170th Opening Convocation marks official start of academic year

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Image from 2018 opening convocation, courtesy of Isabel Scamurra.

On Sept. 6, Dr. MacLeod Walls, president of William Jewell College, welcomed students, faculty and guests to the 170th Opening Convocation.She also introduced this year’s William F. Yates Distinguished Service Awardees: Esther L. George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Pedro A. Zamora, executive director of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation.

George was recognized for her efforts to support economic development. She has supervised nearly 1,000 banks in seven state regions and advised Washington on the modernization of the Federal Reserve.

Zamora was recognized for his contributions to the Hispanic community. He has supported various initiatives to decrease income disparity, homelessness, lack of education and gentrification in low income areas of Kansas City.

Jewell faculty members were recognized as well.. Dr. Joseph Shih was introduced as an assistant professor of biology, the Carl F. Teacher Award went to Dr. Deborah Chasteen for her outstanding service to the Jewell Community and Dr. Lori Wetmore was lauded as Advisor of the Year.

Many of the speeches given at the convocation, particularly those given by Lyndell W. Benton, mayor of Liberty, and Dr. Maurice A. Watson, Of Counsel at Husch Blackwell, challenged the incoming class at Jewell to break away from the influence of tribalism and critically assess their community  in order to improve it.

Musical performances were given by Dr. Dustin Williams, Michael Cervantes, professor  Shelly Peters, professor Chris White, Laurence Dahsten, Dr. Anne Marie Rigler and Jewell’s concert choir, directed by Dr. Anthony Maglione.

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