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K-State Today

October 27, 2021

College of Business presents awards at inaugural Evening of Gratitude

Submitted by Haley Ahlers

The Kansas State University College of Business and the KSU Foundation hosted An Evening of Gratitude on Oct. 15 to celebrate the impact of philanthropy on the college. Alumni and friends who have supported the college gathered to hear from students and faculty who have benefited from philanthropic support and to make connections with each other while enjoying live music and refreshments.

The first highlight of the event was the presentation of the Distinguished Business Leader Award and induction into the college's Business Leaders' Hall of Fame to Zane Burke, who earned his bachelor's degree in accounting and his Master of Business Administration from K-State.

Burke spent 22 years at Cerner Corporation, working his way up to president. He was a key contributor to Cerner's growth and at the time of his departure, the company was generating more than $5 billion in annual revenue with more than 29,000 associates and 27,500 provider facilities in 35 countries. After more groundbreaking success at Livongo Health in the Silicon Valley, where he led the largest digital health IPO in history and an $18.5 billion merger with Teledoc Health, Burke was selected to tapped for his current role with Quantum Health as its chief executive officer and a member of the corporation's board of administrators.

"Zane is a pioneer in the business of health care technology," said Kevin Gwinner, Edgerly family dean of the College of Business. "He is an expert in an industry that just began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Most of this technology was not commonplace till after 2010. While Zane was earning his MBA in 1989, this industry was being born. In the years since Zane has grown with the industry into a proven executive with mountains of technology and big data expertise."

The capstone of the night was the presentation of the esteemed Legend Award to Dennis and Sally von Waaden. This prestigious award has only been granted twice before. It honors individuals who have rendered great lifetime service, who go above and beyond in their daily lives to serve the college, its faculty, staff, students and mission.

A 1962 graduate of K-State's newly established College of Business, Dennis von Waaden spent 33 years with American Century Companies before retiring in 1997. Sally. von Waaden majored in business education while at K-State and was employed by American Century Investments until her retirement. Among their many contributions are the Dennis and Sally von Waaden and Family Investment Management Teaching Lab, the von Waaden faculty of distinction chair for investment management, the von Waaden Investment Management Scholarship, the Dennis von Waaden Business Scholarship, the Sally Barr von Waaden Business Scholarship, the Dean's Discretionary Fund for the College of Business, the Debra von Waaden Women's Athletics Scholarship, and the Dennis and Sally von Waaden Nationally and Internationally Competitive Scholars Program Fund. Their support was integral to building the successful and unique student-managed Integrated Investment Management Initiative in the Department of Finance through the von Waaden Student Investment Portfolio.

In addition, Dennis von Waaden is a member and past chair of the college's Dean's Advisory Council and has also been a member of the college's Department of Finance Advisory Board. He was a member of the KSU Foundation's executive committee for three terms, serving as chair of the Investment Committee and as chair of the board of trustees. He was the college's Alumni Fellow in 1994, was named the inaugural recipient of the college's Distinguished Business Leader of the Year in 2001 and was the first inductee into the Business Leaders Hall of Fame. He was named to the college's Finance Executive Hall of Fame in 2015. The von Waadens have both served on KSU Foundation's board of trustees for many years and are the recipients of the Medal of Excellence, one of K-State's highest honors.

"Throughout the years, Dennis and Sally have made it their business to inspire success throughout the College of Business," Gwinner said. "Dennis and Sally's commitment to K-State, our business students and to our faculty have made it possible for our students to gain a world-class business education with hands-on learning and state-of-the-art practices that equip them as graduates to lead in an ever-changing and demanding business environment. It is only because of K-Staters like Dennis and Sally that the family atmosphere we are all so proud of exists at our college."

To view past recipients or learn more about the College of Business Distinguished Business Leader Award, Hall of Fame, and the Legend Award, visit cba.k-state.edu/alumni-partners/hall-of-fame/.