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Jewell welcomes students, honors civic leaders at Opening Convocation September 9
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
August 10, 2009

Civic leaders will be honored for public service at Opening Convocation ceremonies marking the beginning of a new school year at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, September 9 in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the William Jewell College campus in Liberty, Mo. The program includes Jewell faculty members in full academic regalia. Alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend the ceremonies free of charge.

This year’s recipients of the William F. Yates Trustee Medallion for Distinguished Service are Joan Berkley, philanthropist and community activist; Dr. William P. Duncan, retired President of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute; and Dr. James L. Spigarelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Research Institute.

The William F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service is named for a William Jewell College graduate of the class of 1898, a longtime member of the Board of Trustees and major benefactor to the college. The first Yates Medallions were awarded in 1980, and the list of recipients includes a “Who’s Who” of Kansas City leaders.

Addressing students and guests at Opening Convocation ceremonies will be Carl J. Schramm, President and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. Schramm is recognized as one of the world’s foremost thinkers on the importance of entrepreneurship to a nation’s economic growth. He has led the Kauffman Foundation to develop innovative programs aimed at transforming entrepreneurship education, the technology transfer process, the availability of seed capital for entrepreneurs, and economic research. He also has been instrumental in the formation of partnerships with governments and organizations around the world to stimulate entrepreneurship internationally. His recent books, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism (available in nine languages) and The Entrepreneurial Imperative, are regarded as emerging classics, providing new insight into the American and international economies. In 2007, Schramm was appointed by then-U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to chair the Department of Commerce’s Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century committee. Trained as an economist and lawyer, with experience in business, public policy, and academia, Schramm has founded and co-founded several health care finance and information technology companies. He is a Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Yates Medallion recipients:
Joan Berkley has been a philanthropist and community volunteer in the Kansas City area for over 60 years. She is a former board Chairman for the Center for Practical Bioethics and currently serves on the Center’s board. During a lifetime devoted to community service, she has provided leadership for a wide variety of activities and organizations. She has served as a board member for Powell Gardens and the Alvin Ailey Dance Camp, where she was the camp photographer for 20 years. She currently serves on the board of the Johnson County Library Foundation and is a former board member for the Johnson County Library. She has also served on the board of the Wildwood Outdoor Education Center.

Dr. William P. Duncan is Retired President of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, where he served from 2001 to 2009. He had oversight responsibility for the Institute’s life sciences initiative, including the articulation of the Institute vision to the various community and scientific stakeholders and potential funding organizations. He also provided the administrative and technical leadership required to initiate the implementation of the Institute business plan and fostered a continuing dialog and understanding between the business and research communities. Prior to joining the Life Sciences Institute, Dr. Duncan was Vice President of Technical Operations for Midwest Research Institute, where he provided oversight for MRI's six technical divisions. He has also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Oread Laboratories, Inc., and managed administrative and technical functions at ChemSyn Science Laboratories, an MRI spinoff company. Dr. Duncan received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Oklahoma State University in 1972. He is a member of American Chemical Society and International Isotope Society.

Dr. James L. Spigarelli is President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Research Institute. In this capacity, he guides a staff of 1,800 scientists and other professionals performing research in more than 48 scientific and technical disciplines, including the field of energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. MRI has managed and operated NREL since its inception in 1977. Dr. Spigarelli began his career at MRI after serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. During his first 17 years at MRI, his research activities focused on environmental analytical sciences with an emphasis on chemical agents, their degradation products, and agent demilitarization. He was appointed Vice President of MRI in 1978, Senior Vice President in 1991, Executive Vice President in 1997, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 1998, and President and Chief Executive Officer in 1999. He received a B.A. and M.S. in Chemistry from Pittsburg State University and a Ph.D. in
Chemistry from Kansas State University.
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