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Distinguished Alumni

Our graduates' careers demonstrate the endless possibilities of a degree in the liberal arts and sciences. To recognize the most significant among our alumni's many achievements, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences honors a few select graduates each year with the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. It is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni of the College.

The award recognizes our graduates' outstanding contributions to KU, their professions or their communities in a wide range of disciplines, including the arts, public service, business, academia and more.

2015-2016

Anne Levinson
Judge, civic leader
Judge Anne Levinson is known for her work on women’s equity in athletics at KU as well as her career as a public official, judge, WNBA team owner, civic leader and advocate for social justice.

Brad Garlinghouse
Tech executive
Garlinghouse has held senior positions at some of the nation’s most well-known tech companies, including AOL and Yahoo.

Dan Rooney
Philanthropist
Major Dan Rooney is a retired fighter pilot, professional golfer, and founder of Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to family members of soldiers killed or disabled in combat.


2014-15

Edgar Heap of Bigs
Multidisciplinary artist
1976

Sharon Lee
Physician
1974

William Fisher
Geology professor
1958, 1961

2012-13

B. Lynn Pascoe
Diplomat
1964

Charles Boyd
Retired four-star general of the U.S. Air Force
1975, 1976

Chris Martin
Visual effects
2003

John Gurche
Paleo-artist
1974, 1979

Rosemari Truglio
Sesame Workshop executive
1986, 1990

2011-12

Juan Manuel Santos
President of the Republic of Colombia
1973

Marla Prather
Art Curator
1978, 1981

Marla Spivak
Entomology researcher
1989

Robert Kipp
Civic Leader
1956

2010-11

Cynthia Carroll
Business executive
1982

Mark Amin
Film producer
1972

Vernon L. Smith
Economist
1954

Wes Jackson
Environmentalist
1960

2009-10

Ann Hamilton
Visual artist
1979

George William James
Baseball statistician
1973, 1975

Kathleen Sebelius
Former governor of Kansas
1980

Steve Mills
Television producer
1951

2008-09

Deanell Reece Tacha
Federal judge

Jacqueline Z. Davis
Performing arts executive

Robert Hill
Biochemistry researcher

Sheila Bair
Economist

2007-08

George Sheldon
Surgeon
1957, 1961

James Gunn
Science fiction author
1947, 1951

Mary Dawson
Paleontologist
1957

Thomas Rudkin
PowerPoint software engineer
1973

2006-07

B.H. "Pete" Fairchild
Poet

Randy Scott
Biotechnology inventor

Rosemary O'Leary
Public management and policy researcher

Steven Hawley
Astronaut
1973

Thomas G. Burish
Provost
1975, 1976

2005-06

Charley Oswald
Businessman

David M. Hillis
Molecular systematics researcher
1983, 1984,1985

Sally Hoglund
Public service advocate

Sara Paretsky
Crime fiction author

2004-05

Elizabeth Broun
Art museum director
1968, 1969, 1976

Gary Sick
Middle East affairs analyst
1957

Irving Johnson (1925-2014)
Pharmaceutical researcher
1953

Mike Robe
Television writer-director-producer
1966, 1968

2003-04

Douglas D. Heckathorn
Sociology researcher
1969, 1972, 1974

Edward F. Reilly Jr.
Chairman of the United States Parole Commission
1961

Paul S. Keim
Infectious disease researcher
1981

Terrence D. Jones
Performing arts executive
1970, 1972

2002-03

Jill Docking
Financial executive
1978, 1984

Paul R. Ehrlich
Biology researcher
1955, 1957

2001-02

Jill Quadagno
Gerontology scholar

2000-01

Fred N. Six
Kansas Supreme Court Justice
1951, 1956

1999-2000

James E. Hesser
Astronomy researcher
1963

1998-99

Martha Peterson
Higher education administrator
1937

1997-98

Arthur F. McClure II
Historian
1966

1996-97

Clyde W. Toland
Attorney
1969, 1975

Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker
Senator
1954


Contact

Jessica Beeson
Director of Alumni & Community Engagement
eliasb@ku.edu
785-864-1767

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