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May 15, 2006
Contact: Jennifer Jackson Sanner, KU Alumni Association, (785) 864-4760.

Three alumni to earn Distinguished Service Citation, KUís highest honor

LAWRENCE — Three University of Kansas alumni who have become recognized leaders in their professions and contributed greatly to their communities will receive the Distinguished Service Citation during KU’s commencement weekend.

The citation is the highest honor given by the university and the KU Alumni Association. Since 1941, it has been presented to men and women whose lives and careers have helped benefit humanity.

This year’s honorees are Philip Frickey, who received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1975; Irving Johnson, who received a doctorate in philosophy in 1953; and Robert Milton Worcester, who earned a bachelor’s from the School of Business in 1955.

They will be honored at the All-University Supper at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, in the Kansas Union Ballroom on the Lawrence campus.

Philip Frickey

Philip Frickey

Philip Frickey
A native of Oberlin, Frickey went on to become a lawyer, author and professor, redefining the field of statutory interpretation with his book Cases and Materials on Legislations: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy. He has also written for the Harvard Law Review and is widely known as an expert on Indian law.

Frickey is a distinguished professor at the University of California-Berkeley. Early in his law career he clerked for 5th Circuit Judge John Minor Wisdom and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Frickey’s petitions to the Minnesota Supreme Court leveled the playing field for state bar applicants. His work also has strengthened tribal sovereignty, and his textbooks are leading authorities for law students.

Irving Johnson

Irving Johnson

Irving Johnson
More than 200 million diabetics worldwide can thank Johnson for readily available, low-cost insulin. During his 35-year career with Eli Lilly and Co., Johnson’s work in biomedical research led to the commercial production of human insulin. Johnson also participated in the Salk polio vaccine clinical trials, created a class of cancer-fighting drugs and helped develop Prozac.

For his efforts, he received the first Congressional Award for Science and Technology in 1984 and was honored in 2005 by KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with its Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on a variety of national and international boards. At KU he established the Irving S. Johnson Professorship in molecular biology in 2004.

Johnson edited A Perspective on Biology and Medicine in the 21st Century, published by the Royal Society of Medicine in England, and he has contributed to more than 30 other books. He has made numerous presentations to state and national lawmakers and the World and National Council of Churches on the safety and scientific potential of recombinant DNA research.

Robert Milton Worcester

Robert Milton Worcester

Robert Milton Worcester
Worcester took his business degree across the Atlantic Ocean in 1969 and formed Market and Opinion Research International, England’s leading polling research agency. The Prime Minister and royal family have turned to Worcester to determine prevailing public opinions.

He is a familiar figure in the media, has written four books and holds honorary degrees from six universities. In 2005, in recognition of his service, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Worcester was recently appointed chancellor of the University of Kent, and he helps lead his local community as a deputy lieutenant of Kent. He serves many organizations, including the United Nations Association, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Forum for the Future and the European Atlantic Group. He is also a Freeman of the City of London, chairman of the Pilgrims Society, a trustee of the Magna Carta Trust and a governor of the Ditchley Foundation.

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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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