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April 24, 2009
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, (785) 864-8860.

KU chancellor named Kansan of the Year by nonprofit group

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway has been named Kansan of the Year by a group of Sunflower State natives in the nation’s capital.

The Kansas Society of Washington, D.C., selected Hemenway for the honor, along with Kansas State University President Jon Wefald. They will receive the award at the society’s annual banquet April 28 in Washington. The society is a nonprofit organization that serves Kansans and friends of Kansans in the nation’s capital. The society brings people together throughout the year for fellowship and to support charitable causes in their home state.

“I’ve had the good fortune to work with outstanding Kansans every day for the past 14 years,” Hemenway said. “I’m truly honored and humbled to be chosen for this award from the endless list of deserving candidates from our state. I’m especially pleased to be honored with my friend and colleague Jon Wefald.”

Hemenway will be joined at the banquet by the Kansas congressional delegation, as well as other prominent Kansans in public service in the Washington, D.C., area. He will address the group after receiving the award.

As chancellor, Hemenway has made service to the state one of his top priorities. Under his watch, the university has increased its efforts to fight cancer, develop new drugs to combat the disease and serve patients throughout the state. KU’s School of Pharmacy is set to expand and produce more pharmacists to address a growing shortage in the state. Virtually every school and department oversees programs that work with Kansas families, business and communities, whether it is by analyzing cropland, building community arts centers or aiding children with autism.

Both Hemenway and Wefald announced that they would step down from their respective leadership positions at the end of this academic year. Hemenway will have completed 14 years in the position when he steps down at the end of June. Wefald led K-State for 23 years.

For more on KU’s service to Kansas, visit www.kuworks.ku.edu/.

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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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