Nonprofit founder to receive 2017 honorary degree

Posted on Feb 17, 2017 in Alumni News and News

William McNulty in Haiti |  Photo courtesy of Team Rubicon

William McNulty, an Iraq War veteran and co-founder of Team Rubicon, will be awarded an honorary degree at KU’s 145th Commencement on May 14, 2017, in Memorial Stadium.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little recommended McNulty for an honorary degree to the Kansas Board of Regents. The board approved the chancellor’s recommendation during its meeting today, Jan. 18.

William McNultyMcNulty – himself a KU alumnus – created Team Rubicon to provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid to communities hit by natural disasters. The organization grew out of McNulty’s desire to continue serving his country when his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps ended. After organizing a team of veterans to help with disaster response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, McNulty recognized that military veterans’ unique skills offered a model for a disaster-response organization that would bridge the gap between the immediate aftermath of disasters and the arrival of large-scale relief efforts from governments and aid organizations.

“William McNulty has turned his experience in war-torn areas of the world into a global effort to aid similar communities, while at the same time easing the transition of military veterans to civilian life by offering a sense of community, identity and purpose,” Chancellor Gray-Little said. “His innovative and meaningful work is making our world a better place, and for that, he is an inspiration to the entire KU community. We look forward to awarding him his honorary degree in May 2017.”

Team Rubicon was featured on the cover of Kansas Alumni magazine, issue 2, 2016. Read the full article here.

McNulty will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for outstanding contributions to global humanitarian and relief efforts.

McNulty earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Read the full press release from the University of Kansas here.

Tags: , , , , ,

KU alumnus and former U.S. marine receives Heinz Award for extraordinary achievement

Posted on Apr 24, 2015 in Alumni News and News

William McNulty and Jacob Wood |

Former U.S. Marine William McNulty, c’01, has received the 20th Heinz Award for Human Condition, one of five awards given by the Heinz Family Foundation for extraordinary achievement in specific areas of endeavor, including arts and humanities, environment, public policy, and technology, the economy and employment. McNulty shares the honor with Jacob Wood, co-founder of the nonprofit veteran-led disaster relief organization Team Rubicon. The two will split an unrestricted cash award of $250,000.

“William McNulty and Jacob Wood invite us to treat their fellow veterans as the powerful assets that they really are,” said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation, in a press release. “By creating opportunities for veterans to continue serving others, they are not only reconnecting many of our former military men and women with a deep sense of purpose, but they are also helping our society fundamentally change the way we talk and think about veterans.”

McNulty and Wood assembled the rapid-response, disaster emergency team of military veterans following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010. The organization’s volunteers are trained to provide swift and effective disaster relief between the onset of a disaster and the arrival of conventional relief agencies.

“The volunteers of Team Rubicon are veterans who have found a new purpose after completing their military service, by stepping up to the plate and serving in their civilian life,” McNulty said in a press release.

Since 2010, Team Rubicon has deployed rapid-response teams in four continents and 11 countries, including Pakistan, the Philippines, Sudan and across the United States. Now that the effort has expanded to 25,000 volunteers in the United States, McNulty and Wood are launching Team Rubicon Global, a new organization that will extend the model to Norway, Australia and the United Kingdom.

For more information on the 20th Heinz Award recipients, visit

Photo by Dave Lauridsen for USAA

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,