April 5, 2012
Contact Pat Kerrigan at
608-796-3041 or firstname.lastname@example.org
UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES 2012 RECIPIENTS OF POPE JOHN XXIII AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Marlene
Weisenbeck, FSPA, well known for her work in religious, academic, and health
care circles, and Dick and Cherry Lommen, prominent community leaders and
generous supporters of important community initiatives are recipients of the
2012 Pope John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service.
award banquet and ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the
Fine Arts Center.
Weisenbeck has served in a variety of prominent positions such as president of
the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (2002-10), chair of the Viterbo
University Board of Trustees (1994-2002), chancellor of the Diocese of La
Crosse (1997-2002), and president of the Leadership Conference of Women
Religious (2009-11). She also served as chair of the Viterbo University music
department and was on the leadership boards at the Family and Children’s
Center, and Franciscan Skemp Healthcare.
recently, Sister Weisenbeck has been serving as a consultant in religious law.
She also serves as administrative coordinator for the Franciscan Common
Venture, a collaborative ministry relationship of four Franciscan congregations
including three from the U.S. and one in Cameroon, West Africa.
Marlene has generously shared her gifts with others as a talented musician, a
canon lawyer, and a highly accomplished leader,” said Rick Artman, president of
Viterbo University. “She has demonstrated a long standing and faithful
commitment to promote the common good and better the lives of others. She truly
models servant leadership.”
Sister Weisenbeck and her affiliation with the FSPA were inseparable to a
career path tied to serving and meeting the needs of others, Dick and Cherry
Lommen were busy growing a successful business which generated thousands of
jobs and opportunities to serve their community. More than 45 years ago, the
Lommens started a single McDonald’s Restaurant on the south side of La Crosse.
Corporation is one of the largest employers in the region and has grown to
include 44 McDonald's restaurants throughout Western Wisconsin, Southeastern
Minnesota, and Decorah, Iowa.
businesses emphasize community service, which includes participation in school-to-work and business education programs,
career fairs, involvement in Junior Achievement, and contributing to non-profit
organizations through Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Wisconsin and
has served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse and
Chileda. She was active as a strong proponent of the Family Children’s Center
Healthy Families Program for young mothers and their newborns. She also served
on Viterbo’s Board of Advisors. Dick has served as a member of the Gundersen Lutheran
Medical Foundation, the La Crosse Community Foundation, the YMCA and in 1989 he
was inducted into the Boys and Girls Clubs Wall of Fame. He also served for 16
years on the Viterbo Board of Trustees and has been cited by McDonalds as one
of the most respected franchise owners in the company. Courtesy Corporation
training programs are considered a model for McDonalds.
and Cherry are humble leaders who model Viterbo’s core values of hospitality,
integrity, service, and stewardship,” said Artman. “Viterbo
University and the community have benefited greatly from their service and
Pope 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.