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Pittsburg State honors three alumni for achievement

December 04, 2007 12:00AM

Pittsburg State University will honor three alumni with its Meritorious Achievement Award during commencement activities at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 14. The PSU Alumni Association established the Meritorious Achievement Award in 1958. It is the highest award presented by the association. The Meritorious Achievement Award is based on career achievement. Candidates for the award must have demonstrated substantial professional growth and advancement over an extended period of time. The candidate#&39;s activities, including participation and leadership in civic and professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels, is also considered by the awards committee in selecting the recipients.

The December recipients of the award are: Robert L. Bailey, the retired chairman, CEO and president of the State Auto Insurance Companies; Roy Jensen, M.D., the director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center; and Dr. David L. Sallee, president of William Jewell College.


Robert L. Bailey, BA #&39;55

Bob Bailey is the retired chairman, CEO and president of the State Auto Insurance Companies. He is the author of the book #&34;Plain Talk About Leadership#&34; (Franklin University Press, 2002), and is a columnist for Rough Notes magazine, one of the nation#&39;s leading insurance industry publications.

Bailey earned a bachelor of arts degree with a major in language and literature-speech in 1955. Bailey is the director emeritus and former chairman of Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. In 2006, Franklin honored Bailey with an honorary doctorate degree.

Under Bailey#&39;s leadership between 1983 and 2000, the State Auto Group added 13 insurance companies and several other subsidiary companies. He was instrumental in taking the company public in 1991 with the formation of State Auto Financial Corporation. Company sales rose from $214 million to more than $1 billion during that time and State Auto became one of the top performing property/casualty insurance organizations in the U.S. At the same time, both service levels and employee morale improved, thanks to a strong focus on communications, recognition and motivation.

Upon his retirement from State Auto Insurance Companies in 2000, Bailey began a new career speaking, writing and consulting on building successful businesses through leadership, ethics, customer service, strategic planning and selling value.

In 2000, the Professional Insurance Agents Association named Bailey the Insurance Industry Person of the Year. Bailey serves or has served on numerous industry and private boards. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Sarasota (Fla.) Chamber of Commerce.

Bailey and his wife, Sylvia live in Sarasota, Fla. The have three children: Janet Baas, of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Nancy Baker, of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Jim Bailey, of Medina, Ohio.


Dr. Roy Jensen, BS #&39;80

Roy Jensen, M.D., is the director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center where he is leading an effort to achieve the National Cancer Institute#&39;s designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Jensen also serves as director of the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute and is the first William R. Jewell, M.D., Distinguished Kansas Masonic Professor in Cancer Research. Jensen is also a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and a professor of anatomy and cell biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. In addition, he is an adjunct professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Kansas.

Jensen earned a bachelor of science degree with a major in biology and chemistry from PSU in 1980 and an M.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1984.

Prior to joining the University of Kansas, Jensen gained national recognition as a cancer researcher at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center where he was a significant contributor in helping the program achieve National Cancer Institute designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Jensen#&39;s research has focused on the function of the hereditary breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the characterization of premalignant breast disease. He is also a nationally recognized consultant in breast pathology.

Roy Jensen and his wife, Linda, live in Gardner. They have three sons, Andrew, Brett, and Derek.


Dr. David L. Sallee

David L. Sallee is the president of William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. Sallee earned a master of science degree with a major in physical education from Pittsburg State University in 1976. He went on to earn a doctor of philosophy degree in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma in 1993. Sallee also holds an associate#&39;s degree from Crowder College and a bachelor of arts degree in physical education from Oklahoma Baptist University.

Sallee was named president of William Jewell College in 2000. Since that time, the college has been named by Time magazine as the Liberal Arts College of the Year. In 2004, the Princeton Review picked William Jewell as a #&34;Best Value.#&34; Jewell#&39;s students have received three Truman Scholarships, a Marshall Scholarship, three Goldwater Scholarships and three USA Today All-Academic recognitions. Two students have been Rhodes Scholarship finalists.

During his tenure, William Jewell reversed a 10-year enrollment decline and in 2005 had the highest number of applicants in its history. The college completed a $70.2 million campaign in 2002 and has worked through a number of very difficult financial issues.

Sallee is very involved in the community and is a member of numerous boards and councils. Among them are: the American Humanics National Board of Directors, the Hillcrest Ministries Board of Directors, the Clay County Economic Development Council, the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board, the Liberty Rotary Club and the Liberty Hospital Foundation Board.

Sallee and his wife, Mary, live in Liberty, Mo. They have two grown sons, Andrew and Patrick.

©2007 Pittsburg State University