Dode* & Elsie Lesser

Dode* & Elsie Lesser

donor plaque
Dode* & Elsie   Lesser

Darryl "Dode" Lesser was born on October 26, 1944. He played football, basketball and ran track at Seaman High School. In football he was first team "All Jayhawk League," in basketball he was first team "All Jayhawk League" and "All City" both his junior and senior years. In track, he was second in the state in pole vault in both the indoor and outdoor state meets. Dode attended Washburn from 1963 until 1967. He played varsity football. As a sophomore he was first team "All CIC Offensive Line Man" and second team "All CIC Defensive End." He was named to the "NCAA Small College All American" second team. During his junior year, he injured his knee during the Southern Colorado game in Pueblo, Colo. After surgery and rehabilitation, he returned to the playing field for his senior year. He was again first team "All CIC Offensive Lineman" and was named to the "NCAA Small College All American" team. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. After Washburn, he went on to play with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League and then to Wheeling, W. Va. where he joined the Wheeling Ironmen of the Continental Football League. After his football career, he returned to Topeka. He was a volunteer coach in basketball, football and baseball for his son's and daughter's teams. In 1985, he was inducted into the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame and was a member of the Capital Journal Washburn All Century Team. Dode owned Lesser Electric, Inc. for more than 35 years.

Dode married Elsie (Medlin) Lesser, ba '65. They had two children, Michael ba '91 and Tiffany Lesser Swinehart, and five grandchildren. Elsie was born on March 23, 1942 in Stamford, Texas. She lived in Stamford until she began her college career. She attended the University of Oklahoma and the University of Hawaii and graduated from Washburn University. She taught at Topeka High School and Landon Junior High. She was a flight attendant for American Airlines based in New York City. In 1981, she became the executive director of Alumni Affairs at Washburn University. In 1989, Elsie joined the Kansas Bar Association as continuing legal education director. She has also been employed as assistant to the dean at Washburn Law School, education director for the Kansas City Metro Bar Association and assistant to the director of the St. Francis Hospital Foundation. Elsie has served as director on the Washburn University Foundation since 2006. She is a current member of the executive committee and a member of the development committee. During Elsie's tenure as executive director of Alumni Affairs, the Alumni Board created the Washburn Student Alumni Association. The Student Alumni Association hosted the National Student Alumni Association convention in Topeka in 1989. They won the Spirit Award at the convention in Wichita in 1988. The Alumni Association was awarded the U. S. Steel Award in 1984 for the "Most Improved Alumni Association." She chaired the national convention in Santa Fe, N.M. for the Association of Continuing Legal Education Administrators and served on their board of directors. During her tenure, the Kansas Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education was recognized for the "Most Innovative Programming" by the American Society of Association Executives.