UMKC Honors Outstanding Alumni

Three Bloch Alumni to be Honored at Awards Luncheon on April 21

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association Governing Board and the campus recognize outstanding individual alumni, and one family, with top honors. UMKC will celebrate these alumni at a luncheon event on April 21 on the UMKC campus. UMKC’s Alumni Association will highlight recipients’ stories and accomplishments at the luncheon, and honorees will visit classrooms to share their stories with current students.

The annual luncheon is one of the university’s largest events, with proceeds supporting student scholarships. Last year’s luncheon attracted more than 600 attendees and garnered more than $141,000 in student scholarship support. Proceeds from the Alumni Awards event benefit UMKC students through supporting both endowed and immediate student aid.

“We’re proud to showcase these amazing UMKC graduates,” said Raymond Cattaneo, M.D., president of the UMKC Alumni Association Governing Board. “We’re also committed to helping the next generation of Roos reach their potential, which is why this event benefits student aid and scholarships.”

Over the last seven years, the Alumni Awards event has garnered more than $800,000 for student scholarships and immediate aid.

“The Alumni Association has been a true partner in using its signature event to honor UMKC’s best and also help hundreds of students,” said Curt Crespino, vice chancellor for Advancement at UMKC. “Each year as we honor the great accomplishments of a select group of outstanding UMKC alumni, we lay the foundation for many more accomplishments to come from those following in their footsteps.”

The following Bloch alumni will be honored at the April 21 luncheon:

Bill French Alumni Service Award: Julia M. Wilson (’84 Management)

Julie-Wilson_550Teamwork is a value Julie Wilson wields daily in her role as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Cerner Corp. That central focus characterized her time as a UMKC athlete and describes the volunteerism and dedication Wilson has shown to UMKC and, specifically, to UMKC athletics. Following an exciting basketball career including two NAIA Honorable Mention all-American selections and three NAIA all-District 16 selections and the NAIA Frank L. Hesselroth Award, Wilson became a central supporter of the UMKC Athletics program. The Bill French Alumni Service Award honors graduates who have contributed time and effort back to the university.

Defying the Odds Award: Judy G. Jacobs (’77 Management, ‘86 Education)

JudyJacobs550After Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, Judy Jacobs and her family were placed in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was seven years old. She lost many loved ones in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When she and her parents were freed, she was sent off – young, alone and scared – to boarding school while her parents attempted to rebuild their lives. In 1946, Jacobs and her family moved to the United States. Despite everything they had experienced, her parents passed on their belief in the importance of education and Jacobs went on to college. Jacobs came to UMKC to earn her MBA and a Ph.D. in higher education administration and finance and completed her degrees while working and raising a family. Today, Jacobs utilizes her education and her experiences during WWII to teach others about the Holocaust and makes every possible effort to accept all the speaking engagements she can. The Defying the Odds Award honors a graduate who overcame significant obstacles to achieve his or her success.

Each year, every UMKC school and college presents an Alumni Achievement Award to one graduate:

Doug Baker (MBA ’95)
Doug-Baker-Bloch_550Doug Baker is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Discovery Networks International, the world’s no. 1 nonfiction media company reaching 2 billion subscribers in 220 nations.

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