Two May Baker University graduates, known for their strong academic commitment, were recognized as 2017 Fran Jabara Leadership Awards recipients during spring commencement ceremonies on May 21 at the Collins Center in Baldwin City.

Gavin Webster, Independence, Kansas, graduated summa cum laude with bachelor of science degrees in business and economics. Olivia Beins, Baldwin City, Kansas, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in International Business. They received the award from Gary Irick, chair of the business and economics department at Baker.

The Fran Jabara Leadership Award Endowment recognizes the leadership potential of outstanding young men and women as they graduate. The leadership awards are named for renowned Wichita educator and entrepreneur F.D. (Fran) Jabara, a lifelong proponent of recognizing and promoting excellence in leadership. The awards program began in 2002 for students graduating from four-year private colleges in Kansas.

In 1949, Jabara joined the faculty at Wichita State, where he served for 40 years until he resigned in 1989. During his tenure, he was appointed Distinguished Professor in 1971 and served as dean of the College of Business Administration for seven years. Compelled by his advocacy of the American free enterprise system, Jabara founded in 1977 one of the nation’s first Centers for Entrepreneurship at Wichita State. The program became recognized as one of the best in the nation. He also co-founded the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs, the largest national organization for collegiate students interested in entrepreneurship, with members in all 50 states and 20 countries.