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KU Alumni Association honors two recipients of Fred Ellsworth Medallion

Friday, September 01, 2017

LAWRENCE — The 2017 recipients of the Fred Ellsworth Medallion for extraordinary service to the University of Kansas are John Dicus, of Topeka, and John Mize, of Salina. The KU Alumni Association will honor them Friday, Sept. 8, during the fall meeting of the Association’s national board of directors. Since 1975, the medallions have recognized KU volunteers who have continued the tradition of service established by Ellsworth, a 1922 KU graduate who was the association’s chief executive for 39 years, retiring in 1963.

John Dicus

Dicus, chairman and CEO of Capitol Federal Savings, is a two-time KU graduate who earned his bachelor’s degree from the School of Business in 1983 and his master’s in business administration in 1985. He is a third-generation Jayhawk and recipient of the Ellsworth medallion. His father, Jack, a 1955 graduate of the KU School of Business, received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1990, and his grandfather, Henry Bubb, a member of the KU class of 1928, received the honor in 1977.

Dicus served on the Alumni Association’s national board of directors from 1996 to 2001. He and his wife, Brenda Roskens Dicus, a 1983 KU business school graduate, are life members of the association and Presidents Club donors, and they regularly participate in local alumni events and fundraisers, including the Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City.  

Dicus helps guide the School of Business as a member of its Board of Advisors, and in 2014 he was honored as a Distinguished Business Alumnus. As a trustee of the Capitol Federal Foundation, the bank’s charitable arm, Dicus was instrumental in facilitating the foundation’s $20 million contribution in 2012 toward the school’s new building, which opened in 2016.

For KU Endowment, he is a trustee and Chancellors Club Member, and he serves on the executive and investment committees. He has helped lead the university’s fundraising efforts as a member of the Far Above campaign organizing committee. He also serves on the Greater University Fund advisory board.

“From his KU fraternity to the business school to KU Endowment to educational institutions across Kansas, John has been a ready and willing participant,” says Neeli Bendapudi, KU provost and executive vice chancellor. “What sets his engagement apart is the unassuming manner in which he makes his contributions, whether it be time, talent, treasure — or frequently and just as likely — all of the above.”

Dicus served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee to Athletics from 1990 to 1994, and he contributed to the KU First campaign as a member of its athletics committee. For Kansas Athletics, the Dicuses are Williams Education Fund members.

John Mize

Mize earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1972 from KU and graduated from law school at Southern Methodist University. He is an attorney at Clark, Mize & Linville and general counsel for the Salina Regional Health Center. His dedication to KU and the Alumni Association dates back to 1975, when he first volunteered for the Kansas Honors Program. He served on the association’s national board of directors from 1999 to 2004, and in 2005 he received the Mildred Clodfelter Award for his longtime KU volunteer service in Salina.

Mize and his wife, Karen Schumacher Mize, who earned her KU master’s degree in nursing in 1985, are association life members and Jayhawk Society members, and they have participated in several KU activities in their local community, including Senior Sendoff and KU Days.

As a member of Jayhawks for Higher Education, Mize advocates for the university and promotes the advancement of higher education in Kansas. He also has served on the advisory board for KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities.

For KU Endowment, Mize is a 20-year trustee and an audit committee member. He is a Chancellors Club life member and Watkins Society member, and he served on the Campaign Kansas fundraising committee from 1988 to 1992. He also served as a member of the Greater University Fund advisory board.

“John’s deep knowledge of local politics, community culture and the regional health system provided invaluable advice to KU administrators and KU Endowment fundraising staff in building a critical level of community support for not only the initial founding of the School of Medicine in Salina, but for the future expansion and growth of the permanent facilities for KU’s presence in Salina,” said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment.

For Kansas Athletics, Mize served on the 2001 search committee for a KU football coach. The Mizes also are longtime members of the Williams Education Fund.