Former Kansas Governor Bill Graves has been named a Trustee Emeritus at his alma mater Kansas Wesleyan University.
Graves has a long association with KWU, which goes considerably beyond that of most graduates. His great-grandfather, Henry M. Mayo, was the very first graduate of KWU in 1887. His sister, Martha, graduated in 1974 and his father, also named William Graves, spent time on the KWU Board of Trustees. The younger Graves played football for legendary coach Gene Bissell and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Graves joined the KWU Board of Trustees in 1982, became Kansas’ Secretary of State in 1991 and was elected governor in 1995. Graves completed his last term on the university’s board in 2000, and served two full terms as Governor of Kansas, leaving office on Jan. 13, 2003. He still stands as the longest-serving Republican governor in state history. Graves went on to help fuel the construction of KWU’s sports complex by serving as national co-chair of the capital campaign, and the complex bears his family’s name. Graves currently serves on the board of directors of the International Speedway Corporation, one of the driving forces behind American auto racing.
Trustee Emeritus is a status that is granted to individuals who have demonstrated significant dedication to the University. All individuals are eligible for nomination provided that they meet the stated distinguished and meritorious service requirements.