Like most of the K-Staters who you have met via CatChats I met Joanne Clum at a football Watch Party at Ricky's. Joanne loves to travel and has visited many exoctic international locations. Some of her most exciting visits were in Texas to see the Rangers play in the World Series. Continue reading below to find out why!
Dennis Schmidt – Joanne you have been very generous giver of your time to a variety of organizations. Before we talk about that part of your life let's start with what influenced you as a little girl to take the journey you have taken
Joanne Clum – Maybe growing up in the Midwest with values. It was always important in my family to do your best. My parents never went to college so they wanted to be sure we went to college.
DS - Are your parents from the Midwest?
JC – Yes, one from Wilsey, Kansas, which is a very tiny town near Council Grove and the other one from a farm near Chillicothe, Missouri. We use to spend about three weeks during the summer with an uncle on his farm with no running water. It was a great adventure just to see what it was like. City children had no idea what it was like to not have electricity.
DS - Where did you grow up?
JC – I grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas and attended Prairie Grade School through 7th grade. We moved to Topeka during the big flood in Kansas in July 1953. I was there starting in 8th grade and graduated from Topeka High School in 1956. I was the Literary Editor yearbook, Vice President Honor Pep Club at Topeka High.
DS – What led you to Manhattan?
JC – I never thought about going anyplace else. A guess I didn’t have as much in common with all of the students that were going to KU and I just always wanted to go to Kansas State. I really didn’t look any place else. I started in medical technology and after I’m there a year decided that since in medical technology you have to go to the medical center in Kansas City for the last year and I liked K-State so well I didn’t want to leave so I changed my major to elementary education.
DS – What years were you at K-State?
JC – I started K-State in September 1956 and graduated with B.S. in Elementary Education in 1960. My dad kept a notebook of everything I spent. Tuition was $104 per semester. I think the total cost was $1,600.00 per year. I worked during the summer when I was in high school so I had money for extras and also had a Putnam Scholarship and Kansas Scholarship. I lived in Northwest Hall (was renamed Boyd Hall in 1960 to honor Mamie Boyd) with Lynnee Shank another K-Stater, who goes to your Watch Parties, as well as another good friend who I had gone to high school with who lives in Concord.
DS – What are some memorable moments of your years at K-State?
JC – I joined everything and got busy in many activities. I pledged a sorority to Chi Omega during freshman rush week, which occurred right after I got there. I lived in the house the last three years. It isn’t the same house today as we built a new one after I left. I believe a fraternity bought our old house. I served as Vice-President of my pledge class and was the Pan-Hellenic Rep for one year as President of Chi Omega. I loved being a Chi O and all the wonderful friendships I made. I learned many leadership skills during that time. Now when I visit my son and family in Overland Park, I get together with ten to twelve of my Chi O sisters. It has been so wonderful to have these connections through the years.
On campus I was very active. I was President of the Arts and Science Honorary, Chairman of Parents Day Weekend, Secretary, Senior Class Secretary, Chimes (Junior Women’s Honorary) and Mortar Board (Senior Women’s Honorary). One year I worked for the Royal Purple because I worked on the yearbook in high school. I was quite active in the Union Program Council - Hospitality Chair, and the SGA (Student Governing Association). In many activities I worked closely with Dr. Chet Peters who was Director of Student Activities.
Also, while I was at K-State, the students worked and helped achieve changing the name of Kansas State College to Kansas State University. Thinking back I don’t think the name change had much impact on the students.
DS – After graduation where did you begin teaching?
JC – I started practice teaching with Lynne at Bluemont Elementary, which is no longer in use in Manhattan. After graduation I moved to Kansas City. At that time, there was such a large need for teachers that I got a job over the phone. There was a huge district in Overland Park (Kansas) and I taught first grade at Sequoia Elementary for one year and then we moved to Oklahoma where I taught fourth grade for two years.
DS – Why did you move to California?
JC – My husband’s work ultimately led me to California though we lived in Oklahoma, New Jersey, Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado. I have been in California since 1981. I lived in Moraga from 1981 until 2004 when I moved to Summerset in Brentwood. While in Moraga, I was active as President, Parents Club at J Moraga Middle School; President, Parents Club at Campolindo High School; and President, American Association of University Women for the Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda area.
DS – Did you teach after Sequoia Elementary School?
No. I raised my family and then after moving to California I needed to go to work. I didn’t have my teaching certificate and I would have had to gone back to school. Computers were just beginning to come in so I took a computer class at ROP. My teacher’s husband worked at Chevron and she said I should think about working at Chevron. In the meantime I was panicked because I had to work so I took a contract type of job at an accounting firm, which worked good and I liked it but I decided I need to work for a large company with good benefits. Chevron was moving their headquarters out of San Francisco to San Ramon and I worked for them in San Ramon and Richmond from 1988-2004. It was a wonderful company. I supported several Vice-Presidents as well as also doing payroll and some recruiting. I am currently Secretary of Chevron Retirees Board for Contra Costa County.
DS – Since your retirement from Chevron are you still involved in other organizations?
JC - Since living in Brentwood, I keep active playing bridge, volunteer at the John Muir Medical Facility in Brentwood, am Secretary of Kiwanis and I belong to a P.E.O. which gives scholarships to women. It is like a women’s sorority. It has been around many years and is a great organization. I have been real active in that and have been the local chapter President.
I am on the travel committee at the clubhouse. I am busy. I love to travel and have done a lot of it since retiring. That includes tours to Australia and New Zealand, Scandinavia - one of my favorites, two European river cruises, two Alaska cruises, Panama Canal cruise and three Disney cruises with grandchildren. I have signed up for a river cruise in Russia next with our group and we have about thirty people going. I don’t get back to Manhattan very often. In 2004 I returned for Homecoming and enjoyed lunch at the new Alumni Center and attended a football game in December 2011.
DS – How many children do you have?
JC – Three, two boys and a girl. The oldest, Brent, graduated from Shawnee Mission South High School and the other two, Scott and Cathy went to Camp Edmo in Moraga. None of them went to K-State though I wish they would have. Brent, would have been more logical, but for some reason he wasn’t even looking at K-State though we were living in Kansas City. We moved to California right after he graduated. He never lived here except during the summer. He was very active in his high school marching band and was manager of the school radio station. One weekend they had no band stuff so he and a friend went to Texas to look at TCU, SMU and Baylor and he ended up going to Baylor. It was a great choice for him. He graduated from Baylor and Harvard and lives in Fort Worth, Texas. He is one of the owners and on the Board of Directors of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. He is CFO of a new gas and oil company called MorningStar Partners. It has been very exciting to attend games with him and especially two World Series in 2010 and 2011. One highlight was meeting and getting my picture taken with Laura and George Bush. I had something with me that had the PowerCat on it and the President asked me if I went to Kansas State. I told him I did and he said he gave a speech there once.
My second son, Scott, graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo which was a great school and he works for IBM. He now lives in Overland Park, Kansas. It is fun visiting him and reconnecting with KSU friends and my daughter Cathy graduated from University of Phoenix and Simpson University and lives in Redding. She teaches English in senior high school. I have lots of sweatshirts from lots of schools.
My oldest grandson in Texas will attend Texas A&M this fall as a freshman. I have seven grandchildren and do hope some of them will attend KSU since Kansas State is the BEST! They always hear that from me. One of them who is nine had to write a paper on himself and he said he was going to Kansas State when he grew up.
DS – Do you have any last comments?
JC – Just that I loved K-State. It was a great place, wonderful people, and lot of opportunity to be active and learn leadership. It was great!