Agenda Item No. _______________

Washburn University Board of Regents

SUBJECT: Honorary Degree Candidates


Approval of the following candidates to receive Honorary Degrees at the 2002 Spring Commencement ceremonies:

Charles B. Axton - Doctor of Music

Gerald L. Goodell - Doctor of Law




President Farley recommends that the Board of Regents approve the awarding of these two Honorary Degrees.

________________________ _______________________________________

(date) Jerry B. Farley, President


Charles B. Axton was born in Pittsburg, Kansas. He studied at the Juilliard Preparatory School in New York, and the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1950, and received his Bachelor of Arts from Washburn University in 1955. While at Washburn, he was a Whiting Scholar, a MacVicar Scholar, a recipient of the Kappa Sigma Scholarship-Leadership Award, president of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, president of the Interfraternity Council, Kappa Sigma Man of the Year (for Washburn University) in 1954, Vice-Chairman of the Collegiate Young Republicans, and on the Dean's List. He was also a soloist performer with University Symphony, Topeka Civic Symphony, and Kansas City Philharmonic. He received his Master of Arts in 1966 and his Ph.D. in 1969 from the University of Kansas. From 1955 to 1957, he served in the military where he founded the Fort Hood Choral Society and was chief arranger of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Charles was a distinguished Director/Conductor of American Musicals in Germany. His international acclaim involved professional productions in Vienna, Austria, and Switzerland. He was staff conductor for the Nuernberg Opera House, and guest conductor for the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, which is considered to be one of the finest orchestras in the world. He was Musical Director for the film "A Little Night Music" starring Elizabeth Taylor. He is the founder of both the Lawrence Youth Symphony and the Odenwald Festival in Grasellenbach, Germany. He served as dean and professor of music and philosophy at Schiller College in Heidelberg/Boenningheim, Germany. His musical handbook, Musicalfuehrer, based on productions from the American Musical Theatre, is currently in its 7th edition.

Since his retirement and return to the United States in 1994, Charles and his wife Barbara, a 1966 graduate from Washburn University, have been frequent visitors to campus, lecturing in classes and attending campus events. Charles was honored as an Alumni Fellow in 2000. The Axtons have recently donated a significant videotape collection of American Musicals to the Music and Theatre Departments, as well as a collection of American musical theater original Broadway scores given to Charles by the composers.

Charles has had a remarkable and gifted career that has encompassed many fields of interest, each producing results that were nationally and internationally recognized.

Dr. Axton will receive an Honorary Doctor of Music at the May Commencement ceremonies.


Gerald Goodell is a Topeka, Kansas native. He received his BBA from Washburn University in 1954, and his Juris Doctorate from the Washburn School of Law in 1958. Jerry joined the law firm currently known as Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, L.L.P. upon his graduation in 1958. He has served as counsel to the Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Topeka, the Menninger Clinic, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, and the Heartland Community Bankers Association.

Jerry's involvement is extensive in professional and community affairs. He has served as president of the Topeka Bar Association, the Kansas Bar Association and the Kansas Bar Foundation, has served on the State Indigent Defendants Board, and was elected to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers in 1984. He has been a member of the Shawnee County District Judge Nominating Committee, and was appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court and currently serves as a member of the Kansas Board of Law Examiners and the Kansas Judicial Council. Jerry has served on the Board of Directors of the Shawnee County Cancer Society, the Kansas and Shawnee County Mental Health Associations, and the Topeka Chamber of Commerce.

He has served as president of the Washburn Alumni Association and the Washburn Law School Alumni Association, and as president of the Washburn Law School Foundation from 1982 to 2001. He led the Foundation through the campaign for funds to build the Law Library addition, which was completed in 1992. He received the Washburn Law School Distinguished Service Award in 1982, and the Kansas Bar Association Distinguished Service Award in 1993.

Jerry and Sue, his wife of 47 years, have been major contributors to the Law School to help expand scholarship funds for Washburn Law School students. It is his belief that in order for the law school to remain competitive, it must have more endowed gifts that provide scholarships. His firm's association with Washburn Law School has always been beneficial. They utilize the law library, hire law students as clerks, and occasionally call on the professors for their legal expertise. From 1961 to 1981, Jerry was a member of the adjunct faculty staff.

Mr. Goodell will receive an Honorary Doctor of Law at the May Commencement ceremonies.

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