Three to receive honorary degrees at WU spring commencement

Three honorary doctorates will be conferred at the Washburn University commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12.

Stanley C. Sager, Albuquerque, N.M., honorary doctor of law.

Photograph: Stanley Sager.Stanley C. Sager was co-founder, managing director and chief trial attorney of the New Mexico law firm Sager, Curran, Sturges and Tepper, P.C., of Albuquerque and Las Cruces.  He received a juris doctor from the Washburn University School of Law, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and served as a naval officer during the Korean War.

Sager was chairman of the New Mexico Bar’s Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Project and  served on various committees and task forces of the State Supreme Court and the New Mexico State Bar, including commissioner from 1990 to 1994.  He was active in The United Methodist Church at local, regional, national and international levels, including legal advisor to three bishops and as lay volunteer and author of fiscal policies and guidebooks for the denomination.  He has written two published books, various historical articles, and is working on his third book.

He is the recipient of the Professionalism Award from the State Bar of New Mexico, the Robert H. LaFollette Pro Bono Award, the Outstanding Bar Service Award, the Living Archives Award, the Distinguished Bar Service Award and the Judge Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award from the Perkins School of Theology. Sager and his wife established the Kurt M. Sager Memorial Professorship at Washburn Law School as a memorial for his son.

Betty (McEnroe) Casper, Topeka, honorary doctor of public service 

Betty McEnroe Casper first became associated with Washburn as a high school freshman when she played the French horn in the university orchestra. 

A member of NoNoSo Honor Society and a patroness of Sigma Alpha Iota music sorority, Casper served as chairwoman for a two-state fundraising campaign for the construction of Petro Allied Health Center and as treasurer of the Friends of Mabee Library board of directors.

In 1992, she became the first female president of the Ichabod Club and in 1993, she was the first woman named Ichabod of the Year.  In 2003, she received the Washburn University Alumni Association Monroe Award, which is presented to a woman who has distinguished herself as a teacher, instructor, administrator or benefactor at the University and has given service to the community.

She has also service board of directors and executive committee of the Topeka Community Concert Association. For her 43 years of volunteer service, the Concert Association named a Washburn music scholarship in her honor.

Barry F. Feaker, Topeka, honorary doctor of public service.

Barry Feaker is executive director of the Topeka Rescue Mission and has been serving as the president of the Topeka/Shawnee County Safe Streets Coalition since 2007. He received a degree in therapeutic recreation from Washburn University and his ordination from the South Baptist Convention. 

Feaker has been involved in various local and state organizations and initiatives which include being coordinator for the Topeka City of Character and a member of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, Shawnee County Department of Corrections Public Relations Board, Topeka/Shawnee County Heartland Vision Steering Committee, Topeka/Shawnee County Homeless Task Force, Prevention and Recovery Service Boar, and the Washburn University School of Nursing Advisory Committee.

He has been successful in expanding the Topeka Rescue Mission, having directed two building projects to construct new shelters for the homeless. In 2009, Feaker received the Human Rights Award from the United Nations and the Community Impact Award from the United Way.  He has received numerous awards and recognition since 1989 which include the Distinguished Service to Mankind Award from Parents without Partners and the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award from the State of Kansas.


(Dena Anson, 785-670-1711)