Bike trip’s personal appeal draws national architecture firm as supporters

Jane Huesemann and Steve Clark, who own Clark-Huesemann Architecture Firm in Lawrence, work with universities across the U.S. But on Tuesday night, they had one university president and his mission on their minds. 

“We’ve been affiliated with Pitt State for 30 years, since 1993, and we came here tonight to try to support Dan in what he’s trying to achieve,” Clark said. “He’s really been amazing to watch, the kinds of things he’s doing at the university.” 

Those things include him embarking on a 12-day, 800-mile bike trip across Kansas to raise $8 million in student scholarships, get to know Kansas, and meet with alumni and partners.  

Those partners include Huesemann and Clark, who attended a gathering at the 23rd Street Brewery. Their firm's recent projects at Pitt State included the renovation of Axe Library and of Block22’s Foundry. 

The two also are cyclists and that’s one aspect of Dan’s trip that drew them to the event, held at the end of his ride on the Prairie Spirit Trail with Pitt State grad and football player Bob McNellis and Kansas Regent Cynthia Lane. 

“Dan seems like he’s really engaged in day-to-day operations in what needs to happen and how to get his vision to be made possible. He’s connecting with people at a personal level,” Huesemann said. “He’s not just talking about, but working toward, how to make the university better." 

Clark said he also appreciated Shipp continuing the work by President Steve Scott of engaging the university with the Pittsburg community. 

The two said they were impressed at his desire to reach out and truly connect with individuals in communities along the way. 

“We’ve enjoyed being able to talk to him, to discuss shared goals," Huesemann said. 

“He’s enabling us by being truly interested in the quality of what’s being done, which makes our job easier,” Clark added. 

On Wednesday, Shipp pedaled to Topeka for a Kansas Board of Regents meeting and a 5:30 p.m. gathering at Iron Rail Brewing. On Thursday, he’ll head to Emporia, where a 5:30 p.m. gathering is planned at Radius Brewing Co. 

About "Dan Bikes Kansas” 

“Dan Bikes Kansas” will take the president and his sag wagon across 800 miles of Kansas, with planned gatherings in 15 communities and stops in several more along the way, over the course of 12 days. 

Learn more and register for a gathering at