Washburn's campus

Alumni Awards

Register for the Awards Banquet
Click to register for the Alumni Awards banquet

Join us in honoring Ann Adrian, Gilbert Galle, Glenda Cafer, Kirk Thompson, Josh Looney and Hattie Mitchell. The cost of the banquet is $17 for members and $20 for non-members of the Alumni Association.

Register for the banquet
Washburn Alumni Association Membership
Click to join the Alumni Association

Show your Ichabod Pride by joining the Washburn Alumni Association or renewing your membership. You'll receive numerous benefits as a member and be giving back to the University.

Join or renew now!
2014 Alumni Awards
Laura Burton and President Farley

The 2014 Alumni Award recipients were Elsie Lesser, Mark Nordstrom, Nancy Tate, Darrell Parnell and Laura Burton, pictured above with President Jerry Farley.

Read about the 2014 Awards
Past Recipients of Washburn Alumni Awards
Alumni Awards program cover

The Alumni Association has been honoring individuals with Alumni Awards since 1949. Read more about the 2014 winners and view a list of past recipients.

Click to view the 2014 program
2013 Alumni Awards
Carol Vogel, 2013 DSA recipient

Honorees in 2013 included longtime Washburn professor Carol Vogel.

Read about the banquet
2013 Awards Program
2013 Alumni Awards program cover

The Alumni Association honored four recipients at the 2013 banquet. Read their profiles in the event program.

Read the program
About Membership

Your dues help support our Alumni Awards banquet, as well as our other events. As a member, you also have access to more than 100 discounts.

Read about membership
Alumni Fellows
Ronald Schweer

The Alumni Association also honors Fellows in the fall every year. The 2014 Fellows included Ronald Schweer, who has enjoyed a long career in criminal justice.

Read about the Fellows program

Alumni Awards: Six individuals to be honored during banquet

The Alumni Awards banquet is at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 at the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center. A cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner at 6:30 p.m. The Alumni Association will honor six individuals at the event: Ann (McIntosh) Adrian, b ed ’67; Gilbert Galle, ba ’70; Glenda Cafer, bba ’83; Kirk Thompson, bs ’01; Josh Looney, bba ’05; and Hattie Mitchell, bba ’07.

Distinguished Service Award

Recognizes alumni who have distinguished careers, brought honor to Washburn through accomplishments and made an impact in society, the Alumni Association and community.

2015 HONOREE: Ann (McIntosh) Adrian, b ed ’67, Newton, Kansas

Ann AdrianAdrian has been an educator for nearly 50 years, many of those in gifted education. She retired from full-time teaching in 2005 but has served as a consultant in gifted education since 2007, including at the Harvey County Special Education Co-op.

Adrian began her career as an elementary teacher in 1967 and was the coordinator for the extended learning program in Newton for 20 years. From 2007 to 2013, she was the gifted education consultant and coordinator for the Dodge City school district.

Her extensive service to the community includes her alma mater, where she is a member of the board of directors and a trustee for the Washburn University Foundation. Adrian is the chairwoman of the Foundation’s committee on directors and trustees and a member of the executive committee.

Adrian was the president of the Alumni Association board of directors and a member of the University’s strategic planning committee from 2008 to 2010.

She is a former chairwoman of the professional development council and middle school improvement team for the Newton school district.

Adrian’s numerous honors include being named Kansas Gifted Education Advocate of the Year in 1995 and the Newton/North Newton Woman of the Year in 2014.

She received a bachelor of education degree from Washburn in 1967, is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and received a master of educational psychology from Wichita State in 1986.

Adrian on Washburn: “Washburn has been part of my life since the day I was born.  My family legacy impacted my life before I attended Washburn. I met my husband at Washburn and we have spent nearly 49 years together. Washburn gave me values that are important to me today.  I gained independence, self-confidence, integrity, a passion for education and a caring attitude. My career in education has its foundation in my initial training at Washburn. The encouragement and support from Julia Parks guided me to a passion for teaching.”

2015 HONOREE: Gilbert Galle, ba ’70, Charlotte, North Carolina

Gilbert GalleGalle retired after more than 20 years at WEDGE Capital Management LLP, where he was a portfolio manager, general partner and managing general partner.

He began his career in professional sports management with the Houston Sports Association and worked on some of the biggest sporting events in the 1970s, including Muhammad Ali fights, an Evel Knievel show and the Battle of the Sexes between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King.

After five years in that industry, he worked for investment banking company Rotan-Mosle, specializing in energy research and trading and on the institutional sales and trading desk of Bears Stearns and Lehman Brothers.

Galle joined WEDGE in 1988, working at a company that managed more than $11 billion for clients in 42 states and Canada.

After retiring, he competed in Grand Prix racing for several years, driving a Porsche GT3 Cup car to southeast championships in the German Touring class of the National Auto Sports Association in 2010 and 2011. Galle finished second and third nationally in those years.

He is a member of the board of directors and a trustee for the Washburn University Foundation. Galle is the treasurer and chairman of the investment committee for the Foundation.

He is a member of the board of directors for Dress for Success of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he resides, and the investment committee of the Hospital Sisters Health System of Springfield, Illinois.

Galle is from McPherson, Kansas, and received a bachelor of arts in political science in 1970.

Galle on Washburn: "My professors were so engaged and interesting that I really enjoyed the classroom experience. You could tell that to a person they were all very committed to the teaching process. They made it exciting! Washburn gave me the opportunity to receive a quality education which then gave me the opportunity to make something of myself. My educational experience at Washburn truly transformed my life by instilling in me a sense of discipline and focus which has served me well in my life."

Lilla Day Monroe Award

Recognizes women who have distinguished themselves as teachers, instructors, administrators or benefactors at Washburn.

2015 HONOREE: Glenda Cafer, bba ’83, Topeka

Glenda CaferAs the owner of and an attorney at Cafer Pemberton LLC, Cafer specializes in energy and telecommunications law, commercial law, litigation and administrative law.

Before working at her private practice, Cafer was the general counsel of the Kansas Corporation Commission from 1997 to 2000 and the director of utilities at the agency from 1995 to 1997.

She is a member of the board of directors for the Topeka Bar Association, a member and former chairwoman of the administrative law section of the Kansas Bar Association and past president of the Women Attorney’s Association of Topeka.

Cafer continues to make an impact at Washburn as a trustee for the Washburn University Foundation, where she has served on the board of directors for eight years. She is president of the Washburn Athletic Fund board of directors and was named Ichabod of the Year in 2014.

Other service to her alma mater includes Delta Gamma, NoNoSo and the Washburn Women’s Alliance. She also is the president of the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Topeka.

Cafer’s ties to Washburn span nearly 50 years, as her father, the late Glenn Cafer, began coaching basketball and golf at the University in 1967. Attending games at Whiting Field House as a child through college ranks as her favorite memory of Washburn.

Cafer received a bachelor of business administration from Washburn in 1983 and completed her law degree at Louisiana State University in 1987.

Cafer on Washburn: “I’ve met people through Washburn who have been my friends for decades. I received an excellent undergraduate education that has served me well in my career, and although my law degree is from LSU, I actually received half of my hours at Washburn Law School. I am so proud that two of my daughters are now attending Washburn and benefitting from all the University has to offer. Washburn has been a constant in my life and I will always love it and work to help keep it strong.”

Col. John Ritchie Award

Recognizes men who have distinguished themselves as teachers, instructors, administrators or benefactors at Washburn.

2015 HONOREE: Kirk Thompson, bs ’01, Topeka

Kirk ThompsonKirk Thompson has enjoyed a successful career in law enforcement that spans nearly 40 years. He was appointed to his current position as director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) in 2011.

Thompson began his career as a deputy sheriff in Barton County before becoming a special agent for the KBI in 1979. During the next 29 years with the agency, he was a field agent, unit supervisor, division commander and associate director.

He retired from the KBI in 2008 and joined the Topeka Police Department as a captain in command of the professional standards unit. He worked there until being appointed to his current position.

Thompson is a member of the Heartland SERTOMA Club, Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Kansas Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training, Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial Committee, Kansas Commission on Emergency Planning and Response and the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory, among several professional organizations.

Past service includes the Kansas Narcotics Officers Association, Kansas Internal Affairs Investigators Association, American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, American Society for Industrial Security and the Southeast Kansas Drug Enforcement Task Force.

He was named sheriff’s officer of the year in Barton County and received the bronze award for police service from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police and the Midwest HIDTA Chairman Award.

Thompson received a bachelor of science from Washburn in 2001 and attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and the Kansas Certified Public Managers program at the University of Kansas.

Thompson on Washburn: “I am the first person in my family to have obtained a college degree. Washburn’s dedication to non-traditional students provided a pathway for that to happen. The ability to get a great education and complete a degree program while working full-time opened many doors during the course of my career. I will always be grateful for all of the opportunities that I had while attending Washburn.”

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

Honors recent alumni who demonstrate leadership in career or civic endeavors and loyalty to Washburn.

2015 HONOREE: Josh Looney, bba ’05, Indianapolis, Indiana

Josh LooneyAs the associate director of NCAA Division II, Looney is a member of the organization’s leadership team responsible for the support Division II institutions receive from the national office.

He also serves as a color commentator and analyst for college and high school football games, as well as a keynote speaker. Looney previously worked for the Kansas City Chiefs as the external outreach and public affairs spokesman and co-hosted the franchise’s Emmy-winning “Chiefs Insider” pregame show.

Looney also served as public relations manager for the Chiefs and as a publicity assistant for the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

He is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the First Hand Foundation, as well as a former youth baseball coach.

Looney received a master of business administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008 and will receive a doctor of philosophy in interdisciplinary education from Creighton University this year.

He played football at Washburn from 2002 to 2005, starting 45 consecutive games at linebacker. During his final season, he helped the Ichabods to an MIAA title and a Division II playoff bid.

Looney on Washburn: “Washburn provided me with the college experience I desired and could mold into my own … and then eclipsed those expectations. I left with lifetime friends, lifetime memories and was led toward a path of lifetime success. My Washburn experience was my ideal college experience. … Football was the initial draw for me to attend Washburn and provided the launching pad for many great Washburn moments to come. Our group of seniors will forever take pride in the role we played in transforming the Washburn football program. The totality of our experience is definitely my best memory at Washburn. In a way, that transition of the football program mirrors that of campus, with the addition of the LLC and Dr. Farley’s mission to bring a better campus experience to Topeka.”

2015 HONOREE: Hattie Mitchell, bba ’07, Topeka

Hattie MitchellAs the treasurer of the Tribal Council of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN), Mitchell oversees the financial operations and is chairwoman of the tax commission and vice chairperson of the board of directors for Prairie Band LLC.

Mitchell advises the economic development efforts for the PBPN and is the cultural preservation officer and Native American Graves Protection Repatriation Act representative.

She previously worked as an accountant at Security Benefit and in gaming operations at Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino.

Mitchell is a member of the board of directors for the American Red Cross and Kansas Children’s Discovery Center and is a volunteer for the Saving Death Row Dogs program. She also developed an estate and planning will workshop for tribal elders and financial services planning workshops for tribal youth.

She was named to the Topeka 20 Under 40 list by the Jayhawk Area Council and the 40 Under 40 list by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

Mitchell received a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting and finance from Washburn in 2007. She participated in a summer venture in management program at Harvard University in 2006 and studied international politics at Cambridge University in England.

Mitchell on Washburn: “One teacher who stands out was the late Dr. Tom, who convinced me to take more accounting courses, even though I began as an engineering major. After telling him that I wanted to become a leader for my tribe, he suggested that I learn how to read and analyze financial statements. I took more courses and changed my major to accounting. He also advised me that I needed to take 150 hours of study to qualify for sitting for the CPA exam. He encouraged me that if I passed he would buy me a steak dinner. I took the series of exams and passed, but was not able to share my good news before Dr. Tom passed away. I know he would be proud of me.”