PTKAW ceremony celebrates achievements, appoints new president

A new beginning: PTKAW members and guests meet via Zoom. PTKAW celebrated the arrival of new officers and said farewell to those graduating. 

Matthew L. Self, Review Editor in Chief

The Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Chapter of Washburn University, PTKAW, held a ceremony to commemorate its accomplishments, welcome new officers and say farewell to those who are graduating this semester.

PTKAW is a relatively new campus organization – founded in March 2016. It has made its mark on the university in the four years it has been in service.

Everything from shoe drives to trunk-or-treat activities have become staple undertakings. Its active nature has helped not only benefit the university but the local community.

PTKAW’s service earned the program international recognition as it received the prized 2-star rating from PTK headquarters in Missouri.

The recognition placed Washburn University in the ranks of prestigious colleges around the world and brought the attention of Dr. Lynn-Tincher Ladner, the CEO of PTK, to Washburn’s chapter as she attended the Zoom meeting.

The ceremony, which took place on May 8, saw over a dozen PTKAW members, PTK leadership and friends of both organizations in attendance.

Leading the ceremony was Paul Flumen, an influential and founding member of Washburn’s PTK chapter.

“This was our first star rating ever, and we were one of only four university-based PTK Alumni Chapters to earn a rating,” said Flumen. “This achievement is the fruit of the hard work not only of you but of all our members since 2016 that have built the foundation of PTKAW into what you see today.”

Various members from PTK headquarters in Missouri were present for the Zoom meeting and gave praise to the Washburn chapter.

“We encourage and motivate students to be lifelong learners and I believe that being a part of this chapter makes a statement for all of you,” said Ladner. “I am grateful and honored that you have chosen to spend your time, talents and leadership through Phi Theta Kappa.”

To be recognized in this manner by the CEO of PTK was a great honor for the organization and marks the start of a new beginning for PTKAW.

With new members arriving the legacy left behind will push those who remain to greater heights of success.

“I usually call PTK members ‘extra’ because we are ‘extra’ in times of crisis. The ‘extra’ people make the difference in helping to lead others,” said Ladner.

PTKAW members chimed in and explained how the chapter has impacted their professional development.

“Being with the organization has gotten me more into community involvement and volunteering,” said PTKAW Vice President for Campus Relations Charlee Bonczkowski. “It’s strengthened my connections with people on campus and I get to meet others who have transferred from community college to Washburn.”

For those who have watched the organization grow since 2016, this was a moment of pride and tears.

“The PTK alumni at Washburn University have exhibited strong leadership,” said Alumni and Donor Relations Coordinator for PTK Melissa Mayer. “They will continue to raise their profile among alumni associations nationally and receive recognition along the way.”

The incoming president of the organization, Shelby Spradling, formally accepted her new position as it was handed off to her by the current president, Emily Jardon.

Spradling became the fifth person to hold the title of president within PTKAW.

As Bonczkowski concluded the ceremony with her rendition of the Washburn Alma Mater, it marked the beginning of the next stage for the organization and its members who are dedicated to helping the university and community.

Edited by Wesley Tabor, Diana Martinez-Ponce, Shelby Spradling