E.W. “Pete” and Mildred “Mickey” Armstrong have been long and active community leaders and generous supporters of Wichita State University. Since Pete’s death in June of 2009, Mickey has continued that involvement. Pete graduated from the University of Wichita in 1942, cum laude, with a major in chemistry and a minor in journalism. Mickey graduated in 1945 with a major in English language and literature and a minor in history and secretarial science. While attending WU, they shared a love of theater; Mickey performed in “The Contrast” her freshman year and Pete performed in the operetta “The Wild Flower.”
Co-chairs of the “Campaign for Students” during the mid-90s, they realized that “every little bit helps” concerning scholarship money. From that time forward, they established endowed scholarships in multiple colleges. The Mickey and Pete Armstrong Performing Arts Scholarship was established in 2006 by Mickey in support of music theatre students. As part of their continuing support of WSU, Pete and Mickey gave to many areas across the university. They were, for example, instrumental in obtaining the Gordon Parks collection, one of the most important and influential collections of papers and memorabilia in Wichita State’s possession, and the springboard for the expansion of the Ulrich Museum’s collection of Gordon Parks photographs into the second largest in the world.
While their financial support of Wichita State and, in particular, its College of Fine Arts, has been consistent and substantial, it is their commitment of time and talent that have been particularly appreciated. Mickey continues to be active in all aspects of the college. She has served on the boards of the Fine Arts Advisory Board, serving two terms as its president, the Friends of Fine Arts board, Music Associates and the Ulrich Advisory Board. Mickey is also interested in other aspects of the university and the community. She is a member of the Student Affairs Advisory Board and has been involved in many community activities including Music Theatre Wichita and Chamber Music at the Barn.
Mickey and Pete have four daughters, all of whom attended Wichita State.