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Rockhurst the magazine of

R ockhurst U niversity

Winter 2013

First Generation Meet three Rockhurst students who are the first in their family to go to college 1 Rockhurst u winter 2013

Freshman Lands Fin-tastic Part-time Job Many people have had strange jobs during college, but Annie Rose Watkins, Kansas City, Kan., freshman, certainly has one for the books. For seven weekends in September and October, Watkins put on her sea legs – well, more specifically sea tail – to play Laguna, a mermaid from the south shore of Reykjavik, Iceland, as part of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. Despite having to work in some unfavorably cold conditions, this was a dream come true for the nursing student, who has always dreamed of being a mermaid. “I truly loved getting to become something magical, fantastical and fun,” Watkins said. “I was able to live out my childhood dream and instill, or bolster, those dreams in children.”

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Rockhurst Winter 2013

Inside President’s Report


First in My Family


Annual Service Project Turns 20



A year-end review provides a round-up of 2012 highlights and 2011-12 University financial information. Did you know that nearly 21 percent of Rockhurst University students are first-generation college students? Meet three of them. For nearly two decades, freshmen have begun their Rockhurst career by volunteering during the Finucane Service Project.


A President on Presidents


Departments rock report hawk talk giving back for alumni class notes

2 20 22 24 26

Rockhurst’s president visits all 12 presidential libraries and comes away with principles to inspire the leader in each of us.


Rockhurst Editor Katherine Frohoff, ’09 EMBA Director of Public Relations Lauren Debiak Director of Marketing Design JJB Creative Design Contributing Writers Rev. Thomas B. Curran, John Dodderidge, Estuardo Garcia, Jennifer Price Photography John Dodderidge, Estuardo Garcia, Mark McDonald Rockhurst, the magazine of Rockhurst University, is published by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing. Rockhurst welcomes letters and comments.

On the cover: Freshman Jessica Nguyen fulfills a family dream by being the first to attend college.

Send letters to: Katherine Frohoff, Rockhurst University 1100 Rockhurst Road, Kansas City, MO 64110-2561. Email to katherine.frohoff@rockhurst.edu.

Where leaders learn. Rockhurst u winter 2013 1

Rock Report Book Donation Has a Story All Its Own


reenlease Library is 3,000 books richer thanks to a gift from Dennis Owens, ’67, and his wife, Cathy. The books, worth more than $100,000, cover a range of topics, all with a strong concentration on the Holocaust. But it is the inscription in these books that holds another story. In fact, the collection was given as a memorial to Dr. George Mandler. Mandler and his wife, Erika, met and fell in love while in a concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Novaky, Czechoslovakia, where he was forced to work as a doctor. Mandler saved her and her family’s lives by stepping forward, proclaiming his love for Erika and threatening to leave with the family when they were chosen to be shipped to Auschwitz. Since physicians were hard to come by, the family stayed put. After surviving the war, they immigrated to the United States, first to New York City, and then eventually to Chillicothe, Mo., where Mandler worked as an ear, nose and throat specialist until he was 82. Owens met the Mandlers in his role as Consul General of the Republic of Austria for Kansas and Western Missouri when he helped Erika obtain a pension from the

Dennis, ´67, and Cathy Owens. Austrian government for victims of Nazi oppression. “Over the years, our families became close,” said Owens. “I’ve always been a collector of books, specifically books about the Holocaust. Their stories and experiences brought these books to life.” Owens has been donating pieces of the collection to Greenlease Library since George Mandler’s death in 1994.

Dean Honored as Top Leader in Nursing


hat is it like to be awarded one of the highest honors in your field? Just ask Nancy DeBasio, Ph.D., RN, president and dean of Research College of Nursing, who was recently named to the 2012 Class of Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing. The fellowship is awarded to nursing leaders who have made substantive and sustained contributions to the field of nursing. “It has been an amazing and humbling experience,” said DeBasio. “This is something I have always aspired to receive. It’s a privilege to be a member of this incredible group of professionals.” DeBasio began her career in 1970 as an assistant professor at Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y. She also served in a number of educator positions at Adelphi University, University of Pennsylvania, Seton Hall University and Loyola University Chicago. She came to Research College of Nursing in 1988 as associate dean for academic affairs. DeBasio also is a member of the Rockhurst University President’s Cabinet.

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Nancy DeBasio, Ph.D., RN, president and dean of Research College of Nursing.

In 1992, DeBasio accepted her current position as president and dean. “To put it in perspective, there are about 3 million nurses in the world and only 1,800 fellows in 39 years,” said the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, president of Rockhurst University. “This only begins to showcase how much impact Nancy’s contributions have had on advancing the nursing profession and increasing the visibility of Research College of Nursing. She is a dedicated community leader and someone who truly loves what she does each day, and it shows.”

Meet Our Newest Board Members


ockhurst University welcomed three new board members this year.

Cliff Alexander, ’66 Alexander is a partner at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP in Washington, D.C. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Rockhurst, he went on to earn his Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University. His career spans a variety of accomplishments, including the organization of four national banks as limited purpose trust companies, representation of large and small foreign financial firms establishing branches in the U.S., and U.S. banks establishing branches in other countries. He will serve on the board’s advancement and finance committees. Dan Shaver, ’10 Shaver is a math teacher and soccer coach at Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kan. He earned a Bachelor of Science in math and secondary education, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Rockhurst. As an under-

graduate, Shaver was active in campus ministry and residence life, and served as secretary of Pi Kappa Alpha - Kappa Epsilon Chapter. He also served as chapter president of the Jesuit honor society Alpha Sigma Nu. As one of the two recent graduates on the board, Shaver will serve on the academic affairs and student development committees. Sylvia Raya Raya will serve on the board’s mission and ministry and student development committees. In 2004, she and her husband, Louis, established Sylvia’s Deli in downtown Kansas City. The deli recently received the Small Micro Business Award from the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation and Central Bank of Kansas City, as well as Retail Firm of the Year during the City of KCMO’s Minority Enterprise Development Week. In 2006, Sylvia and Louis established the Olivia Raya Endowment Scholarship at Rockhurst in memory of their eldest daughter, a Rockhurst graduate in organizational communication. To date, they have raised more than $100,000 toward this scholarship fund.

Rockhurst Honors Long-time Teacher and Coach With New Award


hen you think about people in Rockhurst University history who exemplify “magis,” one of the University’s Jesuit core values, it’s difficult not to think of Tony Tocco. In the classroom, Tocco earned his doctorate in accounting and finance before spending the next 42 years shaping the minds of students passing through the doors of the Helzberg School of Management. On the soccer pitch, he’s led the Hawks to more than 600 wins and 21 national tournaments in two different levels, earned five

Tony Tocco, Ph.D. coach of the year awards and been inducted to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics hall of fame and the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame. He has run his own businesses, aided with the mergers and acquisitions of small and medium businesses and served on the board of directors for

various Kansas City companies and organizations. In recognition of all Tocco’s contributions to Rockhurst University and the community, he will be the inaugural recipient of a new Rockhurst tradition: The Magis Award. The idea for the Magis Award came as a result of discussions by several

St. Louis alumni who wanted to honor Coach Tocco,” Bob Grant, vice president of university advancement, said. “I thought it was a wonderful idea. As we continued the discussion, we thought he exemplified “magis” in every connotation of the concept. The group then decided to perpetuate the award and begin a new tradition as a way to honor individuals and the tremendous link that Rockhurst has with the St. Louis community.” The award was presented at a dinner in St. Louis with many friends, family and alumni in attendance.

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Rock Report Poets Series Well-versed in Landing Future Big Names


or 30 seasons, Kansas City has had a secret treasure in the poetry world: Rockhurst University. The Midwest Poets Series has brought big names such as William Stafford, W.S. Merwin and Robert Pinsky to campus. Cynthia Cartwright, director of the Center for Arts and Letters, attributes the success of the series to director Robert Stewart, who she said has an uncanny knack of bringing poets who are on the cusp of stardom. Stewart said his work with the series and as editor of New Letters magazine has really kept him in the loop as to what’s going on in the literary world. “I have to say I’ve been lucky,” he said about picking the poets for the series. “I go by energy and intuition. Sometimes it’s recommendations from people because I do like to hear what other people suggest, but most of the time, I like to bring in writers that I want to be with.” So far, he’s wanted to be with 15 Pulitzer Prize winners, 11 U.S. poet laureates, two Missouri poet laureates and one winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. Stewart recalled first approaching Robert Knickerbocker, Ph.D., then chair of the English department, and Joe

Robert Pinsky, former United States Poet Laureate, was a 2009 guest for the Midwest Poet Series.

Cirincione, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, about starting a poetry series on campus. He said the two were very supportive and were instrumental in its success in the early years. “I don’t think it would be easy to sustain a series like this in many other places,” Stewart said. “Rockhurst has unfailingly committed to the series financially and through the Center for Arts and Letters. I work with a lot of other institutions and Rockhurst really makes it possible to bring in major writers and expects me to bring in major talent.”

Water, Nature, Human Experience Inspire Artist


ooking at the two 61-foot scrolls on the floor of the H&R Block Artspace, you can begin to see Anne Pearce’s vision for her artwork emerge. For Pearce, associate professor of art and director of the Greenlease Gallery, the two scrolls represent water, with it ebbing and flowing; its chaos and calmness, which she uses as an allusion for life. “I was very interested in utilizing large bodies of water as a means to convey various aspects of the human condition,” Pearce said. “Water is a great vehicle to convey the various states people are

moving in and out of: we are all in perpetual change.” Her inspiration to use water came after she spent some of the summer in Mexico, with money she was awarded from the Charlotte Street

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Foundation’s annual visual artist award. The award came with a $10,000 grant for her to continue creating new pieces of artwork. Pearce said it was a huge honor for the foundation to recognize her work and to give her a grant that would allow her to continue her craft. She spent the rest of the summer working on pieces for the 2012 Charlotte Street Visual Awards Exhibition, which was on display during the fall. All of the pieces in this

collection, which she titled “Animals Don’t Take Vows,” come in pairs to also reflect the changes that one goes through with a significant other. “I was pleased with the turnout for it,” Pearce said about the show’s opening. “The practice of making art is such a radically different experience than the opening; it’s a solitary endeavor then you put it out to the public and you never truly know how it will be received.“

Anne Pearce, associate professor of art and director of the Greenlease Gallery, with her work from the exhibition “Animals Don’t Take Vows.”

Financial Counseling Center to Open on Campus


ockhurst University is in the city for good. And we’re not just talking about location. In keeping with the Jesuit mission of cura personalis – care for the whole person – Rockhurst is always looking to make God’s good world better, whether during a service trip thousands of miles away or, in this case, right in our neighborhood. The University has joined forces with Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph and the Full Employment Council to bring a new Center for Financial Opportunity (CFO) to serve the surrounding community. The center will offer employment services and financial counseling and coaching in an integrated resource center, to be located in the new retail space within Rockhurst’s parking facility located at 52nd and Troost. This effort is part of the Greater Kansas City Chamber’s “Big 5” initiative to improve the urban neighborhood. “The goal is to help adults, both unemployed and underemployed, gain economic stability,” said Leah Curry,

foundation and corporate relations coordinator. “To do this, the center will work to change their financial behavior in a way that encourages a long-term commitment to increasing income, decreasing expenses, building credit and acquiring assets.” This project will expand Rockhurst’s revitalization efforts in the urban core of Kansas City, and further improve the quality of life in its surrounding neighborhood. The center will employ four full-time staff members, including a site director, office manager, personal finance counselor and a career counselor. Organizations supporting the project to date are the Greater Kansas City Local Initiative Support Corporation and the United Way of Greater Kansas City. The CFO is scheduled to open in spring 2013.

MBA Team Partners With City Hall


ix students within the Helzberg School of Management MBA program took their capstone project to the next level – all the way to city hall. Christina Foster, ’12 MBA; Wes Hedrick, ’12 MBA; Pete McGrath, ’13 MBA; Ashley Gardner, ’12 MBA; Leon Shih, ’12 MBA; and Cassidy Mears, ’12 MBA; have partnered with the City of Kansas City, Mo., Open Government Committee to launch the first online catalog showcasing data used by the city. “The catalog is a collection of raw data, from crime information to permits to parking facilities,” said Foster, project manager. “By making all of this available online for anyone to see, the city boosts transparency. In turn, this promotes economic and community development because it increases access to helpful information for business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders.” Prior to this online catalog, information was only available by contacting the city directly. But the team didn’t stop there. They also created a forum to allow the public to request new data. Through this forum and an online voting tool, ideas submitted are presented in pairs, voted on and ranked accordingly. “By ranking the data requests, the city will be able to see what information is most important to the public and make decisions based on these results,” said Hedrick.

A group of six Helzberg School of Management MBA students partnered with the City of Kansas City, Mo., Open Government Committee on their capstone project. “The goal of the capstone program is to give students an opportunity to solve real-world business issues,” said Randy Schwering, Ph.D., associate professor of management and director of Rockhurst’s MBA capstone program. “This project is the perfect example of that.”

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Rock Report Alumnus Recognized as One of the Most Influential in His Field


hen the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants started to look back at its past 125 years of existence, it began to compile a list of the 125 most influential accountants of that time. Inside that list is one notable Rockhurst grad who began to get national attention during the height of the Enron scandal. Soon after the Houston energy company declared bankruptcy, Jim Castellano, ’73, chairman of the board, RubinBrown LLP, then the chair of the AICPA board of directors, hit the road in an effort to restore the public’s confidence in accounting.

Castellano traveled across the country discussing the 2001 Enron scandal and pushing for legislative reform. He spoke before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, as well as the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Castellano said he was astonished and proud to be listed with other great accountants. “Reflecting on the historic contributions to the accounting profession of the other people on the list makes the recognition so very special,” he said. “As is usually the case when serving others, the experi-

Jim Castellano, ’73 ence I gained was much more significant than the service I provided to the profession. My Rockhurst education provided me with the technical knowledge necessary to become a successful CPA, but more importantly, the skills to

think and learn, communicate, strategize and analyze, and practice values-based leadership,” he said. Castellano also serves as the chairman of the Rockhurst University Board of Trustees.

Helzberg Series Brings Top Names in Health Care to Campus


he Helzberg School of Management, in partnership with the American Marketing Association of Kansas City’s Healthcare Special Interest Group, has launched a quarterly Helzberg on Healthcare series, bringing health care leaders to campus to discuss trending topics. The first event, held in July, brought in a panel of six health care professionals with expertise ranging from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to patientcentered medical homes. The most recent event, held in October, featured two acclaimed speakers: Kent Seltman, Ph.D., marketing division chair emeritus for Mayo Clinic, and Mark Laney, M.D., president and CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Mo. Seltman discussed how Mayo Clinic maintains customer expectations, adheres to its brand management system, and executes its care model to meet patient needs. Laney covered Heartland Health’s move to a more outpatient, holistic focus in order to build a system that works to provide seamless medical care.

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The Helzberg on Healthcare series brings notable industry speakers to campus. “These were two very different events that each had a lot to offer attendees,” said James Dockins, Ed.D., FACHE, assistant professor of healthcare leadership. “The goal of this series is to provide a forum that promotes timely health management education for our students and the local health care provider community.” DO/MBA student Josh Weir says events like this are invaluable to him. “They showcase the business and leadership sides of health care,” he said. “This prepares us to not only become outstanding physicians, but knowledgeable business leaders.”

Prestigious Grant Augments Growing Major


grant from the prestigious National Science Foundation is allowing Rockhurst University to expand one of its newest areas of science education: physics of medicine. Last May, the NSF awarded Rockhurst University and Loyola University Maryland a $199,979 collaborative grant to develop three upper-division physics modules in fiber optics and light delivery in medicine, nuclear physics and nuclear medicine, and pressure in the human body. Rockhurst’s portion of the grant award is $111,132. During the summer, Nancy Donaldson, Ph.D., department chair of mathematics and physics, and her Loyola Maryland colleague, worked to create their first activelearning curriculum module in fiber optics and light delivery in medicine. This module was chosen because of its importance in medical diagnosis, therapy and surgery. In November, Donaldson began teaching the five-week fiber optics module with grant-developed equipment that shows students how light couples, travels and bends in an endoscope to illuminate, cut, vaporize or radiate in the human body.

Grant bolsters physics of medicine program. “Physics of medicine is a new and exciting program that is relevant and really captures students’ focus,” Donaldson said. “Further developing the program and using the grant money to create new learning modules has allowed us to put our physics of medicine program on the map.”

English Professor Honored for 25 Years of Service


he Alpha Sigma Nu honor society looks for the best and the brightest involved in Jesuit education. It prides itself on finding those “who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty to the ideals of Jesuit education, and service to others.” While traditionally ASN reserves its honors for Jesuit university undergraduates, the organization has found a way to recognize someone who lives its ideals while continuing to be greatly involved in the organization. In October, Charles Kovich, Ph.D., professor of English, was honored at the Alpha Sigma Nu triennial conference for his 25 years of continued service to the organization. Since he was appointed as the ASN faculty adviser for Rockhurst University by the Rev. Robert F. Weiss, S.J., in 1987, Kovich has seen the organization grow in the number of colleges represented and in the number of members inducted. Kovich himself was inducted to the organization in 1968 when he was a Rockhurst undergraduate. “I felt absolutely elated,” Kovich said about the surprise award given to him. “I was completely flabber-

gasted and very deeply honored that they would give it to me in front of the national group.” Kate Gaertner, executive director for Alpha Sigma Nu Inc., said there aren't many people who have shown the long-lasting dedication Kovich has had for the Charles Kovich, Ph.D. organization and that he has become a trusted resource in helping guide the organization. “This is a volunteer job and there aren’t many schools where the faculty receive anything other than a thanks,” she said. “Our faculty advisers enjoy the job, but not many of them are as dedicated as Charlie.”

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President ’s Report


he Examen is a technique of reflection and prayer. It is a constitutive part of Ignatian spirituality. Rockhurst University is an enterprise of higher education steeped in Ignatian inspiration. Hence, it is fitting that our University regularly reflect upon God’s hand in our experiences. Here are just a few of the areas where we could definitely see and feel God’s presence: • A team of representatives from the Higher Learning Commission visited Rockhurst Oct. 22-24 as part of our continued accreditation process. The visit demonstrated stellar leadership from so many individuals across campus. The process should be finalized in the spring. • Rockhurst partnered with the University of MissouriKansas City to offer an engineering, computing and information technology program. The program began in the fall and is housed within the department of math and physics. • The Helzberg School of Management joined forces with the Department of Physical Therapy Education to offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) dual-degree program. The program is one of the first integrated curriculums of its kind offered in the United States. Students who complete the program will earn graduate degrees in physical therapy and business within four years. • The Class of 2016 is the largest freshman class in the University’s history with 449 students. Their overall ACT and GPA averages rank them in the top 16 percent of all colleges and universities nationwide. • Rockhurst was one of 24 NCAA Division II schools to be recognized as a recipient of the first Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence honoring athletics programs with four-year academic success rates of 90 percent or more. Rockhurst achieved the highest four-year academic success rate in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and ranked 10th nationally. For more on the academic success of our student athletes see page 21.

• Rockhurst has added a University District Medical Care facility to campus, which opened in December. The clinic is housed in the commercial space of the new mixed-use facility, and will serve Rockhurst students, faculty and staff, as well as the surrounding community. The Examen invites us to give thanks to God for the past. And, it allows us as to anticipate God’s presence in what lies ahead as we look toward our next exciting project – a new academic building. The state-of-the-art structure will accommodate our growing enrollment, replacing 98-year-old Sedgwick Hall. Total cost of the first phase is $25 million, and Rockhurst has already raised nearly $22 million. To learn how you can help, visit www.rockhurst.edu/newacademicbuilding or turn to page 23. It is because of God’s providence and your support that Rockhurst has achieved these milestones and can look ahead toward reaching others. Thank you for partnering with us and I invite you to engage regularly in the practice of the Examen. It will equip all of us to “find God in all things.”


Thomas B. Curran President

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Academic Support

2011-12 Expenses


Alumni 2% Bequests Auxiliary Enterprises 1% Religious Organizations Other Income 10% 2% Parents Investment Return 3% 4% Corporations 3%

Plant Operations & Depreciation


Interest Expense

3% Auxiliary Enterprises

Student Services


Private Gifts



Other Friends

Student Aid






Institutional Support




Student Tuition & Fees

2011-12 Gift Sources*




Academic Support

2011-12 Revenues, Gains & Other Support

2011-12 Expenses

Auxiliary Enterprises


Other Income Investment Return 2% Bequests 1% Religious Organizations Private Gifts 2% Parents

4% Corporations

3% 3%


10% Alumni

New Pledges



6% 75%

Funds Received

39% 78%


Other Friends Student Tuition & Fees


2011-12 Gift Sources* 2011-12 Revenues, Gains & Other Support

2011-12 Fundraising Activity $2,850,662 Funds Received (Less pledge payments on previous pledges)

2008-12 Gifts Received* (in millions as of June 30, 2012)




New Pledges 2009

$5.1 $4.9

2010 2011



Funds Received



*Includes payments received on pledges outstanding from previous ďŹ scal years.

2011-12 Fundraising Activity $2,850,662 Funds Received (Less pledge payments on previous pledges)

ockhurstuuwinter winter2013 2013 9 RRockhurst


First in my Students, families overcome challenges to make college By Jennifer Price a reality.

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For nearly 21 percent of Rockhurst University students, a college education represents a new chapter in not only their lives, but in their family’s history. This is because they are the first in their family to go to college. Meet three first-generation Rockhurst students, each with their own story to tell. Jessica Nguyen, freshman Occupational therapy


rom financial hurdles to language barriers, Jessica Nguyen surmounted the obstacles and became a college student. But not without the support of her family. “My parents always wanted to go to college, but neither of them ever had the chance,” she said. Both from Vietnam, Nguyen’s parents came from poor families and were the eldest of many children. To help feed their families, they had to drop out of school early to work. Starting a new life together in the United States brought many unknowns, but one thing was certain— they would make sure their future children would have a better life. “A college education is something they always set as an expectation for my sister, brother and I,” she said. “They recognize that with a college education comes a better life.” Since Nguyen was born, her parents saved every penny, opened their own nail salon in Shawnee, Kan., and worked seven days a week to save for her and her siblings’ college education.

But finances weren’t the only barrier. At home, Nguyen speaks both Vietnamese and English. While being bilingual is a huge asset for most, for Nguyen it was a challenge. “In high school, I noticed my English skills didn’t match my peers,” she said. “I was a slow reader so I decided to take a reading course at a nearby learning center to improve my skills.” Another challenge was getting pre-accepted into Rockhurst’s occupational therapy program. After re-taking the ACT and keeping her grades up, Nguyen’s hard work paid off. She was accepted into Rockhurst’s occupational therapy program, and even secured a solid scholarship package. Between her parents’ savings and the financial aid, Nguyen was able to go to college. She is on track to complete both her undergraduate degree and master’s in occupational therapy within five years.

“My parents always wanted to go to college, but neither of them ever had the chance.”

(From left) Jessica Nguyen, Jazmine Findley and Tyler Head are the first generation of their families to attend college.

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Jazmine D. Findley, junior Molecular biology, business administration


pend 30 seconds with Jazmine Findley and you will feel like you have known her for years. She proudly walks through campus with a big smile on her face. But Findley has had a tumultuous journey to get her where she is today.

When she was three years old, Findley lost her mother. “My father and I became very close,” she said. “In fact, he was always the one who urged me to go to college and to look at Rockhurst.” When Rockhurst offered her a scholarship, she enrolled and decided to live on campus. Despite working three jobs to make ends meet, living on campus turned out to be too expensive. Halfway through her freshman year she planned to move home. That’s when more tragedy struck. Findley’s father passed away suddenly. “I lost so much that day,” she said. “He was my best friend. I remember feeling paralyzed with emotion.” On the day of her father’s funeral, a huge blizzard swept the city. “I remember looking up and seeing Father Curran walk in,” she said. “I was in awe. How did he know my dad passed away? How did he know when or where the services were? The weather was terrible, but there he was. At that moment, I knew Rockhurst was much more than a university—it was family.” On top of dealing with the loss of her father, Findley had the extra worry of where she would live now that her father was gone. “Again, Rockhurst stepped in at one of my darkest hours, offering me a grant to allow me to live on campus. It was a miracle.” Throughout it all, Findley has managed to keep her grades up and look ahead toward a bright future. “My ultimate goal is to earn my doctor of osteopathic medicine degree,” she said. “I’m doing this for myself, but also for my mother and father. I know they would be so proud of me.” This spring, she will travel to West Virginia with a group of Rockhurst students, staff and faculty on her first-ever service trip. “All of these experiences have made me want to serve and help others the way Rockhurst helped me,” she said.

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“My father always urged me to go to college and to look at Rockhurst.”

Tyler Head, junior Philosophy, English


hen Tyler Head walked across the stage at his high school graduation, he knew he was crossing a bridge into unknown territory. “I had no plan,” he said. “I never thought I could afford to go to college, so I started working.” After working one semester, Head knew he had to give college a try. He enrolled at Moberly Area Community College in Columbia, Mo., because it was affordable and close to home. “Soon after, I realized I wanted a university experience so I started looking around,” he said. “I reached out to Rockhurst on a whim and immediately heard back. They were so patient with me, answered countless questions, and helped me navigate the transfer process.”

All that was left was how to pay for it.

“Save your money and don't wait for colleges to come to you.”

“I had saved almost all the money I earned while working retail, but it wasn’t enough,” he said. “Rockhurst came through. Because of my good grades, I received a financial aid package that closed the gap. In the end, it was actually less expensive for me to attend Rockhurst than a state school.” Head also appreciated the location and size of Rockhurst’s campus. “It is far enough from home that I have enough space to breathe and realize my potential, while close enough that I can visit home when I want to. The small, friendly environment was just what I needed.” He is thankful for everything Rockhurst has given him. “I could go on and on,” he said. “Each experience here is something I truly appreciate. The urban immersion service trip I took in October was the best $40 I ever spent. “You would never know I’m the same student who graduated with no plan.” When offering advice to other first-generation students, Head had this to say: “Save your money and don’t wait for colleges to come to you. Be bold and grasp the opportunities in front of you.”

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Annual Service Project

Marks Milestone Year

By Estuardo Garcia

Hundreds of students and volunteers had their shovels, mops and trash bags ready for the 20th Finucane Service Project.


ockhurst University prides itself on creating leaders who become men and women for others. And there may be no greater example of that than the Finucane Service Project. This year marked the 20th time incoming freshmen joined faculty, staff and members of the Rev. Bill Finucane’s family to pull weeds, paint walls and pick up trash around Kansas City. “The Finucane Service Project has become a great Rockhurst tradition that highlights the importance of cultivating and continuing strong university-community partnerships

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and educating students about opportunities with our partners,” said Alicia Douglas, director of community relations and outreach. The Finucane Service Project has been used to introduce new students to a life of learning and service. The service project day was started by Fr. Bill Finucane, S.J., in 1993 as a way for students to not only give back, but to become familiar with and connect with their surrounding community. Since its inception, more than 6,000 volunteers have given more than 12,000 hours of service to the Troost Avenue corridor and

surrounding communities. And every year, members of the Finucane family come back to Rockhurst and volunteer as a way of honoring their uncle. “All he wanted was to get the kids involved in the community and that’s what he’s done,” said Bebe Harrington, Fr. Finucane’s niece. “I think he would be very proud of how big it has gotten and that it has grown into an annual event and that his family has continued. And I know if he were here, he would want to be here on the streets helping out.”



2 Members

of Fr. Bill Finucane’s family have helped at each one of the service projects since its inception in 1993. – 1999

Students have also helped get local schools

ready for their first day of classes. – 2004 Over the years, many of the service projects included yard work, such as spreading mulch. – 1999


Helping local food banks and food pantries has also been a common service project. – 2006 Students took to cleaning up the streets along Troost Avenue. – 1994


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a President on Presidents

By Rev. Thomas B. Curran

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Rockhurst University’s president shares lessons learned at our nation’s presidential libraries


here do leaders learn? For those seeking to be the leader of the most powerful nation in the free world, the places I’d suggest visiting are the libraries and museums of those who preceded them to the Oval Office. Presidential libraries are both archives and museums. They contain the documents, writings,

and artifacts of every president from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton. Over the last several years, I’ve visited all of them. These libraries are built with nonfederal funds and then donated to the federal government, which maintains and staffs them through the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). This is all possible because of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955. The smallest library is that of Harry S. Truman with just 8,352 cubic feet of textual and nontextual holdings. The William J. Clinton Library is the largest with 39,049 cubic feet. The Herbert Hoover Library has the fewest artifacts (7,474) and the Ronald Reagan Library has the most (100,200). With the November presidential election still close in our rearview mirror, I offer six principles to all who aspire to lead.

H Think big; provide a vision that is inspiring and uplifting. John F. Kennedy (Boston) and Ronald Reagan (Simi Valley, Calif.) The Kennedy Library is designed and constructed to make one believe that the country will only fulfill the promises made by the president if the visitor is a part of the effort. The Reagan Library is no less inspiring even though one could classify some of the exhibits as “over the

top.” There’s a reconstructed pub from Ballyporeen, Ireland, that the Reagans once visited and you board Air Force One, which was used by seven presidents, including Ronald Reagan. It may be part Hollywood, part Disneyland. Nonetheless, visitors leave in awe and are very

willing to credit those feelings of inspiration and bright future to the 40th president. Both presidents were outstanding communicators who provided an inspiring vision. That vision provided the impetus for moving the country forward.

H Tell us who inspires you and who are your role models. Harry S. Truman (Independence, Mo.) and George H.W. Bush (Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas) The letters and exchanges between Bess and Harry Truman are both touching and telling. The deep love and devotion is very apparent. Moreover, you depart convinced that he cherished the correspondence;

it grounded him throughout his life. The Bush Library experience begins with a film featuring Barbara and George Bush talking about their family and its collective commitment to public service. There

is great attention given to how the family recreates and supports one another. These men clearly kept their perspectives as to what really mattered to themselves—family.

Rockhurst u winter 2013 17

where are the Presidental Libraries?

Herbert Hoover West Branch, Iowa Ronald Reagan Simi Valley, Calif.

Richard M. Nixon Yorba Linda, Calif.

John F. Kennedy Boston, Mass.

Gerald R. Ford Grand Rapids, Mich.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park, N.Y. Harry S. Truman Independence, Mo.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Abilene, Kan. Jimmy Carter Atlanta, Ga.

William J. Clinton Little Rock, Ark. Gearge H.W. Bush College Station, Texas Lyndon Baines Johnson Austin, Texas

H Be who you are and be that well. Richard M. Nixon (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Gerald R. Ford (Grand Rapids, Mich.) The Ford Museum welcomes you by setting the historical stage upon which Gerald Ford became the 38th president. You are reminded of the Constitutional crisis brought on by the Watergate break-in, the presidential campaign finance abuse, subsequent cover up, and presidential resignation. From the outset, you recall that Gerald

18 Rockhurst u winter 2013

Ford became the vice president and president of the United States without having been elected. The Nixon Library included very little information on the Watergate scandal until 2007. This is when the library came under the auspices of NARA and was required to provide a more complete presentation of the Nixon presidency. The voluntary

incorporation of a historical moment by one leader and the obligatory inclusion by the other, because of funding requirements, forever links these two leaders both in time and how they portrayed themselves. The message from these libraries is be honest in who you are and remember how you got there.

The Rev. Thomas B. Curran has visted all 12 presidential libraries. Recently, he returned to the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Mo.

H You will be remembered most for your service. Herbert Hoover (West Branch, Iowa) and Jimmy Carter (Atlanta) The 31st and 39th presidents share more than that the fact they were both one-term presidents. Their service to humanity outside of their presidential terms links the two of them. Prior to becoming president, Hoover led the U.S. efforts to stem starvation and famine throughout Europe after World War I. It was Hoover’s deep compassion and

humanitarianism that catapulted him onto the stage for political office in the 1920s. Ironically, he would leave the presidency ridiculed and ostracized for his lack of empathy and concern. Similarly, Jimmy Carter is highly regarded for his postpresidency work. His international peace efforts, election oversights, and involvement with Habitat

for Humanity have prompted the establishment of Carter Center in conjunction with Emory University. It continues the humanitarian and peace efforts the world has experienced since Carter left the White House in 1981. These men are more remembered for what they did outside of the Oval Office.

H Accept your humanity. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Hyde Park, N.Y). and Lyndon Baines Johnson (University of Texas, Austin, Texas) The FDR Museum includes artifacts such as wheelchairs, braces and a specially equipped car to illustrate how the president dealt with his polio. While he did not fully reveal details of his disability, he never denied it. And he had a pact with the press of never to be photographed walking or maneuvering. His

disability provided him with patience, determination and persistence. And it endeared him to people struggling through the ravages of the economic depression and world war. I link his story with Lyndon Johnson who wanted his library to be a “tree without the bark.” He was very proud of his

Great Society efforts but knew that his war on poverty would always be overshadowed by his failure with the Vietnam Conflict. Both of these leaders will be connected forever by their own frailty and identification with the vulnerability of others.

H Create the environment for a conversation that is civil and robust. William J. Clinton (University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark.) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (Abilene, Kan.) Eisenhower’s library captures how this war hero seized the opportunity to begin addressing civil rights and mobility. His use of the newest media (television) to enforce integration at Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., was both masterful and brilliant. His experience of the autobahns in World War II would inspire him to create our interstate highway

system. In like fashion, Clinton saw the emergence of technology as an information highway opportunity. When he was elected there were fewer than 100 websites. By the time he left office, there were 64 million. Additionally, the library features how he addressed hate crime manifested in the Oklahoma City bombing. The Clinton Library, which overhangs the

Arkansas River to illustrate a bridge to hope and tomorrow, received the highest green building rating. Clinton and Eisenhower are to be connected as leaders for their seizing of opportunities to address social and technological circumstances in a positive and constructive fashion.

Still to Come George W. Bush and Barack Obama The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is scheduled to open on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, in

2013. It will be the 13th presidential library under the support and direction of NARA. When Barack Obama’s second term draws to a

An abbreviated version of this article appeared in The Kansas City Star Nov. 5, 2012.

close in 2016, it’s likely we will know where his library will be located. What leadership lessons will we learn from their legacies?

Rockhurst u winter 2013 19

Hawk Talk Intramural Programs Growing in Popularity


etting involved in intramurals is a great way to get exercise and make new friends. Students at Rockhurst University are taking

advantage of the variety of intramural programs offered throughout the academic year. “Intramurals are a good way to get exercise and

Ultimate Frisbee gains popularity in intramural sports.

enjoy the thrill of competition,” said women’s volleyball coach Tracy Rietzke, who also oversees the intramural programs. “It helps student life and strengthens the college experience.” A study done by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association concerning intramural sports on the college campus shows that many times students were drawn to campuses because of what the school offered in campus recreation and fitness. Three intramual sports were offered in the fall at Rockhurst: softball, Ultimate Frisbee and soccer. There were 26 men’s and

women’s teams for both softball and soccer. Ultimate Frisbee featured 14 co-ed teams. Bowling, team handball, basketball and volleyball are offered in the winter. The spring sports include sand volleyball and flag football. “We are hoping to get bigger numbers this year with our intramural sports,” added Rietzke. “There is a big advantage to be able to work in a team atmosphere and contribute to a team. Soccer and softball are very popular sports. Ultimate Frisbee is definitely a niche for some people. Bowling will be popular.”

Rockhurst Unveils New Athletics Website


ockhurst University recently unveiled a new athletics website providing its fans with an exciting look that will allow for an easier way to find all of the information on their favorite RU athletics teams. Rockhurst partnered with Sidearm Sports to launch the site at www.rockhursthawks.com. Sidearm Sports has worked with the Great Lakes Valley Conference and nearly 500 athletic clients around the country. Sidearm is a collegiate web-based content management solution that includes everything from social media integration, dynamic scoreboards, sponsorship recognition, interactive polls, live in-game statistics and streaming audio and video. “This is a great opportunity for Rockhurst to continue to upgrade our facilities and services as we compete in today’s world of Division II athletics,” said RU Director of Athletics Gary Burns. “With increased capabilities of our website, our alumni, fans and students will have many new features that will enhance the website experience.” Rockhurst fans will see an enhanced home page with larger photos and rotating stories with thumbnails. An all

20 Rockhurst u winter 2013

new “Athletes of the Week” feature is at the bottom of the home page, and information on each sport is accessible by using the drop down menus at the top of each page.

Follow the Hawks at www.rockhursthawks.com.

Rockhurst Ranks 10th in Academic Excellence Distinction


ockhurst University is one of 24 NCAA Division II schools to be recognized as a recipient of the first Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence honoring athletics programs with four-year Academic Success Rates of 90 percent or more. Rockhurst achieved the highest four-year Academic Success Rate in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and ranked 10th nationally, graduating 93 percent of its student-athletes within six years of original enrollment. A total of three GLVC athletics programs made the list. The distinction was established to recognize programs achieving long-term academic success. The honor is intended to call attention to those programs and is not intended as a ranking. “The Presidents Council commends all of these programs for this outstanding accomplishment,“ said Pat O’Brien, president of West Texas A&M University and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. “Achieving a 90 percent graduation rate over even one year is an impressive accomplishment. To do it over four years says so much about the commitment that these schools have to the academic success of their student-athletes.“

Rockhurst student-athletes excel in the classroom and on the field. The national four-year ASR average is 72 percent. Regardless of the measure, Division II student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than the general student body.

Rockhurst to Add Lacrosse, Cross Country in 2013


ockhurst University will add three new intercollegiate athletic programs in the fall of 2013. Men’s and women’s lacrosse, along with women’s cross country, will create opportunities for new recruiting markets for the Hawks. Gary Burns, director of athletics, says the addition of these three programs will enhance athletic opportunities for an additional 55 new students in the first year. By the third year, that number could grow to 75 students. “Lacrosse is the fastest growing team sport in America,” Burns said. “This is an opportunity for Rockhurst to capitalize on an underserved market. We will be able to target Johnson County, Kan., and high schools on the East Coast.” There are currently 68 Division II women’s lacrosse programs and 46 Division II men’s lacrosse programs organized into six conferences, as well as a number of independent programs consisting of mainly new programs. The Hawks will try to schedule games with schools in Colorado and the St. Louis area. Rockhurst will be the 14th school in the Great Lakes

Valley Conference to sponsor women’s cross country. “Women’s cross country provides the University with its first new offering in women’s athletics since 2005,” Burns said. “It is a solid mission fit for the University. Cross country athletes tend to be strong academically and heavily involved in campus activities.”

Rockhurst u winter 2013 21

Giving Back George Will Headlines Inaugural Leadership Series

R George F. Will

ockhurst University hosted George Will, nationally recognized political columnist, as the first speaker at the inaugural Rockhurst University Leadership Series event, held Sept. 27 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. Will, who was brought to Kansas City by the Rockhurst University Leaders Council, spoke to more than 600 people during the lunchtime event. The series was created as a way to bring the best of leadership to Kansas City by featuring speakers of national or international prominence. Will—a widely known conservative commentator—spoke openly about his opinions on both political parties, specifically focusing on the presidential election and issues facing the country. “The leadership series ties in perfectly with what Rockhurst stands for—leaders,” said Bill Conway, vice chairman of the RULC. “Our graduates are and will continue to be leaders in the community for years to come. Annual events like this give students an opportunity to listen, network and connect with all kinds of leaders, from the ones on stage to the community and business leaders sitting next to them at their table.” Prior to giving his presentation in the main dining room, Will spoke with a group of Rockhurst students as part of a question-and-answer session. To view more photos from the events, visit www.rockhurst.edu/georgewill.

thank you! Magis Sponsor

Rockhurst University thanks the following individuals and organizations for their sponsorship.

Leadership Sponsors

Ignatius Sponsors

Father Dowling Sponsors

Sedgwick Table Sponsors A-Luster Metal Finishing Blue KC Commerce Bank Thomas and Virginia Coppinger Dysart Taylor Cotter The Farnan Family Tom and Molly Freeman George J. Shaw Construction GlynnDevins

Jerry Haake and Dan Haake/ Hutchins and Haake LLC, Certified Public Accountants Haake/MMA INTRUST Bank Kessinger Hunter LaFarge North America LaSala-Sonnenberg Commercial Realty Co. George and Laurie McLiney

22 Rockhurst u winter 2013

McQuaid Brothers

The Roasterie

Mel and Rita Lavery

RubinBrown, LLP

Midwest Trust Company/ Financial Counselors, Inc.

Scout Investments

Miller Building Services, Inc. National Car Systems Neurosurgery of South Kansas City Pegasus Capital Management— Ray D. Evans, CFP

Thomas McGee, LC The Tiehen Group Trozzolo Communications Group U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management Zimmer Companies, Inc.


Evolving Classroom Needs Call for New Building

Alumnus Pays it Forward by Giving Back

This concept shows the proposed design of the new academic building.


he campus master plan is rolling along. Next up—a new academic building. The University is making plans for a new academic building that will allow for the relocation of classes in 98-year-old Sedgwick Hall. “Sedgwick has not changed significantly in decades, yet handles nearly half of all instruction,” said Fr. Curran. “This new structure will be a signature building for Rockhurst.” Symbolically, the new building will reflect the University’s core value of wisdom. Literally, it will house the College of Arts and Sciences and will feature smart classrooms, academic suites and community gathering spaces. The second phase will add a black box theater. Total cost of the building is $33 million, with plans to build in two phases. The University has raised nearly $22 million to cover the first $25 million phase. Rockhurst received a challenge grant of $500,000 from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, which will kick in when the $24.5 million is raised by June 2013. “It is truly an exciting time for the Rockhurst community, whether you’re a current or future student, alum, supporter, faculty or staff member, board member, or simply a friend of Rockhurst,” said Fr. Curran. Learn more about this phase of the campus plan at www.rockhurst.edu/newacademicbuilding.




or Rockhurst alumnus Mel Lavery, ’68, and his wife, Rita, gifts to Rockhurst are a way to pay it forward and help future generations of students. “Someone before me Mel, ’68, and Rita Lavery helped Rockhurst get to where it was when I was a student, and now it’s my turn to help,” said Mel, who earned degrees in business and accounting. “There is a tremendous need.” Both Mel and Rita paid their own way through college, with Mel participating in a co-op program that allowed him to alternate semesters working at TWA and going to Rockhurst. “It paid well and covered my college costs,” he said. “I was even able to save a bit. I understand that not all students are this lucky.” “For Mel and I, giving to support a Rockhurst education is a no-brainer,” said Rita. “We give because of the students. What impresses me most is that the students give back to their communities even before they graduate. That’s what Rockhurst instills – not just education, but education that makes the world a better place.” “We know our gifts will be used effectively and prudently,” said Mel. “The return on investment is incredible. We’ve seen students graduate and go on to become all kinds of leaders many times over.” Mel has been an active alumnus since graduation, taking on roles such as president of the Alumni Association, member of the Rockhurst Regents, and, most recently, as a member of the Rockhurst University Leaders Council. As a student, Mel was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and an intramurals player.

Rockhurst u winter 2013 23

For Alumni

Alumni Awards Showcase Value of a Rockhurst Education


physician who has been nationally recognized for his work and a local civic leader who actively supports the arts are among four who were recognized by Rockhurst University for outstanding achievements at the 2012 Alumni Awards in September. Alumni honored at the awards luncheon included Dr. Thomas Hastings, ’81; Joan Horan, ’86 MBA; Dr. Thomas Coppinger, ’58; and Kara Bemboom-Grefrath, ’02. “These four alumni all represent what makes Rockhurst University so distinctive,” said Mary Landers, director of alumni and constituent relations. “The recipients have exhibited the value of a Rockhurst degree through their personal and professional lives, along with exemplary acts of service to their fellow man. It was a privilege to honor them and to see firsthand their commitment to Rockhurst and the education they received here.”


The Alumni Awards program was redesigned in 2012 with new criteria to better recognize the many attributes of a Rockhurst degree.

St. Ignatius Award Given to an alumnus who has shown exceptional achievement in his or her field of endeavor.

Xavier Medal of Honor Given to an alumnus who has made a substantial impact through service consistent with Rockhurst’s Jesuit tradition of service to others.

Faber Young Alumni Award Presented to a young alumnus(a) who has demonstrated leadership capability, substantial indication of a commitment to the service of others, demonstration of potential for leadership or distinction in the long-term, and substantial commitment to Rockhurst University and its mission. A young alumnus(a) is defined for the purpose of this award as someone who is under the age of 40 and graduated 15 years ago or less.

24 Rockhurst u winter 2013

Joan Horan, ’86 MBA St. Ignatius Award

Dr. Thomas Hastings, ’81 St. Ignatius Award Hastings was honored for his work practicing medicine in St. Louis. He has been recognized by a number of national organizations, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, and American Stroke Association. He has been named an Ideal Missouri Practice Physician and, in 2009, became a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Hastings was also recognized as a “Best Doctor in St. Louis” in 2011 and 2012.

Horan, who was the first director of personnel and vice president of human resources for DST Systems, is honored for her involvement in boards and committees throughout the Kansas City community, including the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City Symphony, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Donnelly College, Harvesters, Lakemary Center, Don Bosco Center and Children’s International. Horan has also served Rockhurst University as a member of the search committee for dean of the Helzberg School of Management, the Executive Fellows MBA evaluation committee, and as a Rockhurst University Regent from 2001-11.

Know someone who embodies the Jesuit mission of Rockhurst? Honor them with a nomination by contacting the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at alumni@rockhurst.edu.

Dr. Thomas Coppinger, ’58 Xavier Medal of Honor Coppinger had a distinguished career as a physician of internal medicine from 1968-2006. His volunteer leadership is extensive, including involvement through a variety of leadership positions at Rockhurst. Coppinger has been involved with the Rockhurst Century Club, Rockhurst University Alumni Board, Rockhurst Regents, serving as co-chair and chair, and most recently as chairman of the Rockhurst University Leaders Council. He has also devoted his time to Seton Center, Avila University, Serra Club, and “Blisters for Sisters.” Coppinger was recently awarded the Generosity of St. Joseph Award from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Kara BemboomGrefrath, ’02 Faber Young Alumni Award Bemboom-Grefrath worked as an analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City before returning to law school at the University of Kansas in 2006 where she earned her Juris Doctor. She then practiced law in the business litigation group for Husch Blackwell until returning to the Federal Reserve Bank as counsel. In 2012, Bemboom-Grefrath was named assistant vice president and assistant general counsel. She is committed to Rockhurst, serving on the University’s Kansas City Alumni Council for several years, including two years as the council’s president. Bemboom-Grefrath serves as the first Young Alumni member of the Rockhurst University Leaders Council.

Rockhurst u winter 2013 25

Class Notes ’51

Paul J. Bryant, Ph.D., retired from University of MissouriKansas City physics department in 1992, but keeps busy with his interest in classic cars, aircrafts and for 60 years, the Indianapolis 500. He also assists at a local church food kitchen and counsels at the juvenile detention center. John Fitzgerald was awarded the 2012 St. Thomas More Award by the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kansas City at the annual Red Mass. This award is presented to a member of the legal profession who, like St. Thomas More, stands by his or her Catholic identity and strives for justice.


Salvatore J. Enna, Ph.D., coauthored the book Herbal Supplements and the Brain: Understanding Their Health Benefits and Hazards with Stata Norton. The book was published in May 2012.


Rev. Steve Sallis became the pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Bellevue, Wash., in July. He is also the interim director for the liturgy office of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

’79 MBA

Glen Gabert, Ph.D., serves as the president of Hudson Community College in Jersey City, N.J. Gabert is the longest serving president in Hudson College’s history, serving since 1992.


Jim Beatty, Ph.D., instructor of Spanish and modern language department chair at Lindbergh High School, St. Louis County, Mo., recently received the M. Cathlin Casey Award for dedication and teaching excellence presented by the Saint Louis University 1818 Advanced College Credit Program.


Deborah S. Woodrum was installed as the 36th and first female postmaster of Kansas City, Mo.

Dennis Owens was elected as a member of the American Law Institute (ALI). The ALI conducts legal research and produces scholarly works, which are widely cited and followed by courts throughout the United States. Owens is also a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.



Joe Reardon, mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., was named "Kansas Mayor of the Year" by the Kansas Mayors Association on Oct. 8, 2012. Mayor Reardon was also presented with the 2012 KCK Sunflower Chapter Executive of the Year award during the

David R. Huff is a guest author for Focus on Mexico, a monthly online magazine, with publication of his weekly online newsletters Mexico Life that detail retirement lifestyle living in Mexico. David and his wife, Catherine, retired to Mexico after a successful career.

Mary E. Michalski lives in suburban St. Louis with her husband and four children. She is the chairperson of the guidance and counseling department of St. Louis University High School.


International Association of Administrative Professionals annual executive appreciation event on Oct. 15, 2012.


Merritt Engel was named 2012 Kansas City Direct Marketing Association Direct Marketer of the Year.


Steven Ladd and his brother William Ladd premiered their installation and performance piece “Shaboygen” at the Invisible Dog, as part of the French Institute Alliance Française’s Crossing the Line festival in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Kara Bemboom-Grefrath was appointed assistant vice president in the legal department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and will serve as assistant ethics officer. She currently serves on the Rockhurst University Leaders Council as a young alumni representative.


Garnet Griebel created the Anatomical Heart Necklace to help raise awareness about women’s heart disease. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from each necklace are donated to Saint Luke's Women's Heart Center.

’06 OT

Patrick Dungan, MOTR/L, recently received his certified hand therapist credentials after practicing hand therapy for 4,000 hours and passing the national certification exam. He is employed as a hand therapist for the South City clinic of PRORehab in St. Louis. He is also a level two fieldwork educator for the OT programs at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Concordia University.

’07, ’08

Daniel Holmes, CPA, was promoted to manager at RubinBrown. He serves as manager in the firm’s business advisory services group and is chair of the gaming segment in the hospitality and gaming services group.


Jason Anderson is the associate director of university development for the University of Texas at Arlington.

’09, EMBA

Brian Smith was named CEO of Wagner Logistics Inc. (formerly Wagner Industries Inc.).


Justin Langfield is currently serving in the Fellowship of Catholic University Students in Atchison, Kan.


Justin Raatz, M.D., has completed his surgical residency with Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., and has accepted a position as a foot and ankle surgeon with North Platte Foot Clinic in North Platte, Neb. He specializes in ankle trauma and surgical reconstruction of the foot and ankle.

Connect with Rockhurst University through your favorite social networks. 26 Rockhurst u winter 2013

Weddings/Anniversaries ’01

Cara Leanne Howard married Doug Neill on April 21, 2012. The wedding was at Vox Theatre in Kansas City, Kan., followed by a honeymoon in San Pedro, Belize. They currently reside in Overland Park, Kan., with their dog Vinnie.


Luciano Garofalo and Emily Hedrick were married Aug. 18, 2012. Luciano and Emily currently reside in Tacoma, Wash.


Kurt McGuff, ’06, married Sara Ratzki, ’09, on Jan. 14, 2012, at Visitation in Kansas City, Mo. Rev. Thomas Curran officiated their ceremony. The McGuffs currently reside in the Kansas City area.


Alaina Manning married James Wagner Oct. 20, 2012.



Tara Jo Free married Nathan Allen Bolinger on Oct. 12, 2012, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Pittsburg, Kan. The couple resides in Mission, Kan. She is employed by Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

Allison Rank married David Purcell on Sept. 10, 2010. They currently live in Lawrence, Kan. John Sander and Kristen Wellemeyer were married July 14, 2012, in Wichita, Kan. Rev. Thomas Curran was the celebrant for their wedding.

Submit a Class Note We’d love to hear from you. Submit a class note online at www.rockhurst.edu/classnotes.

Sign Up for Your Alumni E-Newsletter To stay up to date with the latest Rockhurst news and gatherings in your area, sign up for the University’s alumni e-newsletter. You’re also invited to log on to RU’s online alumni community, where you’ll have access to news, events, career services, an alumni directory, member photos and more. Sign up for both by visiting www.rockhurst.edu/alumni and selecting first time log-in.

Rockhurst u winter 2013 27

Class Notes In Memoriam

Maximilian Robert (Bob) Knickerbocker Jr., professor emeritus of English and long-time chair of the English department at Rockhurst University, died July 13, 2012. Knickerbocker was born on Jan. 13, 1922, in Providence, R.I. Following service with the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II, he completed his bachelor’s in English from Providence College and a master’s in English from Brown University. He joined the faculty of Rockhurst University in 1950, where he served for 50 years until he retired in 2000. In May 2000, Knickerbocker received the Chancellor’s Medal, the University's highest award. He continued to serve the University after retirement by teaching an occasional course and counseling students in the University's Gervais Learning Center.

The Rev. Martin J. Bredeck, S.J., theology and religious studies faculty member at Rockhurst University for 33 years, died Dec. 3, 2012, at the age of 79. Born in St. Louis on Nov. 5, 1933, Fr. Bredeck entered the Society of Jesus on Aug. 8, 1951. He earned graduate degrees in philosophy, Latin, Greek and theology studies, was ordained into the priesthood in 1964, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in religious education at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Students found Fr. Bredeck both demanding and fair, and appreciated his dry sense of humor. The family has established the Dr. Joseph F. Bredeck Scholarship Fund at Rockhurst University in his memory.

Robert D. Donahue, ’48 – July 11 Leo M. Mandl Jr., ’49 – June 1 Marc N. Murdock, ’49 – Sept. 22 Austin E. Van Buskirk, ’49 – Sept. 21 Harold F. Heiman, ’50 – April 8 Vincent M. Wessling, ’50 – Aug. 19 Harry J. Gray, ’51 – Oct. 13 Dr. Leonard A. O’Donnell, ’51 – May 9 Robert J. Scharnhorst, ’51 – Oct. 10 Gerald F. Bullard, ’52 – May 14 James H. McGlynn, ’52 – Oct. 17 Gerald A. Kelly, ’53 – May 5 John L. Mattiesen, ’55 – July 30 Jerome R. Peterson, ’55 – Sept. 29 Edward L. Dunbar Jr., ’56 – May 23 George N. Henckel, ’57 – June 9 Donald L. Hoefer, ’57 – June 20 Jude H. Koenig, ’57 – Aug. 14 Hon. Patrick J. Reardon, ’57 – June 3 Eugene Standifer Jr., ’57 – Oct. 5 Ralph C. Ufford, ’57 – July 20 Dr. George S. Devins, ’58 – May 11 Col. J. Richard Hopkins, ’58 – Oct. 10 David O. Newby, ’60 – May 22

28 Rockhurst u winter 2013

Harry A. Tennant, ’61 – June 27 Gerald J. Van Buskirk, ’62 – Oct. 8 William V. Craddock, ’62 – March 25 James B. Spear, ’64 – July 3 Ronald J. Kowalewski, ’65 – April 10 Robert E. Kleffner, ’67 – May 23 Geoffrey M. Melchior, ’68 – July 12 William F. O’Sullivan, ’68 – July 11 John R. Engle, ’69 – May 29 Joseph E. Simms Jr., ’69 – June 21 Michael D. Theno, ’73 – June 11 Eugene P. McGinley, ’74 – Aug. 30 Paul M. Pagano, ’74 – July 2 Robert M. Weilert, ’74 – Aug. 25 Bolaji O. Siffre, ’75 – Aug. 22 Kevin T. Daley, ’76 – June 14 Daniel L. McEniry, ’76 – March 27 Lee J. Schriner, ’76 – June 3 Patrick B. McDermott, ’79 – Aug. 9 Diane (Litherland) Ottaway, ’81 – June 8 David D. Schneiter, ’81 – Oct. 12 Robert A. Heady, ’83 – Aug. 8 Dr. John G. Ravnikar, ’83 – Aug. 13 Lloyd L. Black, ’84 – June 7

Terry W. Schroeder, ’84 – May 9 Mark E. Dreiling, ’89 – April 21 Steven J. Capeder, ’91 – May 1 Robert D. Embree, ’94 – Sept 13 David Emerson, ’01 – Oct. 5 Joseph Miller, ’02 – Sept. 5 James H. Goodman, ’09 – July 17


Rockhurst s Academic Profile Is Growing

To accommodate future growth, Rockhurst University has announced plans for a new academic building. $ 21.9 million committed* $ 2.6 million to go + $ .5 J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation challenge grant**

$25 million Consider a transformative gift to support Rockhurst. Your support will ignite a spark and brighten the future of Rockhurst University. Please return your gift in the envelope enclosed in the magazine or visit www.rockhurst.edu/newacademicbuilding.

* Current as of Dec. 19, 2012 **Awarded only if the $24.5 million is raised by June 2013

Rockhurst u winter 2013 29

Nonprofit Org. U.S.Postage PAID Kansas City, Mo. Permit No. 782

1100 Rockhurst Road Kansas City, MO 64110

Upcoming Events Thursday, Feb. 7 Alumni Night at the Ballgame Hawks vs. Illinois-Springfield Sunday, March 24 Palm Sunday Mass St. Louis

Thursday, April 4 Library Guild Critique Thursday, April 18 Denver Chapter Charter Celebration

Profile for Rockhurst University

Rockhurst Magazine - Winter 2013  

The Magazine of Rockhurst University - Winter 2013

Rockhurst Magazine - Winter 2013  

The Magazine of Rockhurst University - Winter 2013

Profile for rockhurst