Twelve former Shockers will be honored this spring as part of the inaugural class of inductees for the Wichita State University College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame.
Sponsored by The Friends of Fine Arts, an organization that supports the arts at WSU, this honor recognizes individuals who have excelled in the areas of visual art, design, music, theater, musical theater and dance. It also recognizes significant contributions by faculty, staff, community patrons and donors on behalf of the College of Fine Arts.
Rodney Miller, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said the time was right to establish the hall of fame.
“The College of Fine Arts has a long and storied tradition of superb faculty, backed by unbelievably supportive patrons who have mentored students that have gone on to national and international prominence in their chosen profession,” Miller said. “This inaugural class is but a fraction of the deserving people who have been associated with the fine arts at Wichita State.”
The inaugural class of the CFA Hall of Fame will carry the designation “founding member” and will be honored at a special event April 11. The founding members are:
Alumni: Former WSU students who have distinguished themselves in the arts and who have been out of school for at least five years.
- Joyce DiDonato, international opera star
- William (Bill) Gardner, graphic designer
- Sonia Greteman, graphic designer and marketing expert
- Shirley Knight, award-winning actor
- Samuel Ramey, international opera star
Contributors: Community donors or patrons who have given time and resources for the betterment of the fine arts at Wichita State.
- Lewis and Selma Miller, patron of the arts
- Edwin A. Ulrich, patron of the arts
- Gladys H.G. Wiedemann, patron of the arts
Mentors: Current or retired WSU faculty or staff members or administrators who have supported, inspired and motivated the Wichita State community in the area of Fine Arts.
- Jacquelyn Dillon-Kraus, professor
- Mira Pajes Merriman, professor
- Richard (Dick) Welsbacher, professor
Inductees to the hall of fame are chosen by a selection committee that includes WSU administrators, College of Fine arts patrons and retired faculty members.
The College of Fine Arts at is one of the most respected schools of visual and performing arts in the nation and comprises the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries; the School of Music and the School of Performing Arts.