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KCKCC Foundation Announces Hall of Fame Honorees

Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Kansas City Kansas Community College Foundation has announced those it will recognize during the 2024 Hall of Fame Awards and Scholarship Event.

The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center, 6565 State Ave. Individual tickets are $100 and tables of eight are $800. In addition, sponsorship packages are still available for business sponsors to support student scholarships. For more information on sponsorships and tickets, visit the KCKCC Foundation’s website.

“The KCKCC Foundation is privileged to honor the 2024 Hall of Fame inductees. Their dedication to strengthening our community through innovation, creativity and quality education is commendable and deserving of recognition,” said Matt Watkins, chair of the KCKCC Foundation. “Scholarship proceeds from this year’s event are critical to our mission. The funds help remove financial barriers so qualified students can pursue their academic dreams.”

The Hall of Fame started in 1996 to recognize individuals, organizations and corporate supporters in the community who have made notable contributions to education. Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on a demonstrated commitment to education, their effort to improve the quality of life in the community through education, and by increasing educational opportunities for others that support significant changes improving the quality of education.

The 2024 inductees into the KCKCC Hall of Fame are:


John Alfred Hodge (Posthumous)

Nominators: Robert Milan, Sr. and Curtis V. Smith, Ph.D. retired KCKCC professor at KCKCC 

John Alfred Hodge (1882-1969) played a critical role in the advancement of higher education for African American students in the Kansas City, Kan. community for 44 years. He obtained a master of mathematics and physical sciences degree in 1910 from the University of Indiana and started teaching these subjects full time at Sumner High School in 1911. Hodge was selected to become principal of Sumner High School in 1915. This was the same year he started the Sumner High School band in collaboration with his brother-in-law, the famed Professor Robert Jackson and “America’s Greatest Negro Bandmaster,” Major N. Clark Smith, who both were teaching in the music department at Western University in Quindaro. Hodge had played cornet at Shelbyville High School in Indiana, where he grew up, and at the University of Indiana. In 1923, he was selected to be the first dean of the Sumner Branch of Kansas City Kansas Junior College. Hodge was the longest-serving principal at Sumner and developed one of the top teacher training programs in the country. His work ensured that African American students had access to the highest quality education during segregation. Hodge served as president of the KCK Branch of the NAACP and as secretary of the 1st Baptist Church of KCK. His son, John E. Hodge (1914-1996) became a world-renowned chemist for elucidating the biochemical pathway known as the Maillard Reaction. 

The University of Kansas Health System (UKHS) GED Program

Nominators: Nancy Phelps, JE Dunn Construction and Heartland Coca Cola Bottling Company, LLC

The GED Program is a collaborative partnership between KCKCC and UKHS. It is not only committed to education but to the complete commitment of their employees’ growth. The program is a catalyst for individuals who continue their success through obtaining bachelor degrees and other professional certificates. Its best attribute is the ability to change an individual’s growth mindset, and program participants demonstrate that hard work, commitment, and tenacity to accomplish anything.

Dr. Karin Ogden Roberts, Ph.D., RN, CNE

Nominators: Sheryl K. Sommer, Ph.D., RN and Julie Nauser, Ph.D., RN, CNE Professor Research College of Nursing

Dr. Karin Ogden Roberts is a proud KCKCC alumna, who enrolled in the college’s associate degree in nursing program with a $300 scholarship as a first-generation college student. She subsequently pursued a bachelor of science in nursing at the University of Kansas and accepted a faculty position with Research College of Nursing. A long career ensued allowing Roberts to achieve a Ph.D. During her career she developed a statewide Kansas Practical Nursing Core curriculum for Kansas in 2018 and has published in numerous scholarly journals and scientific publications. A current member of the KCKCC Practical Nursing and Registered Nursing Advisory Board, Roberts believes community colleges are the educational cornerstone to students of all ages, races, ethnicities and languages. She also established a scholarship in her name to assist other nursing students who would otherwise be unable to attend college.

Philip W. Miller Scholarship Fund

Nominators: Patricia Lawson, retired English instructor at KCKCC and Carl Bettis 

Philip W. Miller established the Philip W. Miller Scholarship with the KCKCC Foundation during his tenure at KCKCC. He passed away in 2011 but his legacy lives on today thanks to a contingent of generous and passionate writers, teachers and family members. A teacher and a poet, Miller taught at KCKCC from 1976 to 2002 and served as a professor of English where he had the opportunity to teach creative writing, basic English, and American literature. He was a founding member of the Writer’s Place, and he co-founded and directed the Riverfront Reading Series. Miller was the co-editor of Potpourri Literary Magazine, Same and Uncle. He also published numerous books of poetry.

For more information on the Hall of Fame, contact the KCKCC Foundation at 913-288-7675 or by email at

Category: Events, Foundation

Keywords: KCKCC Foundation

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