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K-State Today

September 20, 2011



A family in business: Two generations, 15 students, call K-State their alma mater

By Communications and Marketing

Organizations often say that they are a family, but at Kansas State University and the College of Business Administration this is a reality.

There are third and fourth generation students attending K-State, and others make coming to K-State a family affair when siblings and cousins attend college together.

The College of Business Administration honored one such family during K-State's Family Day celebrations Sept. 17 because of their support of the university as students and as engaged alumni.

This is only the second generation of students attending K-State, but the Breckenridges, Franklins and Sterlings -- who are related maternally through the Breckenridge sisters -- have already had 15 family members at the university. Currently they have five students at K-State, three of them at the College of Business Administration.

"We are honored to have a family like the Breckenridges, Franklins and Sterlings among our college family. Their commitment to K-State and their engagement make us a better school," said Ali Malekzadeh, dean of the College of Business Administration. "Their success and support for the university speak highly of the quality of the education and experience they receive here."

For this family, engagement starts early in their college careers. Bernard Franklin, a 1976 graduate from Kansas City and now a K-State dad, was the first black student to be elected president of the Student Governing Association. He made history again when at 24 he became the youngest person ever appointed to the Kansas State Board of Regents and at 28 the youngest chair of the board. Franklin is now helping with K-State recruiting in the Kansas City area. Lorraine Breckenridge Sterling, a 1976 graduate from Houston, was in 1974 the first African-American to be crowned Miss Kansas USA.

The second generation is following in those footsteps. Jordan Sterling, senior in marketing, Houston, won The Next Big Thing, an entrepreneurship competition for K-State students, in 2010 and is a founder of MyRibit.com, a file sharing and book swapping website for K-State students. The founders have visions of expansion to other universities.

Blake Franklin, junior in marketing, Kansas City, is part of the Developing Scholars Program, and Lorenza Orrin Breckenridge III, junior in marketing, Wichita, is a member of the Multicultural Business Student Association and the governing board for Marlatt residence hall.

Two other cousins, Lorien Breckenridge and Landon Breckenridge, both of Wichita, and a goddaughter, Nasya Buckley, St. Louis, are students in the College of Engineering. 

"Coming to K-State has been something I knew from a very young age," Jordan Sterling said. "Growing up in Houston playing backyard football with my friends, I was Darren Sproles while they were Ricky Williams. Constantly going through photo albums of my family's 'glory days' at K-State developed a love for the Powercat. Now that I am here, K-State has served as a home away from home. Most people run into their dorm mate or workout buddy in the hallway. I run into a cousin. I am thankful for the foundation that my family has laid for me and the rest of the Sterling/Breckenridge/Franklin Wildcats to come."

Other family members who have attended K-State are: Lorraine Breckenridge Sterling, a 1976 graduate, and Loranda Breckenridge Weikel, a 1977 graduate, both from Houston; Morgan Franklin, a 2011 graduate in management from Kansas City; Brandon and Karen (Zielke) Franklin, 2004 and 2005 graduates, respectively, both from Topeka; and Loren Breckenridge, a 1992 graduate from Wichita.