Tell us how you or your chapter embodies the Blue Key motto “Serving I Live.” Contact Mr. Danny Buckalew at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to speak. Your story will then be featured on the website.
“Serving I Live” Spotlight
Meet Ms. Ashley Eisenmenger of North Central College
Most of us cannot even imagine what it would be like to compete in a triathalon on the national stage, much less taking first place. Now try to imagine doing this without your sight. Seems impossible, right? Yet this is the reality for Blue Key member Ashley Eisenmenger. Ashley is one of the founding members of the North Central College Cardinals varsity triathlon team. She thrives in adversity and welcomes a challenge, which is why her entrée into the world of competitive triathlons is somewhat unconventional but not surprising. She competed in her first race after losing a bet.
Now, she is winning. In 2016, she swam, biked, and ran her way to become the Paratriathlon National Champion. In 2017, the Cardinals won first place in the D3 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships. She is a member of the USA Triathlon Team, and will be competing in the USAT national championship later on this month.
As a triplet, Ashley was born significantly premature. She, along with her two sisters, suffer from a condition known as Retinopathy of Prematurity; however, Ashley’s condition is the most severe. She has had very limited sight all of her life.
When asked how she first came upon running as a sport, Ashley explains that a teacher in high school suggested Ashley try running as a means to cope with vision loss. Ashley grew to appreciate the comfort and predictable curves of the track’s shape as well as the freedom that running offered.
But if you were to meet Ashley, you would know that she is not satisfied with being comfortable and seems to deflect any adulation or praise. Despite being a dean’s list student and a varsity athlete, she is humble. She is also incredibly hardworking. She loves to challenge expectations and excels when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. And so the runner became a competitive triathlete. She now competes with a guide, to whom she is tethered during the swimming and running portions of the race. These activities serve to bookend the tandem biking that takes place in the race’s middle.
That being said, what is truly remarkable about Ashley, is not the fact that she is blind and competes in triathlons, it is her positive attitude and her heart for service. “We all face adversity in one way or another but it’s how we choose to view that adversity and how we choose to perceive it that helps us overcome it.” One can imagine the importance of communication and the level of trust needed to be successful as a blind triathlete. As an Organizational Communications major, Ashley is keenly aware of the value of these characteristics. She sees herself as “a connector… between people and organizations and between various organizations.”
She acts as that connector and as a mentor in her various roles across campus and beyond. As a transfer student from a small town in Illinois, she knows the difficulties that students with visual impairments face when heading to college. She personally mentors these students to help them successfully transition to college. She also shares her story in hopes to inspire and empower others. As a member of North Central’s Blue Key chapter, Ashley serves on the executive board as the chair for service and community outreach. She was instrumental in developing and implementing Code Blue, a program designed to serve the those who serve by recognizing “leaders for the work that they do for our campus and community.”
Ashley has heart, she has determination, and she is a role model for others. She truly exemplifies the Blue Key motto, “Serving, I live.”
Are you, or your chapter, making a significant difference on your campus? Is there an alumnus of your chapter that has continued to give back? Let us know! Contact us at email@example.com
Chartering at Valdosta State University, November 3rd, 2017
On November 3rd, 2017 Valdosta State University chartered a new Blue Key chapter with 14 members and 3 Honorary members in the initial class. Executive Director Danny Buckalew, Director of Operations Jeremy Sheffield, Board Secretary Richard Hester, and Advisor for the University of West Alabama Blue Key chapter Byron Thetford oversaw the initiation ceremony. Congratulations to Valdosta State University!
Blue Key Executive Board visits Univ. Nevada, Reno to plan 2019 National Conference
Recently, the Blue Key Board of Directors and National Office staff visited the University of Nevada, Reno to discuss planning and implementing the 2019 National Conference.
The first installment of the “Serving I Live” Spotlight
By: Mr. Danny Buckalew, Executive Director
Meet Dr. C Clyde Jones of Manhattan Kansas
On March 22, 2017, I received an email from Dr. C. Clyde Jones asking if the Blue Key National Office could verify his membership into Blue Key Honor Society. As his email reflects below, Dr. Jones is a “card carrying” member of Blue Key. What the email did not say is that he is 94 years old and still lives by our motto, “Serving I Live.”
Greetings from Manhattan, Kansas. In 1954, I was initiated into Blue Key at the University of Georgia, Atlanta Division. My Life Membership Card has my name as Dr. C. C. Jones. The card has an initiation number, “51 F Faculty”. Does Blue Key maintain any records of college chapters so that I can verify my membership? Any help or advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
I took the liberty of searching the web for information on Dr. Jones, and found that he is quite the celebrity at KSU-Manhattan as well as in his local community. He was the first Dean of the College of Business at KSU, and that the college sponsors a yearly 5K run in his honor. The more I read, the more I knew that I needed to see if he would grant me an interview. Dr. Jones graciously agreed to be interviewed, and the transcript of our talk is included below.
Danny: Are you a native of Kansas?
C. Clyde: I am not. I was born is Huntington, West Virginia, on the banks of the Ohio River. I never left that river until I was almost 21 to go into the Navy in 1943. I returned for three months in 1946 and have never lived there again.
Danny: So once you got out of the Navy, is that when you began working toward your education?
C. Clyde: Well, I graduated from Marshall College which is now Marshall University, in Huntington. At that time, Marshall was a very small teacher’s college–part of the state teacher’s college system. I graduated in absentia in 1944, while I was on the Pacific Ocean. My mother persuaded the college to accept some military credits for a full year’s work, and they went ahead and granted my degree in June of 1944. By the way, Marshall did not have a Blue Key Chapter back then, and I do not know whether they do now or not. In the fall of 1946, I went to graduate school at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, seeking a doctorate. There was a Blue Key chapter, of course, but I was not involved. I spent from 1948-1953, as an instructor in the School of Business, at Northwestern and completed my Ph.D. in 1954. My doctorate is in American History if you can believe that.
Danny: American History?
C. Clyde: Yes, American economic history is my professional field of study and people raise their eyebrows and say, “Oh come on now,” when they find out I was the first Dean of the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University; how does a historian become a Dean of a major business school?
Danny: That is interesting. Prior to KSU, you were at Georgia State University?
C. Clyde: Yes, I went to Georgia in 1953. I had not quite completed my doctorate yet, but I was one of those they called ABD, all but dissertation. I was hired at the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia, which later became Georgia State University. It is today a very highly reputed institution, and there they did have a very active Blue Key Chapter. I was inducted in 1954 and became the faculty advisor to their Blue Key Chapter there.
Danny: That’s great. So then you became their advisor that same year? Currently Georgia State Blue Key in not active, but our plan is to try to reactivate some of these chapters.
C. Clyde: I don’t know when the one at GSU became inactive, but it was still a very strong chapter when I left there in 1955. I moved from there to the University of Illinois. There was a Blue Key Chapter there, but I was not involved.
Danny: So how long did you serve as the advisor at GSU?
C. Clyde: Well, that would have been in my first year. I was there from July 1953 until July 1, 1955, so I would have served a year and a half as their faculty advisor.
Danny: I read something about the C Clyde Jones 5K Run and Midge’s Mile, which is named after your wife. How long has this race been going on?
C. Clyde: That was started in 2012. The Dean of the College of Business Administration asked the students to develop a community service project. I was absolutely overwhelmed when they came to me with the proposal that they would like to establish a run in my name and have the proceeds go to Shepherd’s Crossing. That’s an ecumenical, non-profit, that provides financial assistance for low-income people. I have served as the development officer or fundraiser for Shepherd’s Crossing, so all of a sudden the College is handing me a tailor-made fundraising event. The first one in October of 2012 really attracted one of our largest groups, to date. The 5K Run actually started out as a 10K. My wife was still living at that time, so Midge’s Mile was for the friends of hers at church and PEO chapters and choir groups and things like that, to come out and support Shepherd’s Crossing by walking instead of running. We have people who have been there every year, and one of those people happens to be my family doctor. She has been there every single year, bringing her children. I have watched her children grow up; they will be six years older when I see them this fall.
Danny: That is fantastic! Were you still working at the time?
C. Clyde: Oh, no. I retired in 1986 if you can believe that. I retired at age 64 and did so deliberately to do some things that I wanted to do. I became a consultant to a number of businesses after 1986. My first job in retirement was writing an application to the Food and Drug Administration for a small firm in Topeka, Kansas. I really enjoyed life, and you might guess, I still do. I have stayed busy; I have worked, I have never taken a vacation from work since I retired from the University.
Danny: Do you still maintain an office on campus?
C. Clyde: No. I opened an office off campus shortly after I retired and kept it open until 2012. In 2012, I was finding a great need to spend more time taking care of my wife, who had started to decline health wise. She needed me to be her chauffeur, her caregiver, her shopper and all of that sort of thing, so I moved my office from a commercial building downtown here in Manhattan, to my home. That was one of the roughest adjustments that I ever had to make because when you are home, there are distractions galore. Some days, you just never have a minute when something is not interrupting your work. I still work out of my home. This is kind of an aside for you, but I have a bone-on-bone left knee that makes it almost impossible for me to climb and descend stairs. Well, my office here in the house was downstairs, I have now moved it upstairs so that I don’t have to go up and down and have a far less adaptable place to work now, but I still manage to get work done here at home.
Clyde mentioned expecting to have his knee replaced on the 13th of March, but on the 5th of March, his doctor—the same one who runs every year—was to clear him for it. She said, “Nope, you can’t do it…” because he had just come out of the hospital with a new heart condition that he had never experienced before. She told him that they did not need to risk it, so the knee surgery has been delayed, maybe until summer…maybe never.
– Career Highlights –
Danny: You have accomplished so much in your life. Is there one thing that sticks out in your mind that you are most proud of?
C. Clyde: Well, I’ve been asked that question a couple of times by Kansas State students, and I did not have a good answer for them at the time, but I do have one for you now. I was the Vice President for University Development back in the period from 1966-1970. I was also chair of University Athletic Council from 1965-1975. During that time, we moved from a 15,000 seat football stadium to a 34,000 seat stadium. I was a central figure in the planning and financing of that stadium. The stadium would have been built eventually without my work, but it would not have been built at that time. Just to give you a very quick reason as to why it is special… we built a 34,000-seat stadium for $1.6 million dollars, at a time when the cost of a normal stadium would have been at least $20 million. How did we do it? We poured reinforced concrete on grade. We actually created a bowl, scooped out the earth and poured concrete, reinforced on grade, and that concrete stands as a basis for a 52,000-seat stadium today that has had improvements to the point of about $150 million dollars. It all sits on that stadium that I was a principle person in helping develop and create. So yeah, I think that goes down as something that I am probably proudest of.
Danny: It sounds like you’ve had some really special times at KSU.
C. Clyde: Let me back up. I came to KSU in 1960, and one of the first people I met was a man named Chet Peters. He was, at that time, Dean of Students at KSU and later became VP for Students. He was directly involved with the Blue Key Chapter here, and through him, I became well acquainted with Blue Key. I am going to a big reception; I think I told you about it, on April 23rd. The student who is in charge of all of the arrangements and is accepting the invitations and that sort of thing and will be presiding at the event… She has become sort of a mentee of mine, and I have worked with her on a number of things. Right now I am working on a Rotary scholarship to pay for her year at the London School of Economics, where she will be moving to in September. So she is a very successful Blue Key member and will be an alum at Kansas State in May.
– Upcoming 5K named for him –
C. Clyde: I don’t know if I told you or not, but I will be ramrodding the C Clyde run this year, and it will be a very special one. I am organizing a Greek house competition, and the sorority or fraternity who has the most participants will receive the most lavish, walnut traveling trophy you have ever seen and I am having the most wonderful response. Everybody is excited. They want to win the trophy, and we are going to have a catered meal for them.
Danny: How big is KSU?
C. Clyde: It is around 22,000, and when I came it was 8,000. So I have seen a fantastic growth since I have been here.
Danny: I am sure you had a lot to do with that!
C. Clyde: Oh, I was just one of the soldiers in the trenches. I did have one year that I was elected president of the local Chamber of Commerce, that was 1965-66. When I say elected, I mean it was not the paid position–that was the executive director. I was involved in economic development for the city and the county. I have had a lot of fun with a lot of different things. Since 1986, I have devoted a lot of time to what I call community service.
Danny: You are an inspiration to me and—I know—to so many more people.
C. Clyde: Thank you, but I must tell you that I am being inspired by so many young people. This year I have developed 15-20 close friends among the student body, and man, do I learn from them. It is inspiring to have young people around you.
Danny: I think it keeps you young at heart.
C. Clyde: It sure does. Well, let me give you a quote. I am grief counseling a 91-year-old man in Galveston, TX… all of this is on the phone. His daughter, who keeps him in her home, she got on the phone when I gave him a call, and she gave me the most wonderful quote. She said, “Clyde, surround yourself with young people; they’ll keep you young at heart.”
An side story… Clyde said that he went last summer to see a new doctor in Manhattan who did not know a thing about him and told him that he was lying about his age—that there was no way he was 93. He said to the doctor, “No, I can’t lie about my age,” to which the doctor replied, “Nope, you are not a day over 72! He attributes his longevity to staying very busy and doing the things that he loves and being around people that he loves.
We both agree that working on a college campus is the greatest opportunity a person can have.
I hope that you are as inspired by Dr. Jones’ story as I am. He is a true example of what Blue Key stands for, and continues to be active in his community. What an example he has set for all of us to follow. Thank you, Dr. Jones!
Are you, or your chapter, making a significant difference on your campus? Is there an alumnus of your chapter that has continued to give back? Let us know! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time…
2018 Blue Key National Leadership Conference Announcement
The 2018 Blue Key National Leadership Conference will be hosted at Michigan Tech University on January 12th – 14th 2018!
Michigan Technological University is a public research university located in Houghton, Michigan. Its main campus sits on 925 acres on a bluff overlooking Portage Lake. Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the first post-secondary institution in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is currently home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world.
Early Bird Registration Payment is due by Dec. 1, 2017, and is $125.00 per participant. Registration after December 1, 2017, is $150.00 per participant. Pay by PayPal or Check. Chapters should make checks payable to Blue Key Honor Society. Travel grants up to $300 are available upon request. Email your chapter’s registration form to Mr. Danny Buckalew at email@example.com.
Make plans to attend and take advantage of learning leadership principles, networking with colleagues from across the nation’s Blue Key chapters and receiving recognition for outstanding individuals and chapters affiliated with Blue Key.
Mark your calendar! The conference begins at dinner time Friday night January 12, 2018.
More information regarding travel will be released soon.
Danny Buckalew, Executive Director
Blue Key Honor Society
The University of West Alabama
101 College Drive, Station 61
Livingston, AL 35470
Nominations for Blue Key Awards are due to the Awards Chair by December 1st. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Sieverdes retires after 30 years of service to Blue Key
After 30 years of service to Blue Key Honor Society, Dr. Chris Sieverdes has retired from his position as Executive Director. We thank Dr. Sieverdes for his longtime service to Blue Key, and wish him well in his retirement!
Buckalew Named New Executive Director, 1/1/17
As of January 1, 2017, Mr. Danny Buckalew will resume responsibilities of Executive Director of Blue Key Honor Society. Along with the change, the national headquarters of Blue Key has been moved to The University of West Alabama in Livingston, Alabama.
Lifetime Membership Registration
Blue Key Lifetime Membership Registration is $65.00.
Clemson University Hosts Successful 2017 BK Conference
The 2017 Blue Key Conference was hosted by Clemson University’s Blue Key chapter. The dates are January 13-15. Mark your calendar. The deadlines for registration and submission of nominees for Blue Key individual and chapter awards’ awards is December 1, 2016. See the Awards tab on this website for further information regarding your submissions. Note the awards’ guidelines and descriptions.