Marshallville legacy continues; founder and president graduates

Three years.

Three years since senior Max Runyon founded Marshallville, an area that sits just outside Charles Koch Area where Shocker fans gather and celebrate Shocker nation.  

In the summer before his sophomore year, Runyon had an idea — Wichita State needed a place to celebrate Shocker nation and those who bleed black and yellow.

And in 2013, Marshallville was created.

Three years as founder and president and what Runyon will miss the most, he said, is the people.

“You meet so many people when you run the campouts and it’s a great opportunity to make connections,” he said. “There are so many Wichita State students you may not have met if you weren’t in that opportunity.”

When he graduates in May, he hopes for an internship in marketing, promotions or public relations and credits Marshallville for the skills he has garnered.

“Marshallville has been a great experience for those industries, so hopefully I can do something along those lines after college,” he said.

As he completes his final semester at Wichita State, Runyon hands off the direction of Marshallville to his vice president, Sam Belsan.

“Sam’s phenomenal, he’s been there since the first few months it started,” he said. “He’s one of the most experienced people I know, dealing with the logistics and the day to day aspects of Marshallville.”

Belsan, a junior majoring in human resource management and secondary education in social studies and government, said he plans to expand Marshallville by building awareness of what it is.

“We want to highlight our athletic events, in not only men’s basketball games, but (women’s) basketball games, baseball games … and really personify the essence of being a student at Wichita State.” he said.

Belsan has been involved with Marshallville since the beginning and said a Marshallville without Runyon will be a dynamic shift.

“I’m definitely rethinking my role in it and making sure I can fill the shoes he has set in place and really meet the needs of our group, as he has met them,” he said.

Runyon does not have plans to be involved after he leaves Marshallville, but said he and Belsan have discussed the possibility of him becoming a mentor to the group.

“I am really trying to leave it open to them and give them the opportunity to let it grow on its own,” he said.

“I have had three amazing years with Marshallville, but it’s time,” he said. “It was a great run and I wouldn’t take back a minute of it. You kind of know when your time has come — and I think my has come.”