MANHATTAN – A family who moved to Manhattan almost 50 years ago and stayed because of Kansas State University are honored as K-State’s 2021 Family of the Year.
The Buyle family will be recognized at the University’s 93rd Annual Family Weekend during the K-State soccer game against Nevada on Saturday, September 18 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Chimes Junior Honorary members select Family of the Year based on their affiliation with K-State, what the family means to them, and their display of K-State pride.
“The Buyle family is a large and close family and they have been involved with K-State for many years,” said Brianna Streeter, co-director of events for Chimes. “For three generations and many more to follow, each member left their mark and became a forever member of the K-State family.”
The native of Detroit, Michigan, the Buyles, Ken ’85 and Kathy ’86, ’89, moved to Manhattan in 1973 when Ken was stationed at Fort Riley. They had no connection with the city before.
“They fell in love with the community,” the family nominee said. “They became avid Wildcats and chose to stay in Manhattan to raise their family when Ken retired in 1979 as a lieutenant colonel after a 23-year military career.”
This was just the beginning of the extended history of the K-State family.
As per their request, in 1979, after retiring from the military, Ken became the CFO of K-State’s Biology Division and Kathy enrolled at K-State to begin her undergraduate studies in speech-language pathology and in audiology. She went on to earn a Masters in Special Education and Ken worked in the division for 35 years until his retirement in 2014. He also received his Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from K-State.
Education has always been a priority for the Buyle family. Five of their six children are alumni of K-State, five of six daughters / sons-in-law attended K-State, and 10 of their 17 grandchildren are alumni or are enrolled for the fall semester of 2021. Y including spouses, a total of 28 K-State degrees over three generations have been awarded to the extended Buyle family.
The Buyles also have experience serving the university in many ways.
The Buyles’ son, Mark, ’88, was elected as one of two K-State student ambassadors in 1987 during his senior year. His daughter Suzy Buyle Auten 86, ’05, is the Director of the Professional Master of Business Administration program at K-State College of Business Administration. Son-in-law Robert Auten, 1991, is the Associate Registrar of K-State, and his son Ray Buyle, ’84, ’10, is department head of the architectural engineering and construction science department of GE Johnson at the Carl R Ice College. of Engineering.
“The Buyles are a family that represents what it means to be Wildcats through their mutual support and through college,” said Streeter. “They embody what it means to be a family, to support each other and what it really means to be part of the K-State family.”