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The winners were Carol Beier, a Kansas Supreme Court justice; Timothy Emert, the only person ever to serve as chairman of both the Kansas State Board of Education and the Kansas Board of Regents; and John Vratil, who served three terms in the Kansas Senate. They were recognized during a ceremony in Lawrence last week.
Beier, who graduated from KU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1981 and a law degree in 1985, became the first female KU law school graduate to serve on the state’s highest court when she was appointed in 2003. She’s also a member of the KU Women’s Hall of Fame.
Emert also earned journalism and law degrees from KU, in 1962 and 1965. He served in the state Senate for eight years, including four years as majority leader. He has been a part of a number of other state boards and organizations in addition to the state school board and the Board of Regents.
Vratil earned a bachelor’s degree in education form KU in 1967 and a law degree in 1971. He was president of the Kansas Bar Association in 1995-96 before he was elected to the state Senate in 1998. He served 11 years as the Senate’s vice president.