2000 Honorary Alumni
Kathy Ikenberry's professional goal is "to be a contributing individual to a university environment that allows for the full development of its students." When she came with her husband to Johnson City for what he promised was only a couple of years to gain teaching experience, she never expected to contribute 23 years to East Tennessee State University.
Ikenberry in 1960. Early family life was devoted to helping Ike earn three degrees. It was in August of 1969, after completing his doctorate, that Ike accepted a position as assistant professor of biological sciences and they moved to Johnson City, becoming members of the ETSU family.
During her tenure at ETSU, Ikenberry was secretary in the department of Family and Community Nursing. She was a member of the Century Club and the Committee of 1000 and was also active in the Staff Senate, Girls Friday Association, and the Pirate Club. With the Pirate Club, she served as a delegate of the Washington County Chapter, secretary to the board, president of the board, chairperson of Casino Night, and co-chairperson of the first Silent Auction Fund-raiser.
In the Johnson City community, Ikenberry and her family were members of Fairhaven United Methodist Church where she served as church secretary/treasurer and a member of the administrative board. The entire Ikenberry family were members of one of the choirs and were also active in the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Ikenberry's children also were involved on campus. Both her daughter, Gerilynne Ikenberry Shadeed, and her son, Kevin D. Ikenberry, attended University School. Geri went on to receive a bachelor's degree in mass communication in 1984 and a master's in teaching in 1989. While she was an undergraduate student, she participated as a cheerleader and was the varsity coach when she began working on her master's. Kevin was a manager with the men's basketball program while at University High and then attended ETSU on a U.S. Army Reserve Scholarship. He graduated with a degree in political science in 1992. Ikenberry is also the proud grandmother of two grandchildren.
Kathy Ikenberry's expectation of only spending a year or two at ETSU has turned into a lifetime connection with the university and its people.
Never venturing far from the university lifestyle, Ikenberry and her husband currently reside in Starkville, Miss., where she is Client Services Assistant for the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability on the campus of Mississippi State University.