Pratt High School 1969 graduate awarded Fred Elssworth Medallion for volunteer work in Lawrence.
Jeff Kennedy, Pratt High School class of 1968 and University of Kansas alum, has been a dedicated supporter of the university and the alumni association for many years. For his efforts, Kennedy, who lives in Wichita and is a volunteer for the KU Alumni Association Wichita Network, will receive the Fred Ellsworth Medallion, the KU Alumni Associations highest award for volunteer service to KU. He is one of 158 KU alumni and friends that have received the award since 1975.
Kennedy said he has been going to the Ellsworth Medallion dinner for the last 10 years and was not expecting to receive the award.
“I was surprised. It’s not something I had thought about,” Kennedy said. “They are a very elite group of people and I’m happy to be a part of that. I’m just thrilled to get the honor.”
The Alumni Association will honor Kennedy and fellow recipient Don Brada on Sept. 5 at the fall meeting of the associations national Board of Directors. They will also be recognized during the KU vs Coastal football game on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Kennedy earned a journalism degree from KU. He said attending KU changed his life and he grew enormously. He owed it to the university for everything it did for him.
Kennedy, who lives in Wichita, started his work with the alumni association doing volunteer work for the football and basketball programs. He held dinners or lunch for the football or basketball coach. He continued to do that for many years and found it very enjoyable. He enjoyed meeting and getting to know the coaches and the people that came to the events.
Since then, Kennedy has been a consistent volunteer for the Alumni Association Wichita Network, served as their president and on the Board for many years, contributed to the Kansas Honor Scholars Program, recruited students at the Jayhawk Roundup, elected to the Alumni Association national board of directors and was national alumni chair from 2013 to 2014.
“Jeff is a proven and committed volunteer who cares deeply about all of KU,” said Alumni Association President Heath Peterson. “He is passionate about the vital importance of KU and has worked tirelessly and has effectively spoken out about the urgent need to restore state support for our universities.”
Kennedy still has relatives living in Pratt including his mother Marilyn Kennedy and his sister Jan Meyer and brother-in-law Doug Meyer who are taking Marilyn to the ceremony.