Alumni Award Winners
Written by Kristiana Streuber on October 4, 2018
Every year when Homecoming rolls around, a group of alumni are selected and recognized for the work that they have done after they graduate Kansas Wesleyan. This year there are five recipients being recognized for various awards. These awards recognize outstanding achievement by KWU alumni and help motivate current students and alumni to be the best in their filed and make a difference in their community.
Ralita (Estwick) Cheeks (’07) is receiving the Young Alumna Award this year. Native of Fort Worth, TX, attended Kansas Wesleyan in 2003, participating in basketball, track, and cheer and also was selected as freshman attendant. In 2007, she graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice and Religion. She then continued her education at Kansas State University, reviving her masters degree in School Education with an emphasis in School Counseling. Ralita spent a number of years working with youth at the Central Kansas Mental Health Center in Salina where she received an award for her outstanding service. In 2014, she was selected as The Bank VI Hero of the Week for her work with local youth. She married pastor Brandon Cheeks in 2005 and they have six children together ranging from 1-11 years old. She is currently the consoler at Chisholm Middle School in Newton, Kansas.
Alumni Achievement Award Winner, Dr Climtine (Harris) Clayburn graduated Kansas Wesleyan in 1971 and furthered her education with two masters degrees from Kansas State University, in the field of Curriculum and Instruction, and her second in Educational Administration. She went on to recieve her doctorate from the University of Kansas in Educational Administration. Within her 40 plus years in her career she has served as a teacher, Title I Director, principle,District Equity Coordinator, District Parent Coordinator, and Direct Supervisor for Foreign Language Studies. She retired from Emporia Staes University as an associate professor. She has served on multiple committees for the state of Kansas, is a published author, and attended The Oxford Roundtable in July 2011, held at the Harris Manchesters College in the UK. She continues to help out in her community by tutoring and giving children access to her home as a safe place to play.
Dr. Charlie and Pat Grimwood are receiving the alumni by choice award. They began their careers at Marymount College where Pat was a director of counseling and Dean of Students while Charlie was an Associate professor of Biology and Assistant Academic Dean. They became acquainted with KWU by working with former employees and teaching alumni. They met at Kansas State university where Pat holds a B.S. of Education and M.S. in consoling. Charlie hold a B.S. and M.S. in Biology for KSU as well. He has an M.S. in administration form Central Michigan University and a B.S. from Colorado State University. Pat is a Licensed Clinical Health Professional Counselor for Veridan Behavioral Health of Salina Regional Health Center. She has served on numerous professional organizations and has served fro over eight years on the USD 305 Board of Education, including two terms as chair. Charlie is in his ninth year on the board of Trustees and immediate past chair. He is committed to improving the health and stability of rural communities. He retired in 2015 as Vice President of SRHC. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Robert “Bob” Murray is receiving the Alumni Service Award. He came to Kansas Wesleyan in 1967 to play basketball under Coach Ken Cochran. He graduated in 1971 taught social sciences at Bennington high School in Kansas for 40 years. During that time he coached almost every sport. He coached women basketball at KWU in the 1990s and served on The Hall of Fame Section and Night with the Yotes Committees. He is still very involved with the campus, attending many games and activities because ehe loves the camaraderie. He currently serves as a local volunteer for the Salina Initiative for Restorative Justice and Circles of the Heartland. He is married to Pat (Piglar) Murray (’69’) and they have two children.