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J. Eric Engstrom

J. Eric EngstromKansas Historical Foundation
Board of Directors
Elected to board: 1982
Elected to executive committee: 1982
President: 1988-1989

J. Eric Engstrom was born in Wichita. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College in 1965. He was a recognized student of Balliol College, University of Oxford, from 1965 to 1966. He earned a master’s degree in history from Wichita State University in 1966. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School in 1969. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves and served during the Vietnam War; a captain, he earned two bronze stars.

After returning from service he was an associate with a large New York firm. He has been an attorney and partner with Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch, LLC, in Wichita for more than 34 years. There he has specialized in corporate and transactional work. He has lectured to many bar groups on commercial law, bankruptcy, non-profit entities, and art law subjects.

He is a member of the American, Kansas, and Wichita Bar Associations; served as board member and chair of the Legal Aid Society of Wichita; and vice president and director of the Wichita Bar Association. He was appointed by five Kansas governors to the state’s Historic Sites Board of Review, which approves nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, where he was chairman for much of that time. He is advisor emeritus for the National Trust for Historic Preservation; a governor-appointed member of the Kansas Eisenhower Commission and the Capitol Area Plaza Authority;  and a member of the Kansas Commemorative Coin Design Commission and co-chair the design selection subcommittee.

He received the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in 1994 and an award from the Kansas Preservation Alliance on whose board he has also served. Engstrom authored two books and numerous articles on numismatics. In 1975 President Gerald Ford appointed him to the U. S. Assay Commission, which supervised components for the U.S. Mint to ensure they met specifications.

Engstrom was first elected to the Kansas Historical Foundation Board of Directors in 1982. He served many years on the executive committee, as chair, and as president in 1988.