Kim Lamastus


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College Heights Herald article regarding alumni including former homecoming queen Suzanne Riggins.

Names that were once widely recognized on campus are almost forgotten. All that remains of the former Student Government Association presidents, valedictorians and Homecoming queens are names on plaques or old newspaper articles.

Mary jane Knight Sanford remembers standing in front of a crowd at Western's 1965 graduation when she was named Ogden Scholar, the person with the highest grade-point average.

Sanford was awarded a silver cream-and-sugar server tray which had her name and year engraved on the bottom. She has never used the tray because of its sentimental value.

"It's kept safe in my china cabinet," she said.

Sanford, 50, came to Western because she was from Bowling Green and was around campus a lot.

"I went to a college high school on Western's campus, so I basically grew up on campus," she said. "It just seemed natural to go there."

She received a full scholarship to Western.

After graduating with a double major in German and French, she immediately started teaching at DeKalb County High School in Atlanta, where she taught German for a year.

For the past 25 years she has taught German at Owensboro High School.

"I am involved with a partnership that allows me to take my students to Germany every other year, and the other years, some teachers and students from Germany come to our high school," Sanford said.

She has reared two sons and two daughters, two of whom have gone to Western. She is expecting her first grandchild in March.

"I've lived a very full life," Sanford said.

On professor stands out in her mind.

"My German professor, Jim Wayne Miller, inspired me and all of his students to improve German and helped us understand humanities," Sanford said.

Miller taught Sanford his first year at Western.

"She was an excellent student who always turned in a good performance," Miller said. "She was an eager learner and self-starter."

Unlike most alumni, 1978-79 SGA President Steve Thornton is still living in Bowling Green.

After receiving bachelor's degrees in economics and English in 1980, Thornton attended Northern Kentucky University Law School and started work for the law office of Broderick, Thornton and Pierce in Bowling Green in 1983.

"It helped a great deal to go to college in the same town of my practice because it enabled me to meet a lot of contacts," he said.

Thornton, 36, also met his wife, Terri Anne, at Western. They have been married for 13 years and have two daughters.

The event Thornton remembers the most is being on the search committee that appointed former Western President Don Zacharias in 1980.

Thornton also said he fondly remembers his economics professor, William Davis.

"The thing I remember most about Steve is the number of classes he missed, but he managed to do quite well in my class," Davis said. "There was no question that he would accomplish a lot."

The 1970 Homecoming crowd watched the court as the new queen, Suzanne Riggins, took her throne.

Now she has a new name, a new job, a new home and a new degree.

Suzanne Riggins Haug got a bachelor's degrees in psychology and sociology in 1971.

"I visited the campus and I liked it and the size of the university, as well as that part of the country," Haug said.

Haug was president of Chi Omega in 1970, and she served as the Panhellenic advisor at Western for a year after graduating from Western before moving to Indiana in 1973.

Haug received her Master's degree in Health Administration at the University of Evansville in 1989.

Haug, 45, got a job as director of Guest Relations at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., in 1992.

"I monitor patient satisfaction and resolve conflicts by addressing those issues," Haug said. "I also educate other employees on their public skills."

Haug said going to Western was really helpful in her career.

"The lessons I learned in college gave me an opportunity to grow up and learn what I wanted to do," she said.

She has been married six years and has five children and one grandchild.

Thornton [Haug?] said the faculty at Western is the main reason Western is successful.

"The faculty at Western were very influential to me because they had more contact with students than other schools," she said.


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