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FHSU Alumni Association celebrates 2022 Homecoming Honorees
Tory (Arnberger) Blew

HAYS — Six Fort Hays State University alumni will be honored on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Alumni and Friends Awards Banquet during Homecoming. For details on how you can help celebrate these award winners during FHSU’s Homecoming, visit Among them will be 112th District Kansas Rep. Tory Marie (Arnberger) Blew of Great Bend.

Four Alumni Achievement Award recipients will be recognized: John L. Allen 1989, Rome, Italy; Dr. Judith Billings 1965, Kearney, Neb.; Mike McCarthy 1989, Frisco, Texas.; and  Donald J. Richardson 1967, Phoenix, Ariz. 

The Alumni Achievement Award, the association’s highest recognition, was established in 1959 to recognize graduates of the university for outstanding achievement based on meritorious service to society or the community. The award is based upon career and personal achievements, service involving community betterment and philanthropic activities, and educational achievements. 

Young Alumni Award recipients include Blew, 2016, Great Bend, and Brandon Penny 2013, New York.  

The Young Alumni Award was designed to recognize graduates early in their careers who have had outstanding achievements and recent accomplishments. The award is based on professional and educational achievements, community activities, honors and awards received, and other noteworthy items of merit since graduation. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from FHSU within 15 years of the current award year and be under the age of 40 as of Jan. 1, the year the awards are presented. 

Selecting the homecoming awardees is a challenging task, as Fort Hays State has so many outstanding graduates and friends who deserve to be recognized. This year’s recipients stood out as creative, inspiring, and hardworking leaders in their respective communities, said Carolyn Tatro, alumni engagement strategist for the FHSU Alumni Association. “We are incredibly proud to honor their successes and to share their stories this year. We hope that the public will take the opportunity to get to know these great Tigers as we celebrate them during Homecoming 2022.”

Blew, a Great Bend native, exemplifies how a degree from Fort Hays State University can shape one’s life. During her time at FHSU, Blew was a member of numerous on-campus organizations such as Delta Zeta and the Student Government Association. She was a VIP ambassador for the Office of the President and served as an orientation leader for over two years.  

Blew also served as an intern for the Kansas Department for Children and Families in Topeka, where she performed various tasks to assist the Governor’s Internship Program and attended child support dockets to learn the legal aspects of the agency. Additionally, Blew is a graduate of the 2018 class of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Excellence series and graduated from Kansas Emerging Leaders in 2021.

Her involvement on the Fort Hays State campus evolved into an interest in local politics. At age 23 and in her senior year of college, Blew ran for a seat in the 112th district in the Kansas House of Representatives and won.  

Since, Blew received her bachelor of science degree in business education, became a teacher, and is a DECA (formerly, Distributive Education Clubs of America) advisor in a rural school district. She was the youngest Kansas legislator from 2017-20. For the 2021-22 legislative session, Blew was assigned to the house federal and state affairs committee, where she served as vice-chair. She also served on the general government budget and health and human services committees.  

In 2022, Blew sponsored 10 bills and was elected as house majority whip. Blew maintains a close relationship with her “legislative mom,” 105th district representative Brenda Landwehr. “Blew is thoughtful in her connections and mentorships and wants everyone around her to succeed and will help people do that,” Landwehr said.

Blew resides in her hometown of Great Bend and serves as a board member for the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development while working full-time as a human resources director for Pryor Automatic Fire and Sprinkler. She also works as the recruitment and philanthropy advisor for her local Delta Zeta sorority chapter. 

When she isn’t working on her many professional endeavors, Blew can be found cooking, on the golf course, or with her husband, Justin, remodeling their first home.