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Kristi Henderson
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
785-864-3663

KU recognizes diplomat, executive as distinguished alumnus

Tue, 09/05/2017

LAWRENCE – A University of Kansas graduate who has served as ambassador to South Africa and CEO of National Public Radio has been selected as the 2017 honoree of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Delano Lewis has led a career that is both diverse and notable. After graduating from KU in 1960 with majors in political science and history and a law degree soon after, he embarked on a career including roles with the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Uganda, as U.S. ambassador to South Africa, CEO of NPR and more than 20 years in telecommunications with C & P Telco in Washington, D.C., culminating as president of Bell Atlantic/DC, which is now Verizon.

Alongside his professional career, Lewis has made contributions as a public servant and philanthropist in the Washington, D.C., community and on a federal level. Recently, he’s focused his energy on sharing his experiences with others, compiling his life lessons in his memoir, “It All Begins with Self: How to Discover Your Passion, Connect with People, and Succeed in Life.”

“Ambassador Lewis is an incredible example of the varied and rewarding career that can start with a liberal arts and sciences degree. It is an honor to recognize such an accomplished and engaged graduate with this award,” said Carl Lejuez, dean of the College.

Lewis will be recognized with the College’s highest alumni honor during a reception Oct. 20 at the Adams Alumni Center. He will share some of his lessons on leadership during a short Q&A session with Lejuez. The public is invited to attend. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event starts at 7 p.m. RSVPs are requested and can be made online.

For more information on the event, contact Kristi Henderson, clasnews@ku.edu or 785-864-3661.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has recognized nearly 60 alumni since it established the Distinguished Alumni Award.

The College is the heart of the University of Kansas. As the broadest, most diverse academic unit at KU, it is home to more than 50 departments, programs and centers, as well as the School of the Arts, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures and School of Public Affairs & Administration.



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