Jewell named Kindest School


William Jewell College and Alumnus Bill Snyder are among the Honorary Stars for Synergy Services' 30th Annual Kindest Kansas Citian Awards. Synergy selected 20 recipients—teachers, students and volunteers—who serve, give and demonstrate kindness in order to better the community. The "Celebration of Our Superheroes" event was a live, virtual ceremony on Aug. 8.

Synergy named William Jewell the "Kindest School," citing its pioneering work to provide engaged learning opportunities for students working toward careers in civic and social leadership. Synergy specifically cited the Pryor Leadership Studies Program, founded in 1993, which guides students on how to serve and enhance the lives of vulnerable populations throughout Kansas City with its Pryor Legacy Projects. Service is a collegewide value, with more students and staff contributing more than 50,000 service hours each year throughout the region and across the globe.

"To be recognized with other benevolent and compassionate institutions and individuals is truly humbling and inspiring," said Kevin Shaffstall, Jewell's director of the Pryor Leadership Studies Program. "The Kindest School Award is Kansas City’s Top Honor for Servant Leadership, and to be a recipient for us as a college represents actualization of our college mission to live meaningful lives, act with purpose, and be critical thinkers and engaged citizens who are kind in thought and deed. This achievement wouldn’t be possible without the service, example and dedication of the William Jewell trustees, administration, faculty, staff and students, especially those members of the Pryor Leadership Fellows and the entire Pryor Family. Receiving this commendation reminds us of the work still to be done and the immense opportunity in front of us to make the world a kinder and more inclusive place."

Another top honor went to Jewell alumnus and retired collegiate football coach Bill Snyder, Class of 1962, as a catalyst for growth, kindness and community engagement. The "Kindest Kansas Citian" serves in numerous local organizations and foundations, and his life's work has centered around mentoring young men.