Wefald Tabbed For Hall Of Fame

By Cheryl May

KSU News Service

Prestigious company: Knute Rockne, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jon Wefald.

Kansas State University president Jon Wefald has been selected to be inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in Minot, N.D., Oct. 9.

The K-State President will be inducted along with the late jazz great Peggy Lee, the North Dakota-born singer who became one of America’s top female singers in recent history, and Alf Engen, who is a 16-time United States ski champion.

Others who have been inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in recent years besides Rockne and Lindbergh are Dr. Norman Borlaug, former Vice President Walter Mondale, Bud Grant and Eric Sevareid. Five governors are included in the Hall of Fame, along with political leaders, outstanding athletes and entertainers like Celeste Holme, Arlene Dahl and Victor Borge.

"I am very pleased and honored to be selected into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame," Wefald said. "As a graduate of Minot High School, I will be looking forward to going back to my hometown. I am especially pleased that a friend of mine from Minot, Dale Brown, the former head basketball coach at LSU, will be my presenter at the Oct. 9 banquet for the new inductees."

Under Wefald’s leadership as president of Kansas State University since 1986, the university has added 1.8 million square feet of new university buildings, including a new library, a new art museum, and a nationally acclaimed plant science building. In addition, enrollments increased from nearly 17,000 to more than 22,000; and K-State has built a healthy endowment program and established a national presence in athletics.

Since 1986, K-State’s total research funding has increased to record numbers, resulting in the university returning nearly $17 for every $1 of state funding it receives, to boost the state’s economy.

K-State leads the nation’s public universities in the total number of Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater and Udall scholarship winners since 1986. K-State students have won more Truman scholarships, more Goldwater scholarships and more Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships than any other public university in the nation. By recognizing and encouraging excellence, Wefald has helped K-State achieve success in speech and debate competition and on the athletic field.

Before coming to K-State, Wefald served as chancellor of the State University System in Minnesota from 1982-86, a system comprised of seven universities. He was president of Southwest State in Marshall, Minn., from 1977-82; Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture from 1971-77, and a member of the faculty at Gustavus Adolphus from 1965-70.

He earned his B.A. from Pacific Lutheran in 1959, his M.A. in history and political science from Washington State University in 1961, and his doctorate in history from the University of Michigan in 1965.