2017 Point of Light Recipients
Thomas More Prep-Marian is pleased to announce this year’s Point of Light Award recipients. The Point of Light Award is given annually at homecoming to people who have contributed to the traditions of excellence of Thomas More Prep-Marian through their service, stewardship, and example. We honor these Points of Light and strive to follow their example. The entire gallery of Point of Light Recipients can be seen at our online media gallery.
As is tradition, this year’s awardees will be honored at halftime of the homecoming football game. For a complete list of homecoming events, visit tmp-m.org/homecoming.
Scroll down to see the entire listing of Point of Light Awardees.
Fr. Gilmary Tallman: faithful teacher, priest and pastor
Fr. Gilmary Tallman was born January 8, 1934 in Hays, Kansas to Kenneth ‘Doc’ & Elsie (Burkhart) Tallman. He attended Jefferson West (1940-1948); St. Joseph Military Academy (1948-1949); St. Francis Seminary (1949-1952); St. Fidelis College, Herman, PA (1952-1957); Capuchin College, Washington, D.C. (1961); Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (1960-1962); Duquesne University, Pittsburg, PA (1962); Fort Hays State University (1963-1974) and St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO (1982-1983). Fr. Gilmary’s assignments included locations in Pittsburgh, PA; Victoria, KS; Hays, KS; St. Louis, MO; Denver, CO; Arnold, MO; Colorado Springs, CO and Lawrence, KS. While stationed in Hays, he worked at St. Joseph’s Military Academy and Thomas More Prep from 1969-1982. He served on the faculty and also held other positions such as president, vice president, academic dean, junior class advisor, member of the executive board, vicar, third provincial councilor and second provincial councilor. He is a fourth degree Knights of Columbus, a charter member of the Ellis County Historical Society, was Kansas state chaplain for the Daughters of Isabella from 1977 to 1979 and authored a book on artwork in the St. Fidelis Church during his pastorate at Victoria. Fr. Gilmary continues to share his time and talents in saying daily mass and hearing confessions at TMP-Marian and the Catholic parishes in Ellis County. We are eternally grateful for his leadership and commitment to Catholic education.
Arlen Walters: dedicated alumnus and faithful friend
Arlen Walters is being honored as a Point of Light for his dedication and deep commitment to Thomas More Prep-Marian. Arlen is a 1953 graduate of St. Joseph’s Military Academy and went on to graduate from Fort Hays State University with a degree in Business Administration. He was employed for 37 years as a sales representative with Nationwide Papers. Arlen married Muriel ’63 Campbell and they have a son, Craig Walters and two grandchildren, Megan and Abby Walters. Arlen became an active member of the Alumni Association of Thomas More Prep-Marian after graduation and served as Alumni President in 1963. This was the same year the Alumni Association purchased the wooden seats for the fieldhouse. In his spare time, Arlen gradually became one of their class organizers and the class archivist, adding on the 1953 Girl’s Catholic High after the schools merged. The Class of 1953 has been a standout class with incredible participation in class reunions, class trips and class projects. Arlen was instrumental in planning many of these trips as well as organizing fundraising projects done by this class for the benefit of the students of Thomas More Prep-Marian. His respect and admiration for all the faculty including Fr. Anselm Martin knew no bounds. Fr. Mike Scully and Fr. Charles Polifka served as pastors at St. John the Evangelist Church in Lawrence, KS during some of the 25 years Arlen served as an usher. Arlen continues to update the Class of 1953 on what is happening at TMP-Marian, encouraging them to stay connected and we truly appreciate all of his efforts and good will.
Anthony “Tony” Ruder: dedicated and faithful friend
Anthony “Tony” Ruder is being honored as a Point of Light for his dedication and deep commitment to Thomas More Prep-Marian. Tony served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1945. He went to work for Central Kansas Power Company and would fill numerous positions there until his retirement 42 years later. Tony and his wife Armella Ruder have five children that are graduates of Thomas More Prep-Marian, Roger ’67 Ruder (SJMA), Rod ’69 Ruder (SJMA), RaNell ’71 Ruder (MHS), Ron ’77 Ruder (TMP) and Russ ’80 Ruder (TMP). Tony’s wife Armella was a huge fan of Catholic education and in 1956 when Tony was asked to help with a chicken dinner fundraiser, it began the start of a life filled with giving service and support to the Hays Catholic schools. For the past 50 years, the Ruder family has been visible at Alumni Association functions as well as many of the school and community events as volunteers. From attending sporting events, cooking/serving breakfasts and dinners, taking tickets at the gate/door, to helping create a new baseball/softball complex, the list goes on and on. Tony and his wife Armella were firm believers that education is extremely important, and secondly, if everyone does a little bit, great things can be accomplished. They passed this philosophy on to their children who continue their parents’ legacy of stewardship. It is with great honor and gratitude that we acknowledge Tony’s dedication and lifelong commitment to Catholic education in our community.