Viterbo University Strides Magazine Online

Pope John XXIII Awards Recognize Distinguished Service

medlandsBill and Donna Medland, the husband and wife team who have individually and collectively overseen the transformation of Viterbo and who have served as foster parents for 17 infants; and Parker Palmer, the nationally renowned writer, teacher, and activist, were presented with the 2006 Pope John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service.

The Pope John XXIII Award is the highest non-academic award bestowed by the university. Recipients of the award are selected by the Viterbo Board of Advisors and are presented with the award at a ceremony and dinner on campus.

Viterbo has enjoyed tremendous growth during Bill Medland’s tenure as president, both in enrollment and endowment. The campus has also undergone vast improvements, including the construction of four new buildings.

palmerWhile President Medland has been busy changing Viterbo, Donna Medland has turned their home into a place of love and kindness for some of society’s most vulnerable members. The Medlands serve as foster parents for newborn infants. Donna Medland has been a foster mother to 17 infants in the past five years, serving as a “bridge-mom” between the biological mother and the adoptive family.

Palmer is the senior associate of the American Association of Higher Education, senior advisor to the Fetzer Institute, and the founder of the Courage to Teach Program. He is also the author of seven widely-used books, including his current bestseller, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life.