Viterbo University Announces 2017 Recipients of Saint John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service

Darryle Clott, a Holocaust educator who has played a crucial role in bringing Holocaust survivors to the La Crosse area to share their incredible and inspiring stories, and Dick and Sheila Wieser, outstanding advocates for children and people facing challenging circumstances, are the recipients of the Viterbo University 2017 Saint John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service.

The awards will be presented at a banquet and ceremony held on campus Thursday, May 25.

Possessing unlimited passion for the importance of Holocaust education, Clott led the effort to bring Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, Presidential Medal of Honor winner Gerda Weissmann Klein, and numerous other Holocaust survivors to La Crosse. Clott attended the Teachers’ Summer Institute on Holocaust and Jewish Studies and Jewish Resistance in Poland and Israel. She was one of 10 American Holocaust educators chosen to travel to Poland to study Holocaust pedagogy with Polish Holocaust educators. Clott is a Teacher Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She has been honored with numerous awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2011.

Dick and Sheila Wieser have done a tremendous amount of good in their community throughout their lives. The Wiesers adopted 12 children of various backgrounds and abilities and today the couple has 19 grandchildren. The couple has also been outstanding supporters of civic projects and numerous community causes, including local Boys and Girls Clubs and other organizations that provide support for children. They are very involved in the community, serving or having served with the La Crescent Community Foundation, La Crescent City Government, Rotary Club, and other civic groups and projects. Their Catholic faith is very important to them, and they are active members and supporters of Church of the Crucifixion in La Crescent.

The Saint John XXIII Award is the highest non-academic award bestowed by Viterbo University. Recipients are chosen on the basis of contributions in one or several of the following categories: education, business, philanthropy, peace and justice, and religious life.