William H. and Alice T. Lanning Award

William H. and Alice T. Lanning established the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in 1915 in memory of their only child, Mary, who died of an unknown illness while she was home from Smith College, January 1910.

William Lanning was a community leader, educated for the teaching profession and later read for the bar. He was a land broker and respected community leader who served a term as Mayor of Hastings. His wife, Alice Tomlinson Lanning, was the daughter of a well known Hastings pioneer. When they lost their daughter, Mary, William and Alice re-directed their grief into creating the best medical facility possible. The Lannings toured hospitals throughout the United States and Europe before finally deciding on architectural plans that would allow for the latest treatment methods.

As we near 100 years of quality health care for friends and neighbors in central Nebraska, the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors established the William H. and Alice T. Lanning Award in 2010 to recognize generous devotion to the advancement of healthcare through gifts of time, talent and resources in the support of and commitment to the mission of Mary Lanning Healthcare.

The award recognizes the support and commitment to the mission of Mary Lanning Healthcare through generous devotion to the advancement of healthcare in the spirit of William H. and Alice T. Lanning who founded the hospital in 1915 in memory of their daughter, Mary.

Honorees include

Leota Rolls 2011

Leota Rolls was honored with this prestigious award at the Foundation’s 2011 Stars Come out Gala, on August 27, 2011. Leota worked at Mary Lanning Healthcare for 47 years in a variety of capacities, from Staff Nurse to Vice President and Senior Vice President. A 1963 graduate from the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Rolls served as Director of Nursing Education from 1969 to 1980, during which time she significantly increased the size of graduating classes.

In 1986, Rolls negotiated with Creighton University School of Nursing to create a satellite program at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, offering a Bachelor Science in Nursing degree.

Rolls has received numerous honors and awards from Nebraska and national nursing organizations for her work and publications.

“Leota Rolls has been a friend of Mary Lanning for many years,” said Robert Synhorst, executive director of the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation. “Her abiding support of health care education and her philanthropic leadership is testimony to her commitment to Nebraskans, especially here in Hastings. We are proud to honor Leota for 47 years of dedicated service to health care in spirit of the Lanning family.”

Kenneth Morrison and Richard J. Spady 2010

Kenneth Morrison is managing partner of Morrison Enterprises and several related companies headquartered in Hastings, Nebraska. He moved to Hastings from Roxbury, Kansas in 1947 and began an alfalfa processing business and expanded into large-scale farming, grain processing and merchandizing.

Past chair of the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Mr. Morrison was inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame in 1998 and is a former board member of the University of Nebraska Foundation, City National Bank of Hastings and Eastern Oregon Farming. Named to the 1989 Ak-Sar-Ben Court of Honor, Mr. Morrison received the 1991 University of Nebraska Builder Award and 1999 Corporate Leadership Award of the UNL College of Business. In 2004 he was named Man of the Year by the National Hay Association and Humanitarian of the Year by the Hastings Family YMCA, in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation – Nebraska chapter. The Morrison-Reeves Science Center at Hastings College was dedicated, October 1, 2009, in honor of Kenneth Morrison and Dr. Thomas J. Reeves, president of the college from 1985 to 1995.

The Morrison Cancer Center on the Mary Lanning campus was named in his honor in 2003. The free standing 13,000 sq. ft. facility features medical oncology and radiation oncology, integrating state-of-the-art technology.

Ken Morrison was identified as the lead donor at the June 25, 2008 groundbreaking ceremony for The Century Project. The project is a $30 million transformation of Mary Lanning and encompasses a 32,500 sq. ft. addition on the north and south tower additions and a 68,600 sq. ft. transformation of the existing facility.

Cal Johnson and his father, Harold, recruited Richard J. Spady in 1974 to join McKinley and Lanning, a farm management and farm loan firm established by William H. Lanning in 1879. Dick Spady served as secretary/treasurer of the Mary Lanning Hospital Trust, chair of the hospital Board of Trustees, and member of the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors. For over thirty years, Dick Spady has served on local, regional and state committees addressing issues related to health and safety, and health care education. He has been an active participant in many initiatives for rural health. In addition, he developed and oversaw the Mary Lanning campus landscape design.

Dick Spady graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Agriculture with a masters degree in agricultural economics and farm management. He served 16 years as an employee of the State of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in various capacities ranging from land manager to assistant director at the time of his departure in 1974. He played professional baseball in the Brooklyn Dodger System from 1948 to 1956.

Dick Spady’s professional associations have included the Nebraska Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and Soil Water Conservation Society. He chaired the Health & Safety Committee of the South Platte United Chambers of Commerce and is past president of the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Rural Health Association. He has served on boards for the Hastings College Trustees, Highland Realty, KHAS Radio, Norwest Bank and the Advisory Council of Adams County Senior Services of Hastings.

Dick Spady was honored with the Friend to Medicine Award by the Nebraska Medical Association in 1998 for shaping solutions to health care and rural health changes.

When his father, John Spady, passed away in 1975, Dick succeeded him on the hospital Board of Trustees and, together with the rest of the Spady family, provided for the landscaping of the entire hospital grounds as a living memorial. By 1975, Dutch Elm disease had killed the stately trees that surrounded the hospital and Dick developed a landscape plan which the hospital Board of Trustees approved in April 1976. This loving tribute to his father and mother incorporated their shared philosophy that nature’s beautiful living things are important for the healing of body and mind. The plan introduced over 200 species or varieties of plant materials. Since then, over 6,000 trees, shrubs and perennial plants have been added in Mary Lanning’s ongoing environmental improvement that has included grounds at the Medical Services Building, the Home Away From Home, the Morrison Cancer Center and the Perkins-Spady Recuperative Gardens. For over three decades, Dick Spady has served as the artistic designer who filled the Mary Lanning landscape with beautiful living things, reflecting the Mary Lanning philosophy that recognizes this important aspect of the healing process.

William and Alice Lanning’s legacy of leadership continued through the dedicated commitment of Thomas and Claus Frahm, then Ralph Miller and Ed Wilken, and now Dick Spady.