2011 Family of the Year

2011 Family of the Year
(click here to view photos taken at the Sept. 14, 2011 event)

Friends University is pleased to recognize members of the Joseph and Olive Schoonover family for their dedication, commitment and years of service to the school.

This very special family first came to know Friends University when five of their ten children decided to pursue their academic careers at a relatively new university in the growing town of Wichita, Kan.

  • Their son Milo "Mike" Schoonover attended from 1918 to 1920. While he wasn't able to finish his degree due to traveling overseas with the Society of Friends to rebuild France after World War I, he would build a relationship with Friends that would span the next 50 years! Most notable is the creation of the Friends Cattle Company in 1972 for which half the profits from the sale of livestock were donated back to the University to help fund operational expenses.
  • Their son Kermit Schoonover graduated from Friends in 1930. He and his wife, Grace, who is also a 1930 graduate, would travel across the globe to teach at various Quaker schools before settling down in Massachusetts in the 1940s to serve as a minister.
  • Identical twin daughters Ava (Schoonover) Wynn and Ada (Schoonover) Peltcher were quite the handful when they were at Friends University! Because they liked to dress alike and were taking similar classes, their teachers would have to resort to "sly methods" of identification for grading purposes. They both would graduate in 1935.
  • The fifth and last child to attend Friends was their son Clinton Schoonover. While he only attended for one year back in 1933, his branch of the family tree would have the largest number of graduates to come from the Schoonover family with three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and even two great-grandson-in-laws!

In addition to these five children who attended Friends University, there were numerous other family members from their other children who would proudly carry on their family's academic legacy.

Overall, the Schoonover family relationship with Friends has encompassed a total of eleven decades, spanned four generations, and for which 24 members have come to call Friends University "home."

Family members who were present to receive the award at halftime of the Falcon football game on Sept. 24, 2011, included the following persons:

  • 1990 graduate Patricia Shockley and her husband John.
  • 1976 graduate Sheryl Bohannan and her husband Tim, Sheryl's daughter Candice Behrns who graduated in 2004 and her two children Mariah and Alexis.
  • Mike Shockley, a 1986 and 2001 graduate from Friends University, his wife June who is a 1982 alumna, and their two children who are both current students: Kenneth and Allen Shockley.
  • Accepting the award on behalf of their father, Clinton Schoonover, and their aunts Ada Wynn and Ava Peltcher are Joe Schoonover, Donna Madson and Janet Williams as well as their spouses.
  • 1978 former student Lori Whiteman, her son Stephen; Lori's daughter Stephanie Ghram who is a 2006 alumna and her husband Michael who also graduated in 2006 as well as their daughter Easton; and Lori's daughter Jennifer Mlagan and her husband Daniel who both graduated in 2008.
  • Susan Thompson and her husband Bryan who both graduated in 1991 and their children Kirsten and Josiah.
  • 1993 graduate Kenton Schoonover and his wife and former student at Friends University Amy, and their children Holly, Grant and Clark.

Congratulations once again to all the members of the Schoonover family on being named the 2011 Friends University Family of the Year!

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