Baker University will honor Gene Burnett, founder and retired president of Burnett Instruments, as the Lawrence Business Person of the Year at the Partners-in-Progress breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the Eldridge Hotel's Crystal Ballroom.
Baker sponsors the annual event to honor individuals who work to assure Lawrence's continued economic vitality.
The breakfast is open to the public and tickets can be reserved by calling Baker's advancement office, 594-6451.
In 1947, Burnett founded the surgical instruments company, which specialized in manufacturing disposable surgical items and orthopedic equipment. He sold the company in 1970, and it is now called Davol Inc. He retired in 1973.
Burnett's long-time involvement in the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce includes having served for two years as vice president. He served on the board of directors for the Lawrence National Bank for 20 years and Lawrence Savings for six years.
He was a member of the board of trustees for Lawrence Memorial Hospital for 10 years, during which time the current hospital was built. He also has served on the advisory board of the Kansas University Medical Center for the last 16 years.
Burnett's contributions have made possible the Hand Rehabilitation Center and Critical Burn Center at the KU Medical Center, and the Burnett Center for Religion and Performing Arts at Bethany University.