LAWRENCE — The 2013 recipients of the Fred Ellsworth Medallion for extraordinary service to the University of Kansas are P.J. “Jim” Adam, Tucson, Ariz., and Robert Malott, Wilmette, Ill. The KU Alumni Association will honor them Friday, Sept. 20, during the fall meeting of the national Board of Directors. Since 1975, the medallions have recognized KU volunteers who have continued the tradition of service established by Ellsworth, the Association’s longest-serving chief executive.
Adam graduated from the KU School of Engineering in 1956. He retired in 2005 after a 43-year career with Black & Veatch Corp., headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. He led the firm as chairman and CEO from 1994 to 1998 and remained chairman emeritus until his retirement. He served for four years on the Alumni Association’s national board of directors, leading the organization as chair from 1998 to ’99. He also served on the Adams Alumni Center Board of Governors from 1993 to 2002. He and his wife, Barbara Mills Adam, led the Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City as 1999 honorary chairs and participated in numerous KU events in Kansas City through the years.
For KU Endowment, Adam is a life trustee; he and Barbara are Chancellors Club members. He has assisted the past three capital campaigns for KU, serving currently on the engineering campaign committee for Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas. He helped guide the School of Engineering as a member of its advisory board and was named a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 1995, followed by recognition as a Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumnus in 2002. He also served on the KU Edwards Campus Advisory Board. For Kansas Athletics, the Adams are members of the Williams Education Fund.
For his service to humanity and the Kansas City community, Adam received the Distinguished Service Citation from Alumni Association and KU in 2005.
Malott graduated from the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 1948. He retired in 1997 following a long career with FMC Corp. in Chicago, where he began working in 1952 after completing his graduate degree at the Harvard Business School. He was elected FMC’s president and CEO in 1972. One year later he became chairman of the board. He retired as chairman and CEO in 1991 but continued to serve as chair of the corporation’s executive committee until his retirement.
For the Alumni Association, Malott served on the board of directors from 1963 to ’69. For his service to humanity and the nation, he received the 1974 Distinguished Service Citation from the Alumni Association and KU.
As a KU Endowment life trustee and Chancellors Club member, he has participated in capital campaigns since the 1960s as a volunteer and donor. His gifts have included the Malott Gateway entrance to the Lawrence main campus and a portrait of his father, Chancellor Deane Malott, that hangs in the lobby of the KU Visitor Center. Malott also honored his mother by establishing the Eleanor Malott Memorial Garden and commissioning a portrait of her that hangs in the Malott Room of the Kansas Union. He has supported the University Women’s Club, which meets regularly in the Malott Room.
Since the creation of the Ellsworth medallion in 1975, 149 KU alumni and friends have received the award.