Viterbo University Announces 2016 Recipients of Saint John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service

May 16, 2016

Contact Paul Wilhelmson at 608-796-3040 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Marjorie Collins, a longtime philanthropist who founded Collins Outdoor Advertising Inc. with her late husband Charles; Celesta Day, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who has spent her entire career and life in ministry making a positive impact on the organizations she has served; and Don and Norma Vinger, supporters of numerous community causes, are the recipients of the Viterbo University 2016 Saint John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service.

The award banquet and ceremony will be held on campus Wednesday, June 1.

Marjorie Collins and her late husband Charles have provided outstanding support and leadership to the greater La Crosse community for over 65 years. Marjorie and Charles were always grateful for the many talented and dedicated employees who worked for their company. They also truly believed in giving back to the community that supported them during their six and a half decades in business. The Collins have given generously to a long list of important organizations and projects, often without fanfare or recognition.

Sr. Celesta Day enjoyed a long and significant career in the field of health care, beginning in nursing and culminating in her serving as the administrator of St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse from 1983–1988. Just as impressive as her health care ministry is Sr. Day’s 57 years of service to her religious order, including an eight-year term as vice president. She has received numerous respected honors over the years, including the Iverson Freking Ecumenical Recognition Award for “Inspiring Life, Hope and Healing.”

Don and Norma Vinger have devoted a lifetime of giving generously of their resources and time in their humble and quiet way. Health care, education, and local charitable and civic organizations have been the focus of their support and volunteerism over the years. Both are very proud of the positive impact of the organizations they support and the great difference these not-for-profit organizations make in the lives of people. The nationally recognized Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care at Gundersen Health System was named in Norma’s honor. The Center was a gift from Norma’s late brother, Norman Gillette Jr. and his family. Norma is a breast cancer survivor.

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.