Manhattan resident named endowed chair

By The Mercury

Janice M. “Jamie” Spikes, nursing faculty for the division/department of nursing for Kansas Wesleyan University, has been named the recipient of the A.J. Rice Endowed Chair of Nursing.

The chair was established by Wesleyan to recognize an outstanding nurse-educator who upholds the strong focus on complete health, and particularly family health, that was espoused by Kansas farmer Augustus J. Rice. The chair is funded by his estate, which is managed by the estate’s board of trustees.

Spikes, a member of the KWU faculty since 1993, earned her diploma in nursing from Passavant Hospital School of Nursing, the BS and MS in nursing from Northern Illinois University, and her Ph.D. in nursing from The University of Texas, Austin. In addition to her teaching responsibilities in the areas of maternal-newborn, women’s health, community and transcultural health care, Dr. Spikes also has been very active with parish nursing, and is a frequent international speaker.

Rice moved to Kansas in 1876 from New York with his family, including nine brothers and sisters, and began farming in Atchison county. He later discovered the productivity of western Kansas farm land, and also farmed in Graham, Rooks, and Russell counties. In 1903, he was declared the “Wheat King of Kansas”, having more land in production than any other farmer in Kansas.

Rice never married, and following his death in 1926, his land was placed in trust, with the vast majority of earnings to be distributed evenly to the University of Kansas and Wesleyan. Although the land did not have great value after the great depression, the value of the estate increased because of the discovery of oil, and currently supports the endowed chair.

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