating Call Hall ice cream, and the frequent jaunts to Aggieville to indulge in a few libations and destress from their intense studies.
Listening and watching my alumni talk about their time at K-State provided me with 3 majors themes:
1. Cultural Communities- there is power in cultural communities. Alumni talked about how the Filipinos in Manhattan embraced and helped them transition. It was stories of individuals fetching them from the airport; to alumni helping them get apartments and gifting them with furniture from previous students; to lots of parties hosted by the K-State Philippines Student Association. The community that alum reflected on contributed to their social and emotional wellbeing. The bonding together evolved into a family away from home.
2. The power of faculty and research- many of the alumni and friends were masters and Ph.D. level students and it involved intense studying and research. Alot of the memories shared involved faculty advisors who served as mentors who helped shape them into the successful professionals they are today. Individuals spoke about the opportunities and active pushing they received that stretched them to do more and prepared them for future jobs.
People like Dr. Chandler, the Maghirang family and Dean Shanklin were consistently referred to and they were pillars in the community who were holistic advisors who not only helped with academics but went above and beyond and were seen as parental figures. Alumni and friends expressed their sincere gratitude by dotting on these individuals with gifts, hosting them when they visit the Philippines and staying in contact after many years. One alum shared that when he came back to the United States he made a special trip back to campus to meet with his major professors and he was so blessed to do so because not long after one of his professors passed away.
3. Kansas State University- my final theme is Kansas State University. Our institution prides itself on the family experience they offer to students and this theme has shined throughout my visit. For some of the alumni and friends it was their first time to the United States and the warm embrace and hospitality they received from the K-State community has left a lifetime impression. Alum talked about when they hit I-70 they instantly get a sense of coming home and one alum shared that she considers K-State her home in the United States.
K-State has been welcoming international students for over 130 years and to witness the love and purple pride these individuals exude made me even more proud of my alma mater.
I can’t close out this post without sharing the delicious food that was served.
Creamy roasted capsicum soup
Asian salad with grilled chicken and carrot roasted cashews
Grilled blue marlin with garlic sauce served with steamed rice and seasonal vegetables
Strawberry mousse for dessert
Plus they had ice tea that was already sweet!
Our beautiful evening of purple pride ended with the singing of the alma mater and fight song and taking lots and lots of pictures. Until next time…