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McMullen Awards to be Presented During Mass

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November 2012


St. Ambrose University will celebrate its patron saint with a special Feast of St. Ambrose Mass on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel. During the Mass ceremony the McMullen Awards, named in honor of St. Ambrose's founder, Bishop John McMullen, will be presented to individuals who embody the university's mission of enriching the lives of others. The public is invited to attend the Mass and award ceremony.

Recipients of the 2012 McMullen Awards are Patricia and the late John Bush, who will be honored posthumously, and Richard Geiger.

Patricia and John "Jack" Bush, both natives of Davenport, supported and advocated for Catholic education at all levels. They attended Catholic schools and believed it was important for their children to do the same. Their generosity has impacted Catholic education in the Quad Cities community and beyond.

Jack grew up across the street from campus, served on the university's Board of Trustees, and co-chaired a past capital campaign. Jack was awarded an honorary degree, the Doctor of Business Administration, in 1994. At the national level, Jack was recognized for his lifelong support of Catholic education as a recipient of the Elizabeth Ann Seaton Award presented by the National Education Association in Washington, DC.

Jack's entrepreneurial spirit and leadership helped ensure the success of his family business, McCarthy-Bush. He and Patricia created the McCarthy-Bush Foundation. Their philanthropic support extended to many local and regional charities, and their commitment to the community was evidenced through service and by example.

St. Ambrose Professor Emeritus Richard Geiger first stepped in front of a St. Ambrose classroom in September 1962. He retired 39 years later, having sent thousands of Ambrosians into the working world infused with a keener sense of history.

Born in Quincy, Ill., Geiger obtained his bachelor of arts from the University of Notre Dame in 1957 and a master of arts in history from the University of Illinois in 1960. He helped to coordinate the St. Ambrose centennial celebration in 1982, served on numerous committees and chaired both the History Department and the faculty assembly. As the second faculty member to occupy the Baecke Chair for the Humanities, he toured Europe on sabbatical in 1984-85 to enhance his understanding of medieval history.

Geiger brought a well-rounded worldview to the classroom. "The study of history is not just past politics," he said. "It encompasses economics, art and sociology. I tried to bring that to my classes."

Geiger's influence is evidenced by the Richard E. Geiger Endowed History Lecture. Created through donations from former students and others, the endowed lectureship was announced to Geiger at a dinner honoring his retirement in May 2001.

For more information about the McMullen awards, contact the St. Ambrose University Alumni Relations Office at 563/333-6290 or alumni@sau.edu.

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