Wilper family honored by annual award

Press Release

Matt Wilper and his family, have been named the 2010 Washburn University Family of the Year. The Wilpers were honored at the Family Day celebration during halftime at the football game at Washburn on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Wilper, a Washburn senior, nominated his family for this award. Matt’s parents are Bill and Dianne Wilper, Garnett, Kan. and his siblings are James Wilper, London, England; Joseph Wilper, Garnett, and Clara Wilper, Lake Jackson, Texas.

The Wilper family has been active at Washburn for the past 10 years. Matt’s oldest brother James started Washburn in 2000, where he was a yell leader with the Washburn cheerleading team. The Wilper family hasn’t missed many home games since.

In 2004, Clara began her career at Washburn, overlapping her time with James until he graduated in 2005.

In 2007, Matt enrolled at Washburn where Clara was very helpful in his adjustment to university life. Clara graduated in 2009.

This spring will end the Wilper stint at Washburn, but Matt hopes his niece will follow in the family’s footsteps. Matt will graduate in May with a bachelor of arts in sociology and a minor in anthropology.

Together, The Wilpers have helped produce five Kaw yearbooks; James was named to Who’s Who; Clara completed the Washburn Transformational Experience and was a member of the Washburn Judicial Board for three years; and Matt was inducted into Mortar Board and completed the Washburn Transformational Experience.

Matt also is involved in the Future Alumni Network, is president of the Washburn Wellness Club and Sociology/Anthropology Club and during this past summer he served as a summer orientation counselor.

In the application, Matt noted that Washburn has become a family tradition.

“For the past 10 years Washburn has become a major part of my family and we would not be the same loving, close family without it,” said Matt.

Matt also noted that although his family is throughout the world, including his brother Joseph, who serves in the National Guard and is deployed to many places, rarely goes a day without communicating.

The family received tickets to the Family Day picnic and football game. They also received a $250 gift certificate for the Washburn Bookstore, a plaque and a framed picture from the Family Day festivities.