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Kansas Wesleyan University

Kansas Wesleyan announced its alumni award winners Tuesday afternoon, a group of three who will be honored Saturday, Oct. 22, during Homecoming and Family Weekend. This year’s recipients are Dr. Patricia Michaelis ’71 (Alumni Achievement Award), John Betterson ’69 (Alumni Service Award) and Meagan Contreras ’18, G ’20 (Young Alumna Award).

Michaelis retired in 2015 from her position as state archivist with the Kansas State Historical Society, where she had spent nearly 40 years. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she served as the state coordinator for Kansas History Day. She was also involved in the development of Kansas Memory, the historical society’s digital portal, which contains more than 737,000 images and averages more than 20,000 users per month.

Betterson is one of the most recognizable faces on campus and is a familiar sight at all sorts of events during the school year. The only official thing he does at KWU is help direct parents and students at the start of the semester, but through his support and passion for the university, he is perhaps its top unofficial ambassador. Betterson turned his role recording basketball and football statistics at KWU into a 34-year, part-time job in the Salina Journal’s sports department.

Contreras recovered from a life-threatening infection in her foot while at Kansas Wesleyan, and went on to double-major in marketing and communication. She would go on to earn an MBA and work as the university’s athletic administrative assistant and game operations manager. She went on to become director of ticketing operations at Sam Houston State (Huntsville, Texas).

The 2022 alumni award ceremony will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1:30 p.m. on the front steps of Pioneer Hall.

To see the full schedule for Homecoming and Family Weekend, please visit