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KU News Release

Dec. 27, 2005
Contact: Courtney Grams, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (785) 864-3663.

KU college honors Paretsky, Oswald with awards for distinguished achievement

LAWRENCE -- The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas has announced two additional recipients of the prestigious Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award to be presented in 2006.

The latest recipients – Charley Oswald of Edina, Minn., and Sara Paretsky of Chicago – will be honored during a banquet at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics on KU's west campus in April. They join recipients Sally S. Hoglund of Dallas and David Hillis of Austin, Texas, whose awards were announced earlier this month.

This award is the highest honor bestowed on alumni by the college in recognition of their contributions to their communities, professions or KU.

Paretsky, a 1967 political science graduate, is being recognized for her outstanding advancement of the arts. In 1986, she helped create Sisters in Crime, which assists female mystery writers by combating discrimination, raising awareness of their contributions and offering guidance during the publishing process. In 1987, Paretsky was voted Ms. Magazine's Woman of the Year for her efforts. In 2001, Paretsky created the Sara and Two C-Dogs foundation, which supports women in the arts, letters and sciences.

In 1988, Paretsky was inducted into the Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center Women's Hall of Fame at KU. She is the namesake and sponsor for the Sara Paretsky Scholarship and is also responsible for the Sara and Mary Edwards Paretsky Award for Creativity.

Paretsky has written 12 novels, multiple short stories and essays and is the recipient of numerous writing awards. She was recently presented with the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement as a Crime Writer by the British Crime Writers Association. The Dagger was awarded as a result of Paretsky's successful detective fiction novels about private investigator V.I. Warshawski, which are published in 25 countries. Paretsky received her doctoral degree in history as well as her master's in business administration from the University of Chicago. She also has honorary degrees from Columbia College, Elmhurst College, MacMurray College and DePaul University. In 1996, she was presented with the Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contribution to Midwest Literature.

Oswald, a 1951 economics graduate, is being acknowledged for his success in private business. A native of Hutchinson, Oswald served for two years in the U.S. Marines before attending KU in 1948. As a Summerfield Scholar, Oswald graduated Phi Beta Kappa from KU and followed with his master's of business administration from Harvard in 1953. After graduation, he joined Jostens Corporation.

Oswald advanced rapidly, serving as president from 1968 to 1970. Oswald spent the major part of his career, from 1970 to 1994, guiding the development of National Computer Systems Inc. (now NCS Pearson) while serving as the chairman and CEO. The company is the largest commercial processor of student assessment tests and the largest provider to data tracking software for U.S. elementary and secondary schools. Since then, he has served as founder and chairman of Rotherwood Ventures, LLC.

As a tribute to Professor John Ise in the Department of Economics, Oswald has provided significant support to the college creating the Oswald Scholars Program and several professorships in the economics department, which have enabled the university to recruit internationally renowned faculty.

In 2003, Oswald was awarded the Fred Ellsworth Medallion by the Kansas Alumni Association. He has been a member of the Williams Educational Fund, the Chancellors Club, the School of Business Board of Advisors, the Kansas Leadership Gift and is a longtime supporter of KU athletics. He is currently a member of the KU First Committee and is a trustee of the KU Endowment Association.


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