KU Alumni Association, Black Alumni Chapter Honor Alumni For Achievements

October 30, 2013

LAWRENCE —‚ÄčNine alumni whose University of Kansas eras span from the 1920s to the 1980s are the 2013 recipients of the KU Black Alumni Chapter’s African-American Leaders and Innovators award. The chapter, sponsored by the KU Alumni Association, will honor them Friday, Nov. 1, during its biennial reunion. Five of the recipients will attend the event, and four will be honored posthumously.

The five who are scheduled to attend include:

Homer C. Floyd of Harrisburg, Pa., who completed his bachelor’s degree in education at KU in 1961; and former board member of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA)

La Vert Murray of Kansas City, Kan., a 1971 KU graduate in political science;

Julie Robinson, Lawrence, who completed her journalism degree at KU in 1978 and graduated from the School of Law in 1981;

Leslie Meacham Saunders, Roswell, Ga., who graduated from KU with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1973; and

Lynette Woodard of Houston, who earned her KU communication studies degree in 1981.

The four posthumous honorees are:

Wilbur D. Goodseal, who earned his KU degree in education in 1952 and his graduate degree in speech pathology in 1962;

Marie Ross, who completed her KU journalism degree in 1944 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, two years before the School of Journalism was founded;

Chester I. Lewis Jr., a 1951 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a 1953 graduate of the School of Law; and

 Cheryl Warren Mattox, who completed her bachelor’s degree in piano from the KU School of Fine Arts in 1972.


Homer FloydFloyd was among the first African-Americans in the 20th century to play on KU’s football team. He won All-Conference honors in the Big Eight and was co-captain, the first black player to serve in this role. Floyd devoted his career to civil rights enforcement. During the 1960s, he directed the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Topeka Human Relations Commis­sion, the Omaha Human Relations Board and the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights. As executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission from 1970 until his retirement in 2011, he led the resolution of cases that benefited millions of racial minorities, women and people with disabilities. In 1999 and 2002, he received the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Outstanding Achievement Award and was board member on the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies.

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