Five Receive Alumni Awards from William Woods University

Five individuals from five different states received awards from William Woods University during Alumni Weekend, April 23-25.


Ben Wells of ­­­­Coral Gables, Fla., and Youngstown, N.Y., was named an honorary alumnus in recognition of his distinguished personal achievement and outstanding community service. Wells is a member of the executive committee of the William Woods University Board of Trustees, and the vice president and chief financial officer for the Burger King Corporation.


Dana K. Anderson of Los Angeles, Calif., received the Order of the Owl Award, designed to honor spouses of William Woods alumni who have shown a special interest in promoting and supporting the activities of the university. Anderson is vice chairman of the board of directors of the Macerich Company, the third largest mall owner in the U.S. In 2008, Anderson Arena, inside the Helen Stephens Sports Complex on campus, was named in honor of Dana and Sue Anderson, who were instrumental in making the refurbishment of that facility possible.


Mary Ann Rosenberg Weems, a 1970 graduate from Albuquerque, N.M., received the Award of Distinction, which was created to honor an alumna who has achieved national or international fame in her chosen field. She is the owner of Weems Galleries and Framing in Albuquerque. She is also the owner and creator of Weems International Artfest, which features more than 250 artists and craftsmen from around the world annually at the New Mexico State Fair Grounds.


Deb Weedman of St. Louis, Mo., received the Outstanding Service Award, which honors an alumnus for many years of support in multifaceted areas and outstanding service to the university.

A member of the national alumni board, she chairs the Alumni Weekend Joint Golf Tournament. She also helped create and organize alumni weekend’s Saturday afternoon wine tasting.


Jennifer Beggs Vescovo of Memphis, Tenn., was awarded the Green Owl Award, which is presented to those alumni who have given years of service to the Alumni Association and the university. Vescovo has been a member of the WWU national alumni board since 2002 and served as second vice president 2007-09. She is currently first vice president. She also was responsible for bringing the Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles to campus this year to speak about the civil rights movement and his friend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.