Top Union Banner
 Home     Students     Catalog      Academic Department       Athletics      Library     Alumni/Foundation    About LCC

Distinguished Alumni  Award

The LCC Distinguished Alumni Award will be given annually to a living graduate who has distinguished themselves professionally, brought honor to Labette Community College, and/or made significant contributions of time and philanthropy to the College and/or their community.


  • Must have attended Labette Community College for one year (2 semesters).
  • Nominations may come from faculty, staff, alumni or community at-large.
  • Selection shall be made by the President of the College.
  • Nominees not selected may be reconsidered the following year.
  • Must be present to accept the award at a luncheon given in their honor the day of commencement.
  • Up to four awards may be presented annually


William "Bill" Devine


William “Bill” Devine, an Ellicott City, Maryland resident, attended Labette Community College (formerly Parsons Junior College) in 1953. After LCC, Bill attended Pittsburg State University graduating in 1955 with a degree in political science.
After graduating Bill served in the United States Navy for nine years from 1955-64. In 1964 he resigned as Lieutenant Commander. Devine met and married his wife, Nancy Faidley, in 1958. Nancy’s grandfather opened John W. Faidley Seafood Market in 1886. Faidley Seafood is one of the oldest and best-known seafood markets in the Chesapeake region. Bill began working at Faidley’s in 1965 and has worked as a fish monger. Today, it is owned and operated by Bill and Nancy. In his words, Bill “does everything from sweeping floors to signing checks.”

 Click here for full press release

Jim Orr


Jim Orr graduated from Parsons High School in 1961 and from Labette Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree in 1963. Transferring to Pittsburg State University , Orr received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1965 and a Mast of Science Degree in 1971. Orr began his career in education teaching one year in Wellington, KS. In 1966 he moved to Monett, MO, where he first served as an instructor, then became the assistant principal, and ultimately was hired as the Director of Monett Area Vocational School, which provided training for juniors and seniors from fourteen area high schools. From 1991 to 2001, he was employed by a new community college in Springfield, MO, Ozark Technical Community College, serving in several administrative positions. While there, he saw the enrollment of the new college grow from less than a thousand to almost 15,000 students.

 Click here for full press release

Keith Shaffer

Keith L. Shaffer attended Labette Community College in 1973.  After LCC, Keith attended Kansas State University graduating in 1978 with a degree in business. Keith has spent much of his adult working life owning and operating a family farming operation, Shaffer Agriculture Services, which he now runs with his son Bryson. He’s also built a successful career in banking and insurance. He previously served as an insurance agent for Farm Bureau, a Senior Vice President at Labette Bank, and as the Agency Manager for Labette Insurance. Currently he is a consultant for Shaffer Financial Services LLC and Clemens Insurance Agency. Community involvement and service has always been important to Keith.  He is the fire chief for Altamont and Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Departments. He is a member of the  Altamont Jaycees, the Labette County 911 System, and the Labette County Fire Chiefs Association. He is the Secretary/Treasurer for the Labette County Extension Foundation Inc. and has served as the Labette County Fair assistant livestock superintendent.

 Click here for full press release


Alice Beachner

Alice Beachner graduated from Parsons Junior College, now known as Labette Community College, in 1962. Alice was born in Parsons and graduated from Galesburg High School in 1960. While attending Parsons Junior College, she was yearbook queen in 1962. During her time at the junior college, she worked at Superior School Supply.

Alice is a life-long learner who places education as a top priority. In the 1980s Alice graduated from Pittsburg State University with a degree in Paralegal Studies. She then graduated from Floral Design School in Lawrence, Kansas in the 1990s. After graduating Alice worked at Slane’s Floral Shop in Parsons.

Click here for full press release


Sharon Brown

Sharon Stewart Brown was born and grew up in Parsons, Kansas to Wilson and Betty Stewart. She attended Douglass School and graduated in 1968 from Parsons Senior High School. She then went on to obtain her Associate of Arts and Associate of Nursing from Labette Community College in 1972. She attended Pittsburg State University and obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1978. Sharon received the Minority Student Scholastic Scholarship Award from the University of Kansas where she graduated in 1982 with her Masters in Social Work Administration.

 Click here for full press release


Kanak Patel

Kanak Patel earned two degrees from LCC. In 1995, he was awarded an Associate Degree in Mathematics and in 1998, he obtained an Associate Degree in Network Administration. While attending LCC, Kanak was very active in student life activities. He served as an officer of the Student Government Association, participated in the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) business club and participated in the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. Kanak’s leadership and business skills were demonstrated more than ever through his involvement with the PBL club. He served in officer roles and earned several awards at state and national competitions.

After earning his degree from LCC, Kanak transferred to Pittsburg State University and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Information Systems.

 Click here for full press release


Shirley Chalker

Shirley (Callahan) Chalker was born and raised in Parsons, KS. She attended Parsons Schools and graduated from Parsons High School in 1959. She married Hugh Chalker in 1960 and later attended Parsons Junior College. She graduated from PJC in 1964 with an Associates of Arts Degree. Shirley attended Pittsburg State University for a semester before the birth of her second child. Chalker has been active with the Labette Community College serving on the Alumni Board, and after merging with the Foundation, serving two terms on the Foundation and Alumni Board. She is currently a member of the Capital Campaign Steering Committee and has taken numerous college evening courses over the years.

 Click here for full press release


Kenny LaForge

Kenny LaForge grew up attending Parsons Schools and graduated from Parsons High School in 1971.  He then went on to receive his Associates Degree from Labette Community College in 1973.  After LCC, LaForge went on to the University of Kansas and graduated in 1976. LaForge has two daughters, Kenna and Kate, who both live in the eastern United States and are recent college graduates.  LaForge lives in rural Parsons with his wife, Debbie. He has been active in numerous local organizations and a supporter of many others. Currently, LaForge is a member of the local Rotary Club and a 30 year member of the Associated General Contractors of America. He served two terms on the Parsons U.S.D. 503 school board.  LaForge was also one the founding directors for the Parsons Educational Foundation, which assists the students of Parsons. He has also served on numerous boards and committees for the City of Parsons and is a member of the Board of Kansas Food Bank. LaForge is now serving on the steering committee for LCC’s Capital Campaign in their fundraising efforts for a new health science building, endowed scholarships, and deferred maintenance. 

 Click here for full press release


Louise Holmes

Louise (Frame) Holmes was born in Parsons in 1937, the daughter of Howard and Kathryn Stallard Frame. She was a 5th generation Parsonian and attended Lincoln, McKinley, and West Junior High School. She graduated from Parsons High School in 1955 and from Parsons Junior College (PJC), as salutatorian in 1956. At PJC Louise was active in band, Student Council, Pep Club, and intramural athletics. Louise has been active in her community.  She has served as President of the USD 484 Board of Education and President of the Fredonia Arts Council, where she is currently a member of the board of directors. As a Charter Member of the Fredonia Child Care Center, she helped establish the Child Care Center in 1972. She recently served a term on their board of directors. Also, Louise is also a member of the Fredonia Library Board of Trustees, the Secretary of Sacred Heart Church Parish Council, and she volunteers for Meals on Wheels and the Bloodmobile.

 Click here for full press release


Joe Renfro

Joe Renfro grew up attending school in Altamont. He graduated from Labette County High School in 1995. He was a four-time Kansas State Placer in high school wrestling with one of those being a State Champion title. His high school wrestling record was 126-16. After high school, he attended Labette Community College for two years and then transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. While at Labette, Renfro was an Academic All-American and a two-time wrestling All-American, which means he placed 5th or better at the national tournament. He was also an All-American at UNK. Renfro was a member of the “Team of the Decade” at both Labette and UNK. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, Renfro went on to Ft. Hays State University where he obtained his Master of Liberal Studies in Health and Human Performance. Renfro holds numerous titles and awards as well as the team. He has lead the wrestling team to two National Championships, the first one being in 2005 and the second one is 2012.

 Click here for full press release


Calum McNeil

Calum McNeil was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. McNeil studied in the U.S. at Labette Community College and was a proud member of the wrestling team. After obtaining his Associates Degree, McNeil went on to obtain his Bachelor’s degree. McNeil began working as a Senior Staff Accountant for Ernst & Young in Hamilton, Canada after graduation. Other career history includes; Manger, Financial Control for Commcorp Financial Services, Audit Manager for Ernst & Young, Head of Corporate Financial Reporting for Investcorp Bank, Vice President, Head of Financial Management for Gulf International Bank, and most recently, Financial Controller for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (“ADIA”), the world’s largest Sovereign Wealth Fund.

 Click here for full press release


Roberta (Adams) Hoffman

Roberta (Adams) Hoffman was a 1960 graduate of Labette Community College. She received her Associate of Art degree. She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Science from Texas Women’s University in 1963 and Master of Art degree from New York University in 1976. Hoffman was interested in dance from a very early age. She began her studies with Nell Ferguson in Parsons at the age of 10. By 16, she was teaching ballet, tap dance, and acrobatics once a week at the VFW hall in Oswego. In high school,she was a drum majorette, performed fire baton twirling and acrobatics, and led the annual parade doing cartwheels down Main Street in Parsons.

 Click here for full press release


Chuck Tredway

Chuck Tredway was born in Parsons in 1947. He attended Parsons High School and Parsons Junior College. He then went on to obtain his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Pittsburg State University in 1970. Tredway’s first job was with Beneficial Finance in Topeka, KS. In 1972 he became the District Manager for FW Woolworth of Enid, OK. When GE Capital acquired FW Woolworth credit operations, he became part of Sales and Operations Management. In 1986, Tredway began working for Marine Midland Bank, in Buffalo, NY, where he was a Department Executive. He created and served on the Board of Directors, and managed automobile captive finance companies for Mazda, Porsche, Jaguar, Subaru, and Saab. Tredway then went on to become the Executive Vice President and Board of Directors member for Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America, Inc. in 1991. He was awarded the Top American Executive for the 400 person $11 billion company. He was also the Executive committee member for the North American holding company that managed vehicle imports from Japan, manufacturing operations in the U.S., vehicle distribution in the U.S. and Canada, and dealer and consumer finance operations in the U.S. and Canada.

 Click here for full press release

James McKinney

James McKinney was born and raised in Southeast Kansas. In 1950, his family moved to Parsons where he attended Parsons Schools and Parsons Junior College. McKinney then moved to Wichita to attend Wichita State University where he majored in voice and opera. He completed his bachelor and master’s degrees at Wichita State University. McKinney continued his studies with post graduate work at Southern Methodist University, College of Lynchburg, Drake University and the Sorbonne in Paris, France. He obtained his PhD from Sorbonne.

 Click here for full press release


Chuck Puckett

Chuck Puckett, of Tustin, CA, moved to Parsons at the age of 5 in 1948. Puckett graduated from Parsons High School in 1961. He then went on to graduate from Parsons Junior College with an Associate in Art Degree in 1963 and then a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Pittsburg State University in 1965. Puckett married Donna Henry, also of Parsons, in August 1965.

Puckett spent three years with the John Deere Company in their Management Training Program from 1965 to 1968. He left Deere and went to work with Hunt-Wesson Foods Foodservice Division in 1968 and retired in 2000 after spending 32 years with the company. Click here for full press release


 Joseph Smith

Joe Smith, of Erie, KS, graduated from St. Paul High School in 1969. He then went on to receive his Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Labette Community College in 1971. After LCC, Smith went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Pittsburg State University in 1973. Smith also attended the Colorado School of Banking at the University of Colorado from 1974-1976 and the School of Agriculture at Kansas State University in 1975.

Smith began his career at the Stark State Bank in Stark, KS as an Agriculture Representative working in all areas of the operation. He received experience in lending, including consumer, commercial, and agricultural loans. He was elected Executive Vice President and a Director in 1980. Click here for full press release


Pat Woodrum

Pat Woodrum, of Tulsa, Ok, graduated from Labette County High School in Altamont, KS. She then went on to earn an Associate’s Degree from Parsons Junior College in 1960, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature from Pittsburg State Teachers College in 1963, and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Oklahoma in 1966.

After graduating from OU, Woodrum began working at the Tulsa City-County Library System. She retired after 32 years. She spent the last 20 of those as the Executive Director. As Executive Director, she managed a 14 million dollar annual operating budget, developed a 7 million dollar endowment, supervised 280 employees and 750 volunteers, worked with architects and contractors in designing and construction of 17 library facilities.
Click here for full press release


 Jim Bishop

Jim Bishop of Pittsburg, KS attended Parsons High School from 1956-1960. He then went on to Parsons Junior College where he was a 1962 graduate. Bishop obtained his Bachelors of Science in Marketing from Pittsburg State University in 1965. From 1965-1970, Bishop was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. He is a private instructor and commercial licensed pilot.  

Since graduating from the Realtors Institute, Bishop has been a sales associate, broker, and owner for Crawford County Realty and is presently a broker for and the owner of Coldwell Banker, Jim Bishop & Associates. He is a certified Residential Specialist and a Certified Residential Broker. Click here for full press release

Dr. Wanda Maxson-Ladage

Dr. Wanda Maxson-Ladage has been a lifetime resident of Labette County where she was the youngest of the six Maxson children. She grew up and attended Hawkins rural school, Edna Grade School and graduated from Edna High School in 1947. She was employed as a bookkeeper at Maxson Commission Co. at Parsons Stockyards and was soon married and had four daughters, Penny, Paula, Kim and Mona. Between 1947-1968, it was housework, instant hired man and raising children, which she enjoyed. However, in the late 60’s family life changed. She needed an education. Click here for full press release

Aaron "Skip" Smith

Skip Smith grew up in Parsons, KS. He attended Fredrick Douglass School and after graduating from Parsons High School, Smith joined the Navy to see the world. In 1972 Smith obtained his Associate of Art Degree from Labette Community College. He then went on to Pittsburg State University where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1974 and his Master of Science Degree in Graphic Illustration in 1975. 

He then spent several years traveling from city to city and eventually settled in Atlanta, GA. In the 1980s, Smith emerged as a professional artist. His versatile and exuberant graphite depictions of the African-American genre and his paintings captured the imagination of many across the nation. Click here for full press release



Labette Community College   200 S. 14th Street    Parsons, KS 67357
1-620-421-6700 or 1-888-Labette (522-3883)

Comments or suggestions? Please email the Webmaster.
© Labette Community College 2004