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Source: Bill Muir, 785-532-6237,

Monday, May 10, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Katlyn E. Niederee, senior in public relations, Great Bend, and Phillip D. Harner, senior in industrial engineering, St. George, are recipients of the 12th annual William L. Muir II and John T. Muir Alpha Tau Omega Blue Key Leadership Scholarships.

The scholarships, each worth $1,000, were presented at the Blue Key awards reception April 29. The scholarships are awarded annually by the K-State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund to one male student and one female student at K-State who are members of Blue Key, have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, are judged to be of good character and sound academic standing, and who have substantially contributed to the quality of student life and outstanding leadership at K-State.

Niederee has been involved in various campus activities and programs, including Pi Beta Phi, where she has served as president; Public Relations Society of America; Student Alumni Board; K-State Ski and Snowboard Club; Quest, the freshman honorary; and served an intern for K-State's Student Governing Association. She also was co-chair of the 2008-2009 K-State Proud Campaign. Niederee received the Dean of Student Life Outstanding Senior Award, Above and Beyond Chapter President Award and was named the K-State Sorority Woman of the Year. As a member of Blue Key, the senior leadership honorary, she served as director of banquet and recognition. She works at the Kansas State University Foundation as a communications writer. She also worked two years as a campus tour guide. Niederee plans to graduate from K-State in December 2010.

Harner has been involved in numerous campus and student services activities. As a member of Blue Key senior leadership honorary, he was co-director of its Peer Leadership Consultations for the 2009-2010 school year and helped edit and revise 20 leadership workshops for presentation to student groups. A member of FarmHouse fraternity, he also is an orientation leader for K-State's new student services and has been a campus tour guide. Harner is co-chair of the 2011 K-State Proud Campaign and is a member of the K-State Student Foundation board. He was a member of Silver Key, the sophomore honorary, and was the Order of Omega Community Service Man of the Year. Harner plans to graduate from K-State in May 2011.

The Muir Alpha Tau Omega Blue Key Scholarships are donated by the Muir family through the K-State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund. They were established in 1999 to perpetuate the memory of William Lloyd "Bill" Muir II and John Thomas "Tom" Muir on the K-State campus, and to provide educational opportunities and assistance for upper-level students who possess exemplary attributes in leadership, scholarship, fellowship and character.

Bill Muir, who received the Silver Star in World War II, died in May 1943 while serving with the U.S. Army in Italy. Tom Muir, a prominent businessman from Norton and Manhattan, died in February 1990. Both were members of the K-State chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and of Blue Key at K-State.

The recipients were chosen by a three-member committee that included Michael E. Brown, representing the K-State Alpha Tau Omega Endowment Fund; William L. Muir III, representing the Muir family; and Pat Bosco, K-State vice president for student life and dean of students.

"We are very pleased to be able to offer these two scholarships to outstanding Blue Key members who are involved in university leadership activities and programs," Bosco said. "Special thanks to the local Alpha Tau Omega Endowment Fund and the Muir family for making this scholarship a reality, and congratulations to both Katie Niederee and Phil Harner on being the recipients."

"My sister Betty and I are extremely proud to have these scholarships named after our uncle and our father," said William L. Muir III. "Katie and Phil are two of K-State's outstanding student leaders and possess good, all-around qualities that fit the criteria for these scholarships. I know that Dad and Uncle Bill would be proud of them."

Brown said, "We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to award these Scholarships in memory of Tom and Bill Muir to outstanding students like Katie Niederee and Phil Harner. The Muir family has been involved with K-State and its programs for more than 60 years. Tom and Bill Muir were both members of Alpha Tau Omega and Blue Key. It is very appropriate that we memorialize their lives of service with these scholarships."

A permanent scholarship plaque will be located in the new School of Leadership Studies building.