The William Jewell College school year will ceremonially kick off with honors, awards and an address by new President Dr. Elizabeth MacLeod Walls.
The Opening Convocation ceremony will be held at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 9 at John Gano Memorial Chapel.
The ceremony will include the recognition of two people with the William F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service, the highest non-degree award the college bestows. Past honorees include Luciano Pavarotti, Emanuel Cleaver II, “Buck” O’Neil and Ewing and Muriel Kauffman.
This year’s recipients are Judge Fernando J. Gaitan Jr., and Sarah Fidler Rowland. Gaitan is the first African-American appointee to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, former chief judge and current senior judge, and has served on community boards such as the Kansas City Science Museum, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees, the De La Salle Alternative School and St. Luke’s Hospital. Rowland, chair of Lead Bank, has interests in the arts, literature and historic preservation. She has served on the boards of the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Kansas City Landmarks Commission and the American Royal Association, including 20 years as chair of the United Professional Horseman’s Association-American Royal Horse Show.
Students Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe and Clayton Mansel will be named Yates Scholars for their scholastic achievements. Arthurs-Schoppe, a chemistry and Oxbridge History of Ideas first-year student, graduated early from the New Zealand high school system, studying the International Baccalaureate in Israel for two years. Mansel, an Oxbridge Molecular Biology first-year student, was a drum major at Republic (Mo.) High School, where he served on the National Honors Society leadership team. Mansel also serves as chapter leader for e-NABLE, a global volunteer organization using 3-D printing to provide prosthetic hands to children for free.
Both the Yates Medals and the Yates Scholars are named after William F. Yates, an 1898 Jewell alumnus, longtime trustee and major benefactor to the university.