Department History

Holly C. FryerThe Statistical Consulting Laboratory was established by Kansas State University President Milton S. Eisenhower on July 3, 1946, with Dr. Holly C. Fryer named as Director (shown right).

Thirteen years later, on July 1, 1959, the Kansas Board of Regents established the Department of Statistics and named Dr. Holly C. Fryer the Department Head.

Members of the faculty in the first year of operation were:

  • Robert Cochran
  • Arlin M. Feyerherm
  • Holly C. Fryer
  • Gary F. Krause
  • Stanley Wearden

The Department of Statistics awarded its first M.S. degree to Robert Cell in 1950. His M.S. report was entitled “Sequential Analysis in Industrial Sampling” and he did his work under the direction of Dr. Holly Fryer.

The first Ph.D. was awarded in 1967 to Marvin Lentner, who studied under Dr. Shelley Zacks. His dissertation was entitled “Application of Generalized Inverses for the Optimal Design and Analysis of Randomized Fractional Replicates”. 

Department Heads for the Department of Statistics with terms of service:

  • Dr. Holly C. Fryer 1959-1974
  • Dr. Arthur Dayton 1975-1985
  • Dr. George A. Milliken 1985-1990
  • Dr. James J. Higgins 1990-1995
  • Dr. Dallas E. Johnson 1995-2001
  • Dr. John E. Boyer, Jr. 2001-2008
  • Dr. Jim Neill 2008-2013
  • Dr. Gary Gadbury 2013-Present

Several persons associated with the department have been named Fellow by the American Statistical Association


  • Dallas Johnson ’83
  • John Boyer ’95

Former Faculty

  • Holly Fryer  ’66
  • Shelley Zacks '73
  • Jay Conover ’79
  • George Milliken '89
  • Ray Waller ’96
  • Sallie Keller-McNulty ’97
  • Lyman McDonald ’98
  • Jim Higgins '99
  • Deborah Rumsey ’06
  • Tom Loughin ’08


  • Ron Iman ’82
  • Dennis Cook ’82
  • Dick Beckman ’89
  • Ron Wasserstein ’03

In addition, at least five of the above have received the Founders Award from the American Statistical Association (this is the highest honor awarded by the Association). These are:

  • Ron Iman ’91
  • Sallie Keller-McNulty ’02
  • Dallas Johnson ’04
  • Ray Waller ’04
  • John Boyer ’06

A few photos from our archives . . . recognize anyone?