Richard Schiefelbusch was awarded with the local Sertoma's Club highest honor this week.
A Kansas University professor emeritus who devoted his 40-year career to helping people with speech and hearing difficulties was honored this week.
Richard Schiefelbusch, director emeritus of KU's Life Span Institute, was the recipient of the 35th annual Service to Mankind award given by the Lawrence Sertoma Club.
Schiefelbusch was honored during a banquet Tuesday night at the Lawrence Holidome.
He said the award came as a surprise.
"We thought we were just guests," he said. "I walked right into it.
"I thought those little events in one's life were over. It was particularly heartwarming to me because I knew a number of people in the audience."
Schiefelbusch, retired since 1990, became the director of the Bureau of Child Research at KU in 1955 and served in that capacity for 35 years. The bureau was renamed the Schiefelbusch Lifespan Institute after his retirement.
Don Potter, chairman of the Sertoma committee that nominated Schiefelbusch for the award, said he was an obvious choice for the award, because speech and hearing programs are among the club's service projects.
"He fit the bill," Potter said. "He's actually world-renowned on that subject."
During his time at KU, Schiefelbusch secured millions in grant money that enabled the bureau to recruit the nation's most prominent scholars and authorities in the field.
His work also resulted in extending programs beyond the Lawrence campus, providing for the construction of research facilities at Parsons State Hospital and KU Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.
Schiefelbusch and his wife, Ruth, have three children. He enjoys gardening and cheering for the KU basketball team.