University Awards

University Awards

Creighton University annually recognizes civic, religious and professional leaders in various fields, as well as organizations, for outstanding contributions to their local communities and society at large. Honorary degrees, the Magis Award, the Sheehan Award and the Manresa Medal are the responsibility of the Public Honors and Events Committee.

Honorary Degree

Honorary Degree

Submit a nomination online

About the award: Honorary degrees are presented to individuals who have provided distinguished service to the state, to learning or to mankind; to letters, to art, to music, to education, or to science; or have provided constructive philanthropy or some other outstanding public service. If possible, the degree should indicate the character of the service. The service shall be general in its effects and not merely local. Recipients must manifest intellectual gifts, displayed either by writing or activities, which would rank them with scholars or entitle them to recognition by learned or education societies of the highest standing. Recipients should also manifest such qualities in their personal lives that would mark them as belonging among individuals of culture and high moral principles. 

Past recipients:

Linda Hunt, MSN
Doctor of Nursing, Honoris Causa

Kathleen Kanavy, MA
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Rev. John Horn, DJ, DMin
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Rev. George Aschenbrenner, SJ, STD
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Kyle Korver, BA’03
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Sr. Maurita Soukup, RSM, RN, PHD
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Annemarie Shibata, BA’92
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement

Dan Semrad, BSBA’71, MA’09
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Mae C. Jemison, MD
Doctor of Humane Letters

Clarence L. Werner
Doctor of Business Administration, Honoris Causa

Paul E. Farmer, MD, PhD
Doctor of Humane Letters

Rev. James Martin, SJ bRev. James Martin, SJ
Doctor of Humane Letters

No Recipient

No Recipient

Mary Lou Quinlan
CEO, Just Ask a Woman

Suzanne Malveaux
News Anchor, Cable News Network (CNN) 

Rev. John P. Foley, S.J. - Doctor of Humane Letters
Executive Chairman, Cristo Rey Network

His Eminence Jaime Lucas Cardinal Ortega y Alamino - Doctor of Laws
Archbishop, Havana, Cuba

Constance "Connie" M. Ryan, Arts'75 - Doctor of Science, honoris causa
President, Streck, Inc.

Mary and Charles Heider, Doctor of Humane Letters

General Kevin P. Chilton (Dec.) - Doctor of Laws
Commander, United States Strategic Command

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas (Dec.) - Doctor of Humane Letters
Archbishop, Archdiocese of Omaha

Elizabeth Kish - Doctor of Humane Letters
Head of School, Marian High School

Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J. - Doctor of Social Science
Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries

Michael G. Fahey, BA’73 - Doctor of Laws
Mayor, City of Omaha

Wayne and Eileen Ryan (Dec.) - Doctor of Humane Letters
Streck, Inc.

Christopher J. Elias, BS'79, MD'83, M.P.H. - Doctor of Science, honoris causa
President and CEO, PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health)

Kenneth M. Bird - Doctor of Humane Letters
Superintendent, Westside Community Schools

John Gottschalk (Dec.) - Doctor of Humane Letters
Chairman, Omaha World-Herald Company

Bob Newhart- Doctor of Humane Letters

Rev. William F. O’Leary, S.J., MS’68 (Dec.) - Doctor of Humane Letters
Chair, Dept. of Education, Creighton Prep

President Lech Walęsa - Doctor of Law
Former President of Poland

Catherine L. Hughes - Doctor of Humane Letters
Chairman and Founder, RadioOne

The St. Louis Jesuits - Doctor of Music

Robert J. Dufford, S.J.
John B. Foley, S.J.
Robert F. O’Connor Jr., S.J.
Daniel L. Schutte

Timothy J. Russert - Doctor of Laws
Managing Editor and Moderator NBC’s Meet the Press

Mila Ann Aroskar, Ed.D. - Doctor of Science
Professor Emerita at the University of Minnesota

Tessie O. Edwards – Doctor of Humane Letters
Retired teacher, Creighton Prep

Rev. William J. Byron, S.J. - Doctor of Laws
Director of Creighton Center for Service and Justice

Rev. Leland Lubbers, S.J.(Dec.) - Doctor of Science
SCOLA Chief Global Strategist

Michael G. Morrison, S.J. - Doctor of Humane Letters
Past-president of Creighton University

John C. Kenefick - Doctor of Humane Letters
Retired President, Union Pacific Railroad

Jon Cortina, S.J. - Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Professor of Engineering, Univ. of Central America, San Salvador, El Salvador
Pastor, Founder and Director, Pro-Busqeda

None given in May or December

Louis Blumkin - Doctor of Humanities
President, Nebraska Furniture Mart

His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Ph.D., S.T.D. (Dec.) - Doctor of Laws
Archbishop of Chicago

Rabbi Myer S. Kripke. D.D. - Doctor of Humane Letters
Retired Rabbi, Beth El Synagogue

Charles E. Trimble - Doctor of Cultural Science
President, Charles Trimble Company

Robert M. Veatch, Ph.D. - Doctor of Humanities
Professor of Medical Ethics, Georgetown

Dennis A. O'Neal - Doctor of Humanities
Executive Vice President of First National Bank

Michael Johanns (Dec.) - Doctor of Public Affairs
Governor of Nebraska

Charles T. Hagel - Doctor of Laws
Nebraska State Senator

John C. Kenefick - Doctor of Humanities
Union Pacific Railroad

Rev. Fred Krammer, S.J. (Dec.) - Doctor of Humanitarian Service
President, Catholic Charities USA

John Mulhall - Doctor of Humanities
Mulhall's Nursery Inc.

Herman Cain (Dec.) - Doctor of Humanities
CEO National Restaurant Association

William M. Kizer - Doctor or Humanities
Central States Indemnity Co.

Christine Hixson (Dec.) - Doctor of Humanities
Lied Foundation

Charles "Mike" Harper - Doctor of Human Letters
CEO, R. J. Nabisco

Robert "Joe" Edmonson (Dec.) - Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Edmonson Youth Center

Louis "Chip" Davis - Doctor of Music
President, American Gramophone Records

Archbishop Elden F. Curtiss - Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Archbishop, Omaha Archdiocese

Ernest L. Boyer (Dec.) - Doctor of Human Letters
Carnegie Foundation

Presidential Citation

Presidential Citation

About the award: From time to time, the President of Creighton University recognizes special interest in and assistance to Creighton on the part of a friend, oftentimes a graduate, by designating that friend as a recipient of the "Presidential Citation," through conferral of a special plaque prepared for this purpose. For example, degreed alumni who have been productive in the Creighton undergraduate student recruitment effort may so be honored.

Closed Nominations.

Past recipients:

Rev. Fred Gray, JD

Joseph B. Wiederholt, Ph.D., BSPha'73
Professor of Pharmacy Administration

Harriet J. Koch
Military Personnel Technician

Karen Crawford, Staff Assistant
Omaha Public Schools Personnel Department

Irma Trumbauer
Creighton Food Service for 35 years
Presented and her retirement event

Joseph A. Devine, DDS
American Dental Association





Presidential Medallion

Presidential Medallion

About the award: From time to time, the President of Creighton University recognizes special interest in and assistance to Creighton on the part of a friend, oftentimes a graduate, by designating that friend as a recipient of the "Presidential Citation," through conferral of a special plaque prepared for this purpose. For example, decreed alumni who have been productive in the Creighton undergraduate student recruitment effort may so be honored.

Closed Nominations.

Past recipients:

Leo A Daly
Christopher J. Johnson, Managing Principal, Omaha Office
100th Anniversary

Lasting Hope Recovery Center
Sheree L. Keely, LCSW, Vice President Behavioral Services
10th Anniversary

Union Pacific Railroad
John J. Koraleski, M.B.A., President and Chief Executive Officer
150th Anniversary

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands
Ivan J. Gilreath, President and Chief Executive Officer
50th Anniversary

Rajmohan Gandhi
Engaged in efforts to forge trust, reconciliation and democracy among all people and in battles waged against corruption and inequality

The Cardiac Center of Creighton University
50th Anniversary

Omaha Survivors of the Holocaust
Beatrice Karp, Survivor
Resiliency of the human spirit

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest Community
Norita Cooney, R.S.M.
Commitment to the care and healing of the sick, for their dedication to preparing the nurses of tomorrow, and for their pursuit of a partnership that enhanced the education of nursing students

Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council
Lloyd E. Roitstein
100th Anniversary

Madonna School
Jay Dunlap
50th Anniversary

Mutual of Omaha
Daniel P. Neary
100th Anniversary

St. Augustine Indian Mission
Fr. David Korth
100th Anniversary

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Lee G. Simmons, D.V.M., HON'93
40th Anniversary

Missionary Society of St. Columban
Rev. Arturo Aguilar, S.S.C.
90th Anniversary

Opera Omaha
John Wehrle
50th Anniversary

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
Rev. Peter J. Pappas
100th Anniversary

First National Bank
Bruce R. Lauritzen
150th Anniversary

Holy Name Housing Corporation
Sister Marilyn Ross, R.S.M.
For their enduring commitment to our city, for giving people a chance and an opportunity for pride, and for their generosity of spirit for more than a quarter of a century

Saint Cecilia Cathedral
Archbishop Elden F. Curtiss and Fr. Michael F. Gutgsell
100th Anniversary

St. Cecilia Cathedral Elementary School
Bonnie Pryor, Principal and Fr. Michael F. Gutgsell, Pastor
100th Anniversary

Joslyn Art Museum
J. Brooks Joyner, Director
75th Anniversary

Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey & School
Abbot Emeritus Raphael Walsh, O.S.B., President
25th Anniversary

Mercy High School
Sister Johanna Burnell, R.S.M.
50th Anniversary

Mexican Consulate Office
Jose Luis Cuevas H., Consul of Mexico
5th Anniversary

Marian High School
Sister Virginia Silvestri, O.S.M., Sponsor of Marian High School
50th Anniversary

Omaha World-Herald
John Gottschalk, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
120th Anniversary


Creighton Preparatory School
Rev. Thomas J. Merkel, S.J., President
125th Anniversary

Notre Dame Sisters - Omaha Province
Sister Margaret Hickey, N.D., Provincial President
150th Anniversary

Nebraska Public Television
Mr. Rod Bates, General Manager
50th Anniversary

The City of Omaha
The Honorable Mike Fahey, Mayor of Omaha
150th Anniversary

National Conference for Community and Justice Midlands Region
Barbara M. Angelillo, Executive Director
Dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism and to promoting understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures.

Poor Clare Sisters
Sister Mary Clare Brown, O.S.C., Abbess
125th Anniversary

Urban League of Nebraska
James A. Swoopes, Chairman, Board of Directors
75th Anniversary

Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart
Sheila K. Haggas, President
120th Anniversary

Knights of Columbus Father Flanagan of Boys Town Council, 652
Tom Schmitz, BA'71, Grand Knight
100th Anniversary

The Omaha Star
Marguerita Washington, Ph.D., Publisher and Editor
65th Anniversary

Omaha Public Library
Dr. Ronald R. Heezen, Director
125th Anniversary

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Rev. Mr. Joseph Ramirez, Deacon
Recognition of his lifetime of service to the diaconate, the Church and to the people of Omaha

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha
Scott L. Adams, Ph.D., Executive Director
75th Anniversary

The Omaha Symphony
Fred Bronstein, D.M.A., President and Chief Executive Director
80th Anniversary

Magis Award

Magis Award

About the award: Creighton University, a Jesuit, Catholic institution, aspires not only to educate, but to be a crafter of society, always seeking to create a more just and peaceful world. We are inspired by Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, to consider and choose the greater good in our thoughts and deeds, so that we come to a greater love of God and others. This process is the essence of the term magis, literally, "the more." It is equated with generosity, magnanimity and selflessness.

Past recipients:

Creighton Volunteers for Haiti Relief (May 2010 Commencement)
Creighton's effort to help the people of Haiti following the 2010 earthquake

Community Volunteers
Omaha Fire and Rescue Department
Emergency Responders
Omaha Police Department
Creighton University Medical Center Trauma Team
Heroic actions of the fist responders to the tragic Von Maur shooting in 2007 (December 2007 Commencement)

Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan Award

Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan Award

About the award: The Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan award is named for the late Fr. Sheehan, who served as archbishop of Omaha from 1969 to 1993. It is presented annually at the Priests and Brothers Dinner event to recognize a priest or brother assigned to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha, or to one of the adjacent diocese: Lincoln, Grand Island, Sioux City or Des Moines. The recipient should manifest qualities of his personal life that would mark him as cultured, and a person of high moral principal and they should be distinguished for service to society, the Church and to education. This award was formerly known as the Presidential Citation. It was renamed the Archbishop Sheehan Award in 2001.

Past recipients:

Anthony Michael Milone

Rev. Gary Lee Ostrander
St. Patrick Parish
Elkhorn, NE

Rev. Joseph A. Miksch
Pastor, St. Isidore Parish
Columbus, NE

Rev. Michael W. Grewe
Pastor, St. Patrick Parish
Gretna, NE

Rev. David M. Korth
Pastor, St. Augustine Parish
Winnebago, NE

Rev. Donald W. Shane
Pastor, St. Robert Bellarmine Parish

Rev. James R. Golka
Pastor, St. Patrick’s Church
North Platte, NE

Rev. James E. Keiter, Assumption Parish
President, Saint Peter Claver Cristo Rey High School
President, Assumption–Guadalupe Grade School

Rev. Thomas M. Fangman
Sacred Heart Parish

Rev. Msgr. James Raymond Cain
Archdiocese of Omaha

Rev. Thomas A. Greisen
Archdiocese of Omaha, Office of Lay Ministry Formation

Msgr. Edgar J. Wortmann
Blessed Sacrament Parish

The Redemptorists of Holy Name Parish

Rev. Daniel John Kampschneider
Pastor, St. Philip Neri

Rev. Damien Zuerlien
Pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe and
St. Agnes Catholic Church

Rev. Steven E. Boes
Pastor, St. Augustine Parish
St. Augustine Indian Mission

Rev. James V. Kramper
Pastor, Sacred Heart, Emerson, Neb.

2000 *
Rev. Msgr. Edward Ryan Patrick Kelly
Council Bluffs, IA

1998 *
Fr. Liam M. Barr, Pastor
Sts. Mary & Joseph Church
Valparaiso, NE

1997 *
Rev. Anthony Tresnak
Retired pastor
Archdiocese of Omaha

1996 *
Msgr. Charles F. Broderson, Retired pastor
St. Stanislav – Omaha
St. Joseph Center for Mental Health

1995 *
Rev. James P. Scholz, Pastor
Sacred Heart
Omaha, NE

1994 *
Bro. William J. Woeger
St. Cecilia’s Cathedral
Omaha, NE

1993 *
Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan
Archbishop, Omaha Archdiocese

1992 *
Rt. Rev. Raphael E. Walsh, Former Abbot
Mt. Michael Benedictine High School
Omaha, NE

1991 *
Rev. Lawrence J. Dorsey, Co-Pastor
St. Gerald’s Church
Ralston, NE

1990 *
Rev. Thomas F. O’Brien, Pastor
St. Pius X Church
Omaha, NE

1990 *
Msgr. Russell M. Bleich, Pastor
St. Edward Rectory
Waterloo, NE
(Presented at Alumni Club event)

1989 *
Rev. Peter F. Dunne, Pastor
St. Margaret Mary’s
Omaha, NE

1988 *
Rev. James E. Gilg, Director and Principal
Fr. Flanagan High School
Omaha, NE

1987 *
Rev. R. Patrick McCaslin, Director of the Omaha
Archdiocese Diaconate Program
Pastor, St. Leo’s Parish
Omaha, NE

1986 *
Rev. Dennis A. Hanneman, Director of Religious Education
Archdiocese of Omaha

1985 *
Rev. James F. Schwertley, Pastor
St. John’s Church
Fort Calhoun, NE

1984 *
Rev. Frank L. Hoelck, Pastor
St. Patrick’s Parish
Sidney, NE

1984 *
Rev. Valentine Peter, Deputy Director of Youth Care
Omaha, NE

1983 *
Nicholas A. Nittler, O.S.B., Dean of Students
Mt. Michael Benedictine High School
Omaha, NE

1982 *
Rev. Aloysius Joseph McMahon, Pastor
Saint Frances Cabrini
Omaha, NE

1981 *
Rev. Msg. James K. Lafferty, Superintendent of Education
Diocese of Sioux City, IA

 * This award was issued as a Presidential Citation from 1981 to 2000

Manresa Medal

Manresa Medal

About the award: The Manresa Medal is symbolic of Creighton University's Jesuit heritage. In 1522, Basque nobleman Ignatius of Loyola spent nearly a year in solitude and prayer in the Spanish village of Manresa, exploring the meaning of his own life. Out of this experience came the inspiration for the founding of the Society of Jesus -- the Jesuits. Creighton's Manresa Medal is presented to those individuals who, like Ignatius, demonstrate inspirational leadership while overcoming obstacles to enduring achievement.

Closed Nominations.

Past recipients:

Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr.

Robert Daugherty

V.J. Skutt

Philip M. Klutznick

Peter Kiewit

Leo A. Daly