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Pitt State Faculty and Staff Continue 95 Year Tradition - KOAM TV 7

Pitt State Faculty and Staff Continue 95 Year Tradition

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Pittsburg State University faculty members come together, tonight, for a dinner on campus. It continues a tradition that was started in 1921.
It’s the 95th time Pitt State staff members prepare steaks for their colleagues. Leading the charge is Hugh Campbell.
“I’m the steak guy,” he says proudly.
It’s his 42nd year as head chef at the steak fry. He’s a retired microbiology professor.
“I came in 1974 and I did it that year and I have done it ever since,” says Campbell.
The steak fry is an annual dinner prepared by the faculty and staff for their coworkers.
“I have about 30 people that volunteer to do this, that’s a lot of workers but they get in, the pitch in, all I have to do is walk around and see they got what they need,” says James Triplett, the Chairman of the Steak Fry Committee and former biology professor.
It’s a way to welcome new staff members to the Pittsburg State University team. 95 steak fry’s later, it’s become one of the many popular traditions on campus. Even years past retirement, many, including Campbell and Triplett, can't stay away from the good food and camaraderie.
“Special orders we can accommodate if you let me know what you want and come by the grill. Once it leaves the grill, it’s out of my hands,” jokes Campbell.
“Many of the people working are retired faculty and I’ve heard them often say this is my one connection with the university that i get to come back and do something with my colleagues,” adds Triplett.
With the traditional ringing of the bell dinner is served. Regardless of their department or age, staff members new and old mix together to enjoy the meal. Event planners say it’s a true sign of what it means to work at the university.
“If you've ever worked here it’s a family. Pure and simple. People come here and say oh I’m going to stay a couple years, climb the ladder and leave but 20 years later they say wow I’m sure glad I didn't leave,” says Triplett.
The University's alumni foundation funds the annual event.

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