Wildcat Fan Readies for Family Reunion

A Family Reunion
By Zach Zaborny, SID Student Assistant

When Kansas State kicks off the 2009 season on September 5 against Massachusetts, Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be filled with purple-clad fans to cheer on the Wildcats to victory. Among those in attendance, one fan will be in the stands cheering on the Wildcats for the first time in 31 years. Lily Nelson Duncan, a 1978 Kansas State graduate originally from Salina and now currently living in Wichita, will be one of the many K-State fans who will be “coming home” for the first-ever Kansas State Family Reunion Weekend.

During her time as a student at K-State, Duncan was a member of a women’s organization called The Kitten Kruitters, a hostess organization for the football team. As a member of The Kitten Kruitters, women in the organization would go to lunches or dinners with the football team and also be hostesses to any new football recruits that came to K-State. Of all the events that she participated in with The Kitten Kruitters, one of Duncan’s favorite memories involved meeting a prominent figure of Kansas State University.

“My favorite memory was of a luncheon where I had gone through the line, and sat down with friends,” Duncan said. “A distinguished gentleman asked if he could sit across from me. I said, ‘Yes, of course.’ I then realized that I had missed getting my silverware, so he got right up and said he would get me some.  While he was gone, my friends asked me if I knew who was getting my silverware, when I said no, they told me ‘He is the President of Kansas State University, Duane Acker.”

After graduation, Duncan began a career as a real estate agent, which she still continues to this day in Wichita. When asked why this will be her first game back in 31 years, her answer was a simple one.

“I have not been back all these years because, life happens.  I have a career as a real estate agent, and I usually work weekends.  I had my son at the age of 39 and was busy raising him.  He is 12 now.  Just lately he has shown interest in football, so I naturally wanted to expose him to my alma mater's football team,” said Duncan.

And even though it has been 31 years since she stepped through the gates of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Duncan only thinks a few small things will have changed.

“There may be a lot more security upon entering the game.  I think the stadium will be larger than I remember.”

As part of the family reunion weekend, Kansas State alumni from all over are anxious and excited to return to their alma matter. And when it comes to Duncan’s feelings, they are no different.

“I can't wait to hear the K-State band play the fight song and the cheers of the crowd.  That was always a thrill for me during college.  I will for sure be wearing purple, as will everyone with me,” said Duncan.

Her excitement to return also extends to being able to show her family her alma mater.

“This will be a great time in early fall, to bring my family to a fun event at the college I attended, and to show them the campus, where I lived and where I worked while in college. I also hope to plant a little seed for my son, Drew, to get excited about and to look forward to playing football, maybe someday at K-State,” said Duncan.

So, as September 5 continues to draw closer, Wildcat Nation not only awaits the return of its legendary head coach or another promising season of football, but also for the return of all former alumni for the K-State Family Reunion. Because when it comes to Kansas State football, it’s family that matters most.