Smith captivates and engages all who hear him – from CEOs to high school students.
“He’s a real hometown hero,” said Dixie Madden, founding director of the Garvey Institute of Law, “willing to share his insights about markets for the greater good at his former university.”
The former Wichitan, who has authored or co-authored more than 250 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics, grew up not far outside the shadow of the Friends University clock tower. He attended Friends University during his freshman year, which he says “was crucial in teaching me how to learn and in launching me into the world of ideas.” Smith credits Friends University for providing the academic catalyst needed to overcome his “dismal high school academic record,” enabling him to pass the entrance exam at the prestigious and rigorous Caltech.
“My attitude at Friends University was 180 degrees opposite to my approach in high school,” Smith said. “Friends made up for my high school failure to learn and prepared me not only for Caltech, but for life.”
He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Caltech, his master’s from the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. He is presently a professor of economics and law at George Mason University and for the past three summers has served as the Visiting Rasmuson Chair in Economics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, focusing on natural resource issues and experimental economics.
JAMES “JIM” CROW
James "Jim" Crow graduated from Friends University in 1937, receiving his undergraduate in Biology. He did his graduate work at the University of Texas where he received his Ph.D. Jim has also received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Chicago and Edinburgh. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Philosophical Society. He is also an honorary member of the Japan Academy and the Royal Society of London. Jim taught at Dartmouth College for seven years, and at the University of Wisconsin from 1948 to 1986, serving as a professor of genetics. Although he is retired from teaching, he continues to give occasional lectures at the University of Wisconsin and elsewhere.
"I still go through the motions of academic life, putting in almost as many hours, but getting less done each year," Jim said. "Much of my activity is writing now; mostly historical rather than based on current research, which has almost dwindled into nonexistence."
Jim has one son and two daughters, who were all born in the 1940s, as well as "the usual assortment of grandchildren." His father, H.E. Crow, was a biology professor at Friends University for many years and was also a Friends University alumnus. His brother, Ernest Crow, graduated from Friends University as well.
Jim's main hobby is music. He played the viola while attending Friends University and for the Madison Symphony for more than 40 years. "I still play for my own amusement," Jim said, "although not much for public consumption."
Jim's fondest memories of Friends University include putting on a show to raise money for the taxidermy work on a lion for the Fellow-Reeve Museum. "I also have a pleasant nostalgia for the annual trips with the Singing Quakers," Jim said. "I enjoyed the Mikado and the Gondoliers and still do."
Some other memories for Jim involve the courses he took at Friends University. "The physics course with Dr. Weber stands out," Jim said. "I almost became a physicist."
Carolyn McGinn is a graduate of Valley Center public schools. She received a business degree from Wichita State University and a master’s in environmental studies from Friends University.
Carolyn has lived in the 31st District her entire life. Over the years, she has been involved with her family farm, the local Sedgwick school district, and many community groups and initiatives.
In 1998, Carolyn was elected to the Sedgwick County Commission. During her six years on the commission, she spent most of her time trying to balance rural and urban interests while also trying to balance tight budgets with limited resources on an unlimited amount of public needs.
In 2004, Carolyn was elected to the Kansas Senate. She serves on several committees – including Ways and Means, Education, and the Joint Committee on Kansas Security – and serves as chair of the Natural Resources Committee.
She has recently been appointed to the State Early Childhood Development Committee, National Conference for Nuclear Waste Repository and the newly formed Joint Energy Policy Committee.
A Wichita native, state Senator Donald Betts is a young man who overcame early obstacles to become a leader in the Kansas legislature. When he was a child, Donald, his mother and his brother were homeless several times until they moved to Las Vegas, where his grandfather offered them a place to stay. During junior high and high school, Donald lived in the Vegas projects, which were filled with violence, drugs and prostitution. He attended school and worked in casino arcades to support his family. He saw his school friends succumb to drugs and crime. His brother eventually spent time in prison. After Donald graduated from high school, he returned to Wichita where he worked his way through college at Friends University and was elected student body president. Upon graduation, he became a counselor for at-risk juveniles working in both the juvenile justice and Wichita public school systems. He has served his state legislative districts in both the Kansas House and Senate.
Donald is a member of St. Mark United Methodist church in Wichita. He is a Wichita alumnus of Kappa Alpha Psi. He has also been honored as a Fellow at the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development and the Kansas Health Foundation, as well as for his achievements with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, Leadership Kansas. In 2007, he was chosen as one of the Wichita Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” and as the Progressive State Network Legislator of the Year. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Val Wall Circle of Friends Arc Inner Circle Award.
Ken Canfield graduated from Friends in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy. He pursued further studies at the University of British Columbia, Regent College, where he completed a master’s degree and then returned to the Midwest to complete a Ph.D. at Kansas State University.
In 1990, Ken founded the Kansas City-based National Center for Fathering – a national organization focused solely on equipping men to be the involved fathers their children need. Ken has served as a consultant to state and community officials on ways to engage and equip fathers in local programming, and served as one of the founding members of former Vice President Al Gore’s private sector “Father to Father” Initiative and the National Fathers Leadership Group. Ken was recognized for his leadership in 1993 when he was awarded Father of the Year by the National Congress for Men and Children.
Ken’s work has appeared in Psychological Reports, Education and Psychological Measurement and several edited texts. His popular books include The Heart of a Father and the award-winning The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers. Ken has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s World News Tonight and numerous radio programs.
Richard Wayne Mullins (Oct. 21, 1955 – Sept. 19, 1997) was an American Christian music singer and songwriter born in Richmond, Ind.
Mullins is best known for his worship songs "Step by Step" (later incorporated into his hit single "Sometimes by Step") and "Awesome God," both of which have been embraced as modern classics by many Christians. Some of his albums are also considered among Christian music's best, including Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth (1988); The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume One (1991); and A Liturgy, A Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band (1993). His music has been covered by many artists, including Caedmon's Call, Five Iron Frenzy, Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, John Tesh and Third Day.
In 1988, Mullins moved to Wichita, Kan., where, in 1991, he enrolled as a student at Friends University and lived with his best friend. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education on May 14, 1995. After graduation, he and a friend moved to a Navajo reservation in Tse Bonito, N.M., to teach music to children.
He died in an automobile accident in September 1997.
- Graduate (1971)
- Opera soprano; has won worldwide praise for her range and expressivity
- Has performed frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals including Spoleto, Marlboro, Santa Fe, Newport, Aldeburgh and Aspen
- Beverly’s extensive recordings include a solo album of colatura arias with orchestra