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Source: Bill Muir,

Friday, May 13, 2011


MANHATTAN -- Outstanding leadership has earned two members of Kansas State University's Blue Key senior honor society $1,000 scholarships.

Rebecca M. Sullivan, Paola, and Kyle L. Merklein, Prairie View, were presented the 13th annual William L. Muir II and John T. Muir Alpha Tau Omega Blue Key Leadership Scholarships at the recent Blue Key banquet.

A permanent plaque with recipients names will be located in the School of Leadership Studies, and individual plaques were given to Sullivan and Merklein.

The Muir Blue Key Scholarships are awarded by the K-State Alpha Tau Omega Endowment Fund to members of Blue Key who have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, who 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. Each year awards are given to one male and one female student.

"We're very pleased to be able to offer these two scholarship to outstanding Blue Key members who are involved in university leadership activities and programs," said Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students. "Special thanks to the local Alpha Tau Omega Endowment Fund and the Muir family for making this scholarship a reality, and congratulations to both Becky Sullivan and Kyle Merklein on being the this year's recipients."

Sullivan is a senior majoring in agriculture communications and journalism and will graduate in December. She has been involved in many campus activities and programs, including College of Agriculture Ambassadors, Student Alumni Board and the K-State Student Foundation. Sullivan has served as a state and national officer in FFA and served as co-chair for the K-State Proud campaign. She received the Dean of Student Life Outstanding Senior Award, the Greek affairs' Above and Beyond Chapter President Award and was named the K-State Sorority Woman of the Year. Sullivan was Blue Key director of training and development. She works at the Kansas State University Foundation as a communications writer. She also has been a campus tour guide.

Merklein is a graduating senior in biological systems engineering has been involved in numerous campus and student services activities, including Running Club, College of Engineering Ambassadors, Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was co-director of Blue Key's Peer Leadership Consultations this year and he helped edit and revise 20 leadership workshops for presentation to student groups.

The scholarships, donated by the Muir Family through the Kansas State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund, were established in 1999 to perpetuate the memory of William Lloyd "Bill" Muir II and John Thomas "Tom" Muir at K-State. They also provide educational opportunities and assistance for upper-level students who possess exemplary attributes in leadership, scholarship, fellowship and character. William Muir, who received the Silver Star during 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 were initiated into Blue Key at K-State in 1939 and 1940, respectively.

"My sister Betty and I are extremely proud to have these scholarships named after our uncle and father," said Bill Muir. "Becky and Kyle 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 and of this day."

Mike Brown, treasurer of the Kansas State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund, said, "We're pleased to award these scholarships in memory of Tom and Bill Muir to outstanding students like Becky Sullivan and Kyle Merklein. 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's very appropriate that we memorialize their lives of service with these scholarships."