•November 4, 2015•
by Stu D. Baker
for the News Progress
Kathy Best received the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) at the annual meeting held in Austin, Tex.
Best, daughter of the late News Progress publishers Robert and Marion Best, helped lead The Seattle Times to three Pulitzer Prizes.
She is a 1975 graduate of Sullivan High School and spent her life around the small town newspaper business operated by her parents.
After attending Southern Illinois University and University of Illinois in Springfield, professional life has sent Best to metro newspapers in St. Louis, Baltimore and Seattle, but the Sullivan influence is always there.
“I never lose sight of the fact that the people we write about could be our neighbors,” Best said. “Mom and Dad would be at the grocery store or a local restaurant and someone whose story was in the paper would be sitting across the room.”
“You have to always be fair and remember we are writing about human beings.”
Best has traveled the world but has remained connected to Sullivan.
Class of 75 alum Diane Sandrisser Pearl remembers Kathy’s “Best” laugh and smile as just like her mother Marion’s.
“Kathy Best is many things; an encouraging and faithful friend, forever full of small town integrity, laser-focused to make community and people better, thick-skinned beyond strong (must be the red hair), and balances a fiery spirit with freedom of speech. Kathy has always known her meaning in life was finding her gift in journalism. We are all blessed; she selflessly gives that gift away everyday with 110% passion no matter what. Congratulations on another amazing achievement!” Read More