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'Flags of Our Fathers' author to speak at Jewell
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
January 8, 2010

William Jewell College honors distinguished alumni who have made significant contributions in their respective fields at its annual Celebration of Achievement March 4.

Special guest speaker for the 66th annual Achievement Day dinner is James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and the current The Imperial Cruise. Bradley will offer the Achievement Day address at a 7:30 p.m. dinner March 4 at Kansas City’s Westin Crown Center Hotel, 1 East Pershing Road.

General admission price for the dinner is $150 per person; ambassador-level admission is $250 per person, with various sponsorship opportunities available. For information about reservations and the event, visit www.achievementday.net or call Susan Tideman at 816-415-7550 ortidemans AT william.jewell DOT edu

“Achievement Day provides a celebration of William Jewell College’s proud liberal arts tradition of preparing leaders for the Kansas City community and the world beyond,” said Dr. David Sallee, president of the College. “Our distinguished alumni bring leadership to a variety of career paths, and this event allows us to reflect upon that leadership.” The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Jewell Fund, which provides need-based student scholarships.

Alumni honorees will be saluted at a pre-dinner reception beginning at 6 p.m. Jonathan and Nancy Lee Kemper are serving as Honorary Chairmen for the event, and Debbie Smith is Event Chairman for the Celebration of Achievement. The Achievement Day honorees will also be recognized at an on-campus convocation at 10:15 a.m. March 5 in John Gano Memorial Chapel in Liberty. The public is invited to attend the convocation free of charge; tickets or reservations are not required. As part of the event’s 66-year tradition, honorees meet formally and informally with students to discuss their individual paths to achievement.

Achievement Day speaker James Bradley is the celebrated author of the number-one New York Times best-seller Flags of Our Fathers, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed film directed by Clint Eastwood. The book is the true story of the six men, including Bradley’s father, who raised the flag in 1945 on Iwo Jima, an image made iconic in one of the most reproduced photographs in history. Flags of Our Fathers exemplifies the power of doing the impossible and the achievement of incredible goals.
Bradley’s writing offers a testament to the men and women who do the “impossible” every day. He salutes those who believe in making a difference and creating success. In his speaking engagements, Bradley uses stories and examples to help audiences understand what they can do to engage in the impossible.

The best-selling author is also a respected scholar of World War II, and in particular of events in the Pacific theater. In addition to Flags of Our Fathers, he has published the best-seller Flyboys, as well as the current best-seller The Imperial Cruise, an in-depth exploration of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy. Bradley also has written and produced corporate films and has lived and worked in more than 40 countries. He is president of the James Bradley Peace Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering understanding between America and Asia.

The 2010 Achievement Day honorees are:

Daniel Belcher ’92, baritone and internationally acclaimed opera performer
Belcher is a world-renowned opera performer who has appeared with New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. His portrayal of John Brooke in Adamo’s Little Women was telecast nationwide as part of the PBS series “Great Performances” and was recorded and released on the Ondine label. He recently recorded Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin with Harmonia Mundi, conducted by Kent Nagano. The critically acclaimed recording received the Diapason d'Or award from Diapason Magazine for October 2009. In the 2009-10 season, he appeared as Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and will appear as Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri with Utah Symphony & Opera, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Portland Opera and will return to Houston Grand Opera and also debut with Opera Colorado in future seasons. Belcher received his master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music.

M. Susan Chambers ’90, Executive Vice President, Global People Division, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Chambers received her degree in systems and data processing. She has been named to Fortune magazine’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women.” With over 20 years of experience in the manufacturing and retailing industries, Chambers currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Global People Division for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In that role, she is responsible for managing, attracting and retaining the nation’s largest private workforce. Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Chambers worked for 14 years with Hallmark Cards Inc. She was the director of applications development at Hallmark before beginning her career at Wal-Mart in 1999. Chambers trained for six months in the field as a store and club manager before accepting senior positions across multiple corporate functions at Wal-Mart, starting in the information systems division. She served as a Vice President for Applications and Development-Merchandising and then as a Senior Vice President, Risk and Benefits. She was then promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of Risk Management and Benefits Administration, with additional responsibilities in Global Security and Aviation. In 2006, Chambers was promoted to her current position as Executive Vice President of the Global People Division. Chambers oversees recruiting, training and retention initiatives for more than two million Wal-Mart associates worldwide.

Karen Edison ’85, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Dermatology, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine
Dr. Edison joined the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine in 2001 and was named Chair of the Dermatology Department in 2003. In 2002, she co-founded the Center of Health Policy, with a goal of improving access to quality, affordable health care for all Missourians. She served as a physician at Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Mo., where she was named Staff Physician of the Year in 1998. She has also served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, assigned to the office of Senator James Jeffords (R-Vermont). Dr. Edison earned her M.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, graduating cum laude in 1989. She served her internship and residency at the University of Missouri’s Internal Medicine department.

Dr. Hiley Ward ’51 (posthumously), author and former Department Chair and Professor of Journalism, Temple University
An award-winning author and journalist, Dr. Ward served as professor of journalism and department chair at Temple University. As a practicing journalist, he was a member of the Detroit Free Press staff that shared his profession’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize. His investigative reporting sought to shine a light on institutional misuse of funds. He was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American Journalism Historians Association, an award recognizing his excellence and sustained achievement in journalism history through teaching, research and professional activities. He was the author of 17 books covering subjects such as religion, professional news writing, reporting and media history. During his career, he covered seven overseas reporting assignments, including all sessions of the Vatican Council at Vatican City for Knight-Ridder Newspapers. He served as editor of Media History Digest from 1979 to 1994 and as editor of Editor and Publisher from 1989 to 1998. Dr. Ward served as president of the Religion Newswriters Association. He received his master’s degree in Greek from Berkeley Baptist Divinity School; a master’s in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary; and a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

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