A long-time peace and social justice advocate
A talented musician and service trip leader
St. Ambrose University Wine Festival founders
"We honor you for living the mission of St. Ambrose University '. . .to enrich the lives of others.'"
The John McMullen Award was established on our 125th Anniversary-September 4, 2006-and acknowledges the mission driven work of exceptional people. These awards are symbolic in so many ways. The cross in each award once hung in the sanctuary of Christ the King Chapel. The seal on the cross recognizes the heritage of St. Ambrose, and the people who carry them are towering symbols of what it means to be an Ambrosian. The awards were presented at the Feast of St. Ambrose on December 4, 2011.
Father William "Digger" Dawson
A 1950 St. Ambrose graduate, Father Dawson was ordained a priest in 1954. He was a beloved philosophy professor at St. Ambrose for more than 40 years. During the turbulent years of the Vietnam War, Father Dawson served as chaplain to students at St. Ambrose. He is credited with maintaining civility on St. Ambrose's campus because of his keen intellect, his ability to defuse tension with humor and his genuine rapport with students.
A long-time peace and social justice advocate, Father Dawson, with Father Ed Dunn, is a co-founder of the student organization Ambrosians for Peace and Justice and the multidisciplinary Minor in Justice and Peace studies. After his retirement, Father Dawson stayed active within the St. Ambrose community and continued his ministry at St. Anthony's Church in Davenport, where he served from 1981 to 2011.
Fr. Dawson passed away December 13 and will be missed by all who knew him.
Father Edmond Dunn
Father Dunn graduated from St. Ambrose in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1972. Fr. Dunn began his professional career at St. Ambrose in 1975 when he was hired as a professor of theology. Among Father Dunn's many contributions are serving as both Rector and Spiritual Director of the St. Ambrose Seminary.
He chaired the Theology Department for many years and began the Master of Pastoral Studies, the Youth Ministry Program, and the Interdisciplinary Minor in Peace and Justice. Known for his commitment to social justice, Father Dunn led students on annual Spring Break service trips to the David School in David, Kentucky, for nearly 25 years.
Father Dunn is also a talented musician. He studied sacred music in Rome and contributed to St. Ambrose's music department, directing the chorale and several musical productions.
Dimitri and Kathy Papageorgiou
Dimitri and Kathy are active members of their community as well as the St. Ambrose community. In 1984, Dimitri started his own fine wine and beer distribution company-Dimitri Wine and Spirits-which is still thriving today. Kathy earned her Bachelors in Theology through St. Ambrose in 1994 and was an adjunct instructor in the English department.
Throughout his 25 years as proprietor of Dimitri Wine and Spirits, Dimitri has adamantly supported local organizations by serving on boards, donating wine and beer for tastings, and participating in local fundraisers. A quick count by Kathy finds that he has supported more than 40 local organizations through dollars, involvement, and board membership.
Dimitri and Kathy are among the founders of the St. Ambrose University Wine Festival and have helped raise more than $500,000 for student scholarships at St. Ambrose over the past decade. This event and the dollars raised simply would not be possible without Dimitri's participation and vigor and his generous donation of wine for a festival that attracts more than 800 guests each year.