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The Pitts family from Girard, KS receive the 2019 Honorary Family award during the half time of the Family Day Game PSU vs. NSU at Carnie Smith Stadium Saturday, Sept. 21. About 9000 audience members were present in the stadium during the game. Salehin Mahbub photo-editor

Pitts family chosen as honorary family

The aptly named Pitts family was selected as the 2019 honorary family.  

Senior Katy Pitts graduates from Pittsburg State in May 2020 with her degree in nursing, 

Katy’s mother Kim graduated from PSU with a degree in biology with an emphasis in teaching and her father David graduated with a criminal justice degree and an education degree with a weights and physical education emphasis. Haley Pitts, 23, the oldest of the three sisters, graduated from PSU in May of 2019 with a bachelor’s in nursing. Kacey Pitts, 17, is the youngest of the siblings and still in high school but plans to attend PSU and earn a nursing degree as well.  

“…When my mom walked across the stage for the first time, she was pregnant with me,” Katy said. “So, everyone kind of laughs because this is my second time technically (walking) across the stage… All three of us girls have intentions of getting graduate degrees, so I want to come back and get my DNP as well as my older sister.”  

Travelling and taking trips is normal for the Pitts’ and they always go as a family.   

“We do everything together,” Katy said. “We’re not like the typically family where sometimes you conquer and divide. So, it can be 20-hour car rides to Florida, which we’ve done that. We just get along well in the car for the most part. We enjoy being around each other. My older sister no longer lives at home so when she is home… We truly enjoy ourselves. Everything is like a family related trip that we do…”  

The Pitts family plays softball competitively and regularly attends community events as a family.  

“…We live in a fairly small town, we live in Girard, and so there’s always community events going on that we always plan as a family to go to,” Katy said. “…We all do things together which we joke that us three girls, my sisters and I, will go on a trip together and then we’re like well mom’s gonna want to go because then it can be a girls trips and then it’s like well maybe my dad wants to go so then the whole family ends up going. We can’t ever divide up well, we always all go.”  

Pitts said the atmosphere of Pitt State is what drew her in.   

“Pitt State was the easy choice because it’s kind of (a) home away from home,” Katy said. “I can still live at home. It’s nice to wake up in the morning, get ready, (and be around my family and then when I step foot on campus, I kind of forget I am 20 minutes from home. It’s a different environment completely. At the end of the day, I get in my car and I go back home and see my family, can talk about how the day went and stuff like that. Not everybody gets that experience in college, some people don’t want that experience, but I truly do like living at home. I could live at home forever…”  

The tradition of an “Honorary Family,” sponsored by the PSU Foundation and the Advancement Ambassadors, dates back to 1993. Students submit essays about their family’s involvement in PSU and their support of PSU. The winning family is selected by a committee composed of alumni, students, and staff.  

“It was a huge honor to be chosen as the Honorary Family. At first, we weren’t really sure what to expect… and then we realized after that fact that it is such… a bigger deal… It’s something that every Pitt State student can apply for and I encourage everybody to. It’s nice to recognized because we think we’re pretty great, but a committee that chose us thought we were pretty great as well. It’s nice to be able to share the experience with my family and to be a part of the Pitt State community in a bigger way.”  

There is a lot of connection to PSU within the Pitts family.   

“My mom’s favorite quote is, ‘Once a Gorilla, always a Gorilla’ so she told everybody that….”

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