Photograph: Alumna meeting with student.

School of Lw Alumni Fellows, 1992-2000

2000 - Bernie Bianchino, '74

Photograph: Bernie Bianchino.Bernie Bianchino, '74 was honored as the Law School's Alumni Fellow October 13th. The Washburn University Alumni Fellows Program recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers. Its goal is to bring successful alumni back to campus to meet with students, faculty, and other alumni to share their expertise.

Bianchino was the Chief Business Development Officer of Sprint PCS from September 1995 until July 2000. While at Sprint, he was responsible for wholesale and resale markets, strategic relationships, affiliate relations, fixed wireless applications, Sprint sites USA tower management, carrier relations and acquisitions. He now is Chief Executive Officer of Pegaso PCS in Mexico City, a privately held venture in which Sprint has a $200 million minority interest. Pegaso PCS is developing mobile and fixed wireless and wireline services throughout Mexico.

From 1986 to 1994, he was vice president, law-general business, for Sprint Corp. and U.S. Sprint. Prior to rejoining Sprint, Bianchino was the executive vice president for general counsel and external affairs for Qwest Communications. He was counsel for Exxon Enterprise, a unit of Exxon Corp. from 1978 to 1986 and was Senior Attorney for the U.S. Department of Energy from 1974-1978.

Bianchino is president-elect and chairs the technology committee of the Board of Governors of the Washburn Law School Association. He will be president during the law school's centennial celebration. He lives in Overland Park, Kansas and commutes to Mexico City, Mexico for his job with Pegaso PCS. His wife Marilyn is a Washburn undergraduate. They have two children, Hannah and Ben.

"Bernie Bianchino is a wonderful example of the range of opportunities the skills learned in law school prepare our graduates to assume," Dean James Concannon observed. "He is on the cutting edge of the industry."

Bianchino's presentation to students and faculty was titled "Communications Law - Opportunities for the 21st Century."

1999 - Durward "Duke" Dupre, '73

Photograph: Duke Dupre.Durward "Duke" Dupre '73, Plano, Texas was recognized as a 1999 Washburn University Alumni Fellow. The Fellows program honors alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers.

The award was presented October 8. That morning he presented a lecture in Robinson Courtroom entitled, "Challenge and Change in Telecommunications: How Internet and Technology are Changing the Practice of Law."

Dupre recently retired as Vice President and General Counsel-External Affairs for SBC Communications, Inc. His legal career began as a law clerk to then Chief Justice Harold Fatzer of the Kansas Supreme Court.

After joining Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, he advanced through several assignments, which included serving as general counsel for SWBT's state operations in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Texas, as well as SBC's Vice President and Associate General Counsel. He was actively involved in the restructures and changes that have occurred in the telecommunications industry during his career with SBC.

In 1979, he was counsel for SWBT in the AT&T antitrust case. As general counsel, he tried several regulatory dockets involving the breakup of the Bell System. He was counsel for SBC in Washington, D.C. in Congressional hearings leading to the 1996 Telecommunication Act.

Before retiring he was responsible for federal proceedings for SBC and its operating telephone subsidiaries, SWBT and Pacific Bell Telephone Company.

Dupre has been active in the several state and national bar associations. He serves on several civic and church boards and is currently on the Board of Governors for Washburn Law School. He was a leader of Washburn law alums whose efforts led to the donation for the Southwestern Bell Telephone computer law in the 1992 library addition.

Dupre is an avid golfer. He is married to Helen E. Dupre, a 1976 Washburn Law School graduate.

1998 - Thomas J. Corcoran, Jr., '79

Photograph: Thomas Corcoran, Jr.Thomas Corcoran, Jr. '79, Dallas, was recognized in October as a 1998 Washburn University Alumni Fellow. The Fellows program honors alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers.

Corcoran's topic for the 1998 Alumni Fellows Lecture at the law school was "Not Practicing Law With A License". He discussed the uses of a law degree by individuals who pursue careers in business. He also discussed Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), corporate mergers and acquisitions and the challenges of running a public company. Corcoran said that his law degree was extremely helpful not only for basic tasks such as writing and reviewing contracts but also in analyzing complex transactions.

Corcoran is president and CEO of FelCor Lodging Trust. He, along with his associate Hervey Feldman, purchased a Holiday Inn in 1991 thus beginning FelCor. They took the company public in July 1994 as a REIT with six hotels.

The strategy used in the successful growth of FelCor was the acquisition of hotels at below their replacement cost and repositioning them for strong internal growth. In 1998, FelCor merged with Bristol Hotel Company. Currently, FelCor owns interests in 195 hotels with nearly 50,000 suites and rooms. Hotel assets, in 34 states and Canada, are focused in the upscale all-suite and full service segments of the hotel market.

His career in the lodging and food service industry began with Brock Hotel Corporation in Topeka. He had positions in mergers and acquisitions, financial planning, project development and franchise sales for ShowBiz Pizza Place, Inc. during the eleven years he worked with Brock.

FelCor has established a summer internship for a law student. Doug Dowell '00, a student from Kansas City, will be spending this summer learning about the hotel market and working with Corcoran.

Corcoran has been active in politics and was appointed to the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee by President Carter.

1997 - John D. Kemp, '74

Photograph: John Kemp.John Kemp '74 was honored as the Law School's Washburn University Alumni Fellow at the annual Alumni Fellows lunch on October 10, 1997, held during Homecoming Week. He is an expert on disability issues and services and, while in town, he spoke on "The ADA from Inception to Today" in the Edward G. Robinson Court Room in the Law School and in a seminar sponsored by the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association.

John is the president and CEO of Very Special Arts, an international organization providing learning opportunities through the arts for persons with disabilities. The organization offers programs in creative writing, dance, drama, music, and the visual arts in 15,000 communities in all 50 states and in more than 85 countries worldwide.

John formerly was general counsel and vice president of development for the National Easter Seal Society, then executive director of the United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. He also managed a law firm that advised companies on state and federal civil rights, employment and education laws, and policies regarding persons with disabilities. He was involved in publishing "Disability and Employment Reporter," a monthly legal and legislative newsletter for employers.

His work has earned him a number of honors including the Horatio Alger Award for achievement in the face of extraordinary challenges and a Special Tribute Award by the Dole Foundation for the Employment of People with Disabilities; he now sits on that Board. President Clinton appointed him to serve on the National Council on Disability, and he has been inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities. He also serves on the White House Conference on Aging.

At age ten, John was the national Easter Seal poster child, having been born with a disability. He uses four prostheses. He gives his father the credit for his achievements. His mother died when he was fifteen months old, his younger sister was three months, and an older sister was five years old. Their father reared them, remarrying only after all were grown. John's father and stepmother were present at the Alumni Fellows Luncheon award presentation.

1996 - Edward H. Sondker, '73

Photograph: Edward Sondker.Edward H. Sondker '73 was named an Alumni Fellow by Washburn University in October 1996. Alumni Fellows are named each year by the President of Washburn University to be recognized during Homecoming Weekend for success in their chosen fields.

Ed is president and CEO of Bay View Capital Corporation, which is the holding company of Bay View Federal Bank with 26 branches in the San Francisco bay area, and California Thrift & Loan, which has 19 offices in the western United States. Prior to accepting his present position in 1995, he was president and CEO of Independence One Bank of California with offices in Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles counties. Prior to that he was president and CEO of La Jolla Bank & Trust Company in San Diego County. After serving as a research attorney for Justice David Prager from 1972-74, Ed held senior positions in banks in Topeka and Kansas City until moving to California in 1985.

The Alumni Fellows are chosen for recognition by the different departments and schools of Washburn University.

1994 - David F. Fisher, '75

Photograph: David Fisher.David Fisher, vice president and associate general counsel of The Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis, Minn., graduated with his juris doctorate, magna cum laude and first in his class, from the Washburn University School of Law in 1975.

While a student, he was a law clerk with the Shawnee County District Clerk's Office where he worked for judges William Carpenter and E. Newton Vickers, among others. Later, he interned with the Shawnee County District Attorney's office under then-District Attorney Gene Olander.

After graduation, Fisher worked for a federal judge in Wichita over the next two years. He returned to Minneapolis in 1977 when he was hired by a small law firm in the city. He worked with the firm for the next three years until the attorney position opened at Pillsbury.

Fisher has been with Pillsbury for the last 14 years, moving up the corporate ladder to his current position where he is responsible for the company's compliance with environmental regulations and standards worldwide, and for corporate ethical and legal compliance in general. He also is legal advisor to the company's International Division, responsible for legal issues related to business development worldwide. Currently, he is charged with getting a joint U.S.Russian Green Giant sweet corn and pea canning plant into production in Kochbeevka, Russia.

1992 - Kent P. Smith, '66

Photograph: Kent Smith.Kent Smith has been practicing construction law full time since 1968. After graduating cum laude from Washburn where he was on the Washburn Law Journal editorial board, he served as a law clerk to Judge Delmas C. Hill of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before entering construction law he also served as an attorney for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Currently he is a partner in the Atlanta, Georgia, law firm of Smith & Fleming which specializes in commercial litigation and contract law with emphasis on representing clients in the construction industry. The firm's practice covers all aspects of construction law and encompasses public and private construction projects located throughout the U.S., the Caribbean Basin and Central and South America.

Smith is a member of the Atlanta, Georgia, Kansas and American Bar Associations and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. He has authored articles on construction in Federal Publications Briefing Papers and World Dredging and Marine Construction.

He has lectured on various construction law topics for the Federal Bar Association, the American Arbitration Association, the Practicing Law Institute, Hamline University, the University of Wisconsin, Emory University School of Law and other organizations. He has also taught classes on the legal aspects of architecture, engineering and contracting to students at the Georgia Institute of Technology.