Ichabod Notables

Ichabod Notables A through M

James R. Ahrens (1919-2013)

James R. AhrensJames R. Ahrens, distinguished professor of law, retired from the Washburn University School of Law in 1988 after 40 years of service, longer than any other full-time faculty member in the law school’s history. He joined the faculty in 1948 after serving as special assistant to the U.S. Treasury Department in Chicago and in the Army during World War II. The son of Presbyterian missionaries, Ahrens grew up in India and traveled extensively, cultivating a lifelong curiosity and commitment to learning and teaching. He taught torts and constitutional law and was faculty adviser to the moot court team, which competed in five national finals. He also initiated the annual Law Institute, a forerunner of today’s continuing legal education program. A prominent alumnus established the Ahrens Chair in Tort Law, which provides funds for a faculty member. He earned both a bachelor of arts degree from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and a juris doctor from the University of Chicago. In 1974, he received the Washburn University School of Law Alumni Honorary Life Membership Award.

R. Stanley “Stan” Alexander (1909-2004)

R Stanley AlexanderR. Stanley “Stan” Alexander, bs 1936, served 1948-74 as chairman and professor of astronomy, engineering and physics. In 1966, he retrieved Washburn’s 1889 Warner and Swasey telescope after a tornado tore off the roof of Crane Observatory, led a fundraising effort to refurbish it and established an endowed fund for the telescope’s ongoing care and upkeep. Alexander joined Washburn’s faculty in 1940, but left for a brief period during World War II to design naval radar equipment. After retiring with emeritus status in 1974, he continued to teach until 1980. He was a charter member of the Topeka Camera Club and the Topeka Civic Symphony, for which he played timpani and percussion. He earned a master’s of arts degree from the University of Kansas and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Washburn honored him with an Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1979.

Samuel Drake Bowker (1835-1868)

Samuel Drake DowkerSamuel Drake Bowker was a founder of Lincoln College, now Washburn University, and a graduate of Bangor (Maine) Theological Seminary. An ordained minister, Bowker came to Topeka in 1864 and joined a group of Congregationalists who were working to establish a college in Topeka. The group included his brother, W.E. Bowker, who served on the original board of trustees. Bowker was the College’s first financial agent and traveled east in 1865 to seek donations. He met with President Abraham Lincoln during his trip. Bowker’s efforts brought the financial backing needed to construct the first building and open the school for the first term. Bowker was the first principal of the Washburn Preparatory School, known later as the Academy, and also a professor of English literature and grammar at the College. With his wife, he maintained a boarding house for students who lived outside of Topeka. He resigned due to ill health in 1867 and died the following year.

Horatio Quincy Butterfield (1822-1894)

Horatio Quincy ButterfieldHoratio Quincy Butterfield served 1869-71 as the first president of Washburn College. He joined the Lincoln College faculty in 1866 as professor of ancient languages and was appointed field agent. In this capacity, he traveled east in 1868 and successfully solicited a $25,000 donation from Ichabod Washburn, a wealthy industrialist. It was Butterfield who recommended the board of trustees rename the College in honor of Washburn. The trustees appointed Butterfield president the following year. After serving 18 months as Washburn’s president, he resigned to take a position as secretary of the Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education at the West. Six years later, in 1876, he became president of Olivet (Mich.) College, where he served 16 years, retiring in 1893. He was an ordained minister and a graduate of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and Bangor (Maine) Theological Seminary.

Walter Caldwell (1878-1959)

Walter CaldwellWalter Caldwell graduated in 1906 from Kansas Medical College, a part of Washburn College. The only African-American on the 1903 football team, his placekick defeated the University of Kansas in the Missouri Valley Championship game. He was named to the first string All-Kansas team and his record was published in newspapers across the United States. A Washburn Review article reported an incident involving a Kansas City team that stipulated Caldwell not be allowed to play. The article commended Washburn’s manager for refusing to play until the restriction was withdrawn, noting, “He is a star and they know it, but what is more important than that, he is a man and we know it.” After graduating, Caldwell practiced medicine in Topeka until 1908 and then moved to Atchison, Kan. In 1917, he settled his family in Kansas City, where he specialized in pediatrics for 40 years, retiring in 1957.

Samuel E. Cary (1886-1961)

Samuel E. CarySamuel E. Cary, jd 1910, was the first African-American to graduate from the Washburn University School of Law. At age 24, Cary opened a law office in Russell Springs, Kan., and was elected county attorney in 1914. After moving to Colorado, he was admitted to the bar in 1919 and began practicing in the Five Points area of Denver, specializing in criminal law. He embraced a clientele many mainstream lawyers turned away. He was the first licensed black attorney in Colorado and one of the earliest African-American pioneers in the field of law in the American West. He retired from his law practice in 1945. The Sam Cary Bar Association, the first minority bar association in Colorado, is named in his honor. He received the Washburn Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

Addison Pease Davis (1838-71)

Lincoln College's original buildingIn June 1868, Addison Pease Davis earned the distinction of being the first person to graduate from Lincoln College. Five months later, the board of trustees renamed the school Washburn College, giving Davis the honor of being not only the first, but also the only, person to graduate from Lincoln College. Born in Bethel, Ill., Davis was a student at Beloit (Wis.) College prior to the Civil War. In 1862, he mustered into the 130th Illinois Infantry and served in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. In April 1864, his regiment was captured and interned as prisoners of war at Camp Ford, near Tyler, Texas. Davis was released in May 1865 and mustered out of the Army. In 1866, he enrolled as a junior at Lincoln College and served as an assistant to Samuel Drake Bowker (see page 2),  principal of the preparatory school, and taught English. He also worked as a chorister at the Congregational Church while a student. After graduation, he purchased acreage and farmed for a brief time in Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kan.

Pictured is Lincoln College's original building.

Jessie Dean (1870-1960)

Jessie DeanJessie Dean, bs 1900, served 38 years at Washburn as librarian and registrar. As a student, she was editor of the Washburn Review. After graduating from Washburn, she taught three years at Quincy School in Topeka and then joined the Washburn faculty in 1903. In 1918, she was promoted to head librarian and the rank of professor, retiring in 1941. Dean attended the Chautauqua (N.Y.) Library School and the University of Wisconsin and traveled extensively, living in Germany and Austria before World War I. She was a member of the Kansas Library Association, the American Library Association, the National Educational Association, the American Association of University Women, the YWCA and the First Congregational Church. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of literature on her in 1933.

Lodewijk J.R. de Vink (1945- )

Lodewijk de VinkLodewijk J.R. de Vink, bba 1968, has been a leader in the pharmaceutical and health care industries for more than 40 years. He is a founding member of Blackstone Healthcare Partners LLC, where he served as the special adviser and consultant of Blackstone Healthcare Advisors at the Blackstone Group, an independent manager of private capital worldwide. He served as president of Schering Plough International and as chief executive officer of Warner Lambert Inc. He was appointed to the President’s Export Council and served on numerous boards, including as chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, as a member of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the United Negro College Fund. He is a former director of Roche and a member of the European Advisory Council of Rothschild. He is a graduate of the Netherlands School of Business and holds a master’s of business administration from American University, Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Robert “Bob” J. Dole (1923- )

Bob DoleThe Honorable Robert “Bob” J. Dole, ba 1952, jd 1952*, has developed a worldwide reputation for public service, holding elected positions in the Kansas House of Representatives, as a Russell County (Kan.) attorney and as a U.S. congressman before spending nearly 30 years as a U.S. senator. He was chairman of the Republican National Committee, president of the U.S. Senate and Senate Majority Leader, where he set a record as the longest-serving Republican leader. Dole was President Gerald Ford’s vice presidential running mate in 1976 and the Republican presidential candidate in 1988 and 1996. A World War II veteran, he served as national chairman of the World War II Memorial Campaign and authored the autobiographical One Soldier’s Story and other books. Washburn conferred on him an honorary doctor of law in 1969 and an honorary doctor of civil law in 1985. He received the Washburn Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1966. Washburn Law honored him with the Law Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 1981 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

*Dole was able to complete a bachelor’s and juris doctor in the same year because of credits earned at the University of Kansas before the war.

John E. Erickson (1863-1946)

John E. EricksonJohn E. Erickson, ba 1890, served 1925-33 as the eighth governor of Montana. A Democrat, he was the only Montana governor elected to three terms: 1924, 1928 and 1932. In March 1933, Erickson resigned the governorship after appointing himself to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas J. Walsh. Having lost the Democratic primary the following year, Erickson served in the U.S. Senate until Nov. 6, 1934, when a successor was elected. Prior to becoming governor, he served as Teton County (Mont.) attorney and as a district court judge. After leaving the Senate, he resumed a law practice in Helena, Mont. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of law on him in 1940.

Sherman “Everett” Fetter (1908-1993)

Sherman Sherman “Everett” Fetter greatly influenced the musical culture of both Washburn and Topeka during his long tenure, 1946-74, as professor and chairman of Washburn’s music department. In 1946, Fetter, a violinist, founded the Topeka Civic Symphony, now the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, and through 30 seasons as conductor built one of the country’s leading community orchestras. He grew the choirs and orchestra at Washburn and served as president of the Kansas Music Teachers Association. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Kansas and continued to study music throughout his life, including five summers studying conducting in France. In 1974, he received an award from the American Symphony Orchestra League. In 1976, the City of Topeka honored him with the Distinguished Citizen Award. The Washburn Honors Fetter String Quartet is named in his honor. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of music on him in 1974.

Joan M. Finney (1925-2001)

Joan M. FinneyJoan M. Finney, ba 1982, served 1991-95 as the 42nd governor of Kansas. Taking office at age 65, she was the first woman and the oldest person to be governor in Kansas, and one of the state’s longest-serving public officials. Finney joined the Washington, D.C., office of Senator Frank Carlson in 1953 and worked as his top administrative aide until he retired in 1969. In 1970, she served two years as Shawnee County elections commissioner. In 1972, after losing a bid for the Republican nomination to Congress, she changed her party affiliation to Democrat and ran for state treasurer. She was the first female elected to that position and held it for 16 years. She was honored by Native Americans in Kansas for leading efforts to open casinos on tribal reservations and is also credited for the state’s 1992 school finance law. At Washburn, she was a member of the Sigma Alpha Iota fraternity for women, which she was proud of because music was important to her. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of public service on her in 1995.

* Photo provided by the Kansas Historical Society

Daniel Moses Fisk (1846-1932)

Daniel Moses FiskDaniel Moses Fisk devoted 25 years to Washburn as a professor of sociology. During six years of service as field secretary, Fisk traveled across Kansas to raise funds for and promote Washburn in lectures on the importance of higher education. He was credited for Washburn’s growth in enrollment from 328 in 1901 to 720 in 1907. An ordained minister, Fisk came to Topeka in 1899 as pastor of the First Congregational Church after serving 14 years as a pastor in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri. Prior to ordination, Fisk taught biology for 12 years at Hillsdale (Mich.) College, where he received a doctorate in divinity. He graduated from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1869, studied medicine at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and received a doctorate from Findlay (Ohio) College in 1890. He authored five books after retiring in 1924 and donated his library to Washburn.

Arthur “Art” Allen Fletcher (1924-2005)

Arthur Arthur “Art” Allen Fletcher, ba 1950, served as adviser to four U.S. presidents. As assistant secretary of labor 1969-71, he issued the Revised Philadelphia Plan, the foundation for affirmative action programs, and was a U.S. delegate to the United Nations in 1971. While serving as executive director of the United Negro College Fund 1972-73, he is credited with helping coin the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” He served as deputy assistant to the President for Urban Affairs 1976-77 and as chairman of the Commission on Civil Rights 1990-93. He briefly pursued a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1995. In the early 1950s, he played pro football for the Los Angeles Rams and was the first African-American to play for the Baltimore Colts. He was an assistant football coach at Washburn for the 1957-58 seasons. In 1972, he was inducted into the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame, and he received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1970. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters on him in 1990.

Robert H. Glazier (1926-2003)

Robert H. GlazierRobert H. Glazier taught chemistry for 37 years at Washburn. He joined the faculty in 1962, retired in 1993 and continued teaching as professor emeritus until 1999. Known for his focus on excellence in education, he spent most of his summers attending educational conferences in chemistry so his classroom presentations would always incorporate the most recent advances. He was a faculty adviser to pre-med students and active in the American Chemical Society, Kansas Academy of Science, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Sigma Pi and Phi Kappa Phi. He served as vice president and president of the Kansas section of the American Association of University Professors. He received a bachelor’s degree from Amherst (Mass.) College, a master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and a doctorate from the University of Kansas.

Georgia Neese Clark Gray (1900-1995)

Georgia Neese Clark GrayGeorgia Neese Clark Gray, ba 1921, became the first female treasurer of the United States 1949-53. A member of the Democratic National Committee for 28 years, she also served on the board of the Harry S. Truman Institute and the Commission of Judicial Qualifications for the Kansas Supreme Court. She was the first female to serve as a member and chairwoman of the Washburn Board of Regents. In 1937, she became president of the Richland (Kan.) State Bank, eventually renaming it Capital City Bank and Trust and relocating it to Topeka in 1964. She was president until 1975 and chairwoman of the board 1974-78. In the 1920s, she studied theatre in New York and toured the country with stock companies for 10 years. The Washburn theatre is named in honor of her and her husband, Andrew J. Gray. She received the Washburn Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1950 and Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of business administration on her in 1966.

John W. Henderson (1922-1999)

John W. HendersonJohn W. Henderson served 1965-81 as Washburn’s ninth president. He is credited with leading the effort to raise $50 million to rebuild Washburn after the majority of campus buildings were damaged or destroyed by a tornado in 1966. During his tenure, Carnegie Hall was repaired, Morgan Hall was expanded, the Garvey Fine Arts Center, School of Law and Mabee Library buildings were constructed and plans were initiated for the Petro Allied Health Center. The Henderson Learning Resources Center, which bears his name, opened in 1971. Henderson is also credited with expansion of international education and new academic programs, including establishment of the School of Business and a baccalaureate program in nursing as well as many associate degree programs. Prior to Washburn, Henderson served as president of Iowa Wesleyan College and dean of students at Western Illinois University. He received a bachelor’s degree from Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pa., and master’s and doctorate degrees from Michigan State University. He received the Washburn University School of Law Honorary Life Membership Award in 1969.

The Honorable Delmas Carl Hill (1906-1989)

Delmas Carl HillThe Honorable Delmas Carl Hill, ba 1926, jd 1929, was appointed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. He is the only Washburn University School of Law graduate to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals, serving 16 years and taking senior status in 1977. Hill served 1949-61 as a judge for the District of Kansas and became chief judge in 1957. During World War II, he assisted with the prosecution of General Yamashita, commanding general in the Philippine Islands, before the Philippine Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. He received a Bronze Star from General Douglas MacArthur. Hill served 20 years on the Washburn College board of trustees and was instrumental in fundraising for the School of Law following the 1966 tornado. The Washburn University School of Law conferred an honorary doctor of law on him in 1958. He received the Washburn Law Distinguished Service Award in 1964 and a posthumous School of Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

John E. Howe (1919-2007)

John E. HoweJohn E. Howe was dean of the Washburn University School of Law 1959-1970 and a distinguished professor of law. He taught full time until 1978 and part time until 1981. During his tenure as dean, the 1966 tornado damaged many buildings, including Carnegie Hall, which housed the Law School. Howe led the effort to raise more than $1 million to construct a new building, which opened in 1969. He is also credited for maintaining academic standards when funding was scarce by recruiting active attorneys to teach part time. Prior to Washburn, he served seven years as assistant dean and faculty member at the St. Louis (Mo.) University School of Law and five years at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Western Kentucky University, a law degree from the University of Kentucky and a master’s in law degree from the University of Michigan.

Cha Too Koo (1932- )

Cha Too KooCha Too Koo, bba 1957, was president of Gold Star Software Ltd. He retired from LG Industries Inc. (formerly Lucky-Goldstar Group), a South Korean multinational company and subsidiary of the LG Group, which has more than 50 different subsidiaries ranging from chemicals and electronics to energy and finance. He has been a benefactor of Washburn, supporting scholarships for international students. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from New York City College in 1959. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of commerce on him in 1986.

Theo Cobb Landon (1898-1996)

Theo Cobb LandonTheo Cobb Landon, ba 1919, was First Lady of Kansas during the two terms Alf Landon served as governor, 1933-1937, and was mother of U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker. She served 30 years as a trustee of the Washburn Endowment Association, now the Washburn University Foundation, and was the first female to serve as board chairwoman. Landon also served on the boards of the Community Concert, Red Cross, Florence Crittenton Home and the United Way and was a member of the YWCA Advisory Council and the Shawnee County Mental Health Planning Council. She was a musician and an honorary member of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Harp Society. Washburn honored her with an Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1969. In 1974, Washburn conferred on her an honorary doctor of humanities.

Charlotte Mendell Leavitt (1867-1958)

Charlotte Mendell LeavittCharlotte Mendell Leavitt is credited with originating Washburn’s motto, non nobis solum, or “Not for ourselves alone.” Leavitt joined the Washburn faculty in 1899 as an English literature instructor and dean of women. In 1903, she was promoted to professor and later became head of the English department. She was an early member of Nonoso, Washburn’s honorary society for women, which began in 1917. She retired in 1940 after 41 years of service. Prior to Washburn, she taught high school for six years in Michigan. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Columbia University, New York, N.Y., and also studied at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of literature on her in 1925.

Delano Eugene Lewis (1938- )

Delano Eugene LewisDelano Eugene Lewis, jd 1963, was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1999 and confirmed by the U. S. Senate in 1999 as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. He also served with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1966, Lewis served as associate director of the Peace Corps in Nigeria and country director in Uganda culminating as chief of the East and Southern Africa Division. Lewis also served as president and chief executive officer of National Public Radio and as president and chief executive officer of District of Columbia operations of Bell Atlantic, now Verizon. He served as director of international relations institute and interim dean for international programs at New Mexico State University 2006-11. He was named Kansan of the Year by the Topeka Capital-Journal in 1999 and by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas in 2009. Washburn honored him with an Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1989 and conferred an honorary doctor of law on him in 2000. He received the Washburn Law Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and the Washburn Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. The Arkansas City, Kan., native earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas.

Marion “Mac” McDonald (1914-1990)

Marion Marion “Mac” McDonald was Washburn’s head basketball coach 1951-60. After eight winning seasons, McDonald retired from basketball in 1960, posting a 102-67 overall record and winning the Central Intercollegiate Conference (CIC) championship in 1952. McDonald is credited with re-establishing Washburn’s baseball program in 1957 and producing four winning teams to win the CIC championship in 1963. He was inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame. As the first president of the NAIA Baseball Association, he played a substantial role in establishing the NAIA Baseball Tournament and worked as a professional baseball scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers. McDonald retired from coaching baseball in 1965 and then served until 1978 as director of Washburn’s financial aid and placement programs. With his son, Bill, b ed 1967, he was inducted into the 1977 Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame. In the 1930s, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University and a master’s degree from George Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn.

The Honorable Kay E. McFarland (1935- )

Kay McFarlandThe Honorable Kay E. McFarland, ba 1957, jd 1964, served 13 years as chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. Her groundbreaking judicial career began in 1971 when she became judge of the probate and juvenile courts, the first female elected to a judgeship in Shawnee County. In 1973, she was elected to the Fifth Division of the District Court in Topeka, becoming the first female district judge in Kansas. Another first for a female came in 1977, when the governor appointed McFarland to a seat on the Kansas Supreme Court. She was retained in office by statewide vote until her retirement in 2009. In 1995, she became the first female chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. She was named a Washburn University School of Law Alumni Fellow in 2005 and received the Washburn Law Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 and the Washburn Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. In 2009, Washburn conferred on her an honorary doctor of law.

Peter McVicar (1852-1903)

Peter McVicarPeter McVicar was Washburn’s second president, 1871-96, the last year on a leave of absence. As the longest-tenured president to date, McVicar is credited with establishing Washburn’s place in higher education by recruiting and retaining capable faculty members. Over two decades, he led successful fundraising efforts to construct the buildings and plant the thousands of trees that characterized the campus for 90 years. The chapel was named in his honor in 1902, but the stone above the doorway was etched incorrectly as MacVicar, now the name of the street that borders the west side of campus. McVicar came to Topeka in 1860 and was an original member of the Lincoln College, now Washburn University, board of trustees. In the 11 years before becoming Washburn’s president, he served as pastor of First Congregational Church and state superintendent of public instruction. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1856 from Beloit (Wis.) College and a bachelor of divinity degree from Andover (Mass.) Theological Seminary in 1860.

Billie Jean Moore (1943- )

Billie Jean MooreBillie Jean Moore, b ed 1966, is one of the most successful coaches in women’s intercollegiate basketball, compiling a record of 436-196 in 24 seasons. She won a national championship in 1970, her first year at California State University-Fullerton, where she coached eight years. She coached 16 years at the University of California-Los Angeles, winning a national championship in 1978. She was chosen to coach the first USA Olympic women’s basketball team, which won a silver medal in Montreal in 1976. In 1999, she was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2002, she received the Naismith Women’s Outstanding Contribution to Basketball Award. She was named to the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from Washburn in 1995. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters on her in 1999. She holds a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University.