June 28, 2004

Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

Statements by chancellor, colleague on death of Professor Nona Tollefson

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Sherry Borgers, professor of psychology and research in education, made the following statements today in response to the death of Nona Tollefson, professor of psychology and research in education.

Tollefson, who died Saturday at the age of 67 after a short illness, joined the KU faculty in 1967 as a lecturer in educational psychology and research. She became a professor in 1984 and served as chair of the department from 1987 to 1995. She received the Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 1981 and was named to the Kansas Women's Hall of Fame by the Commission on the Status of Women at KU in 1986. She received an Outstanding Educator Award from Unified School District 497 in Lawrence in 1987 and the School of Education Budig Teaching Award in 2000. Her research focused on measurement issues, teacher education and programs in urban schools.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway:

"Nona Tollefson was admired and honored by students and faculty at KU. Because she was deeply committed to improving public education for all students through her research, school administrators in Kansas looked to her for assistance with a variety of projects in public schools. She was a role model for all who are passionate about giving the gift of knowledge and education, and she spent her life looking for ways to make our education system and our educators more effective. On behalf of the university, I would like to extend our condolences to her family and friends. She will be missed."

Sherry Borgers, professor of psychology and research in education:

"Nona Tollefson was an outstanding professor and mentor. Students respected and admired her for her knowledge, her ability to communicate material in an understandable manner, her concern for them as individuals, her sense of humor and her willingness to mentor them as researchers and educators. Nona will be remembered for her many contributions to the mission of the School of Education and the University of Kansas. She is remembered with respect and affection by her colleagues, her students, and educators both locally and nationally."

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