Fred Ellsworth Medallion 2016 Recipients

Fred Ellsworth Medallion

About the Fred Ellsworth Medallion

Fred Ellsworth, c’22, led the Association staff as executive secretary from 1924 to 1963. Since 1975 the Fred Ellsworth Medallion has honored individuals “who have provided unique and significant service to the University.”

Fred Ellsworth Medallion recipients are honored by the Association at a special dinner in conjunction with the fall Board of Directors meeting and introduced during the home football game that weekend.

Past winners of the medallion have been honored for their leadership in Kansas higher education, as chairs and members of University boards and committees, as consultants for special KU projects, and as donors to the University.

Jill Sadowsky Docking


Docking, c’78, g’84, Wichita, has been a steadfast advocate for the University and for higher education in Kansas. She served on the Kansas Board of Regents from 2007 to ’13 and acted as chair during her last four years of service. She has consistently supported KU as a member of Jayhawks for Higher Education.

Her commitment to the Alumni Association has been unwavering, as evidenced by her five-year appointment to the national Board of Directors and her service on its Executive Committee from 2004 to ’06. She has contributed to the Kansas Honors Program as a donor and keynote speaker, and she has helped guide the Wichita Network. Docking and her husband, Thomas, c’76, l’80, g’80, are longtime Life Members and Presidents Club donors and regularly participate in local alumni events and fundraisers, including the Jayhawk Roundup in Wichita and the Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate in history, Docking was honored in 2003 by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences for distinguished achievement, and in 2010 she was recognized as a distinguished alumna of the School of Business, where she earned her master’s in business administration. She served on the business school’s Board of Advisors for five years in the early ’90s.

For KU Endowment, she is a trustee, KU First donor and Chancellors Club member, and she and Tom helped lead the Far Above campaign as co-chairs. She served on the Women Philanthropists for KU advisory board as well as the KU Medical Center and 4-Wichita advancement boards. The Dockings also were funding partners of the KU Cancer Center in the University’s successful quest for National Cancer Institute designation in 2012. For Kansas Athletics, they are members of the Williams Education Fund.

“Jill’s involvement with KU is long-term, consistent and deep,” says KU Endowment President Dale Seuferling, j’77, who nominated Docking for the honor. “The Ellsworth Medallion criteria of ‘individuals who have provided unique and significant service to the University’ sounds like it was written to describe Jill’s contributions.”

Allyn Risley


Risley, e’72, Houston, has shown outstanding dedication to KU on national and local levels. He served on the Association’s national Board of Directors from 2002 to ’07, and he was a volunteer and officer for the Association’s Houston Network for several years. His KU service in Texas earned him the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award in 2010.

He has recruited KU students in Texas as a HAWK (Helpful Alumni Working for KU) volunteer and served as a ’Hawk to ’Hawk mentor. He hosted and participated in numerous alumni and athletic events in Houston and attended the Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City.

Risley and his wife, Jill Bogan Risley, assoc., are Life Members and contribute annually to the Presidents Club. They also have provided $50,000 to establish the Risley Family Texas Programs Endowment for the Alumni Association.

As a student, Risley belonged to the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and he has continued his leadership of the School of Engineering since graduating. He is a member of the school’s advisory board and was inducted in the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Hall of Fame in 2002. He was part of the SELF Engineering Fellows speaker series in 2011 and served as a keynote speaker for the KU Energy Conference. The School honored him with its Distinguished Engineering Service Award in 2011.

“As you look at Allyn’s commitment to the University of Kansas, you will see a person who truly loves the University,” says Frank Becker, e’58, who has known Risley for more than 20 years and nominated him for the award. “His activities are exemplary in every way.”

For KU Endowment, Risley is a Chancellors Club and Mount Oread Society Life Member and a member of the School of Engineering Dean’s Club. He has served as a longtime fundraiser and contributor to the school through Campaign Kansas and KU First, and he chaired the Far Above engineering campaign committee. He helped fund the renovation of the undergraduate petroleum engineering laboratory and has provided support to help hire key faculty members and enhance the SELF Engineering Fellows’ international experience. He also contributed to the construction of the new Earth, Energy and Environment Center on campus.

For Kansas Athletics, he helped organize KU’s participation in the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Awards, and the Risleys contribute to the Williams Education Fund. They also are Friends of the KU Libraries.


Since the creation of the Ellsworth medallion in 1975, 151 KU alumni and friends have received the award. Click here to see a list of previous recipients.