Manhattan, KS— Creative work to support Kansas State University has earned international recognition with four Circle of Excellence honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE. It is the most Circle of Excellence awards received by the university in a single year.
CASE is an international association of educational institutions. The Circle of Excellence Awards are international awards and showcase outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing at colleges, universities, independent schools and affiliated nonprofits around the world.
K-State received one silver and three bronze Circle of Excellence awards. The work honored was created by the K-State Alumni Association, KSU Foundation and the university’s Division of Communications and Marketing.
The K-State Alumni Association earned two bronze Circle of Excellence awards, one for the Wildcat Reads program in the alumni relations/alumni relations pivot category and the second for the “A Statement Maker” profile in the K-Stater magazine in the writing/profile category.
Created during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic when many schools and child care facilities were closed, Wildcat Reads featured notable hosts reading books affiliated with K-State, including Bill Snyder, the Wildcats’ Hall of Fame football coach who read the children’s book he authored. The readings were recorded and shared on Facebook Live and YouTube to connect and entertain young children, their parents and grandparents, and K-State constituents. Judges said Wildcat Reads is “an engaging — yet simple — initiative that leverages others as volunteers and provides an interesting service for K-State alumni and their families.”
“A Statement Maker,” which appeared in the spring 2021 issue of K-Stater magazine, was written by editor Tim Schrag and profiled 2012 K-State alumnus Jason Wright and his job as senior graphic designer at Nike. Wright has helped craft uniforms for a variety of sports and teams from the NFL, MLB and colleges and universities, including his alma mater. Judges said the piece featured “crisp writing and focused treatment of subject matter” and was “uniquely interesting and readable.”
“We are thrilled to have received two Circle of Excellence Awards,” said Amy Button Renz, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association. “This prestigious honor is a high compliment to our staff and their hard work. It is exciting to see this excellence recognized by our national organization, CASE. The entire K-State Alumni Association team is proud to serve the Wildcat community and we are thankful for the support of our members.”
The KSU Foundation won a bronze Circle of Excellence Award for “Vet Med Scholarship Surprise” in the video/fundraising and stewardship category. The video was shown at the fall 2021 Kind Heart Celebration, a scholarship banquet for the College of Veterinary Medicine and the first in-person event since the COVID-19 shutdown. In the video, students receiving scholarships are informed by the donor. Judges called the video “a simple but high-impact concept done extremely well” and an “effective, unique and great use of video as a format.”
“It is so gratifying to be recognized by our peers in this international competition,” said Mary Bourne, video production manager at the KSU Foundation. “We are grateful to the many campus and KSU Foundation partners who helped us capture the special moment, highlighted in the video. Ultimately, none of this would be possible without our amazing donors, who change the lives of K-State students every day.”
The Division of Communications and Marketing, in partnership with the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, received a silver Circle of Excellence Award in the publications design category for the college’s viewbook update. The viewbook showcased the college’s new facilities and teaching, learning and lab spaces. CASE judges called the book a well-planned and executed piece that is “comprehensive and visually appealing to both those interested in architecture and others outside the field.”
“The Division of Communications and Marketing partners with numerous departments and units who inspire us to do our best work on behalf of the university, and it’s rewarding to see that this collaborative project with the College of Architecture, Planning & Design has been recognized in this way,” said Ashley Martin, interim vice president for communications and marketing. “The creative team beautifully balanced critical future student information with an eye-catching design that couldn’t help but stand out from the competition, contributing to our core mission of supporting the university’s Strategic Enrollment Management initiative.”