Lebanon — Dr. Russell Hardin, a retired Lebanon veterinarian, was honored by Kansas State University during homecoming ceremonies Oct. 28 at the campus in Manhattan, Kan.
Hardin, 93, the last surviving member of the 1945 Wildcats team and the oldest living KSU player, was named an honorary captain.
Wearing his letter jacket, Hardin performed the coin toss, which was won by KSU. The Wildcats deferred to the second half.
Bill Snyder, KSU’s head coach, thanked Hardin for winning the toss.
The Wildcats cruised to victory over West Virginia, 34-12. They defeated Iowa State last Saturday, 41-7, to even their record at 4-4 overall; KSU is undefeated at home.
Hardin was a special guest of the KSU Veterinary School of Medicine. Homecoming week events included a visit to the original field where Hardin played in 1944 and 1945. He was team captain and named an All Big 12 guard.
After the coin toss, Hardin and his companion, Charlotte, joined dignitaries including Ralph C. Richardson, dean of KSU’s college of veterinary medicine.
Hardin moved to Lebanon in 1946, and practiced veterinary medicine for decades before retiring. He remains active in farming. While at KSU, his wife Peg taught in the university’s home economics department.
Hardin had begun veterinary studies at Purdue University, but after joining the U.S. Army, he was sent to Fort Riley, Kan., to continue his veterinary degree.