The family of the late Dr. William J. and Norma Reals gathered in Porter Hall in July to officially donate the Reals’ personal art collection to PSU and to celebrate the lives of two extraordinary individuals.

Dr. Reals was dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita for many years. Norma Monahan Reals was born in Pittsburg and was the daughter of Francis Monahan, a former mining engineer.

Bill Reals, Jr., represented the Reals family in making the gift.

Bill Reals, Jr., represented the Reals family in making the gift.

Over the years, the couple collected 31 pieces by Lindsborg, Kan., artists Berger Sandzen and Lester Raymer. Those treasured items decorated the couple’s Wichita home until after Mrs. Reals’ death in 2013. Dr. Reals died in 2002.

Bill Reals Jr., who represented the 5 Reals children, 18 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren at the event, said donating the art to PSU’s permanent collection was his parents’ wish.

Generations of the Reals family gathered for the formal gift announcement.

Generations of the Reals family gathered for the formal gift announcement.

“Our connection to the greater PSU community runs deep,” Reals said, noting there were seven PSU graduates in the crowd. “We hope you enjoy this collection as much as our family has enjoyed it over the years.”

Dean of Arts and Sciences Karl Kunkel said the collection held special meaning for the university.

“This is more than a collection of art, it is a reflection of the incredible artistic passion shared by Dr. William J. and Norma Reals,” Kunkel said. •