The Wichita State University Center for Real Estate and the Kansas chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members will recognize the late Don Slawson with their Lifetime Achievement Award at a luncheon at WSU’s Marcus Welcome Center on Thursday.
Slawson, an oil and gas producer and real estate developer, died in July from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
He is the 10th recipient of the award and the first to be recognized posthumously, according to the center and Kansas CCIM.
Slawson started his career in the oil and gas industry in 1957, forming Slawson Cos., an independent oil and gas exploration company that expanded into commercial and residential real estate development beginning in the late 1970s.
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The company’s notable real estate developments include the NewMarket Square retail and office development at 21st and Maize in northwest Wichita, and the mixed-use Tallgrass development in northeast Wichita, a project that it did jointly with the Ritchie family.
On the residential side, Slawson’s company has done 28 residential developments in east and west Wichita.
“There was over 3,000 acres of land that we owned and developed or sold, over 1.1 million square feet of commercial building area and over 3,000 home sites,” said Jerry Jones, vice president of commercial development for Slawson Cos.
Slawson’s legacy isn’t just real estate, Jones said.
“Oh, no,” he said. “It’s way beyond that.”
Slawson served on a number of boards through the years, including at companies such as Cessna and Intrust Bank and public entities such as the Wichita Airport Advisory Board and the Kansas Board of Regents.
“He was a community leader and a business leader,” said Jones, who worked for Slawson starting in 1998.
Jones said Slawson’s wife, Judy, and son, Todd, will accept the award at Thursday’s luncheon.
Past recipients of the award are Rod Stewart, Dave Burk, Colby Sandlian, Jack Hunt, George Ablah, Jack DeBoer, Nestor and Michael Weigand, Stephen Clark and Herb Krumsick.