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2021 Alumni Award Winners

Dr. William Farrar, headshotDistinguished Alumni Award
Dr. William Farrar ’71

William Farrar, MD, is chief executive officer of The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, the 3rd largest cancer hospital in the nation. He also serves as director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center and is an active surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of patients with breast cancer. Considered to be one of the nation’s foremost experts in cancer care, his opinion and thought leadership has been sought after for more than 40 years.  He’s authored more than 120 cancer research articles in prestigious medical journals, along with several book chapters and scientific abstracts, and has served for more than 20 years on the editorial board for the Journal of Surgical Oncology. He has held leadership positions on the national and local levels in many professional organizations and societies.  Dr. Farrar received his B.A in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University and his Medical Degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. As a surgical resident at Ohio State in 1975, he was mentored by Dr. Arthur G. James, the namesake of The James. It was James himself, a respected cancer surgeon, who urged Dr. Farrar to pursue surgical oncology. Dr. Farrar is considered by his patients as one of the “nicest, kindness and most sincere” people around and is consistently ranked as one of the “Best Doctor’s in America.” Dr. Farrar and his wife, Kathryn, reside in Dublin, Ohio. They have 4 children (William, Elizabeth, Caroline and Kathryn) and 7 grandchildren.


Luis Cabrales, headshotRobert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumni
Luis Cabrales-Vasquez ’15

Luis Cabrales-Vasquez, MSW graduated from IWU with a major in Sociology as a Gates Millennium Scholar. Luis served as the Philanthropy Chairman for ACACIA receiving personal and collective recognition for their impact. Luis was also in cheerleading bringing school spirit wherever he went all while working five part-time jobs to support his family back home. Luis earned his Master of Social Work and a certification in non-profit management from the University of Illinois in 2018. During his last year of education, Luis worked in refugee resettlement lending his own 1 st generation experience and multilingual skill set while working as a translator for a financial institution. Immediately following graduation, Luis joined Year Up in fundraising, having started his own 501c3 registered nonprofit at 16, he wrapped up his decade in development by helping meet a multimillion-dollar goal. Having served as a Program Manager, he has focused on moving the organization into operating in an anti-racist manner by centering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) policies and practices to help provide opportunity to all stakeholders alike. With a passion for community involvement, Luis utilizes his skills and education to connect people with opportunity. Recently, he was able to fundraise just under 30K and organized his network to bring medical and food supplies to the south and west parts of Chicago during the George Floyd protests. Luis pours his experiences into his writing and has published one book and multiple pieces of work locally and globally in different publications. He has been recognized for his community involvement work by awards from Busey, RefugeeOne, Pilsen Alliance, and Year Up which awarded him the Engage and Embrace Diversity award ’17-’21.


Kathy Lewton, headshotLoyalty Award
Kathleen "Kathy" Larey Lewton ’70

Kathleen Larey Lewton ’70, Fellow PRSA, principal of Lewton, Seekins & Trester, has spent more than 40 years in healthcare public relations and strategic marketing, providing counsel to leading U.S. academic medical centers, national health systems, pharmaceutical companies and public health organizations. She was an executive at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Medical center, a senior VP at global PR agencies including Porter Novelli and Fleishman Hillard, working in the pharmaceutical and health policy areas, and has served clients from Abbott to Cleveland Clinic, the American Heart Association, St. Jude Children’s, the American Medical Association and PBS. Lewton authored the textbook “Public Relations in Health Care: A Guide for Professionals,” (American Hospital Association, 1991 and 1995), and was national president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Chair of the PRSA Foundation Board of Trustees and Chair of the global Commission on Public Relations Education. She was honored with the Health Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and was a Glamour magazine Outstanding Working Woman. She has written for major professional journals and spoken to dozens of conferences, as well as The Economic Club of Detroit. She has graduate degrees in journalism from Northwestern Medill School and healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.  At IWU, Lewton is a 20+-year Trustee, co-chair of the marketing committee and an active member of the Diversity, Engagement and Involvement Committee; co-chaired the Sigma Kappa Centennial; has hosted fund-raisers, chaired major events, helped establish several scholarships, and co-led her class reunion committee since graduation in 1970.