Civic leaders will be honored for public service at Opening Convocation ceremonies marking the beginning of a new school year at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, September 8 in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the William Jewell College campus in Liberty, Mo. The program includes Jewell faculty members in full academic regalia. Alumni and friends of the College are invited to attend the ceremonies free of charge.
This year’s convocation celebrates the 30th anniversary of the awarding of the William F. Yates Trustee Medallion for Distinguished Service. The recipients for 2010 are R.C. Crosby Kemper, III, Chief Executive of the Kansas City Public Library; Dr. William B. Neaves, President Emeritus of the Stowers Institute; and Roshann Parris, President and CEO of Parris Communications Inc. Special guest artist is the internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who will offer a musical tribute in memory of Richard Harriman, co-founder and artistic director of the Harriman-Jewell Series. Harriman died July 15.
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. Many Yates Medalists from past years will be in attendance. President David Sallee will offer the remarks for the ceremony.
Yates Medallion recipients for 2010:
R.C. Crosby Kemper, III, is Chief Executive of the Kansas City Public Library. He served as the chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a. He has also served in other senior positions with UMB Bank in St. Louis and Kansas City, as the executive director of the British Institute of the United States in New York, and as an English instructor at the University of Sichuan in Chengdu, China. He was appointed by Gov. Bob Holden to chair the blue-ribbon Citizens Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Missouri. He also founded successful, free, outdoor Shakespeare festivals in Kansas City and St. Louis. He is vice chairman of the Truman Presidential Library and Institute Board of Directors. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Kansas City Symphony and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private, nonprofit corporation that has owned and operated Monticello since 1923. He has also served on the boards of the Jefferson National Park Association, Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and Webster University in St. Louis. He edited the book Winston Churchill: Resolution, Defiance, Magnanimity. Kemper received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University.
Dr. William B. Neaves became President Emeritus of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City in July 2010. He joined the Stowers Institute in June 2000 and served as President and Chief Executive Officer through June 2009 and as Chief Executive Officer through June 2010. From 1972 until joining the Stowers Institute, he held various positions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, including Professor of Cell Biology, holder of the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science, Dean of Southwestern Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Dean of Southwestern Medical School, and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. He received an A.B. magna cum laude with highest honors in Biology from Harvard College in 1966 and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from Harvard University in December 1969. Dr. Neaves currently serves as a member of the Boards of Directors of Stowers Resource Management, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, BioMed Valley Corporation, and BioMed Valley Discoveries; professor in the School of Medicine of the University of Missouri at Kansas City; member of the National Council of the Washington University School of Medicine; member of the Board of Trustees of Washington University; and member of the Board of Directors of Cerner Corporation.
Roshann Parris is President and CEO of Parris Communications Inc., a Kansas City-based public relations and strategic communications firm. Now in its 22nd year, the firm maintains a vigorous focus on strategic corporate communications, media relations and crisis communications. She began her career in the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. in the late ’70s, where she served for five years as a legislative aide to the senior senator from her home state of Kentucky. Since that time, while serving clients throughout Greater Kansas City, she has managed dual roles in the Clinton and Obama White House and on eight presidential campaign staffs. As a Lead International Advanceperson for President and Mrs. Clinton, she led White House teams to over 50 countries worldwide in support of the President and First Lady’s travel. In the summer of 2008, she led a team to Europe to coordinate then-Senator Barack Obama’s first overseas trip. Since that time, she has served the White House in several capacities, including coordination of the President and First Lady’s visits to the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, France and Baden-Baden, Germany and Moscow, Russia. She is the recipient of the 1999 Kansas City Spirit Award, the 2003 Central Exchange Woman of the Year Award, and the 2005 Chamber of Commerce Athena Award. Her firm was named as the 2003 Kansas City Small Business Philanthropist of the Year, and in 2007 and 2008, was named Kansas City’s #1 Small Business “Best Place to Work” by the Kansas City Business Journal. She is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and an honors graduate of Indiana University and the University of Kansas.
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.