School of Business names 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Business is set to honor its 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, Tim Barton, entrepreneur and founder of, and Roshann Parris, president and CEO of Parris Communications.

Barton and Parris will be recognized for their dedication to business excellence, community service and commitment to KU. They will be honored Thursday, April 16, at a private reception at the Kansas Union.

Barton earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from KU in 1989 and later earned a master’s degree in finance from Louisiana State University. He founded in 1998 and grew the company to more than 1,000 employees with an annual revenue exceeding $600 million. In January 2015, the company was acquired by C.H. Robinson Worldwide.

Barton is a member of the School of Business Board of Advisors and the Kansas City, Kansas, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (KCK RBI) Board of Advisors. He serves as a mentor in Kansas City’s Pipeline Entrepreneur Fellowship Program. He previously served as board chairman of the Center for Education Reform in Washington, D.C., and as a board member of Turn the Page KC.

Parris earned her MBA from KU in 1986 and has spent more than 35 years in public relations, strategic corporate communications, public affairs and crisis communications. In 1988, she founded Parris Communications and, in addition to leading the organization, has held roles on the presidential campaign staffs of nine candidates since 1980.

She is a former chairwoman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and has received numerous awards for her service to the Kansas City community, including the Kansas City Spirit Award, the Central Exchange Kansas City Woman of the Year award and the United Way Adele Hall Spirit of Caring Award.

The School of Business established the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998 to honor outstanding graduates. To date, 52 alumni have been recognized with the award. Past recipients include investor David Booth, entrepreneur Philip Anschutz, former Goldman Sachs executive Robert Kaplan, Cerner Corp. co-founder Cliff Illig and Emprise Bank chairman Mike Michaelis.

Award recipients are chosen from the nominations of other alumni and the dean’s advisory board. Candidates are selected on the basis of their business success and service to their communities and to KU. 

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