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College of Human Ecology

K-State's 2005 honorary family grounded in Wildcat academics, athletics

Thursday, September 29, 2005

MANHATTAN -- In the past 20 years, Kansas State University sophomore Lauren Luhrs can't remember a day without some mention or reminder of K-State.

"Whether it was seeing one of the three limestone rocks outside of my house painted with Power Cats or looking at a picture of my sister and me from a K-State event or just talking about our experiences, K-State always popped up, even before my sister or I came to school here," Luhrs said.

Such memories and anecdotes -- like her grandfather's game day outfit of purple cowboy boots and hat and bonding with her sister over their shared love of Manhattan -- help make Luhrs' family the university's 2005 Honorary Family.

Each year, Chimes, the junior honorary, conducts an essay contest to choose K-State's honorary family. The Luhrs -- Lauren; her sister, Victoria; her mother, Barbara; and Lauren's grandparents, Virginia and Lauren Roe -- will be honored Saturday, Oct. 1, as part of K-State's Family Day activities. The Luhrs and Roes will be special guests at the Dean's Dinner and they will receive a plaque at intermission during the K-State volleyball match against Texas A and M.

Lauren, Victoria and Barbara Luhrs are all of Overland Park. Lauren Luhrs is majoring in human ecology and mass communications. Victoria Luhrs, who is student teaching in Kansas City, Kan., this fall, is eligible to graduate with honors in December. She also is a 2005 Harry S. Truman scholar. Barbara Luhrs is a 1976 K-State graduate in textile science and works for an accounting firm in Overland Park.

Virginia and Lauren Roe live in rural Mankato. Lauren Roe attended K-State in the late 1940s. Although his wife, Virginia, is a University of Colorado alum, she now wears purple "religiously," Lauren Luhrs wrote in her essay. Lauren Roe is a semi retired farmer, and Virginia Roe is a retired schoolteacher.

Barbara Luhrs said her family's involvement in teaching and because both of her daughters attended public schools enforced her belief in the power of public education. She said a K-State education was a great springboard for students like her daughters to go on to other accomplishments.

"It's a very good place to get an undergraduate degree," she said.

What makes the Luhrs and Roes such ardent K-State supporters, Barbara Luhrs said, had a lot to do with her involvement in alumni events and her parents' passion for Wildcat athletics. Lauren Luhrs wrote in her essay that she takes pride in the fact that her grandparents have been K-State football season ticket-holders since the 1970s, meaning the football fans weathered some pretty rough years.

Barbara Luhrs said the K-State campus became a meeting point between Overland Park and Mankato for her and her parents.

"Any time we come to Manhattan, my parents are there," she said. "Anything the girls did on campus, we'd just e-mail to tell mother and dad."

It doesn't take much for a prospective student to get a passion for purple and want to become a K-State Wildcat, Barbara Luhrs said.

"It just happens -- but they have to come to campus," she said.

This article was posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005, and is filed under College News.