Alumni Awards

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Past honorees

The Alumni Association has honored dozens of noteworthy alumni through the years. View a list of honorees.

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Gilbert Galle

Listen to speeches from each of the Alumni Awards recipients after they received their awards on our YouTube page.

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Alumni Association honors six during Alumni Awards banquet

Alumni Awards recipients

Note: View videos of the recipients speeches on the Alumni Association's YouTube page and photos from the banquet on our Facebook page.

By Ernie W. Webb III |

The six alumni honored during Saturday’s 2015 Alumni Awards banquet have careers in a wide range of fields, from finance, to athletic administration, to teaching and law enforcement.

One thing they have in common is the Washburn experience, which each spoke fondly of during the Awards presentation at Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.

The honorees were Ann McIntosh Adrian and Gilbert E. Galle, Distinguished Service Award; Glenda Cafer, Lilla Day Monroe Award; Kirk D. Thompson, Col. John Ritchie Award; and Joshua M. Looney and Hattie E. Mitchell, Graduate of the Last Decade Award.

“I am truly overwhelmed (to receive this award),” said Adrian, b ed ’67. “My life has been grounded by and centered on Washburn from the day I was born and into the future because of the way Washburn makes me feel.”

Adrian, a member of the Washburn University Foundation board of trustees and former president of the Alumni Association board of directors, has been an educator for more than 40 years.

Fellow Distinguished Service Award recipient Galle enjoyed a career spanning several fields, including the Houston Sports Association and the world of finance. Galle, ba ’70, also competed in Grand Prix racing, winning a pair of regional championships.

Galle, also a Foundation trustee, credited his Washburn experience for helping shape his career.

“Washburn’s always been a teaching school, and my professors made a profound impact on me and on my life,” he said. “I’m very proud to be a graduate of this university.”

The University has been a part of Cafer’s life since her childhood, when father and late Washburn basketball coach Glenn Cafer worked the sideline at Whiting Field House.

Cafer received a bachelor of business administration from Washburn in 1983, attending the School of Law, and today is an attorney with her own firm. She continues to serve Washburn as a Foundation trustee and member of the Washburn Athletic Fund board of directors.

“I know how an education here can enrich peoples’ lives, so what I do for Washburn I want to,” Cafer said. “I want to do it for Washburn because Washburn is such an excellent university.”

Thompson, the director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, was a non-traditional student who received his bachelor of science degree in 2001 while working for the agency.

Thompson has worked in law enforcement for nearly 40 years and has been instrumental in the construction of the KBI forensic lab on Washburn’s campus.

“With the encouragement of my advisers, I was able to work around my unusual schedule and complete my coursework,” Thompson said. “I would like to say thank you to all of you for the Washburn experience, both as a student as a partner. I’ve found the same welcoming feeling as a partner to this university as I did as a student.”

Looney came to Washburn as a transfer from Missouri State University, beginning his career as a student and football star just days before the start of the 2002 season.

Four seasons later, he received a bachelor of business administration degree and was a key member of a group of seniors that helped transform the football program into a conference champion and Division II playoff team.

“I’m extremely grateful and proud to be an Ichabod,” said Looney, an associate director of Division II for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. “Washburn provided me with an environment to thrive as a student, excel as an athlete and grow as a person.”

Mitchell, who received a bachelor of business administration in 2007, is the treasurer of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s Tribal Council, the governing body of the Nation.

She credited her professors, namely the late Tom Clevenger, for helping her choose a path for her career.

“I hold Washburn in my heart,” Mitchell said. “I will always continue to go to the games. I will always go to the library to study. And I will always come here for the comfort food.”