Before he's laid to rest Monday, Wichita State University President Dr. John Bardo's funeral procession will give him one final ride through the campus he loved.
Bardo, Wichita State's 13th president died Tuesday after battling a chronic lung condition. Ahead of the funeral, Eyewitness News Friday spoke with Dr. Bardo's sister-in-law who discussed what Wichita State meant to him and why it's so fitting for his funeral procession to move through campus.
Valerie Davis, remembers her brother-in-law as a planner and for his kindness and intelligence. She'll also remember Dr. Bardo for the love he had for the university he led.
"John loved the university so much," she says.
Last Thursday (March 7) when an ambulance was transporting Dr. Bardo home from the hospital, he asked the ambulance driver for one thing, a drive by the Wichita State campus, Davis says.
Davis says Dr. Bardo knew he wouldn't be able to see much from the ambulance, but he at least had the satisfaction of being back on campus, at least briefly.
In Davis' home is a mural for her brother-in-law and the university he loved. The Shocker ceiling in the room began when Dr. Bardo started serving as Wichita State's president.
"There's nets from some of the (men's basketball) games and photos from the locker room when we would get to go in after the game," Davis says. "Very sad to say I can't continue the ceiling on. There will be a blank space, just like there's a blank space in our family."
It was Davis' idea for Dr. Bardo's funeral procession to move through the Wichita State campus. She says whenever she looks at the campus, she'll always think of her brother-in-law.
Monday's procession for Dr. Bardo's funeral is expected to happen between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. It will include university police vehicles. The motorcade will pause at least five times while passing through campus.
A celebration of Dr. Bardo's life will happen on campus later this spring.