2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Spirit of Francis - Dr. Dan Hale '96

Dan Hale graduated from Viterbo University in 1996 and received a Doctor of Medicine in 2000 from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He completed pediatric residency training in Portland, Maine, at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center. Currently, he is a hospital pediatrician and an assistant clinical professor at The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He lives in Kittery, Maine, with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

Dan committed to immersing himself in communities and serving them since his time at Viterbo. He traveled to Kenya, East Africa, for a semester abroad during his senior year at Viterbo. He returned to Kenya during medical school to work at a rural hospital.

Dan is the medical director of a new pediatrics program affiliated with The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. This program aims to bring specialized pediatric care to more children in the state. Dan has received the Kiwanis Club of Lawrence 2013 Humanitarian Award for his work in that area. He has received two American Academy of Pediatrics Service Awards for his work with children.

Dan is also a volunteer firefighter in Kittery. He bridges his passion for pediatric health and firefighting by teaching fire safety. He is currently implementing a national American Academy of Pediatrics grant he received to install smoke detectors in homes for families who have low income. Dan’s mission in life continues to guide whatever he does, “I’m just trying to do what Jesus did by helping others.”

Professional Development - Kim Little '79 

Kim Little earned a music scholarship and entered Viterbo as a music major with a theatre minor and soon discovered her passion was theatre, she changed her major and took her considerable talents behind the scenes to the costume shop. “I could always sew. I’m 5’10”, and I couldn’t find clothes that fit when I was in high school. I started to sew and make my own clothes.”

After graduating from Viterbo, Kim landed her first job with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, creating and building costumes. It was there that she met her friend and longtime business partner, Antoinette Muto. Together they decided to open their own costume and tailoring shop above a hair salon on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif., July 1982, Muto-Little Costumes. They both wanted to work for themselves and they both had the entrepreneurial spirit which comes as no surprise to Marie Leon La Croix, FSPA. Early in Kim’s Viterbo career, she met Sr. Marie Leon and told her “I can sew,” and Sr. Marie Leon answered, “That’s nice.” Little said “No, I can really sew.” 

“And she could,” Sr. Marie Leon said. “But more than sewing, she had the gift of creativity and design. Kim was extremely creative in every way – in design, materials and drafting patterns. I never had a young person come in like that without any experience.” 

If you have watched television, a movie, or been to a concert or Disney-themed park, there is a very good chance you’ve seen Kim’s work. Muto-Little Costumes offer a full line of costume construction, alterations and tailoring, and design and fabric consultation services and they are a major player in the industry. Some of her clients include Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Rhianna, Kanye West, Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and countless others. They work on national commercials, television shows and movies including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5, Terminator 2, Total Recall, and The Last Samurai. They have also created costumes for numerous Disney shows and parades. Kim says she really enjoys science fiction because you literally have to create the costumes. Kim states, “I was really influenced by the sisters and their passion. They were very into whatever it was they were doing. Really, how can you get any better than these women? They were excellent mentors, very supportive and forward thinking.”

Kim is married to Jim Hillin, a visual effects artist and supervisor for film and television. They have one son, Jack.

Service to the University - Margaret Hammell '87

Margaret Hammell began her business experience as a junior cost accountant at Trane Company shortly after graduating from high school in May 1967. Her life circumstances dictated the need for a college education. When her husband died suddenly in July 1973, her short-term business expectations turned into a career in order to support herself. She took classes in the evening as she continued to work full time. Margaret attended Western Wisconsin Technical College and obtained an associate degree in accounting. She transferred these credits to Viterbo where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in business in 1987. Margaret then passed the Wisconsin CPA exam. In August 2012, she celebrated 45 years with Trane. She is an assistant director of indirect taxes.

In addition to being a member of the alumni board, Margaret has been an avid supporter of Viterbo and its nursing program. She has sponsored three endowed scholarships. The first is in memory of her parents who exhibited great compassion in caring for others. They provided care for Margaret’s grandparents in their elderly years. Her mother also cared for her father during a lengthy illness before his death. The second is in memory of her husband who, because of his untimely death at age 27, was unable to realize his lifetime dreams. The third is in memory of her brother who lived a very full life until he developed a rare neurological disease, paraneoplic syndrome, and died at the age of 67. In addition, Margaret has also made a donation to the new nursing center in memory of her other brother who died at age 72 after a lengthy illness. Margaret is happy to participate in this way in the education of nursing students as Viterbo is a special place for students to learn their profession and become caring members of society. As Margaret states, “ I feel that there can never be enough nurses as my generation of baby boomers will soon become old enough to need them."

Community Service - Wayne Oliver '08

Wayne Oliver, executive vice president of community banking solutions provides the members of State Bank’s Community Banking team with the resources to serve the bank’s clients and prospects efficiently and professionally.

He has 31 years of industry experience and joined State Bank Financial in 2004. 

Wayne is active in the community as a board member (president-elect 2013-15) of Downtown Mainstreet, Inc., in La Crosse, La Crosse Community Theatre, RotaryWorks Foundation (president -elect 2014-15), and La Crosse Rotary-East. He is also a member of the La Crescent Township Planning Commission, La Crescent Community Foundation, the La Crescent-Hokah School District Technology Committee, and advisory boards for the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership and Non-Profit Certificate Leadership Development Programs at Viterbo University, and the La Crosse County Historical Society. Currently, Wayne and others are working to form a Community Development Corporation to help facilitate healthy communities  for the future in neighborhoods of La Crosse. Wayne also serves as an elder at Faith Lutheran Church, La Crosse.

Wayne remains involved in Viterbo’s servant leadership program, which he feels made a positive impact on both his professional and personal life. “It’s a way of life,” he said. “I’m proud to have gone through the program. It gives you perspective.” 

Wayne graduated from Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, N.H., and he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, and his Master of Arts degree in Servant Leadership from Viterbo University. He is also a graduate of the Massachusetts School of Banking and the Blandin Community Leadership Program. 

Wayne and his wife, Sandra, have two adult children, Allyse and Lauren, and live in La Crescent, Minn.

Young Alumni - Michael Krueger '10

In spring 2008, after returning home from a semester abroad in Cusco, Perú, Michael Krueger was invited to live as a member of the Catholic Worker community at A Place of Grace Catholic Worker House while completing a degree in ministry with minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies at Viterbo University. Graduating in 2010 Michael remained at A Place of Grace for an additional year, serving as coordinator. Also during this time he was accepted into the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership program at Viterbo and became an affiliate with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

In 2011, after marrying fellow Viterbo graduate Hailey Karls-Lange, Michael moved to the Chicago area and worked for a year and a half in homes for adults with developmental disabilities. Relocating back to La Crosse in February of this year, Michael accepted a position with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse as the coordinator for The Dwelling Place – a L’Arche inspired home where four adults with developmental disabilities live. The home, which seeks to incorporate the message of Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, and the beatitudes, is based on the principle that “every human being has the right to dignity, and the right to celebrate that dignity within the context of community.” Through Michael’s ongoing engagement in different forms of community and through his work among diverse populations Michael has sought to incorporate the dynamics of Catholic Social Teaching with the challenges and beauty of recognizing God as the stranger and Christ as the guest.