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Stories of Impact

The Barbara Wynne Story

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Barbra Wynne

Barbara Wynne ('80 Biology) was an acknowledged student leader whose sweet nature endeared her to fellow students and faculty. She held great promise both professionally and personally. She was truly a person for others who exemplified the mission of Rockhurst in all she said and did. Barbara loved Rockhurst, and her family shared her love.

During her employment at Marion Laboratories, Barbara was critically injured in an automobile accident in Virginia while returning home to Kansas City for the Thanksgiving holiday in 1982. She died the day after Thanksgiving.

A year later, one of Barb's classmates called Barbara's parents to let them know that she had joined the Rockhurst staff. "We asked her if there was a way to ensure that Barb's memory and spirit would live on at Rockhurst, " Evelyn Wynne recalled.

Tom and Evelyn Wynne, and their sons Tom and Larry (BSBA '88), established The Barbara Wynne Memorial Fund for the biology department as a living tribute to Barbara.

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Biology Club 1980

Since 1980, more than 30 exceptional students have received The Barbara Wynne Memorial Award for the Outstanding Biology Student. Recipients are selected on the basis of service and grades. Students exemplify the characteristics that made Barbara so special - compassion, kindness, friendliness, and unselfish service.

Each student recipient receives a plaque, a book useful to the student, and has his or her name inscribed on a departmental plaque. This well-known award is highly respected by our students, and keeps Barbara's sweet and gentle spirit alive.

The memorial holds an enduring and special meaning for the Wynnes. "It was a beautiful tribute to Barbara and gave us so much comfort," said Evelyn Wynne. "We know now that she lives on in many people's memories. All of you dedicated individuals who make Rockhurst what it is will always hold a special place in our hearts."

The Wynnes were recognized at a luncheon with former and current honorees, and faculty. Jennifer Doll, PhD, research associate at Northwestern's Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, told the Wynnes, "I was very honored when I received the Barbara Wynne Award, and have done my best to live up to it. I hope that someday my work will make a difference in someone's life."

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