A group of 175 people gathered Wednesday to be part of an event where three prominent businessmen were inducted into the Salina Business Hall of Fame. The founder of KSAL Radio and a former Salina Journal owner, a founder of Kansas Wesleyan University, and an attorney were all honored with the induction.
The new class includes:
- Henry H. Sudendorf, businessman and one of the founders of Wesleyan University in Salina (Pioneer Category, 1858-1925);
- Robert J. Laubengayer, prominent Kansas newspaper publisher, entrepreneur, businessman, former publisher and owner of The Salina Journal, and founder of KSAL Radio (Historic Category, 1926-1975);
- Sidney Reitz, Partner in the law firm of Hampton & Royce, LC (Contemporary Category 1976-present).
Kansas Wesleyan University President Dr. Matt Thompson accepted the award for the Sudendorf family, Robert Laubengayer’s grandson Robert Dieter accepted on his behalf, and Sid Reitz accepted on his own behalf.
Robert D. Simari, M.D., Executive Dean, University of Kansas School of Medicine, was the featured speaker.
The Salina Business Hall of Fame was established by the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce in 2005. Its purpose is to recognize and honor Salina business leaders, both past and present, who have made extraordinary contributions to Salina, earned the respect of the local community and called attention to the Free Enterprise system and its value to our country and citizens in shaping Salina’s way of life.
Past inductees include: (Pioneer) Henry David Lee, Alexander Campbell, Oscar Seitz and Winfield Watson, Benjamin Aaron Litowich; William R. Geis, William A. Phillips, Thomas Watson Roach, Charles R. Underwood, and Frank Hageman. (Historic) Ward A. Marshall, William Henry Graves, John J. Vanier, M.J. Kennedy, Milton Morrison, Charles W. Shaver, C. William “Bill” Exline, Murray Wilson, Ralph E. Reitz, S. Dean Evans, Sr., Whitley Austin, Ben Sellers, George L. Frisbie, Verla Nesbitt Joscelyn, and Baalis Kyger Smoot. (Contemporary) Alfred P.G. Schwan, Charlie Walker, Roy Applequist, Lee Young, Paul E. Junk, Jack Vanier, James R. Allen, Richard E. Brown, Karl Stutterheim, Mike Berkley, Charles E. Stevens, Jr.; and Thomas Pestinger.