Each year, Mount Mary selects its most distinguished alumnae to receive a Madonna Medal or Tower Award (15 years of graduation) to honor their outstanding achievements. Awardees are selected based on their dedication to their profession or volunteerism, as well as their unique impact on the community. Mount Mary also recognizes an individual, organization or foundation for its support of the University with the President's Award of Distinction. You can learn more about the awards on the nominations page.
The 2021 Awards Celebration was held virtually on Saturday, April 24. You can watch the recording here.
Congratulations to the 2020 Award Winners!
Lakiesha Q. Russell '10, '13
Lakiesha Russell '10, '13 always knew she wanted to be a therapist. Her very first job at the Boys & Girls Club at age 14, inspired her to work with children and families.
Lakiesha is the visionary and founder of The Evolving Chair Counseling and Consulting Agency. She integrates her professional expertise with a strong faith base to bring mental health awareness and access to the African American community in Milwaukee and across the country.
A sought after speaker who’s known as America's #1 Mental Wellness Ambassador, Lakiesha is also the host of a wellness podcast titled "The Evolving Chair Podcast."
MADONNA MEDAL FOR PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE
Perie J. Longo '62, Ph.D., LMFT
As Perie Longo '62 reflects on her life and career, she sees the thread that has woven it all together. From her interest in writing and drama at a young age, to her choice to attend Mount Mary, to her move to California after graduation, she can now see how all of these things culminated in a rich life and a long career in teaching and therapy with an emphasis on poetry.
Perie received her master’s in speech and communication from UCLA and eventually a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Sierra University in 1991. She is a published author and was named Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, CA (2007-09). Her career path has helped so many find their voice through poetry and writing.
MADONNA MEDAL FOR
SERVICE TO THE ALUMNAE ASSOCIATION
Beth Kowall '74
Beth Kowall '74 has been an active member of the Mount Mary Alumnae Association for nearly 40 years! Along with acting as the Co-Class Delegate for her class for 32 years, Beth is a dedicated volunteer and currently serves on the Mount Mary Awards Committee.
In addition to her committee work, Beth also uses her unique experiences as both a therapist and a client to volunteer in Mount Mary’s occupational therapy classes. She has received numerous awards, most recently the Outstanding Alumnae Volunteer Award from the Alumnae Association in 2018.
PRESIDENT'S AWARD OF DISTINCTION
Gary and Judy Jorgensen
Gary and Judy Jorgensen have dedicated their lives to improving the Greater Milwaukee community for almost 50 years. In his over 40 years with VJS Construction Services, Gary was involved in hundreds of projects around Milwaukee including Mount Mary’s Gerhardinger Center and Bloechl Center. In 1987, Gary joined Mount Mary Board of Trustees and today remains on the Board as a Trustee Emeritus.
Judy worked at Waukesha Area Technical College with at-risk students for over 25 years and retired in 2001 as Dean of Academic Support. Her community involvement is widespread, and in 2011, she was named a Milwaukee Business Journal Woman of Influence.
Gary and Judy are thrilled to be involved with our new multigenerational living facility, Trinity Woods.