School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Four accomplished alumni honored
What do a world-renowned scientist, a philanthropic champion, a nationally recognized author and a successful CEO have in common? All were honored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with an Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award this spring. The awards are the highest honor bestowed by the College on alumni and recognize their contributions to their communities, professions or KU.
"This prestigious group exemplifies for our students the tremendous success that can be built upon a high-quality liberal arts education from KU," said Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the college. "The diversity of professions and accomplishments of this year's recipients reflect the broad knowledge available within the college."
Recipients are David Hillis, g'83, g'86, PhD'86, Austin, Texas; Sally S. Hoglund, c'56, Dallas; Sara Paretsky, c'67, Chicago; and Charley Oswald, c'51, Edina, Minn. Awards were presented April 21.
David M. Hillis, considered by many the world leader in the area of molecular systematics, was recognized by the College for his academic accomplishments. Hillis earned three KU degrees in biological sciences: a master of arts in 1983; a master of philosophy with honors in 1986 and a doctorate with honors in 1986. He has spearheaded the promotion and popularized the use of DNA sequence data in discovering the ancestry of organisms and is one of the most cited scientists in the world. Hillis is the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor at the University of Texas-Austin.
Sally Hoglund, who graduated from KU with a degree in political science in 1956, was recognized for her extensive public service and philanthropic work. She is a board member for several organizations in Texas, including the Alzheimer's Association, the Texas Children's Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the Arthritis Foundation and the Easter Seal Society. She was a chair of the inaugural event for the Hiett Prize in the Humanities and is a member of the national advisory board. Hoglund is co-chair of the advisory board for the Women Philanthropists for KU and a member of the Jayhawk Society, Chancellors Club, Elizabeth Watkins Society and Williams Educational Fund.
Sara Paretsky, who graduated from KU with a political science degree in 1967, is being recognized for her outstanding advancement in the arts. In 1986, she helped found Sisters in Crime, which assists female mystery writers by combating discrimination, raising awareness of their contributions and offering guidance during the publishing process. In 2001, Paretsky created the Sara and Two C-Dogs foundation, which supports women in the arts, letters and sciences. Paretsky has written 12 novels, multiple short stories and essays and is the recipient of numerous writing awards. She is best known for her V.I. Warshawski series.
Charley Oswald, who graduated with a degree in economics in 1951, is being recognized for his success in private business. Oswald spent the major part of his career, from 1970 to 1994, guiding the development of National Computer Systems Inc. (now NCS Pearson) while serving as chairman and CEO. The company is the largest commercial processor of student assessment tests and the largest provider of data tracking software for U.S. elementary and secondary schools. Since then, Oswald has served as founder and chairman of Rotherwood Ventures, LLC.
The Alumni Distinguished Achievement Awards are presented annually to select graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Nominees must have graduated from the College a minimum of 10 years ago. The awards recognize excellence in many different areas, including but not limited to, the arts, public service, business and academia. More information and nomination forms are available at www.clas.ku.edu.