Each year, the Association is proud to recognize those who make special efforts for the University and the Association with three awards: the Fred Ellsworth Medallion, the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award and the Dick Wintermote Network Volunteer Award.
Fred Ellsworth Medallion
Fred Ellsworth, c’22, led the Association staff as executive secretary from 1924 to 1963. Since 1975 the Fred Ellsworth Medallion has honored individuals “who have provided unique and significant service to the University.”
Fred Ellsworth Medallion recipients are honored by the Association at a special dinner in conjunction with the fall Board of Directors meeting and introduced during the home football game that weekend.
Past winners of the medallion have been honored for their leadership in Kansas higher education, as chairs and members of University boards and committees, as consultants for special KU projects, and as donors to the University. If someone you know has continually shared time, talents and resources to benefit KU, click here to submit a nomination for this award by March 31.
Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award
The Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award was created in 1987 to thank alumni and friends for “sustained volunteer service to the University at the local level.” The award honors Mildred Clodfelter, b’41, who worked for the University of Kansas for 47 years, including 42 at the Alumni Association.
Winners of the “Millie” award have served as local alumni network leaders, Kansas Honors Program coordinators or student recruitment volunteers.
If you know a Jayhawk who helps carry KU’s banner, submit a nomination. Nominations may be submitted to the KU Alumni Association by anyone, and must be received by March 31 each year in order to be considered for recognition during the following July 1-June 30 fiscal year. Living alumni, married couples and friends of the University are eligible. Employees of the University of Kansas and its related units are not eligible prior to resignation or retirement. Persons who have previously received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion have already been recognized for their service to KU and are not eligible. “Sustained service” is suggested to be at least five years in order to qualify for this award.
James Burgess, c’73
Chris Jeter, d’68, EdD’79
Henry Menghini, c’87
Dick Wintermote Network Volunteer of the Year Award
This annual award recognizes up to five network volunteers who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership to their network and the KU Alumni Association during a one-year period (July 1-June 30). Dick Wintermote, c’51, served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983. His legacy represents the importance of building a strong volunteer network, the need for a dues-paying membership program and establishing the KU Alumni Association as one of the premier associations of graduates in the country.
An internal staff committee within the KU Alumni Association consisting of those who work closest with volunteers meets each year to decide on award winners.
Matt Taylor, b’98, g’03
Distinguished Service Citation
From 1941 to 2010, the Association also awarded the Distinguished Service Citation, which recognized outstanding achievements “for the betterment of society and in behalf of humanity.”
In 2011, as a result of decisions by the Kansas Board of Regents and the University to confer honorary KU degrees, the Association’s national Board of Directors voted to retire the DSC and endorse the honorary degree program. The Association remains proud of its tradition of honoring nearly 400 alumni and friends who have served humanity.