News Archives     Campus Events     University Publications

April 5, 2007

Contact Pat Kerrigan at 608-796-3041 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Nettie Mooney, a well-known community volunteer and philanthropist, and Sue Ann Thompson, the former first lady of Wisconsin and a national leader in women’s health, have been named the 2007 recipients of the Pope John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service.

The Pope John XXIII Award is the highest non-academic award bestowed by Viterbo University and previous recipients have included holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, gold medal Olympian Billy Mills, and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean. Mooney and Thompson will receive the award at a banquet and ceremony Thursday, May 2 at 6:45 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center lobby. Recipients are determined by the Viterbo University Board of Advisors.

At 86, Mooney remains an active part of the La Crosse community, where her quiet influence has affected a number of organizations in a significant way. A gift from her and her family helped establish the John and Nettie Mooney Resource Center at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. At the center, patients, families—the entire community for that matter—are able to access a library of health information and education resources. The center also features a welcoming waiting area offering families hospitality during difficult and trying times.

Mooney was an early supporter in helping to establish the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership. She is also involved with the La Crosse Boychoir, the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium, Oktoberfest, the Riverland Girl Scout Council of America, First Congregational Church, Riverside International Gardens, and the La Crosse County Historical Society.

Mooney will share the honor with Thompson, who for 14 years was known as Wisconsin's first lady during Tommy Thompson's three and one-half terms as governor. A breast cancer survivor, she has earned a national reputation promoting multiple causes as president of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF), the organization she established in 1997. WWHF focuses on the six greatest threats to women’s health: cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental health, domestic violence, osteoporosis, and alcohol and tobacco use.

Thompson, 66, has also worked with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation serving as honorary chair of the foundation’s Dane County Race for the Cure. She currently serves as a member of the leadership team for the National Health Care Standards Project on Domestic Violence.

She has received numerous national and state awards for her work in the field of women’s health. In 2002, Thompson received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award. In 2001, Wyeth-Ayerst Corporation and Good Housekeeping magazine gave Sue Ann the Award for Women’s Health, and General Electric Medical Systems dedicated the Sue Ann Thompson Mammography Suite, the first corporate on-site full-field digital mammography facility using the General Electric Senographe 2000D.

Thompson’s volunteer activities extend outside of women’s health. She is passionate about education having worked for 34 years as a classroom teacher before retiring in 2000. She served as a volunteer board member for Very Special Arts Wisconsin for 14 years and is on the National Very Special Arts Board which provides arts opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.

Please call Chris Sanger at 608-796-3070 for banquet and ceremony ticket information.

Recent News

Icon University of Opportunity: Hope and Help Campaign Announcement

Since the trustees-approved University of Opportunity: Hope and Help comprehensive campaign began quietly in January 2008, $37 million of the $40 million goal has been raised.

Icon Viterbo Granted Approval to Offer First Doctorate Program: Doctor of Nursing Practice
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges (HLC) has granted Viterbo University approval to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree beginning this fall.
Icon Viterbo University Named to G.I. Jobs List of Military Friendly Schools
Viterbo University has been named to G.I. Jobs 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools, which recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools nationwide that deliver the best experience for military students.

RSS FeedSubscribe to RSS Feed      News Archives
University Publications