A Shocker You Should Know: 2007 graduate Chris Purdum
By Wichita State News
When Chris Purdum came to Wichita State from Norfolk, Nebraska, he didn’t know anyone. So he got busy, getting involved as a tour guide, president of the Fairmount Towers Activities Council and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
And as luck would have it, he actually met his future wife on his first day of orientation. The two spent the next four years taking in the college experience.
By the time Chris graduated in 2007 with degrees in finance and international business, was a committed Shocker.
“I had a wonderful undergraduate experience from both an academic and extracurricular standpoint and that was due in large part to the advisors, staff, professors, alumni and my peers,” he says. “Because of those people and the experiences we shared, we continue to be as involved as we can with the university.”
That involvement led Chris to his new position as chairman of the board for the Alumni Association.
His goals include achieving meaningful growth in paid membership and continuing with the success of the Drive Your Pride WSU Scholarship Kansas License Plate Program.
Also important to Chris is getting the message across that the Alumni Association isn’t just for former students. Faculty, staff and other WSU supporters are welcome to join and participate.
Drive Your Pride has provided more than $500,000 in scholarships since its inception, and other scholarships are available through the association, such as the Wallace Alumni Legacy Scholarship and the Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship.
Chris serves as vice president for commercial banking at Commerce Bank and cherishes time with his family.
Ashley also stayed closed to WSU after graduation, working as a speech-language pathologist and clinical educator in the Evelyn Hendren Cassat Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
“She is an amazing wife, mother and professional and extremely supportive of my involvement on campus and in the community,” Chris says. “We make a great team.”
Outside of the association and work, Chris – a huge baseball fan who first heard about WSU because of its baseball tradition – spends time with his family attending Shocker sporting events. He and Ashley also enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants and finding hidden gems on Netflix.