The Turnbulls have been at Kansas University's Beach Center for nearly 19 years. In addition to being the centers' co-directors, the Turnbulls are professors of special education.
Ann and Rud Turnbull, co-directors of Kansas University's Beach Center on Families and Disability, are among 25 people who will be recognized as having contributed the most in the last 100 years to enhancing the lives of persons with mental retardation.
The honor, The Historic Century Award, will be presented Friday by the American Association of Mental Retardation at the group's 123rd annual meeting in New Orleans. The association is America's oldest and largest in the field of mental retardation.
"Had it not been for our son Jay (who was born with disabilities) we would not have had the inspiration and insights that made it possible for us to operate the Beach Center," a happy Rud Turnbull said Wednesday.
"He's our best teacher and the Beach Center at KU is a magnificent environment in which to do our work."
The Turnbulls are being recognized for their individual contributions in the field of mental health.
They will be in good company on Friday.
Among those being honored are:
- The late President John F. Kennedy for launching research, services, law reform and public acceptance on behalf of persons with mental retardation.
- Judge James Johnson, author of early rights decisions involving the mentally handicapped.
- Sen. John Chafee, a leader in reforming federal funding of services for persons with mental disabilities
- Alfred Binet, developer of intelligence testing methods.
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics.
- Jerome Lejeune, discoverer of two mental retardation causes including Down Syndrome.
- Walter Fernald, founder of the first asylum for persons with mental retardation.
The Turnbulls have been at the Beach Center for nearly 19 years. In addition to being the centers' co-directors, the Turnbulls are professors of special education. Rud Turnbull is also a courtesy law professor.
Richard Schiefelbusch, professor emeritus and founder of KU's Schiefelbusch Life Span Institute, an affiliate of the Beach Center, said the Turnbull's personal and professional qualities reflect highly on the character of their work.
"We are far more grateful than we are deserving", Rud Turnbull said. "We think the award honors the university's Beach Center and its work on behalf of family and professionals as much as it honors the work that we've done on their behalf."
Ross and Marianna Beach, Lawrence and Hays, for whom the Beach Center is named, will accompany the Turnbulls today to New Orleans. Ross Beach is the Chairman of the Board of the Douglas County Bank. The Beaches are enthusiastic supporters of the Turnbulls and their achievements.
"We're extremely thrilled and proud of Rud and Ann, the Beaches said Wednesday. "We feel it's the greatest thing in the world having a thing of this caliber and size happening at the university, and it's a wonderful thing for the state of Kansas."
-- Bill Snead's phone message number is 832-7196. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.