A former orthopedic surgery professor, a bank executive and a retired construction and agricultural equipment company president have been awarded the Fred Ellsworth Medallion from the Kansas University Alumni Association.
Marc A. Asher, Donald A. Johnston and Janet Martin McKinney will be honored at a private dinner on Friday at the Adams Alumni Center.
Kevin Corbett, president of the alumni association, said Friday that the three were honored for targeting a significant portion of their charitable efforts toward KU.
“If you looked at any one of them, you’d see commonalities,” Corbett said. “On a day-by-day basis, they help the university become a better university.”
Asher, Leawood, is a 1962 graduate of the KU School of Medicine, and retired Dec. 31 as a university distinguished professor of orthopedic surgery. He spent 36 years at KU Medical Center, and dedicated the Marc A. Asher M.D. Comprehensive Spine Center.
With his wife, Ellie, Asher was on KU Endowment’s KU First fundraising campaign steering committee and was a major donor to the Campaign Kansas campaign.
Johnston, Lawrence, received his bachelor’s degree from the KU School of Business in 1956 and a KU law degree in 1966. He works as executive vice president of Intrust Bank’s northeast Kansas region.
He has been a part owner of Maupintour Inc., a travel company in Lawrence, and Vinylplex Inc., a manufacturing company in his hometown of Pittsburg. He and his wife, Alice Ann Dowell Johnston, are life members of the KU Alumni Association, and he has coordinated the association’s Kansas Honors Program event.
McKinney, Kerrville, Texas, received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from KU in 1974 before becoming president of Martin Tractor Co. in Topeka. She and her husband, Kent, are life members of the alumni association.
She has worked for the former Museum of Anthropology and has served as a member of the KU Biodiversity Institute advisory board, including a one-year term as chairwoman. She has raised funds for the institute’s Archaeology Research Center, working on its collections of cultural artifacts from the Great Plains.