'Hilltop Honors' to present KU's highest awards for service, achievement Sept. 10

Distinguished Service Citation, Fred Ellsworth Medallion among awards to be presented

The KU Alumni Association will present the 2010 Distinguished Service Citation and Fred Ellsworth Medallion at the Hilltop Honors event on Sept. 10 at the Oread Hotel. For the first time, the four recipients of the associationís premier awards will be honored in one celebration of service and achievement.

Anderson Chandler


Benjamin Hall


Gretchen Van Bloom Budig


Monte Johnson


This yearís Distinguished Service Citation, the highest honor given by KU and the association, will be presented to Anderson Chandler, Topeka, and Benjamin Hall, Bellevue, Wash. Since 1941, the award has saluted outstanding achievements "for the betterment of society and in behalf of humanity."

The Fred Ellsworth Medallion will be presented to Gretchen Van Bloom Budig, Isle of Palms, S.C., and Monte Johnson, Lawrence. Established in 1975, the award honors individuals ďwho have provided unique and significant service to the University.Ē

Chandler is the chairman, president and director of Fidelity State Bank and Trust Company in Topeka. A longtime community volunteer and donor, he has served on the Jayhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts of America since the 1950s and has served on the national board of directors since 1993. He underwrites a Duty to God Award for Boy Scouts and has been honored by Boy Scouts at the highest national level.

His philanthropic work also includes service to the Topeka YMCA, Topeka schools, United Way, Washburn University and the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

Chandler received a KU business degree in 1948. He established a professorship and lecture series in the School of Business and has served on the schoolís Board of Advisors. In addition, he has been a KU Endowment trustee since 1985, and has served on the board of the KU Memorial Union Corp. He received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1997 for his service to KU. He is an Alumni Association life member.

Hall spent most of his career at the University of Washington, where he is professor emeritus of biology and genome studies, rhododendron and azalea evolution and biogeography. His discoveries have helped develop vaccines for cervical cancer, insulin used by millions of diabetic patients and diagnostic agents used to assure the safety of blood in blood banks worldwide. He served on the UW faculty from 1963 until his retirement in 2007, when the university named a new research building in his honor.

Hall received a KU bachelorís degree in 1954, and in 2003 he initiated the Mary Harkey Hall Award in Plant Biology at KU. The award, given in memory of Hallís mother, provides financial support to graduate students studying botany.

Budig is the wife of longtime KU Chancellor Gene A. Budig. From 1981 to 1994, she hosted events at the chancellorís residence and around the country, representing KU to thousands of students, alumni, donors and legislators during KUís major fund drive, Campaign Kansas, from 1988 to 1992. In 1988, she published a guide for spouses of university presidents and chancellors called ďHow in the World Do You Do It?Ē The book became a resource for the national Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

Since leaving KU, the Budigs have provided extensive funds for student scholarships and professorships to areas across the university, including the schools of education, fine arts, journalism and social welfare; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Lied Center; KU Libraries; and Kansas Athletics. The Budigs are life members of the KU Alumni Association.

Johnson began his career in the KU athletics department in 1961 as director of public relations, business manager and assistant athletics director. A former member of the menís basketball team, he helped guide the KU Athletics Corp. board as an alumni representative from 1978 to 1982. After an 11-year banking career with Bank IV in Wichita, where he became senior vice president, he returned to KU as athletics director from 1982 to 1987.

Johnson earned a KU bachelorís degree in 1959 and a graduate degree in 1967. He belongs to the Chancellors Club for KU Endowment and served on the alumni associationís national board of directors from 1971 to 1974. He and his wife, Kay Rathbone Johnson, are life members of the alumni association.


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The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).