At its Founder’s Day ceremony Tuesday, March 2, Saint Mary’s University presented an honorary doctorate to Dr. Carmelita Quebengco, executive vice president and chief operating officer of De La Salle Philippines, and chancellor emeritus of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. Dr. Quebengco was presented an honorary doctorate in educational leadership for her work in the achievement of excellence in Lasallian higher education. She addressed the audience about developing effectiveness in a Lasallian university.
Also honored were a dedicated staff member, a Lasallian educator within Saint Mary’s, and two outstanding seniors. Founder’s Day is the annual celebration of the founding of Saint Mary’s in 1912 by Winona Bishop Patrick R. Heffron.
Mary Becker received the university’s Bishop Patrick Heffron Award for Service. Becker has served in the Office of the President since 1993. As the administrative assistant to the president, she provides a daily example of service and commitment to the mission of Saint Mary’s University.
Brother Stephen Rusyn, FSC, Ph.D., was chosen as this year’s Distinguished Lasallian Educator. Brother Stephen is a long-time professor of English at SMU’s Winona campus who was chosen because of his attention and dedication to students. Distinguished Lasallian Educator Awards are given by many Lasallian institutions in the North American-Toronto Region of the De La Salle Christian Brothers; they honor contributions and commitment to the Lasallian mission of education.
Additionally, the Outstanding Male and Female Senior Awards were presented to students who have demonstrated the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership and service. Above all, these men and women have shown genuine concern for meeting the needs of others. The Outstanding Male Senior Award went to David Dahlstrom, son of William and Rosanne Dahlstrom of Rochester, Minn. The Outstanding Female Senior Award went to Mariana Sanchez, daughter of Jaime and Bernadette Sanchez, of Puebla, Mexico.
Dahlstrom is an accounting and human resource management major and university baseball player. During his college career, he has been involved with the Lasallian Honors Program, KSMR radio, Delta Mu Delta (the international honor society in business) and Delta Epsilon Sigma (the national scholastic honor society). He also has competed in intramural athletics and volunteered at the ITA Literacy Clinic.
Sanchez is majoring in graphic design. She was a member of the golf and soccer teams, and also played water polo and lacrosse club sports. She’s shared her passion for sports by serving as Big Red, SMU’s Cardinal mascot and has helped to recruit other athletes. Sanchez also has worked with phonathon and completed internships with the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and with Saint Mary’s Press. For a creative outlet, she has exhibited work in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, designed T-shirts and event posters, and painted a mural in the Cardinal Club.
The following students were finalists for the 2010 Outstanding Senior Awards. Males: Gary Borash, son of Ron and Ann Borash of North Prairie, Minn.; Bill Duffert, son of Doug and Anne Duffert of Ramsey, Minn.; Zhe “Scott” Song, son of Shiqi Song and Haizhan Liu, of Xi’an, China; and Brian Smith, son of Brad and Sue Smith of Minneapolis, Minn. Females: Mary Gleich, daughter of Peter and Kathleen Gleich, of Hastings, Minn.; Vanessa Grams, daughter of Jean and Gregg Grams of Little Falls, Minn.; Molly Jewison, daughter of Dan and Marie Jewison of Janesville, Minn.; and Sarah Weir, daughter of Glenn and Veronica Weir of Oswego, Ill.