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Modeling Excellence

Sue Warburton Lockett

Sue Warburton Lockett, second from right, accepts the National CASA/GAL Association’s 1998 Kappa Alpha Theta Program Director of the Year Award. Photo courtesy of Archives, Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity

“Volunteers can get great things done,” Sue Warburton Lockett said when she was selected as National CASA/GAL’s 1998 Program Director of the Year—the first-ever Theta to receive this honor, which is sponsored by Kappa Alpha Theta itself.

Sue did not just say those words about volunteers; she lived them. She was the driving force behind the founding of CASA of Shawnee County, Kansas, serving as its executive director from its formation in 1986 until her retirement in 2002. Subsequently, Sue served as a CASA volunteer, advocating for over 25 children. Well known for her ability to innovatively navigate the labyrinthine system of child welfare and juvenile justice, she described herself in a Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine interview as someone who did not give up easily. “I just find a way to go around,” she explained. “If Plan A doesn’t work, I have Plan B.”

In 2017, CASA of Shawnee County renamed their volunteer lifetime achievement award the Sue Lockett Award. Recipients of the award show characteristics such as compassion, courage, tenacity and generosity—all characteristics that Sue regularly demonstrated.

Sue was proud of the Theta and National CASA/GAL relationship. “I hope all Thetas will get involved with CASA in whatever manner they can and realize it provides an important service to children in their communities.”

An alumna of Theta’s Alpha Upsilon Chapter at Washburn University, Sue passed away in July 2020.

“What keeps me going—what keeps everyone going—are the kids and knowing that we do make a difference in their lives.”

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