The 2012 Ambassador Award, the Young Alumni Award, and the Alumni Recognition Award will be presented Friday, Oct. 12, at the Southwestern College Homecoming dinner in the Roy L. Smith dining hall. The honorees are Mike Lennen, Brad Newell, and Bill Docking.
The SC Ambassador Award will be presented to Bill Docking. This award recognizes non-graduates of the college who have captured the Builder spirit and have served as ambassadors of goodwill for the college and the community. These persons have given generously of their time, talents, and resources in endeavors such as personal attendance at college functions, assistance in recruiting students, contributions to the financial needs of the college and personal help when needed, on or off campus.
Docking is chairman and CEO of Union State Bank in Arkansas City, and chairman of City National Bank and Trust Company, Guymon, Okla. He also is managing member of an oil production company based in Oxford, Kan., and is president of Cowley County Broadcasting, Inc., which owns two radio stations. An attorney and certified public accountant, Docking has distinguished himself as a businessman, a community leader, and a friend of Southwestern College. Although he has three degrees from the University of Kansas, he has supported SC generously, helping make possible the Docking Lecture Series that has brought leading political figures and analysts to SC for community lectures. Docking’s support of community has led to extensive service throughout Cowley County and Kansas: He is former president of the Kansas Bankers Association and a former director of the University of Kansas Hospital Authority; he is a former member of the Kansas Board of Regents; current chair of the Kansas Health Foundation, a trustee of the Cowley County Community College Endowment Association and the University of Kansas Endowment Association, and president of Arkansas City’s Community Health Foundation.
Brad Newell, a 2002 SC graduate, will receive the Young Alumni Award. This honor is presented to a recent graduate who has made an outstanding commitment to the college with an emphasis placed on attendance at college functions and recruitment of new students.
Newell felt at home at Southwestern College from the moment President Carl Martin invited him to campus for a tour. He enrolled here (Mary Lou Martin is his cousin) and dove into campus activities as well as his academic pursuits. In addition to completing two degrees (a BS in business and computer information systems and a BA in computer technology) he was active in Student Government Association, serving a year as vice president and a year as treasurer. He also played in the SC bands and was a student representative to the Board of Trustees. Following graduation he enrolled at the University of Kansas, and graduated in 2008 with a doctor of pharmacy degree. After graduation he worked for Walgreen for four years, and now is a clinical pharmacist for Dillons. He hasn’t forgotten his SC roots, though—he is a member of the SC Natural Sciences Advisory Council and has been a guest speaker for Beta Beta Beta, the college’s honor society for biology students.
Mike Lennen, a 1967 graduate, will receive the Outstanding Alumni Award in honor of his significant contributions to the college and community.
Lennen has enjoyed a distinguished career as an attorney, and has served his alma mater and the communities where he has lived with leadership on numerous governing boards.
A 1967 Southwestern graduate, Lennen received his juris doctor degree from Washburn University in 1974. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Frank G. Theis and was administrative assistant for Congressman Martha Keys before becoming secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue, then chairman of the Kansas Corporation Commission. He practiced law in Wichita with the firm of Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy for 18 years, then became vice president of regulatory affairs for Westar Energy, Inc., in 2007. He retired from this position in 2012 and currently is of counsel with the Morris, Laing Topeka office.
Mike’s community service included active participation on Southwestern College’s board of trustees from 2001 to 2010; as well as service on the boards of the Kansas Health Foundation, the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research, and the Independence Charitable Trust. He currently is president of the Topeka Symphony Society. His active professional life has included presidency of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference and the Midwestern States Association of Tax Administrators.
For more information about the Homecoming dinner, contact Susan Lowe at (620) 229-6334.