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University Relations

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Dec. 7, 2005
Contact: Nancy Lott, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (785) 864-3516.

KU college to honor 2 Texas alumni with awards for distinguished achievement

LAWRENCE -- The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas has announced two recipients of the prestigious Alumni Distinguished Achievement Awards to be presented in 2006. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the college on alumni and recognizes their contributions to their communities, professions or KU.

Recipients are Sally S. Hoglund of Dallas and David Hillis of Austin, Texas. They will be honored during a banquet in April at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics on KU's west campus. Two additional recipients will be named later this month.

Sally Hoglund, a 1956 political science graduate, is being recognized for her extensive public service work. She currently serves as a board member for several charities and organizations in Texas including the Alzheimer's Association, the Texas Children's Hospital, the American Cancer Society, Family Place Partners, the Arthritis Foundation of North Texas and Easter Seal Society. She is chair of the national advisory board for the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, a trustee of the Hoglund Foundation and was the former president of A.W.A.R.E. (Alzheimer's Women's Association for Resources and Education) in Dallas.

Hoglund is also a strong advocate for KU. She is co-chair of the advisory board for the Women Philanthropists for KU and a member of the Jayhawk Society. She is a member of the Chancellors Club, the Elizabeth Watkins Society and the Williams Educational Fund, and served as a steering committee member for the successful KU First Campaign. In September, Hoglund was awarded the Fred Ellsworth Medallion by the Alumni Association for her tireless support of KU.

In addition, Hoglund and her husband, Forrest, engineering '56, are responsible for funding the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., the stained glass American flag at the Dole Institute and several scholarships for KU students.

David M. Hillis, who is considered by many to be the world leader in molecular systematics, is being recognized by the college for his academic accomplishments. Hillis earned three degrees from KU: a master of arts in 1983, master of philosophy with honors in 1984 and a doctorate with honors in 1985, all in biological sciences.

He was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow from 1982 to 1985 and was named Outstanding Young Alumnus by Baylor University in 1994. In 1999, he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow "Genius Award" and in 2000 he became an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hillis is currently the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

The focus of Hillis' research is the study of evolution of biotic diversity. His book, Molecular Systematics, which he co-authored, is referred to by molecular systematics scientists around the world. Hillis is known for his work on a criminal case which pioneered the use of phylogenetic data as admissible evidence in U.S. courts. In a case of a dentist who was accused of purposely infecting a patient with AIDS, Hillis was able to prove which strain of the HIV virus was used.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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