On Friday, September 21, 2012, the Marian University community came together for the Dillon Family Distinguished Alumni Dinner to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of truly remarkable alumni. Bob Ripperger ’69, Kathy Harbor Miller ’75, Mary Rihm Riggle ’80, Jeff Traylor ’05, Denis O’Brien ’05, and Merle Tebbe ’74 were honored at the dinner. This year’s award recipients exemplify the action-orientated spirit of the university and have worked hard to create a better world.
Scott McNamee ’05, member of Marian University Alumni Association, emceed the night, telling the incredible stories of our honorees and illustrating to everyone exactly what makes these Marian University graduates distinguished. Their careers range from certified public accountant to religion teacher and their contributions come in many different forms.
• Jeff Traylor, recipient of the Mother Clarissa Dillhoff Award for Distinguished Achievement in Mentoring, impacts students in the classroom and on the softball field at Roncalli High School with his strong values and leadership.
• Mary Rihm Riggle, a certified public accountant and recipient of the Donald A. Fleming Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, uses professional organizations, like American Society of Women Accountants, to counsel and support young women in the accounting profession.
• Kathy Harbor Miller, recipient of the Mary McNulty Young Award for Distinguished Achievement in Community Service, is a breast cancer survivor, who helps other men and women fighting the same disease through her work with the Pink Ribbon Connection, an organization that provides resources and services to those affected by breast cancer.
• Bob Ripperger, recipient of the St. Francis and St. Clare Award for Distinguished Achievement in Peace and Justice, works with young dads, teaching them the importance of being a father to their children, both financially and emotionally, at the Fathers and Families Center at Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.
• Merle Tebbe, recipient of the Founders’ Award for Distinguished Service to Marian University, volunteers extensively for Marian University and has done everything from addressing the graduating seniors at commencement to cleaning up a community park during Knights Called to Serve.
• Denis O’Brien, recipient of the Central Indiana Chapter Young Alumni Award, works hard to help people find their first homes, dream homes, or something in between homes.
The first Distinguished Alumni Award was given in 1969 and continued periodically throughout the next 15 years. In 1996, a growing awareness of alumni accomplishments encouraged the university to begin recognizing and celebrating individual achievements in a significant and deliberate way. In that year, six award categories that reflect the values and mission of Marian College (now Marian University) were established by the national alumni board. Since, two additional awards have been added.
In 2011, the Distinguished Alumni Awards were named in honor of the late Anna C. Dean Dillon ’49 and her husband John Dillon, both former members of the Marian University Board of Trustees and passionate supporters of the university.
Congratulations to all of our truly distinguished alumni and thank you for your service to Marian University and the world!