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June 7, 2006

Contact Sally Emerson at 608-796-3072 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Four Viterbo University alumni will be honored for their outstanding achievements at a banquet Saturday, June 24 from 6–9 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center lobby. The event is one of many scheduled for Viterbo’s Alumni Reunion Weekend. The four honorees are:

Matt Boehler will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Boehler, a 1998 graduate and a professional opera singer, has just finished his residency at the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center, where he had earned a full scholarship. He has received glowing reviews for his dramatic ability and his voice in the Washington Post, Washington Times, and Opera News.

His resume includes roles with the Juilliard Opera Center, the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and the Minnesota Opera. He will also play Pooh bah in The Mikado with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2007.

Patti Jo Severson has been named the recipient of the Service to the Community Award. Employed as nutrition and health educator in the behavioral health department at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Severson, a 1978 graduate, also belongs to several organizations that seek to improve the lives of the mentally ill and educate the general public.

She serves on the Mental Health Coalition of La Crosse, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Wisconsin, the National Alliance on Mental Illness La Crosse County Inc., and the La Crosse County Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness

Redesign Committee. She has also done a great deal to help jail inmates who are mentally ill and to provide support for their families.

Greg Lind will be presented with the Professional Development Award. Lind, a 1976 graduate, was an assistant professor at the University of Washington before starting his own business in 1990. The independent nursing practice he founded, Lake Serene Clinic, has grown to employ eight nurses and a staff of 15 others who serve over 20,000 patients.

Seeking to attract more men to the nursing profession, Lind provides a scholarship for male nursing students at Viterbo. He also provides a similar scholarship at the University of Missouri.

Mary (Sendelbach) Dudley will receive the Franciscan Spirit Award. Dudley, also a 1976 graduate, is the chief nurse anesthetist for Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. When she is not working in La Crosse, she volunteers for mission trips focused on improving the lives of people throughout the world.

She has traveled to Peru every year since 2001, and has also worked in Africa, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and the Gaza Strip.

The reunion will include a cruise aboard the Island Girl, a special breakfast for the classes of 1956, 1961, the 1972 nursing class, and the 2001 Master’s of Science in Nursing class, a picnic and entertainment in Assisi Courtyard, special gatherings for adult education program graduates and students who lived in the houses on campus during the 1970s, a liturgy in Maria Angelorum Chapel, and an evening social, banquet, and dance.

For more information on Alumni Weekend, contact Sally Emerson, Viterbo’s director of alumni relations, at 608-796-3072 or or email

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