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Alexander W. Doniphan Community Service & Leadership Foundation


The Alexander W. Doniphan Community Service and Leadership Foundation recognizes honorees who exemplify General Doniphan’s outstanding characteristics and personal commitments in one or more of the diverse components of his life, mainly education, jurisprudence, statesmanship, patriotism in defense of county, and integrity in business.

The Doniphan Award is made possible through the efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Clay County Millenium Historical Board, and the Clay County Commission.

Doniphan Award

This Year's Recipient

Alvin Brooks, often called Kansas City’s most beloved civil rights activist and public servant, is a former police officer, city councilman, and mayor pro tem, as well as the founder of the AdHoc Group Against Crime. His decades of civil rights, violence prevention, and criminal justice advocacy led President George H. W. Bush to appoint him to the President’s National Advisory Council and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to appoint him to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners. Brooks has also worked as a business consultant and motivational speaker. He was elected to two uncontested terms to the city council. Brooks’ lifework has been to better his community, make the world fair for all, and diminish bias and discrimination. 

Binding Us Together, Alvin Brooks’ unique personal story of character, activism, and perseverance, tells of his connection to city and national leaders during dramatic times and provides a hands-on guide against bias for future generations. Acclaimed Academy Award-winning American film director and screenwriter Kevin Willmott is producing a documentary based on this recently released book.  

Alvin Brooks is the recipient of numerous awards among which are: The Harry S.Truman Award for Public Service, UMKC Alumni of the Year Award and Alumni Achievement Award, Red Cross Humanitarian Award, National Conference of Christians and Jews Outstanding Citizen Award, Peace Man Award (UMKC), BSA Whitney Young Jr. Service Award, Carl R. Johnson Humanitarian Award, FBI Community Leadership Award, Kansas City 2019 Citizen of the Year, Henry W. Bloch Human Relations Award, Invictus Award for Social Justice, MLK Jr. Committee, 15 and Mahomies Foundation Community MVP Award.

In his honor, the new Alvin Brooks Center for Faith-Justice will be built on the Rockhurst University campus. Brooks holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UMKC. He and his late wife Carol were married 63 years and were the parents of 6 children, 17 grands, 45 greats, and 15 great greats.  Alvin is a proud member of St. Monicas Catholic Church.


Anita Gorman’s contributions to Kansas City and the state of Missouri over a period of more than six decades are too numerous to summarize. She served as the first female member and president of the Kansas City Board of Parks and Recreation. She was the first female member and chairwoman of the Missouri Department of Conservation. She was also the first female chair of the Salvation Army in Kansas City, and she was the first female chair of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Anita was instrumental in the establishment of Kansas City International Airport and helped commission the airport’s dedication in 1972. She has been a member of the City of Fountains Foundation that helps maintain Kansas City’s 48 publicly-owned fountains, and multiple fountains in the Northland likely would not exist without her leadership.

Among many awards and recognitions, she was named Greater Kansas Citian of the Year by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, is an inductee in the Missouri Recreation and Parks Hall of Fame, was named Kindest Kansas Citian, and received the Northland Community Pinnacle Award.
Anita graduated from William Jewell College – an institution founded by a group that included Alexander Doniphan – and received her master’s degree from Harvard University. She was married to Gerald Gorman for more than 60 years prior to his death in 2016. She is the mother of Gwen Royle and Vicky Jacoby and has five grandchildren. She is a member of Avondale United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School for nearly 60 years.

2018 - John C. Danforth

Former United States Senator from Missouri

Senator John C. Danforth served in the United States Senate as a member of the Republican Party from 1976 to 1995. His areas of interest included trade, tax policy and civil rights. In 1999, Danforth was appointed Special Counsel to investigate the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Senator Danforth was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in July 2004 by President George W. Bush. An ordained Episcopal priest, he authored the books Resurrection (1994), Faith and Politics: How the “Moral Values” Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together (2006) and The Relevance of Religion (2015). Prior to his election to the Senate, Danforth was Attorney General for the State of Missouri from 1968 – 1976.

Senator Danforth graduated with honors from Princeton University and then earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Yale Law School. Danforth currently serves on the nonprofit, nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, as well as on the national advisory board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. He is a partner in the law firm of Dowd Bennett in St. Louis. Danforth and his wife Sally have five children and 15 grandchildren

2016 - Susan Easton Black

Dr. Susan Easton Black is an emeritus professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. She is a past Associate Dean of General Education and Honors and Director of Church History in the Religious Studies Center. Susan has received many university awards, including the Karl
G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, the highest award given a professor at BYU—the first woman to receive such an honor. For nearly forty years Dr. Black taught hundreds of students each semester about the influence of the state of Missouri on Joseph Smith and early Latter-day Saints. She is currently serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dr. Black has been the recipient of numerous academic awards for her research and writing. She has authored, edited, and compiled over 120 books and nearly four hundred articles. Dr. Black is married to George Durrant because he believed “she deserves the very best.” They are blessed with a posterity that
brings them joy, including five lawyers.

2014 - Elder Lance B. Wickham

Elder Lance B. Wickman is the General Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an Emeritus General Authority of the Church. He served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy from
April 1, 2000, until October 2, 2010. He had been a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy since April 2, 1994.

He attended the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a
Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1964. He attended law school at Stanford University, receiving his Juris Doctor degree in 1972. He practiced law as a trial lawyer and partner in the international law firm of Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles and San Diego until his call as a General Authority.

Elder Wickman, a U.S. Army Ranger, served as a captain in the United States Army from 1964 to 1969. He served twice in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader and as a military advisor to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, the Valorous Unit Citation and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Elder Wickman has been awarded the Silver Buffalo and Silver
Beaver by the Boy Scouts of America.

He has held various ecclesiastical positions within the Church, including missionary in the Central British Mission (1961 to 1963), Bishop, Stake President and Regional Representative.

He and his wife Patricia are parents of five children, four sons and one daughter. One of their children is deceased. Elder and Sister Wickman have four grandchildren.

2012 - Lt. General (ret) Robert Arter

After graduating from Ohio University, Arter was commissioned a
Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. His military service included
command and staff positions culminating in his assignment as
Commanding General, Sixth United States Army. His military awards and decorations reflect a distinguished career. Like Doniphan, Arter is a member of the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame.

Arter and former United States Supreme Court Chief Justice
Warren Berger were the co-chairs of the Department of Defense’s
Bicentennial of the United States Constitution commemoration from 1986 to 1991.

Setting the highest standards of education for military officers has
been a hallmark of his life’s work. In partnership with the late United States Senator Harry Darby, Arter endowed an annual award to encourage the study and writing of military history by officers of the
United States Army Command and General Staff College. In the early 2006 he was a founding member and Chairman of the Command and General Staff College Foundation Inc. He continues to serve as Chairman of the Foundation.

His civilian leadership includes his service as President and CEO of the Armed Forces Bank in Leavenworth, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee
of the Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, a member of the Governor’s Military Committee and a
member of Business Executives for National Security.

Arter is married to the former Lois C. Sayles. They have two children, Caroline and Robert J.

2010 - S. Preston Williams

S. Preston Williams has been named the 2010 recipient of the Alexander W. Doniphan Community Service Award, having demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the ideals of service exemplified by Alexander Doniphan.

Mr. Williams was born in Excelsior Springs, Missouri in 1918 and moved to North Kansas City as a child. He graduated from high school there and attended college at Drake University and the Kansas City Art Institute — including classes under Thomas Hart Benton.
Before graduating from college, Mr. Williams enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1941, serving with the 3rd Marine Division in the South Pacific. He returned to the United States in May 1944 as an instructor at Camp Pendleton before returning to Guam in 1945, where he remained until returning home to be discharged in December 1945.

After his military service Mr. Williams attended Rockhurst College and the Kansas City School of Law, graduating law school in 1950.

In addition to his private practice, Mr. Williams has served as both city attorney and city counselor for North Kansas City, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney of Clay County, Missouri and Assistant Attorney General of Missouri. In 1960 he was named an honorary Colonel by Governor Dalton. In 1998 he served as president of the Clay County Bar Association and, in 1999, he was honored as Dean of the Bar by the Missouri Bar Association.

An avid member and Sponsor in Perpetuity of Ducks Unlimited, he has served as national president, Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee. He is a Life Sponsor of Ducks Unlimited in the United States, Mexico and Canada. In February of this year the Greater
Kansas City Chapter of Ducks Unlimited named Mr. Williams the first recipient of the S. Preston Williams Conservation Award.

Mr. Williams has served as a North Kansas City councilman, president of the North Kansas City Historical Society, a member of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission, the Mayor’s Corps of Progress and the Law Alumni Board of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Mr. Williams is married to the former Bernice Hargarten of Milwaukee, Wisconsin who, in 1944, was a Marine Corps staff sergeant, serving at Camp Pendleton when Mr. Williams was an instructor there. They have two sons, Mark and wife Lisa, and Tim and wife Carra. Two children died in infancy, Mary Colleen and Patrick James. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

2009 - Dr. W. Christian Sizemore

The Alexander W. Doniphan Community Service Award was established to
remind our community of Doniphan’s lifelong service to his nation and community and to recognize those honorees who follow in his footsteps.

Dr. W. Christian Sizemore, the 2009 recipient of this award, continues Doniphan’s legacy of service through leadership in higher education, health
care, community development, and historical preservation and research.

He is a leader and published author in higher education and historical research.He has served as president of three colleges, including William Jewell College, nationally recognized for superior academic excellence in the liberal arts. His commitment to leadership education and the development of advanced information science technology, along with successful capital campaigns that increased college endowments and facilities, will provide enhanced opportunities for generations of college students to meet tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities as leaders.

Long involved in health care, Dr. Sizemore was responsible for nursing programs at three colleges. He also oversaw a physician’s assistant program and led the development of the nation’s first post baccalaureate physician assistant master’s degree program. He has served on a hospital board of
directors, a statewide organization of hospital board members, and a Governor’s Health Initiative Advisory Panel.

Dr. Sizemore is currently the Director of Business Expansion for the Clay County Economic Development Council, where he has responsibility for retention and expansion assistance for Clay County businesses. He has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Greater Kansas City American Red Cross, as well as a number of regional chambers of commerce. He presently serves on the Immacolata Manor Board, the Salvation Army Northland Corps Advisory Council, and the North Kansas City Schools Community Partnership Advisory Board. Dr. Sizemore was co-chair of the steering committee that built Freedom House and is a member of its board of directors. He is a serving deacon at Second Baptist Church of Liberty.

His support of the preservation and promotion of area history includes service on the Clay County Millennium Historical Board and life membership in the Clay County Historical Society. He headed the successful fund drive for Liberty’s 175th anniversary history book. He serves as president of the William C. Corum Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and is a member of the General Society Sons of the Revolution.

Dr. Sizemore resides in Liberty, Missouri, with his wife, Anne. They have three sons and six grandchildren.

2008 - Mr. Raymond R. Brock, Jr.

A native of Lathrop, Missouri, Ray was born July 14, 1930. He  graduated from Liberty High School and later received his Bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College, where he served as senior class president as well as president of his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta.

Throughout his school years, Ray’s penchant for business showed as he thrived in a variety of jobs including paper delivery for the Kansas City Star and Times, sales at Brants Menswear and Shoes, Safeway Grocery Store, managing the college bookstore and building and operating a miniature golf course among other things.

Ray joined Charles F. Curry Real Estate Company in 1954 where he
worked on buying land, construction, brokerage and property management.
He was instrumental in the development of Antioch Shopping Center, the first mall north of the river among many other notable developments throughout the KC Metro. Ray’s storied career would span more than six decades, ultimately serving as Chairman Emeritus of what is now known as Curry Real Estate Services.

He served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean era.

Active in the community, Ray served on numerous boards and commissions giving generously of his time, talent and treasure. Committed and compassionate, he championed initiatives too many to mention receiving honors and awards from multitudes of organizations. He was a mentor, leader and role model to all of us.

Ray and his wife Linnea have four daughters was involved in and dedicated to the Liberty Christian Church. He served in many roles and particularly loved rolling up his sleeves to do service projects with his friends there.

2007 - Juarenne Hester

2005 - John A. Dillingham

2003 - John and Mary Pritchard

2003 - Judge R. Kenneth Elliott