Member Spotlight: Kevin West '89
From the time he was 5 years old, Lt. Col. Ret. Kevin West ’89 knew he either wanted to
be in law enforcement or the military, so when the Kearney, Missouri native enrolled at Missouri Western, it was no surprise that he majored in criminal justice and joined ROTC.
Kevin, a member of the Western League for Excellence Regent’s Circle, was commissioned into the U.S. Army at the end of his junior year in college and joined a National Guard unit at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After graduating from Missouri Western, he went on active duty and served in the Army for 20 years, retiring in 2009.
His military service as a field artillery officer spanned several countries, and deployments to Kosovo, Bosnia, Desert Storm and Iraq. His last position before retiring was commanding an artillery battalion at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Kevin,recently notified the Missouri Western Foundation that it was a beneficiary in his estate plan, making him and his wife, Alyn, members of the Clock Tower Society.
“I think it’s important to contribute to the places that were important to you when you were young,” he said, adding that he also understands the need for private giving due to decreasing state allocations and rising costs for colleges and universities.
Kevin, a first-generation college student, said he knew in high school that Missouri Western was a good fit for him because of the smaller class sizes and good value. “The student-faculty ratio was also important to me. I needed a little more accountability,” he said.
Kevin said he also liked the number of nontraditional students on campus, and he enjoyed visiting with them and hearing about their experiences and perspectives.
Today, he is a civilian employee for the Army at Fort Riley, serving as the Chief of Force Integration for the 1st Infantry Division. His wife, Alyn, who has both a bachelor’s and master’s in art history, owns and operates the Strecker Nelson West Gallery in Manhattan, Kansas.