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Kenneth J. Vaughn

Retired principal and president, Larkin and Associates
2007 DESA Recipient
Primary office:



  • B.S., civil engineering, 1957
  • M.S., civil engineering, 1963

Kenneth J. Vaughn's career has been a noteworthy combination of public service and private practice.

After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in civil engineering in 1957, he was hired as a structural design engineer with Wilson and Company in Salina, Kan.

In 1960, Vaughn began to pursue a master's degree in civil engineering at KU. During this time, he worked as a special projects engineer for the Kansas State Water Resources Board evaluating sites for the future Clinton Lake dam.

In 1963, Vaughn joined Larkin and Associates, now known as the Larkin Group, and was hired as engineering consultant to the city of Prairie Village. By 1965 he was elevated to partner status at Larkin. He is recognized by employees, colleagues and competitors as a talented mentor with a high level of professionalism who always treated others with respect. In 1980, his work on the Brush Creek stabilization project -- which controls floodwaters and is thought by many in the Kansas City area to be of vital importance to the safety of thousands -- won a first place award for public improvements from Kansas Consulting Engineers. In 1984, Vaughn was elected the first president of the firm when it was incorporated. Vaughn retired as principal and president of Larkin Associates in 1994.

He is a professional engineer in five states and has been actively involved in numerous professional organizations. He is a loyal supporter of KU and in 1976 was selected as one of the first members of the Department of Civil Engineering Advisory Board, on which he continues to serve. Vaughn generously contributes his time and talents to his community, youth organizations and his church.

Vaughn and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Prairie Village, Kan. They have three children and three grandchildren.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times