Reflections on the Jewell Journey
William Jewell College observed the accomplishments of alumni in a wide variety of fields with its 64th Annual Celebration of Achievement March 5-7, with events held both on the campus and at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City.
A record-setting turnout of more than 700 people joined faculty, students, alumni and friends of the college for the Achievement Day dinner in Kansas City. Donald and Adele Hall served as Honorary Chairmen for the event, with Jewell trustee and community leader Martha Comment taking on the role of Event Chair.
In the midst of a hotly contested presidential campaign season, internationally recognized historian and author Michael Beschloss shared insights on “Defining Presidential Courage.”
At the Achievement Day convocation, honorees reflected on their various paths to achievement and offered advice to a new generation of leaders at William Jewell. On the following pages are brief biographical sketches of the 2008 Achievement Day honorees, along with some individual thoughts about their personal and professional journeys.
Carolyn Edison, R.N., Ed.D., P.N.P. ’74
Then: Nursing major
Now: Advanced Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (retired)
Children’s Mercy Hospital
Kansas City, Missouri
Carolyn Edison served as an advanced pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She also held faculty appointments at the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the School of Nursing at the University of Kansas. She served as associate professor in the Department of Nursing at William Jewell College. She was also the owner and president of Family Health Care, Inc. She created the first private nursing practice in the country. Carolyn was a graduate of the first nursing class at William Jewell in 1974. She also received a B.A. in communications from Baylor University; an M.S. in education from Troy State University; and an M.N. and doctorate in education from the University of Kansas.
Reflections on Achievement:
“All of my work since leaving William Jewell College has been a direct result of the vision of nursing faculty in the first nursing class to graduate in 1974. Faculty members like Dr. Jeanne Johnson and Dr. Ruth Edwards are a part of the lives of the 817 nurses who have graduated from the Jewell program. I have witnessed the evolution of nursing from the role of handmaiden to a respected profession. I have lived through the women’s movement and the civil rights movement, and now we have both a woman and an African American as candidates for president of the United States. I think that’s awesome. To students I would say, ‘Keep your hand on the plow, and move on.’”
Douglas Enderle ’78
Then: Communication major,
Alpha Psi Omega
Now: Senior Costume Designer for Walt Disney
Entertainment, Costuming and Cosmetology
Douglas Enderle has been a “cast member” with Walt Disney Entertainment,
Costuming and Cosmetology since 1982. In his role as a Senior Costume
Designer, he has created designs that bring iconic childhood figures to life for a wide variety of venues worldwide. Highlights of his work are designs for Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, where his creations are on daily display. Douglas received a 1992 Emmy for his costumes for the ABC telecast of the “Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade.” He earned a B.A. in communication and the Missouri Certificate of Secondary Education from William Jewell in 1978. He was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Theater Design and Technology with an emphasis in Costume Design from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1981.
Reflections on Achievement:
“Learn to discover and exceed your own and all others’ expectations, and charitably share of yourself through actions and knowledge. I cannot say that I wake each morning professing to meet these goals. Yet somehow they have become a part of my core values. My occupation allows me to live by them and my job promotes them in action. All of these, in symbiosis, have culminated in a career where bits of cloth, a wild imagination, and some ‘artistic talent’ have created colorful visuals at their least, and at their best, a simple smile.”
James Rucker ’77
Then: Business major
Now: Chairman and CEO
Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company
James Rucker has served as Chairman and CEO of
Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2005. From 1994 to 2005, he served as Executive Vice President and Retail Division Manager for Commerce Bancshares, Kansas City. In this capacity, he was responsible for a business line comprising $500 million in loans and $2.1 billion in deposits, including 57 branches with 516 employees. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Commerce Bank of Clay and Platte County and as Senior Vice President with Boatmen’s Bancshares, where he was responsible for all aspects of banking, including retail, commercial and operations. He received a Bachelor of Science in business administration-economics from William Jewell in 1977 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Banking in 1983.
Reflections on Achievement:
“There are only a few things in life that you can control; maintaining a positive attitude is one of them. The power of a positive attitude cannot be overstated. I would encourage you to find something that is inspirational to you, and to read or look at it often. Find a mentor—someone you can trust and rely on. Apply the Golden Rule, and treat others as you would like to be treated. When you look back on the day’s events, think about the positives, and don’t dwell on the negatives. Whatever you decide to do, stick with it. It will pay off.”
William Edward Sharp, III ’62
Then: Physics and mathematics major
Kappa Alpha Order, Sigma Pi Sigma,
Kappu Mu Epsilon
Now: Chief Technologist and Engineering Manager
for the Space Systems Division,
ITT Corporation (retired)
Fort Wayne, Indiana
William Sharp served as Chief Technologist and Engineering Manager for the Space Systems Division of ITT Corporation. He managed a team of 22 system engineers who provided technical leadership for Business Development Advanced Programs proposals, assessing state-of-the-art technology that could be exploited for space instruments. From 1977 to1997, he served as research scientist and project director for the University of Michigan, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science. His historic accomplishment was conducting the first successful measurements of the composition and temperature necessary to understand oxygen-hydrogen chemistry in the upper atmosphere. He received a B.S. in mathematics and physics from William Jewell in 1962; an M.S. in physics from the University of New Hampshire; and a Ph.D. in astro-geophysics from the University of Colorado.
Reflections on Achievement:
“Any success and achievement I have had comes from having stood on the shoulders of giants who were models, mentors and friends for me in all aspects of life. For my parents, William Jewell was an important part of their lives and a place where they matured and developed their skills and servant’s hearts. Through their words and actions my siblings and I learned important lessons of life: treat all people with dignity; love and serve God with devotion; do a job well; stand by your commitments; enjoy the
opportunities of life that come
along and be adventuresome.”
Speaker Michael Beschloss:Defining Presidential Courage
In remarks on campus and at the Achievement Day dinner, historian and author Michael Beschloss noted the difference between evaluating presidents from a historical perspective as opposed to observing their actions in “real time.”
“Presidents look different 30 years later,” he said. “We have a lot more information about them, and many times their colleagues are more candid.” He used Missouri’s favorite son Harry Truman as an example of a president who has been viewed more charitably through the prism of time than by his contemporaries. Beschloss urged audience members when making their choices on Election Day 2008 to consider one overriding factor: “Is there evidence that the candidate feels strongly enough about an issue to sacrifice their career for it?” He noted that Lincoln stood firm on the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, and that Lyndon Johnson was a strong advocate for civil rights a century later. “Not every presidential candidate will be an Abraham Lincoln,” Beschloss said. “But it’s worth considering whether they would rather be defeated and stand for something, or make concessions and win the election.”