About the 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.
Brada, c’61, Lawrence, has served KU in numerous roles over the past 50 years. By 1990, when she and her husband, Don, c’61, m’65, received the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award for sustained service to KU at the local level, the Bradas already had become trusted KU ambassadors and volunteers for more than 20 years in Hutchinson and Wichita.
Kay began assisting KU as a local Kansas Honors Program coordinator and alumni network volunteer in Hutchinson. In the 1980s, she served five years on the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors, where she became known as a strong advocate for KU to extend its presence throughout the state in student recruitment.
She continued her service in Wichita, where Don served as a faculty member and associate dean of the KU School of Medicine in Wichita. The Bradas attended numerous Jayhawk Roundups and contributed to the KHP. She served on the 4-Wichita board to expand the Wichita curriculum to four years. She has helped recruit numerous KU students and Alumni Association members through the years, and she has advocated for KU in the Kansas Legislature as a member of Jayhawks for Higher Education.
“Kay has given her time and resources to multiple areas of KU, and she has spread Jayhawk spirit throughout the Kansas communities where she and Don have lived,” says Mike Davis, d’84, g’81, the Association’s senior vice president for donor relations. “She epitomizes the tradition of Fred Ellsworth.”
As Life Members and Presidents Club donors to the Association, the Bradas have attended 13 Rock Chalk Balls in Kansas City, and in 2012 they created an endowment to support the Association’s alumni outreach programs.
For KU Endowment, she has served on the advisory boards for the Chancellors Club, Women Philanthropists for KU and the Greater University Fund. She also served on the Campaign Kansas National Council. The Bradas are members of the Chancellors Club, and they have provided support for numerous KU programs, including the Dole Institute of Politics. They participate in numerous events and programs in Lawrence, where they moved following Don’s retirement.
For Kansas Athletics, the Bradas are members of the Williams Education Fund.
Kay also has remained involved in her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, serving as a national officer and an adviser to the KU chapter.
Her father, Arthur “Red” Cromb, b’30, was among the first winners of the Ellsworth medallion when the Association created the award in 1975. Cromb led the Association as national president from 1959 to ’60 and volunteered for KU Endowment and the School of Business. He also served on the Kansas Board of Regents.
Evans, b’82, g’84, Leawood, led the Alumni Association as national chair from 2012 to ’13 after beginning his term on the board in 2007. He also led the Kansas City Network as president and in 1996 received the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award for his years of KU service in Kansas City. He is a member of Jayhawks for Higher Education, and he assisted the Rock Chalk Ball as a member of the steering committee and with his wife, Sarah Rossi Evans, j’86, chaired the event in 2012. They are Life Members and Presidents Club donors, and they have assisted in recruiting other Presidents Club donors for the Association.
For KU Endowment, Evans is a trustee and member of the investment committee. He also helped raise funds to support the KU Cancer Center during its quest to earn National Cancer Institute designation in 2012. He and Sarah are members of the Chancellors Club.
For Kansas Athletics, Evans led the search committee to hire Sheahon Zenger, PhD’96, as athletics director. As a former football player for coach Don Fambrough, Evans has steadfastly supported the football program and was part of the committee that hired coach David Beaty.
Evans has worked diligently to promote KU in the Kansas City area, recruiting students and serving on the Edwards Campus advisory board. He also has assisted the School of Business as a member of its Board of Advisers. As a two-time graduate of the business school, Evans is managing partner of Pegasus Capital Management in Overland Park.
“When I think of Raydar Evans, four things immediately come to mind: the University of Kansas, leadership, loyalty and respect,” says John Ballard III, b’73, who nominated Evans for the Ellsworth honor. “Raydar has made the University a focal point of his life, giving back to our great University in so many different capacities since he arrived as a student. His record speaks for itself.”
Evans also continues a family tradition of commitment to KU. His father, Ray R. Evans, b’47, led the Alumni Association as national president from 1952 to ’53 and received the Ellsworth medallion in 1976. He was a KU Endowment trustee and a K-Club member for Kansas Athletics as a member of the 1948 Orange Bowl team and an All-American in both football and basketball. He also served on the Kansas Board of Regents.
“Ray is the most recent ambassador who continues to give so much to KU and to uphold a great family tradition,” Ballard says. “I am very proud to call him my friend.”
Since the creation of the Ellsworth medallion in 1975, 151 KU alumni and friends have received the award. Click here to see a list of previous recipients.