Two businessmen were honored in May as Distinguished Alumni of the Year by the Kansas University School of Business.
The honor was given to Howard Cohen and Clifford W. Illig.
Cohen, who received a bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration in 1979, is partner-in-charge of the Kansas City Assurance and Enterprise Risk Service practice of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.
Illig, a 1973 graduate in business administration and accounting, is vice chairman and co-founder of Cerner Corp., a Kansas City-based health care information technology company. He previously served as the company's president and CEO from 1985 to 1999.
Professor mapping Germanic languages
The near-extinction of the Lutheran Low German language in north-central Kansas is nothing new to Bill Keel.
Keel, chairman and professor of Germanic languages and literatures at Kansas University, is the director of the Linguistic Atlas of Kansas German Dialects, which uses interviews with German-speakers to map dialects.
He said the situation in Marshall and Washington counties was typical among other dialects across the state.
"It's the breakup of rural society that's led to the deterioration of the language," Keel said. "If those communities had remained intact, people would still be learning German. But they got in their cars, went to the big city and married people who didn't speak German."
Aside from Lutheran Low German in north-central Kansas, other common German dialects in the state include Volga German near Hays, Mennonite German near Newton, Amish German near Partridge and Garnett, and Swiss German near Bern.
Keel started mapping German dialects shortly after he arrived at KU in 1978. The interviews now are being made available at the project's Web site, www.ku.edu/~germanic/lakgdhomepage/main.htm.