Ballard, Shumaker awarded honorary doctorates


During Jewell’s commencement ceremony on May 18, two Kansas City servants were presented honorary doctorates. Among the highest honors bestowed by a college, this recognition is reserved for individuals who distinguish themselves through professional contributions or volunteer service, who uphold the mission and values of William Jewell and who help further the College’s objectives through service.

  • Dianne Shumaker, ’66, has devoted most of her professional life to volunteerism, including serving on the boards of the Center for Practical Bioethics, Saint Paul School of Theology and Crittenden Children’s Center. She and her family foundation support social and environmental justice, including education, and assist those facing an unlevel playing field due to race, nationality, class, disability, and political and gender discrimination. She has helped hundreds of ministries and educational, environmental and social justice projects. She served on the Jewell Board of Trustees for nine years and facilitated campus efforts in justice and sustainability, as well as inclusive initiatives for diversifying the student population.
  • Debby Ballard is the director of community affairs at Sprint and is also the president of the Sprint Foundation. In her 34 years with Sprint, her efforts have led to millions of dollars invested in positive programming in K-12 education, youth development, arts and culture, community and civic infrastructure, and disaster relief. Her current and past service on regional and national organizations and committees includes CTIA Wireless Foundation, Alvin Alley American Dance Theater, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, University of Missouri Board of Trustees, Jackson County Links, Inc., Friends of the Zoo, Central Exchange, Truman Medical Center Foundation and Community Foundation of Johnson County.