Kansas City, Mo. Baker University honored three men -- including a Lawrence resident -- for outstanding service to the school, during Baker's 21st annual awards banquet here Friday.
The awards banquet is held to update alumni on the school's activities and thank the community for its support, said John Fuller, director of news services.
"It's our big night," Fuller said. "We just honor some of the best and brightest in the region ... and it's a chance to say 'thank you' to the community."
Honored as Distinguished Citizens for Public Service were Dolph Simons Jr. of Lawrence, editor and publisher of the Journal-World; Robert M. Rohlf of Kansas City, Mo., executive vice president of the Starlight Theatre; and Eliot Berkley of Kansas City, Mo., secretary and director of the Tension Envelope Foundation.
Simons was presented the award for distinguished business achievement. He is president of the World Co., which publishes the Journal-World and operates cable television companies in Lawrence and Fort Collins, Colo. A graduate of Kansas University, Simons is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and is a former director of the Associated Press.
"I am truly, genuinely, highly honored to receive this award," Simons said. "We are fortunate to be blessed with two truly superior universities."
Rohlf was presented the outstanding alumnus award; He is responsible for all operations and programming of Starlight Theatre as well as the association's indoor season at Midland Theatre. Rohlf is a 1968 graduate of Baker with a degree in economics.
Berkley was presented the award for distinguished leadership in international relations. In addition to his duties at Tension Envelope, he serves as vice president of the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation and as advisory director of the Kansas City Regional Council for Higher Education. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard and a master's and doctorate from Princeton University.
The Distinguished Citizens for Public Service recipients are chosen based on their support of the university, Fuller said.
"We gather this evening to celebrate excellence and to honor those who have achieved it," Baker President Daniel Lambert said.
About 250 people attended Friday night's banquet, including alumni, donators and students, he said.