MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The president of Kansas State University has started a tradition of giving special coins to members of the school community as a token of appreciation.

The Manhattan Mercury reports that the K-State Coin features a purple Powercat and President Richard Myers' name on one side, with the university seal on the other.

Myers says the tradition in inspired from his time in the U.S. military. He says he liked the idea of military members receiving coins from commanding officers as a token of gratitude.

Myers says he awards a coin if someone's efforts go "above and beyond."

The president estimates he's handed out about 50 coins to faculty, staff and students at the university.

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Information from: The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, http://www.themercury.com