Ichabod Notables

Ichabod Notables N through Z

Laurence "Larry" Van Cott Niven (1938- )

Larry NivenLaurence “Larry” Van Cott Niven, ba 1962, is a legend in the science fiction world. Writing primarily hard science fiction, Niven has authored numerous award-winning bestsellers and short stories. He is best known for Ringworld, published in 1970, the first of a sub series contained in Known Space, a future history. Niven has written for various science fiction television series and for the DC Comics character Green Lantern. Neutron Star, published in 1966, which won a Hugo, was first penned for a composition class at Washburn. His short story, The Return of William Proxmire, is partly set at Washburn University. His achievements include one Nebula, five Hugos, two Ditmars and four Locus Awards. With author Jerry Pournelle, Niven received the 2005 Robert A. Heinlein Society Award for outstanding published work in hard science or technical writings inspiring the human exploration of space. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of literature on him in 1984.

* Photo courtesy of Marilyn Niven

Jessie Junette Nye (1887-1947)

Jessie Junette NyeJessie Junette Nye, jd 1912, was the fifth female to enroll and the first woman to graduate from the Washburn University School of Law. She was elected secretary of the first-year class and also served as the Law School’s reporter, writing a weekly column for the student newspaper. During the 1911 spring term, she worked as law librarian, a position held by students at that time. During her last semester, she was elected county attorney for the practice court. In 1931, she established a private law practice in Newton, Kan.

John Henry Outland (1871-1947)

John Henry OutlandJohn Henry Outland was memorialized in 1946 when the Football Writers Association established the Outland Trophy, awarded annually to the best interior offensive or defensive lineman in the nation. An outstanding college football player at the University of Kansas and the University of Pennsylvania where he received a medical degree in 1900, he was named All-American Tackle in 1897 and All-American Halfback in 1898. Outland coached Washburn’s football team in 1903 and 1904 and was athletic director through 1908, all while serving as a professor of gynecology in the Kansas Medical College, a part of Washburn. In 1905, Outland refereed a game Washburn played against Fairmount College, now Wichita State University, to try new football rules, including the forward pass, which was first executed in that game. In 1908, he joined the University of Kansas medical school faculty and later served at Trinity Lutheran Hospital in Kansas City. He was inducted into the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

Anthony Overton (1865-1946)

Anthony OvertonAnthony Overton was an entrepreneur, businessman, banker and publisher who founded the first major conglomerate led by an African-American. From 1882-84, he attended the Washburn Preparatory School, known later as the Academy. In 1890, he graduated from the University of Kansas law school, Lawrence, practiced law in Topeka and served one year as a municipal judge. In 1898, Overton moved to Kansas City, Kan., where he established the Overton Hygienic Manufacturing Co. and developed a line of cosmetics and perfumes for African-American women. In 1911, he moved the company to Chicago where it grew into a multimillion-dollar business with more than 400 employees and 52 products marketed nationally and internationally. Overton founded the first African-American-owned national bank, Douglass National, and then established the Victory Life Insurance Co. He also published a general interest magazine and a newspaper. For these achievements, he received the NAACP Spingarn Medal and the Harmon Business Award.

* Photo courtesy of the African American Registry.

Dale C Pond (1946- )

Dale Pond and his wifeDale C. Pond, bba 1969, excelled in the field of merchandising, marketing and strategy development. He served 12 years with Lowe’s Co. Inc., the second largest home improvement retailer in the world and one of the top 10 largest retailers in the United States, retiring in 2005 as senior executive vice president, merchandising and marketing. Pond is credited with creating the McDonald’s Happy Meal concept, in use since 1979, during his tenure with Bernstein/Rein Advertising Inc., where he managed the McDonald’s regional account for 13 states. After graduating from Washburn, he formed a Topeka advertising company, Peabody and Pond. Prior to Lowe’s, Pond held senior management positions at a series of leading retailers and home improvement companies. He serves on the boards of Family Dollar Stores and Bassett Furniture and retired from the Scripps Networks board of directors last year. He is a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program.

Albert Turner Reid (1873-1958)

Albert ReidAlbert Turner Reid was a nationally renowned political cartoonist and illustrator. In 1901, he co-founded the Reid-Stone School of Art in downtown Topeka, which affiliated with Washburn in 1903. While teaching at the art school, Reid designed the 1904 Washburn College yearbook, the Kaw, and contributed illustrations to it through 1906. His tough little guy illustrations, published in the Kaw and on athletic posters, personified Washburn’s fighting spirit for many years. Reid also published the Leavenworth (Kan.) newspaper 1905-23 and the Kansas Farmer 1908-16, and his political cartoons and illustrations appeared in Topeka, Kansas City, Chicago and New York newspapers, as well as national magazines like the Saturday Evening Post. He also was renowned for his paintings of western scenes, especially horses. In 1919, he became director of pictorial publicity for the Republican campaign in New York City.

Harvey Dwight Rice (1821-1903)

Harvey Dwight Rice - Kansas Historical SocietyHarvey Dwight Rice was a founder of Washburn University. He was instrumental in convincing members of the General Association of Congregational Ministers and Churches in Kansas to locate a college in Topeka by making it possible for the Topeka delegation to offer 160 acres plus a building. This offer came after Rice returned from a trip east, where he secured a $2,000 loan enabling Col. John Ritchie to buy, and then donate, the 160 acres. Rice then donated $7,000 in labor and materials and constructed a two-story building for the college at 10th Street and Jackson Avenue. On the 160-acre campus, Rice supervised the construction of five buildings: Hartford Cottage, Whitin Hall, Holbrook Hall, MacVicar Chapel and Science Hall, which was renamed Rice Hall in his honor a year before he died. He served as a trustee for Lincoln College and later Washburn College boards from 1858 until his death.

* Photo provided by Kansas Historical Society

Jack Clay Richmond (1928- )

Jack Clay RichmondJack Clay Richmond, ba 1950, is president of Richmond Enterprises, which operates 32 Pizza Huts in San Antonio, Texas. Beginning with a single underperforming Pizza Hut in 1968, Richmond built one of the strongest franchises in America. He was inducted into the Pizza Hut Hall of Fame by the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association in 2009, the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Texas Restaurant Association Hall of Honor. He has been honored as Outstanding Restaurateur and was named Restaurateur of the Year by the San Antonio Restaurant Association in 2011. He served 1994-99 as a Washburn University Foundation trustee. With his wife, Laura, he supports many Washburn programs. The Richmond Hall of the Living Learning Center is named in their honor. He was named a Washburn Alumni Fellow in 1998, received the Washburn Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1987 and was conferred an honorary doctorate of commerce from Washburn in 2000.

Brigadier General Deborah S. Rose, USAF, (Ret.) (1950- )

Brigadier General RoseBrigadier General Deborah S. Rose, bsn 1982, is the highest-ranking female to ever serve in the Kansas National Guard. Upon her promotion to brigadier general in 2007, she became the director of the Joint Staff, Joint Forces Headquarters, Kansas National Guard. She was responsible for the integration of more than 7,000 Kansas Army and Air National Guard forces for homeland security in Kansas and to support other states. In addition, she served as the Air National Guard assistant to the commander of the U.S. Air Force African Command. She deployed to Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield as a nurse. During Pre-Operation Iraqi Freedom, she deployed to Turkey as the leader of an aerial refueling base bed-down team. Her numerous military awards include the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal. Rose served in the USAF for 28.5 years. She was a member of the 2002 Leadership Kansas class and was named a 2011 Topeka Capital-Journal Distinguished Kansan. Washburn honored her as an Alumni Fellow in 2007 and conferred on her an honorary doctor of public service in 2012.

Marie Russell (1900-1981)

Marie RussellMarie Russell, jd 1925, served more than 40 years as head law librarian at the State Library, retiring in 1959. She worked one year as a Washburn Law librarian. In 1928, she joined the Washburn Law faculty as the first woman lecturer and taught part-time common law pleading and conflict of laws for 30 years. She was a member of the Kansas and American Bar Associations and a life member of the American Association of University Women, American Association of Law Librarians and the Kansas Historical Society. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and master’s and doctorate degrees from Simmons College, Boston, Mass. In 1966, she received the School of Law Distinguished Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. 

Frank Carmine Sabatini (1932- ) & Judith Leslie Lennox Sabatini (1943- )

Frank and Judith SabatiniFrank Carmine Sabatini is a banker and entrepreneur. He opened the third store in the Pizza Hut franchise and developed more than 60 restaurants in five states before purchasing Topeka’s Capital City Bank, where he serves as chairman emeritus. He is a past chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents and a former member of the Washburn Board of Regents. He earned bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Judith Leslie Lennox Sabatini, bfa 1985, is a founding member of the Collective Art Gallery and owner of Studio 521, a private photography gallery. A Washburn University Foundation trustee, she served 13 years at Washburn as an adjunct instructor of photography, receiving the Ned Fleming Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997. She also served as assistant director of the Mulvane Art Museum, which houses the Judith Lennox Sabatini ArtLab for children. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of commerce on Frank and an honorary doctor of fine arts on Judith in 2006.

Gretchen O.A. Sibberson (1916-1994) & T. Erna Sibberson (1919-2001)

Sibberson sistersGretchen O.A. Sibberson, ba 1937, and T. Erna Sibberson, ba 1937, established the Sibberson Award at Washburn, which is given to the highest ranking member of the senior class in an undergraduate program. The sisters intended for the substantial monetary award to allow recipients to pursue graduate studies, travel or start a business. Both sisters graduated from Topeka High School in 1933. They also both attended Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., where Gretchen earned a bachelor’s degree and Erna earned a master’s degree. At Washburn, they were members of Pi Gamma Mu social science honorary society. Gretchen pursued a career as a social worker with Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services. Erna served 31 years as an enrollment secretary at Topeka High School, resigning to become a successful investor and financial adviser.

The Honorable James "Jim" Charles Slattery (1948- )

Jim SlatteryThe Honorable James “Jim” Charles Slattery, ba 1970, jd 1975, is a six-term U.S. congressman who represented the Kansas 2nd District 1983-95 and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008 and for Kansas governor in 1994. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm Wiley Rein LLP, where he is chairman of the public policy practice. During his tenure in the House of Representatives, he was a member of the Budget, Veterans Affairs, Banking and Energy and Commerce committees. He travels regularly to the Middle East to encourage interfaith dialogue and reconciliation and has served as an international election monitor in Iraq, Ukraine and Nicaragua. A past member of the Washburn Board of Regents, Slattery serves on the Washburn University School of Law Board of Governors and is a Washburn University Foundation trustee. Washburn honored him with an Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1986 and named him an Alumni Fellow in 2001. 

Raymond Lewis Spring (1932-2001)

Raymond SpringRaymond Lewis Spring, ba 1957, jd 1959, served 1970-78 as dean of the Washburn University School of Law and 36 years as a faculty member. During his tenure as dean, Washburn Law experienced enormous change and growth in students, faculty positions and volumes in the library. Spring also strengthened the school’s national reputation through his pioneering efforts in clinical legal education. An authority in the law and mental disability field, he held a joint faculty appointment in the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Sciences and served on the Governor’s Committee on Criminal Administration. His numerous publications include The End of Insanity and three editions of a nationally recognized textbook on law and the mental health system. He received distinguished professor rank in 1978 and was named the William O. Douglas Professor of the Year in 1980. Washburn Law honored him with a Distinguished Service Award in 1987.

Lieutenant Colonel Warren A. Stewart (1969- )

Warren StewartLieutenant Colonel Warren A. Stewart, bsn 1998, serves as a clinical operations analyst at Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces Command, Surgeon’s Directorate, Fort Bragg, N.C. In 2012, he was an Army Research Fellow at the RAND Corp. Arroyo Center in Santa Monica, Calif. From 2009-11, he was officer in charge of the Emergency Treatment Section for the 28th Combat Support Hospital at Fort Bragg, supporting more than 14,000 soldiers and civilians deployed to Iraq. He served 2002-05 at Fort Riley as a brigade combat team nurse and was an adjunct professor for the Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Md. Stewart played an essential medical role during the 2001 anthrax attack on Washington, D.C., and was a first responder to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. He deployed to Iraq twice, receiving the Army Commendation Medal with “Valor” device and the Combat Medical Badge. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, which honored him with a 2009 Alumni Award. Washburn recognized him with an Alumni GOLD Award in 2005 and as an Alumni Fellow in 2010.

George Melville Stone (1858-1931)

George StoneGeorge Melville Stone was an internationally known portrait and landscape painter. He attended Kansas State Normal School in Emporia, Kan., and studied art in Paris 1887-91. He co-founded, with Albert Turner Reid, the Reid-Stone School of Art, which affiliated with Washburn in 1903 and moved on campus into Boswell Hall in 1906. Stone taught drawing and painting at the school 1902-09 and 1916-18. The Mulvane Art Museum’s permanent collection holds 20 of his works, 13 of which are portraits and include Joab Mulvane, Lilla Day Monroe and Washburn President Frank Knight Sanders. His work is in numerous collections, including the Mission Inn in Riverside, Calif.; Sacred Heart Cathedral in Dodge City, Kan.; and St. Francis Health, Topeka. “Transfiguration” is in Topeka’s Grace Cathedral. “Spirit of Kansas” is on display in the Kansas governor’s conference room of the Kansas Capitol, which also features historical murals on the first floor that were painted by David Overmyer, one of Stone’s students.

Damian Lynn Strohmeyer (1958- )

Damian StrohmeyerDamian Lynn Strohmeyer, bba 1980, works in portraiture, photojournalism, fast-moving news, sports and feature photography in advertising, commercial and editorial markets. He began as a photographer at the Topeka Capital-Journal and then joined the Denver Post. His work has been featured 70 times on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with which he has been affiliated for more than 20 years. He has covered the World Series, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the World Cup, the Stanley Cup, the Olympics and the past 27 Super Bowls. His photographs illustrate A March of Honor, which chronicles an Indiana small-town high school basketball program. His honors include awards from Pictures of the Year, the National Headliners Awards and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where his work is exhibited. He is a member of the Canon Explorers of Light program, a group of 50 of the world’s most influential photographers.

Earl Sutherland (1915-1974)

Earl SutherlandEarl Sutherland, bs 1937, is recognized as a giant in the field of molecular biology. Sutherland, who received his medical degree from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., received the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries concerning the mechanisms of the action of hormones. In 1958, he isolated cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP), a previously unknown compound. This discovery opened new paths in areas such as diabetes and cancer research. Sutherland served 10 years as professor of physiology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and was distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine until his death. He received the Albert Lasker Award for basic medical research and the National Medal of Science. Sutherland was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. A bronze bust of Sutherland is installed in Stoffer Science Hall in his honor.

J. Bradbury Thompson (1911-1995)

J. Bradbury ThompsonJ. Bradbury Thompson, ba 1934, created the first iconic image of the Ichabod mascot in 1938. He was an internationally recognized innovator in graphic arts. He designed many books and magazines and more than 90 postage stamps, including the 1984 Love stamp. He was art director of Mademoiselle magazine; created a new font, Alphabet 26; and served 30 years on the faculty at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. One of his signature achievements is the Washburn College Bible (WCB), a three-volume typographic redesign of the King James Bible, published in 1979. In 1980, Oxford University Press published a one-volume edition of the WCB, which was made a Book-of-the Month Club special selection. Washburn awarded him an Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1958 and conferred an honorary doctor of fine arts on him in 1965. A track and field star, he was inducted into the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.

Ichabod Washburn (1798-1868)

Ichabod WashburnIchabod Washburn worked his way from indentured apprentice to captain of industry. The businessman was also a fervent Congregationalist, abolitionist and philanthropist who believed all people, including women and people of color, had a right to an education.

Washburn was sent at age 9 to learn leather harness-making because his widowed mother could not provide for him. By the time he was 33, Washburn had developed a machine and a technique that made wire stronger and easier to produce. His innovations in wire led some to call him a father of the industry, and for a time, his company was the largest wire producer in the world.

Horatio Quincy Butterfield visited Washburn’s home in Worcester, Mass., in October 1868. At that time, the financially struggling Lincoln College had been founded by the Congregational Church and admitted women and African-Americans from its inception. Washburn, a church deacon, pledged $25,000 to the school. The following month, the institution was renamed Washburn College in recognition of the pledge. Washburn died in December 1868 after complications of a stroke. He never set foot on his namesake campus.

Dr. Douglas Wayne Wilmore (1938- )

Douglas WilmoreDr. Douglas Wayne Wilmore, ba 1960, retired in 2002 as a renowned physician, researcher and professor. After earning a medical degree from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1964, he trained in surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. There he joined a team to develop a method of intravenous feeding that is used to support patients worldwide. He served in the Army 1971-79 at the Institute for Surgical Research in San Antonio, Texas, where he researched in the field of metabolic derangements associated with major injury. In 1979, he joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School as the Frank Sawyer Professor of Surgery and was also senior staff surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. During that time, his laboratory researched and developed lifesaving methods related to administering the amino acid glutamine to seriously ill patients. Washburn honored him with an Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1982 and conferred an honorary doctor of science on him in 1995.

Alice Adam Young (1937-2012)

Alice Adam YoungAlice Adam Young was the first dean of the Washburn School of Nursing. She expanded opportunities for registered nurses to obtain the bachelor’s degree as the professional entry for practice in the Topeka region. Formerly a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondolet, Young joined Washburn’s faculty in 1973, established the baccalaureate nursing program and guided it through four national accreditations that led to the establishment of the School of Nursing in 1982. She served 27 years as professor and dean, retiring in 2000. Young was a founding member of Hospice Inc. (now Midland Hospice) and a member of the Red Cross on local and national levels. She received a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine, Minneapolis, Minn., a master’s degree with a psychiatric-mental health specialty from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and a doctorate in nursing science from New York University. The Washburn Alumni Association honored her in 2004 with the Lilla Day Monroe Award. She was married to James Mitchell Young.

James Mitchell Young (1919-2005)

James Mitchell YougJames Mitchell Young retired as vice president and provost from Washburn in 1988 after 32 years of service, during which he also was dean of special instructional programs, director of continuing education, secretary of the Washburn Board of Regents and associate professor of education. Largely through his efforts, programs in criminal justice, legal assistance, mental health, gerontology, banking and respiratory therapy were established. He was one of the pioneers in developing college instruction by television. He served 1989-96 on the Topeka City Council and was instrumental in developing the International Center of Topeka. In 1985, he received the American College Higher Education Award for outstanding service and contributions to adult education. In 2000, he received the Human Rights Award from the Korean Institute of Human Rights. He earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees and a doctorate in education from the University of Kansas. He was married to Alice Adam Young.