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Jewell welcomes students, honors civic leaders at Opening Convocation September 7
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
August 18, 2011

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James will address Opening Convocation ceremonies at 10:15 a.m. September 7 in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the William Jewell College campus in Liberty, Mo. Civic leaders will be honored for public service at formal ceremonies marking the beginning of the new school year. The program includes a procession with Jewell faculty members in full academic regalia. Alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend the ceremonies free of charge.

Receiving the William F. Yates Trustee Medallion for Distinguished Service this year are Thomas M. Hoenig, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Carl Schramm, president and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The William F. Yates Trustee Medallion for Distinguished Service is named for a William Jewell College graduate of the class of 1898, a longtime member of the Board of Trustees and major benefactor to the College. The first Yates Medallions were awarded in 1980, and the list of recipients includes a “Who’s Who” of Kansas City leaders. Yates Medalists from past years are expected to be in attendance.

Yates Medallion recipients for 2011:
Thomas M. Hoenig is president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He assumed the role of president on October 1, 1991. He is the longest serving of the 12 current regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents and is also the longest-tenured member of the system’s Federal Open Market Committee, which has authority over U.S. monetary policy. Hoenig joined the Bank in 1973 and was the Bank’s senior officer in banking supervision during one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of the region’s financial institutions, the banking crisis of the 1980s. At that time, he was involved with nearly 350 banks that either failed or received assistance. During the recent financial crisis and its aftermath he has been especially vocal about the regulation of the financial industry, the need for addressing so-called “too big to fail” institutions and the role of monetary policy. He has also spoken frequently about the importance of community banks, the Federal Reserve’s role in community bank and bank holding company supervision and the value of the Federal Reserve’s decentralized structure. Hoenig will retire as president on Oct. 1 under the Federal Reserve’s mandatory retirement rules. He directs Federal Reserve activities in the Tenth Federal Reserve District, an area that includes Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, the northern half of New Mexico and the western third of Missouri.

Carl Schramm is president and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s premier organization dedicated to creating new firms and understanding the role they play in economic growth. The Kauffman Foundation is the leading private funder of economic research related to growth and innovation in the United States. The Foundation also plays a leading role in educational reform. Schramm is credited with opening a new field of inquiry known as expeditionary economics. His essay in Foreign Affairs (April 2010) describes this emerging area of economic thought, which focuses on rebuilding economies in post-conflict nations, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Schramm’s research on how entrepreneurship fuels economic expansion led him to play a prominent role in the December 2009 White House jobs summit. Schramm chaired the National Advisory Commission on Measuring Innovation during George W. Bush’s presidency. In addition, he has advised government leaders worldwide on promoting job growth and economic expansion. In 2009, he was appointed by the Prime Minister of Singapore to serve on the country’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council. Before joining Kauffman, Schramm served as a professor of health finance and policy at The Johns Hopkins University, founded several companies in health care finance and information technology, served as executive vice president of Fortis and established a merchant banking firm. He earned degrees in economics and law and holds several honorary doctorates.

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James will offer remarks at the Opening Convocation ceremonies. Sly James was elected mayor of Kansas City on March 22, 2011, and sworn in on May 1, 2011. Born and raised in Kansas City, James attended Bishop Hogan High School in Kansas City. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and served as a military police officer for four years in California, the Philippines and Japan, receiving an honorable discharge in 1975. When his service ended, James returned home to Kansas City and graduated cum laude from Rockhurst College before earning his law degree, also cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1983. During his 26-year legal career, he developed a proven record of success as a leader, an effective coalition builder and a fierce advocate. He joined Blackwell, Sanders, Matheny, Weary & Lombardi in 1983 and became the first African-American partner in the firm’s history in 1990. In 2002, he started his own successful small business, The Sly James Firm, where he works with victims to seek justice and positive outcomes to disputes. In 1992, the Missouri Supreme Court appointed James to the Missouri Board of Law Examiners. Between 1992 and 2002, he was a member secretary, and later the president of the board. He was president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) in 2003, director of the Kansas City Bar Foundation and vice president of the Public Interest Litigation Clinic. James was formerly the vice-president of the board of directors of Legal Aid of Western Missouri and treasurer of the Jackson County Bar Association. In 2003, while president of the KCMBA, he established the Diversity Initiative with 26 managing partners of the largest law firms in the city. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association.

William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of more than two million.

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