“Much of who I am is because of this special place.”

With those words, Ed McKechnie, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents and a 1986 graduate of Pittsburg State University, summed up the influence of many faculty, administrators and staff on his life and career.

McKechnie delivered the keynote address at PSU’s 105th Apple Day convocation where he reflected on the faculty and staff who helped shape his life. He noted his long association with the university, which began when he was a first-grade student at Horace Mann Elementary, a laboratory school on campus. That association continued through his college years, during which he was active on campus and served as editor of the student newspaper, The Collegio.

McKechnie offered advice to Pitt State students and shared his thoughts about the future for Pittsburg State and higher education overall.

McKechnie said the Kansas Board of Regents will lead a new initiative on excellence that will have three basic themes. Those are: greater access to post-secondary education, making sure universities are graduating students who are entering the workforce, and higher aspirations for the state’s universities.

“America’s future and the future of Pittsburg State is excellence,” he said.

The convocation also included recognition of the Ralf J. Thomas Distinguished Service Award recipients, Dr. Donald M. Holsinger, and Don Smith, as well as the Outstanding Faculty Award winners: Dr. Craig Fuchs, director of the Honors College and a member of the faculty in the Department of Music; Dr. Paul McCallum, a professor in the Department of English; and Dr. Grant Moss, an assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

Video interview with Dr. Grant Moss

Video interview with Dr. Paul McCallum

Video interview with Dr. Craig Fuchs