The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 18, 2013

Three to receive achievement awards from PSU; One, pianist David Osborne, to perform Sunday

By Debby Woodin

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Three graduates of Pittsburg State University are being recognized with meritorious achievement awards in festivities today at the PSU campus.

One, Las Vegas pianist and performer David Osborne, who has entertained presidents, also will perform a homecoming concert on Sunday at the historic Coleman Theatre in his hometown of Miami, Okla.

PSU also will recognize Catherine Stareck Linaweaver, warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York; and Gary Grant, a retired State Farm Insurance Co. executive.

The three are to speak at 3:30 p.m. today in the lower level of the Wilkinson Alumni Center. A reception in their honor will follow at 4:30 p.m.

“This year’s meritorious achievement award recipients are a fascinating group of people,” said Johnna Schremmer, director of alumni and constituent relations, in a statement. “The diversity and level of accomplishment among PSU’s 55,000 alumni continues to amaze us, and this year’s group of honorees is a good example of that.”

Osborne, a performer at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, is a Miami native who earned a master’s degree in music in 1983 at PSU.

He has sold 5 million CDs and has been called the “pianist to the presidents” for his numerous performances for Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

He received a lifetime piano achievement award in 2010 from the Los Angeles Music Awards and the Hollywood Fame Awards, as well as a star at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood.

He and the David Osborne Trio will perform a homecoming concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Coleman Theatre in Miami.

Linaweaver, a native of Radley, earned a bachelor’s degree in 1981. She started her career as a teacher and taught at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth from 1990-96. She has served as an education director in federal prisons and was associate ward of the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo.

She recently was named warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, a 12-story prison in Lower Manhattan that is considered one of the most complicated operations in the federal penal system. Among those incarcerated there are accused international terrorists awaiting trial.

She was named Warden of the Year last year by the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents.

Grant, a native of Frontenac, earned a bachelor of science degree in 1971 at PSU and a master’s degree in mathematics in 1973. In 1972, he began working in the auto actuarial department at State Farm Insurance Co.

He most recently served on the board of directors of State Farm Indemnity Co. and State Farm Guaranty Insurance Co. He was elected to the board after having served as vice president and actuary, responsible for developing strategies to protect the companies from catastrophic losses. Before that, he served as actuarial vice president responsible for all property and casualty products.