Two St. Ambrose University alumni who have dedicated their lives to elevating individuals and communities through faith, service and education will be honored as the 2019 McMullen Award honorees.
Retired educator Thomas Sunderbruch '61 and Rev. Robert McAleer '67 will be presented the McMullen Award during a 10:30 a.m. Mass in celebration of the Feast of Saint Ambrose at Christ the King Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 8.
The Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula, JD, JCL, Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport, will preside over the Mass and will bless the McMullen Awards.
Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, president of the university will confer the awards.
Named in honor of university founder Bishop John McMullen, the McMullen Awards are presented annually to individuals who embody St. Ambrose University's mission of enriching the lives of others.
The public is invited to attend the Mass and award ceremony. A reception will follow.
Sunderbruch's 40-year career in education began in 1961 at Assumption High School, following his graduation from St. Ambrose College. During his tenure, he was a History and English teacher, football coach, guidance counselor, athletic director, assistant principal and, finally, principal of Assumption High School for 16 years.
After retiring from Assumption, he was an adjunct professor in the St. Ambrose Educational Leadership program until 2004.
Following the death of his first wife, Judy, in 2014, Sunderbruch established the Judith L. Sunderbruch '60 Nursing Scholarship to benefit St. Ambrose students, honoring Judy's legacy as a pediatric nurse.
He and his wife, Julie, continue to support the education of St. Ambrose students with their support of the 1882 Society, the President's Club, and as members of the Bishop McMullen Legacy Circle.
Rev. McAleer ‘67, better known as "Fr. Mac," spent his career at several parishes and schools in southeast Iowa, including 15 years at St. John Vianney in Bettendorf, Iowa. He also used his skills to serve as the chair of the diocesan presbyterial council, priests' personnel board, and marriage tribunal.
Fr. McAleer retired in 2014, after 43 years of dedicated service to the Church. He credits his parents and the liberal arts education he received at St. Ambrose with providing him the skills to be a priest and to go where he was needed.
Fr. McAleer has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2014 and continues to contribute to community within his work with Unbound, an organization dedicated to families living in poverty, and to his alma mater, supporting St. Ambrose students through two scholarships.