Alumnae awards reflect achievement, giving and pride

A university professor in Indianapolis, an international volunteer, a Chicago health care CEO and Mount Mary University's outgoing president Eileen Schwalbach Ph.D., have just been announced as some of the Alumnae Association's 2016 Madonna and Tower Award winners.


Schwalbach, who has announced that she will be stepping down in July, 2017, will receive a special Madonna Medal award for her service to the University. Since 1960, the Madonna Medal has been the University's highest honor for alumnae achievement. Here is a full list of this year's winners:

Eileen Schwalbach, President of Mount Mary University, will receive a special Madonna Medal for her dedicated service to the University and the Alumnae Association. Dr. Schwalbach joined the University as a part-time instructor in 1993 and rose through the ranks to become President in 2008.

Gwenn (Balling) Rausch, '72, Occupational Therapy, CEO of Heartland International Health Center, who leads a federally qualified health center that serves 20,000 patients in Chicago, will receive the Madonna Medal for Professional Excellence.

Therese Durkin Connors, '71, Education and Spanish, founded Little Flower Healthcare Registry, a network for in-home caregivers in Chicago; her volunteer efforts include coordinating clothing drives for women and children in Guatemala. She will receive the Madonna Medal for Community Service.

Kathryn Maegli-Davis, '71, Home Economics and Sociology, has served on the University's Board of Trustees since 2009 and has established a significant endowed scholarship fund that supports three students a year. She receives the Madonna Medal for Service to the University/Alumnae Association.

Karen Muth, '87, Public Relations, Professional Writing and Journalism, has been involved in the University's Starving Artists' Show since she was in elementary school. Today she chairs the Registration and Correspondence Committee and is the New Provider Promotions Manager at Aurora Health Care. She receives the Madonna Medal for Service to the University/Alumnae Association.

Kate DeCleene Huber, '01 and '03, Occupational Therapy, chairs the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Indianapolis. She receives the Tower Award, which recognizes the potential, innovation and motivation of alumnae who have graduated within the past 15 years.

"We are honored to recognize the achievements of alumnae who have demonstrated passion, drive and deep commitment by living out the core values of Mount Mary University and transforming their communities through their dedication," said Kathy Bayer Schneider, '68, Awards Committee Chair.