Photograph of the late Karla Burns performing onstage.

Karla Burns: 1954-2021

By School of Performing Arts


Described as, "a beautiful lady of elegance and class and magnificent talent onstage and off," Karla Burns passed away June 4, 2021. Born in Wichita, she graduated from Wichita State University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and another in speech/theater. In 2016, she was awarded an honorary doctorate. The Wichita State community and the School of Performing Arts are deeply saddened by the loss of a great trailblazer.

A scholarship fund has been set up in her honor at the WSU Foundation. A Musical Tribute to Karla Burns, with Roy A Wilbur, will be held at Roxy's Downtown to benefit the scholarship fund on August 29, 2021 at 3 p.m.

You can also donate to the scholarship by clicking here & selecting the "Karla Burns WSU Scholarship Memorial."