Theater scholarship supports current students, continues legacy of K-State graduate.
In theater, an actor brings lines from a page to life; working with fellow actors to create a new world for people to explore, enjoy and learn from. For Jayden Gittle, freshman in theater and education, this ability is what attracted her to pursue theater at Kansas State University. “Theater has become my way of expression just like painting is to artists,” Gittle said. “It allows me to step into the shoes of others and see the world through their eyes. It teaches me both art and life skills.”
To assist with the cost of attending college, Gittle applied for and was awarded the Slinkman Theatre Scholarship.
The fund was established by Carl Jackson to honor his late wife, Lizbeth Slinkman. Lizbeth, a Manhattan, Kansas, native, graduated from K-State in 1978 with a bachelor’s in secondary education and in 1982 with a master’s in speech. She spent her career as the associate dean of administration at William and Mary Law School.
“Liz loved theater. I wanted to continue her commitment to help students, but in a different way,” Jackson said. “Liz was a die-hard supporter of all things K-State. She loved Bill Snyder, K-State football and ‘Top of the World.’ I wanted someone else to have those experiences, but made a little easier with the scholarship.”
Similar to Lizbeth, Gittle grew up in Manhattan.
“I have always loved seeing the family atmosphere spread throughout town,” Gittle said. “I also loved the K-State Theatre program and was able to meet the faculty and explore the different spaces on campus.”
Gittle said she was so overjoyed when she was notified that she had received the Slinkman Theatre Scholarship, that she immediately ran down the hall from her choir class to tell her drama teacher.
Jackson said he knew Lizbeth had a smile on her face when he received the first list of scholarship recipients.
“It was as if she returned home to her native Manhattan and had helped a ‘junior’ Liz,” Jackson said.
While only a semester into her college career, Gittle said the scholarship has already left an impact on her.
“This scholarship has helped me so much. It gives me relief from stressing about finances and allows me to focus on my schoolwork. It really lets me throw myself into my acting, as well as focus on education.”