Betty M. Drees Distinguished Alumnae Award

... supporting a legacy of influential women


2015 Honoree

  Carol A. Beier, JD, Kansas Supreme Court Justice

 August 20, 2015, L-R: Dr. Betty Drees, the Honorable Carol Beiers, Dr. Christine Daley


Justice Beier says she began to identify herself, proudly and sometimes loudly with the feminist movement when she was a high school student at Bishop Ward High School. Finding a copy of Lucy Komisar's book The New Feminism, she read it from cover to cover and "felt an immediate kinship with the women and the outlook it described." From that point forward, Carol made it her mission to work with women and the issues facing them."I must do well for them as much as I do well for myself. I think this is the least I can do out of gratitude for all of the women who came before me and the good fortune I have since enjoyed."

The journey to help women has included teaching courses in Women and Law at Wichita State University. She also worked at the National Women's Law Center following her selection as one of eight Revson Foundation fellows in the Georgetown Law Center Women's Law and Public Policy program. Her projects, there, included composing and delivering testimony about the effects of specific tax policies on low income women and their families; assistance with a summary judgment motion in collegiate Title IX litigation; coalition support for the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Civil Rights Restoration Act. She was appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court by Governor Kathleen Sebelius in 2003.

Her work with women continues with many professional and community memberships and activities, including the National Association of Women Judges, and site council member. Some of her most rewarding jobs have involved her children as she has been a PTA officer, a tutor, a room parent, and she "served for two years as a crafts-challenged Brownie leader." Justice Beier embodies the best of our KU Alumni: although she is not a University of KAnsas School of Medicine, School of Nursing or School of Health Professions faculty member, she is the first University of Kansas Law School graduate to sit on the state's Supreme Court and whose career long efforts reflect a legacy of supporting women and working to improve women's issues.


The inaugural Betty M. Drees Distinguished Betty DreesAlumnae Award was presented as a surprise at the Annual WIMS Dinner, August 21, 2014. in honor of  Betty M. Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., who after 12 years as dean of the UMKC School of Medicine, retired from the dean's position in the fall of 2014. Since graduating from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1984, alumna Betty Drees has devoted herself to providing quality health care, research, dedication to academic medicine, and training others. Drees' leadership has provided tremendous benefit for students, their families and their patients as they become physicians, said UMKC Provost Gail Hackett. UMKC School of Medicine's accomplishments during Drees' deanship have included fiscal strength, collaboration, student success, new education programs, and research.

The women of WIMS express their gratitude to Dr. Drees for her continued involvement and support of our members, our leaders and the mission of our organization and her lifelong achievement of supporting a legacy of influential women.

As of 2015, this award will be managed out of the KUMC Office of Academic Affairs in conjunction with an ad hoc committee and the Alumni Office.


To acknowledge men and women who represent the best of our alumni from the University of Kansas, with priority given to alumni from the School of Medicine, School of Nursing or School of Health Professions whose efforts reflect a lifelong achievement of supporting a legacy of influential women.


Male or female alumni from the University of Kansas Schools in Kansas City, Lawrence or WIchita who completed their training at least 10 years prior to being nominated for this award.


The candidate must exhibit evidence of:
  • Professional excellence in the individuals career
  • Recognition as a leader locally, nationally or internationally
  • Involvement in programs and initiatives related to the support of womens careers
  • Effort to influence or institute a positive cultural change regarding the careers of women


  • One award presented per year
    • The award is presented at the WIMS Annual Awards Dinner, August, 2016
  • Crystal engraved vase

Nomination process

The KUMC Office of Academic Affairs Ad Hoc Committee will select nominees based on the award criteria.  The call for nominations will be announced each year in May or June.  The nomination may be submitted in the form of a letter to Marty McLaughlin from anyone who can provide examples and evidence of achievements explained in the criteria of this award.

Evaluation process

  • The Office of Academic Affairs Ad Hoc Committee will:
    • review the nomination materials and will rank candidates
    • report rankings to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for qualification approval
    • all candidates will be notified of the decision by the committee prior to the annual presentation event, when the award is presented.


  • Mid-June - Call for Nominations
  • End of June - Nomination Deadline
  • Early July- WIMS Recognition Committee meets to determine candidates to interview
  • Mid-July- Candidates are notified and the honoree is announced in advance of the dinner.
  • August, 2016 -  the honoree will be formally recognized.

Award presentation

The award winner will be a guest at the annual WIMS Leadership Conference in August, to receive her award.

Award Recipients

Justice Carol Beier 2015

 Carol Beier, JD, Justice, Kansas Supreme Court


Betty Drees 2014 Betty M. Drees, MD, FACP

Last modified: Nov 06, 2015