William R. Brady Receives 2002 Van Meter Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award
William R. Brady, Lawrence, Kansas received the 2002 William and Allene Guthrie Van Meter Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Labette Community College and the LCC Alumni Association at the annual Donor Appreciation Luncheon October 18 in Parsons. Brady graduated from LCC in 1975.
“Bill and his family have a long history of involvement with LCC,” says Sara Combs ’58, president of the LCC Alumni Association board of directors. “Four sisters graduated from LCC and another sister attended. His parents, Bill and Mary, enjoyed sports programs at the college and participated in the senior citizen classes during their retirement years. He and his mother taught courses part time and his sister, Kathy Stotts ’69, of Parsons, worked at the college as a career counselor.”
Bill retired from the Kansas legislature in 1996 after serving ten years in the House of Representatives and six years in the Senate. He developed legislation establishing the State Hospital Closure Commission in the mid-90s, designed after the federal military base closure law. The Kansas law has the governor appointing a broad-based group of citizens to weigh the facts and make a recommendation to the legislature.
“The commission model is less political than if the legislature acted solely on its own,” says Brady. “The result saved the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center from being closed.”
Other legislation he was actively involved in that had long-term impact for southeast Kansas includes the 1988 highway bill that rebuilt what is now U.S. Highway 400, establishment of the Labette County Conservation Camp in Oswego, enhanced salaries for the direct-care staff of state hospitals, and the 1992 school finance formula that lowered property taxes in Labette County by 60 mills.
While serving in the Senate he had the distinction of having the only district that contained three community colleges. His position on the Ways and Means Committee enabled him to shepherd through numerous increases in the base aid that the colleges received from the state.
After leaving the Senate he became business administrator at Parsons State Hospital and Training Center. He led a Total Quality Management Team to reorganize the transportation system at the facility. He has been executive director of the Minnesota Library Association and since 1999 has been a contract lobbyist for Kansas Governmental Consulting, Topeka.
Bill took his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pittsburg State University. He and his wife Nancy have two children, Kevin 11 and Maureen 10.