School of business

Wake Up With Washburn

Register for Wake Up

You can register online for the breakfast lecture series. Each breakfast is $13 for dues-paid members of the Alumni Association and $15 for nonmembers. Members of the Alumni Association can sign up for all four breakfasts for $50.

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washburn alumni association membership

Show your Ichabod Pride by joining the Washburn Alumni Association or renewing your membership. You'll receive numerous benefits as a member and be giving back to the University.

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Wake up with Clarence Taylor
The Taylor family

Former Washburn football star and standout business student Clarence Taylor spoke at the Sept. 13, 2012 Wake Up With Washburn. Taylor enjoyed a long, successful career in the Air Force before buying a Chick-fil-A.

Read about Taylor's visit
Wake up with Ron Whitten
Golf Digest's Ron Whitten

Golf Digest architecture senior editor Ron Whitten was our guest speaker during the second Wake Up With Washburn of the 2012-13 season.

Read about Whitten's visit
Wake up with marsha oliver
Marsha Oliver and Walt James

Marsha (Ticehurst) Oliver, vice president of marketing and a shareholder at Mize Houser and Company P.A., was our guest speaker during the third Wake Up With Washburn of the 2012-13 season.

Read about Oliver's visit
Wake up with Steven S. Martin

Steven S. Martin, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, was our guest speaker during the fourth and final Wake Up With Washburn of the 2012-13 season.

Read about Martin's visit

Wake Up With Washburn

From left: JuliAnn Mazachek, Clarence Taylor and Merle BlairA photographer from Sports Illustrated, the first lady of Kansas, an executive at Dominos Pizza and the play-by-play broadcaster for the Denver Nuggets. Just a sample of the Washburn alumni who have returned to campus for Wake Up With Washburn.

In conjunction with the School of Business, the Alumni Association has sponsored the breakfast lecture series since 1993. Wake Up With Washburn is inspired by the accomplishments of alumni and a desire to provide a forum for their interaction with fellow members of the Washburn family and Topeka community.

The series includes four programs during the academic year and assembles a versatile lineup of outstanding Washburn alumni from across the country. Each program begins with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the Convocation Hall of Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.

The cost for individual lectures is $13 for dues paid members of the Alumni Association and $15 for nonmembers. Dues-paid members can sign up for all four lectures for $50, while nonmembers can sign up for all four at a cost of $60.

Online registration for the 2013-14 season is open.

2013-14 Wake Up Speakers

Sept. 12, 2013: Brian Smith, “Domestic Highway Enforcement”

Brian SmithSmith, bs ’86, is a lieutenant in the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) with 25 years of service. He has worked in the Professional Standards Unit; KHP/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, in which he supervised the northeast Kansas operations; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Interdiction Task Force; and Special Operations/Domestic Highway Enforcement Team. He supervises troopers assigned to the DEA and FBI Task Force, among other duties.

Smith, who has received numerous honors in his career, has been involved in the seizures of approximately 15,000 pounds of marijuana, 600 pounds of cocaine, 30 pounds of methamphetamines, 4 ounces of heroin and the recovery of more than $4 million as a result of his traffic stops.

Smith is married to Gayle (Hurst) Smith, bba ’86. They have two children: son Brady, bs ’12, and daughter Megan, a Washburn student.

Nov. 21, 2013: Michael Clark: “Today’s Natural Gas Industry: From Wellhead to Burner Tip”

Michael ClarkClark, bba ’83, Tulsa, Okla., is the vice president and controller of ONEOK Partners, a position he has risen to through earlier positions at ONEOK as vice president of financial services and director of accounting with Kansas Gas Service. Before joining ONEOK, Clark worked at Westar Energy.

He is a certified management accountant and certified internal auditor and holds a certification in risk management assurance. Clark is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants and Institute of Internal Auditors. His community service includes the finance committee of the Tulsa chapter of the American Red Cross and finance council of the St. Clement Catholic Church.

Clark is a member of Phi Delta Theta and played football, basketball and golf at Washburn.

He is married to Tama Clark, and they have three children: Kathryn, David and Ellen. The latter two are Washburn students.

Feb. 20, 2014: Ty Walrod, “Entrepreneurship in a New Era”

Ty WalrodWalrod, bba ’06, is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Bright Funds, a San Francisco-based technology company committed to transforming the experience of personal and workplace giving.

Prior to Bright Funds, Ty co-founded and served on the board of directors of OutServe, a global nonprofit organization that worked to foster an environment of respect and integrity in the U.S. military.

Walrod previously worked for Deloitte, in the partnership’s venture capital, private equity and technology practice, followed by his work as the lead financial and business analyst at Coverity, a venture-backed software company.

He is a member of Sagamore and was a member of Washburn Student Government Association, Collegiate Entrepreneurs, Washburn Choir, Washburn Jazz Coalition, Mortar Board and Phi Kappa Phi.

April 10, 2014: Barbara Waterman-Peters, “I’m Glad I Stayed!”

Barbara Waterman-PetersWaterman-Peters, bfa ’73, Topeka, is an artist and owner of Studio 831 in the North Topeka Artist District (NOTO).

A longtime adjunct instructor at Washburn, she was the first artist to lease a studio in the district.

She has received numerous awards and honors during her career, including a certificate of recognition for outstanding contributions to the State of Kansas in 2003, the Lilla Day Monroe Award from the Washburn Alumni Association in 2009 and the Distinguished Artist Award for Visual Arts (the ARTY) in 2011.

Waterman-Peters’ work has been shown internationally; in museum, corporate and private collections; and is represented by numerous galleries, including galleries in Kansas City, Topeka and Manhattan. She is a founding member of Topeka Collective Art Gallery.

Waterman-Peters, who has a master of fine arts degree from Kansas State University, is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and Nonoso. She is married to Washburn alumnus Larry Peters, bfa ’62.

2012-13 Wake Up Speakers

The 2012-2013 lineup consisted of a restaurant owner, magazine editor, marketing executive and health care executive.

2011-12 Wake Up Speakers

The 2011-12 lineup consisted of two banking executives and an FBI agent.

Previous Speakers

See which previous speakers have shared their story during Wake Up With Washburn.

Attending Wake Up With Washburn

The cost for each lecture is $13 for dues-paid members of the Washburn Alumni Association and $15 for non-members. If you prefer, you can skip breakfast and listen to the lecture for free at 8 a.m.