KU announces alumnus, former Marine as honorary degree recipient for 2017

TOPEKA — The University of Kansas will award an honorary doctoral degree at this spring’s commencement to alumnus William McNulty, a former Marine and co-founder of Team Rubicon.

“William McNulty is an Iraq war veteran who has turned his experience into a global effort,” KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Wednesday at a meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents, which approved the honorary degree. “The University of Kansas is very proud of Mr. McNulty’s service.”

Team Rubicon is a national nonprofit agency that recruits military veterans to provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid around the world.

The organization started after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, according to the Team Rubicon website. Together with six other veterans and first responders, McNulty and co-founder Jake Wood gathered funds and medical supplies from friends and family, flew into the Dominican Republic, rented a truck and drove into Haiti.

McNulty realized the organization could help veterans transition to civilian life, KU noted in an announcement about the degree. Today Team Rubicon has an army of 35,000 volunteers, 75 percent of whom are military veterans.

McNulty also recently founded Team Rubicon Global, which focuses on exporting the Team Rubicon model of disaster relief service and veteran reintegration to 12 countries around the world.

McNulty earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, according to KU. At KU commencement, scheduled for May 14 in Memorial Stadium, he will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for outstanding contributions to global humanitarian and relief efforts.