An Opportunity to be Better - About the Authors

About the Authors

Gloria B. Freeland and Arthur R. Vaughan are a good team when it comes to researching and writing about historical topics. Married in 1988, both share an interest in family history and made numerous trips throughout the U.S. and to Europe to document the lives of their ancestors.

This interest led to a natural curiosity about general history subjects, including the Depression and World War II.

After growing up on a Kansas farm, Freeland earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Kansas State University. After two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, she worked on several Kansas newspapers and a twice-weekly, English-language newspaper in Costa Rica, and then returned to school to earn her M.B.A.

For 15 years, Freeland was the associate director of K-State's Student Publications Inc., now the Collegian Media Group.

Gloria Freeland

During her 37 years of teaching at K-State, she often included historical elements in her reporting classes. Beginning in late 2001, she began her award-winning weekly column, "Kansas Snapshots" where history is a frequent topic. She also organized special events, such as the 1996 Collegian centennial, the 2010 100-year anniversary of the Miller school and the 2014 centennial of the Riley County Historical Society. Freeland retired from K-State in May 2020 and is now professor emerita.

Vaughan has his B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While there, he was offered a position as a teacher of electronics at a private school. That was the beginning of a 20-year career as a professor, which paralleled working as an engineer in Kansas City and Manhattan, Kansas.

Because of the dynamic nature of his specialty, it was necessary for him to author almost all the materials used in his classes, an amount equivalent to 11 textbooks.
Art Vaughan

In 1985, he left his professor and program head position at K-State to become the chief engineer for the ICE Corporation, a company that designed and manufactured electrical equipment for aviation and agriculture. He left ICE seven years later to begin his own consulting company, designing and manufacturing electronic equipment, which he continues to manage. His days are split between his technical interests and his historical research and writing.

An on-going project for the couple is creating short biographies for the approximately 340 men from Riley County, Kansas who died in World War II.

The couple has done extensive research on Velma Carson, the Morganville native who wrote "Message to Fèves," the focal point of the 1948 pageant. They also assisted Freeland's mother with a book about 80-plus rural schools in Morris County, Kansas.

The couple has traveled to Fèves, France seven times since 2014 to do research and interview those who remember the Morganville-Fèves story.

The couple has four children: Karen (Vaughan) Ethridge, Matthew Vaughan and Mariya and Katherine Vaughan. Karen, Mariya and Katherine know the Morganville-Fèves story well, having accompanied Freeland and Vaughan on some of their French trips.