Sold-Out Barton School “Beyond” Hall of Fame Gala Commemorates Three Inductees, Raises Over $800K for Student Success!

On Saturday, February 17, 2024, the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University hosted its first-ever “Beyond” Hall of Fame gala. The event took place at the beautiful and iconic Mark Arts and inducted three members into its inaugural class: W. Frank Barton, former president of Barton Distributors and co-founder of Rent-A-Center; Clark Bastian, chairman of the board at Fidelity Bank; and Fran Jabara, founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Barton School of Business. Business and university leaders, community members, esteemed alumni, and family and friends of the inductees attended. Each honoree was recognized in a special manner and received their well-deserved awards. Family members of Frank Barton and Fran Jabara accepted these posthumous inductions on their behalf.

“What an honor to celebrate the legacy of these three inaugural Hall of Fame inductees, whose visionary leadership and outstanding contributions have gone above and beyond to help transform and shape the Barton School of Business, Wichita State University, and our entire city," said Dr. Larisa Genin, Dean of the Barton School. "These extraordinary leaders and visionaries have left an indelible mark on our community. We honor their achievements and are inspired by their dedication to excellence. They should serve as an inspiration to all of us. I am honored that we could recognize their work and everlasting impact.”

The proceeds from the “Beyond” Hall of Fame were raised to enhance and enrich the student experience, ensuring their success. These initiatives are instrumental in shaping the next generation of business leaders, attracting and retaining exceptional student talent, and ultimately strengthening the workforce pipeline for businesses in Wichita and across Kansas. As a result, we are investing in the future of business education and empowering the leaders of tomorrow. More than $800,000 was raised in support of this effort, exceeding our target goal!

“Investing in education is an investment in the future," said Stephanie Luetters, Chair of the Barton School of Business “Beyond” Hall of Fame gala and a distinguished member of the Dean’s “Fabulous 50” Advisory Board. "When we channel resources toward student experience and success, as well as scholarships, we nurture the seeds of innovation, leadership, and societal progress. These funds will empower aspiring entrepreneurs, leaders, and visionaries to dream bigger, learn deeper, and create lasting change.”

The next “Beyond” Hall of Fame gala is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 21, 2026, coinciding with the Barton School’s 100th anniversary. And we are already gearing up to surpass expectations for this milestone event!

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