Retirees Association

Winter issue of The Extension announces criteria for WSURA Service Awards

Cover of The Extension

The 100th issue of the WSU Retirees Association’s newsletter, The Extension, has just been posted on this website. It features stories about the oral history interview of Ken Davenport, who was director of Admissions from 1974 to 1998; profiles of the four undergraduate students selected to receive WSU Retirees Association Nick Davis Endowed Scholarships this year; a note from WSURA Chair Joyce Howes about her experiences as an adjunct instructor; and more.

One highlight is an announcement about our newly established WSURA Service Awards named in honor of faculty member Lewis K. Shupe and staff member Richard A. Johnson. Both men spent most of their careers at Wright State and both were known across the entire campus as exemplary human beings. Service to students, to colleagues, to the institution, their profession and the community was a basic part of who they were.

Lewis K. Shupe was a Professor of Communications who also taught art therapy courses. He was awarded the title Professor Emeritus when he retired in 1993. He served on the Friends of the Libraries Board and the Retirees Association Board for many years. In addition to serving a term as president, he also guided the retirees’ Oral History Project for more than a decade. Because of his diligence, much of Wright State’s early history was preserved in the many interviews that he conducted. His on-going service to the American Rose Society culminated with the Klima Medal, the Society’s highest award for service. He also earned the highest recognition as a horticulturalist, arranger and teacher. Lew died in 2016 at the age of 84. The many tributes at his memorial service in the Berry Room were touching acknowledgements of a life well lived. We miss him still.

Richard A. Johnson began his career at Wright State in 1971 supervising Hamilton Hall. After that challenge, he left Wright State for about five years, returning as the employee benefits manager as well as the property and casualty overseer in Human Resources. In that capacity, perhaps his most unusual task was to monitor the cheerleaders to make sure they did not go more than three levels high to reduce the likelihood of falls. Anyone who had a complicated benefit question went to Rich. He had infinite patience and infinite knowledge. He knew almost every staff and faculty member and was widely known as being one of the most helpful people on campus. When he retired in 2009, the loss was palpable. He too served on the WSURA Board until his declining health forced him to return to the care of family in Iowa. He died there from complications of Parkinson’s Disease in 2017. He was 69.

WSURA seeks to recognize the service of current retirees who exemplify the qualities of Lew Shupe and Rich Johnson. The awards will be presented at the annual Retirees Luncheon on April 25, where the featured speaker will be basketball coach Scott Nagy. Any Wright State retiree may nominate a fellow retiree for one of these awards. Two separate awards will be made: one to staff and one to faculty.

There is no form to fill out. Simply write a letter detailing the service history of your nominee. We will consider service to students and fellow faculty or staff, service to the institution, service to the community, service to the profession, and service to humanity. Be as specific as you can. The selection committee may contact you for further information, so be sure to let us know how best to get in touch with you. All retirees (except current WSURA Board members) are eligible for nomination, no matter where they live and serve. Return your nominations to: WSU Retirees Association, Attn: Mary Kenton, 210 Foundation Bldg., Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435-0001; or email:

The Extension is published quarterly by the Wright State University Retirees Association (WSURA). All issues can be found on the WSURA website at