Skip redundant pieces
KU Home  :  KU News

KU News Release

More Information


University Relations

p (785) 864-3256
f (785) 864-3339
April 19, 2006
Contact: Christie Appelhanz, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (785) 864-3516.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to honor distinguished alumni award winners

LAWRENCE — The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas will honor recipients of the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Awards this week. The awards are the highest honor bestowed by the College on alumni and recognize contributions to their communities, professions or KU.

“This prestigious group exemplifies for our students the tremendous success that can be built upon a high-quality liberal arts education from KU,” said Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College. “The diversity of professions and accomplishments of this year’s recipients reflect the broad knowledge available within the College.”

Recipients are David Hillis, Austin, Texas; Sally S. Hoglund, Dallas; Sara Paretsky, Chicago; and Charley Oswald, Edina, Minn. Awards will be presented at a dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the annual Deans Club Banquet at the Dole Institute of Politics on KU’s west campus.

Brief biographies of award winners and a summary of campus events are below.

David M. Hillis, who is considered by many to be the world leader in the area of 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 has spearheaded the promotion and popularized the use of DNA sequence data in discovering the ancestry of organisms and is one of the most cited scientists in the world. Hillis is the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor at the University of Texas-Austin.

Hillis will give a presentation at the Biology Departmental Colloquium at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in 1005 Haworth Hall. The presentation is open to the public. There will be a reception and dinner for Hillis that evening at 5:30 at the Natural History Museum in Dyche Hall. Reservations are required.

Sally Hoglund, who graduated from KU with a degree in political science in 1956, is being recognized for her extensive public service and philanthropic work. She is a board member for several organizations in Texas, including the Alzheimer’s Association, the Texas Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society, Family Place Partners, the Arthritis Foundation and Easter Seal Society. She was a chair of the inaugural event for the Hiett Prize in the Humanities and is a member of the national advisory board. Hoglund is co-chair of the advisory board for the Women Philanthropists for KU and a member of the Jayhawk Society, Chancellors Club, Elizabeth Watkins Society and Williams Educational Fund.

There will be a luncheon for Hoglund and presentation of the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award at 11:30 a.m. April 21 at the Hall Center for the Humanities. Reservations are required.

Sara Paretsky, who graduated from KU with a political science degree in 1967, is being recognized for her outstanding advancement in the arts. In 1986, she helped found Sisters in Crime, which assists female mystery writers by combating discrimination, raising awareness of their contributions and offering guidance during the publishing process. In 2001, Paretsky created the Sara and Two C-Dogs foundation, which supports women in the arts, letters and sciences. Paretsky has written 12 novels, multiple short stories and essays and is the recipient of numerous writing awards. She is best known for her V.I. Warshawski series.

Paretsky will attend a question and answer session with Bill Picking’s microbiology class at 9 a.m. April 21 in 2023 Haworth Hall. The “A Conversation with Sara Paretsky” luncheon will follow at 11:30 a.m. in the Courtside Room at the Burge Union. Reservations are required.

Charley Oswald, who graduated with a degree in economics in 1951, is being acknowledged for his success in private business. 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 of data tracking software for U.S. elementary and secondary schools. Since then, he has served as founder and chairman of Rotherwood Ventures, LLC.

Oswald will be a guest student in an introductory economics class at 10 a.m. April 21 in 501 Summerfield Hall.

The Alumni Distinguished Achievement Awards are presented annually to select graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Nominees must have graduated from the College a minimum of 10 years ago. The awards recognize excellence in many different areas, including but not limited to, the arts, public service, business and academia. More information and nomination forms are available at Follow the “Alumni & Friends” link.


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. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045