Last modified at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2001
Buckingham Palace announced this month Dr. Stanley M. Dennis made Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's Honor List as a Member of the British Empire.
"I was surprised and honored," Dennis said. "I didn't expect anything like this."
After retiring from Kansas State University in 1992, Dennis served eight years as dean of a veterinary college in St. Kitts in the West Indies. There he helped expand Ross University, increasing enrollment to 450 students from 98 students.
Dennis will accept the award at a ceremony in July that likely will be in Buckingham Palace. He is waiting to receive details of the festivities.
Although the curriculum he taught in St. Kitts remained the same as at K-State, the move forced Dennis to make some lifestyle adjustments.
"I had to give up a few things like shoveling snow," he said. "The average temperature is 80 to 85 degrees year round."
Dennis expected to stay in St. Kitts only a couple of years, but the challenge of developing the economy of the country kept him there for eight years. He said the experience taught him tolerance of other ideas and cultures.
Kansas State University hired Dennis in 1966 where he became head of the pathology department within the veterinary school in 1968. He helped K-State establish a veterinary college at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. Between 1972 and 1974 he served as dean of that college and later as associate dean for research.
Dennis retired from Ross University in August 2000 after 50 years in veterinary medicine, having worked on four continents and in seven countries. A native of Australia, he has lived in Topeka since he returned to the United States.