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Alumni receive top award from College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

LAWRENCE – Three University of Kansas graduates have been selected for the highest recognition the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences bestows upon its alumni. These recipients represent a broad range of industries, leaving their mark in the fields of law and social justice, philanthropy and military service, and technology and entrepreneurship.

The College’s 2015-’16 Distinguished Alumni honorees are civic leader and retired Judge Anne Levinson, Folds of Honor founder Major Dan Rooney and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Brad Garlinghouse.

Judge Anne Levinson is known for her work on women’s equity in athletics at KU as well as her career as a public official, judge, WNBA team owner, civic leader and advocate for social justice. Named by the Topeka Capital Journal in 2013 as a Kansan of Distinction, Levinson received her bachelor’s degree in political science from KU, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1980.

Major Dan Rooney is founder of Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $70 million and awarded nearly 8,000 educational scholarships to the family members of soldiers killed or disabled in combat. Rooney, a retired fighter pilot and professional golfer, has been awarded with numerous honors, including being named People magazine’s “Hero of the Year” and ABC World News’ “Person of the Year.” He is also author of “A Patriot’s Calling: Living Life Between Fear and Faith.” Rooney received a bachelor’s degree in geography in 1996 from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and a master’s degree in education in physical education in 1997 from the School of Education.

Brad Garlinghouse has held senior positions at some of the nation’s most well-known tech companies, including AOL and Yahoo. He is currently chief operating officer of Ripple Labs, an online payment and exchange network. He has many years of experience working with startup companies and was CEO of Hightail, a file-sharing site. He’s also known in the industry for authoring the “Peanut Butter Manifesto,” a philosophy of efficiency he wrote during his tenure at Yahoo that he has since brought to other companies. Garlinghouse received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1994 from KU.

Award recipients are selected by the College’s alumni advisory board. The award recognizes graduates’ contributions to KU, their professions or their communities. Recipients will be recognized during individual events hosted nationwide throughout the year.

“This outstanding group of distinguished alumni further demonstrates that liberal arts and sciences degrees can take Jayhawks anywhere they want to go,” said Hamilton Hill, chair of the advisory board. “It’s an honor for the board to be able to recognize fellow alumni for their incredible contributions.”

Levinson’s recognition event is open to the public and has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at SoDo Park in Seattle. The event recognizing Rooney is also open to the public and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence. Garlinghouse will be recognized at an event in the San Francisco Bay Area in the spring. For more information, contact Jessica Beeson at eliasb@ku.edu or 785-864-1767.