By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Since 2006 St. Ambrose University has honored those who “embody our mission of enriching lives,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of the university. On Dec. 6 the university honored Jim and Karen Collins and Msgr. John Hyland with the annual McMullen Award for their commitment to St. Ambrose.
Bishop Martin Amos presented the awards during the Second Sunday of Advent Mass in Christ the King Chapel on campus. The Mass also commemorated the (Dec. 7) feast day of Saint Ambrose, the university’s patron saint.
Jim Collins “has held many titles in relation to St. Ambrose including student, alumnus, board of trustee member and now trustee emeritus. Together with his wife, Karen, he has added a new title: catalyst at St. Ambrose,” Sr. Lescinski said. The couple’s drive and passion for diversity has resulted in numerous changes that have bettered the campus and local community.
The Collins spearheaded a fundraising effort to provide minority students with scholarship opportunities at St. Ambrose. They have encouraged “countless alumni and community members who are also committed to enhancing the diversity efforts on campus,” Sr. Lescinski noted. “Their passion to do whatever they can to help others makes them shining examples of Ambrosians.”
In recognizing the other honoree, Sr. Lescinski noted: “Whenever something has been important to St. Ambrose University, it has been important to Msgr. Hyland. As a member of the university’s board of trustees, he’s been involved in many decisions that have shaped the future of his alma mater. Whether it’s been a capital project or a new academic program, he has been there to support the effort with careful consideration, volunteer time and resources. Msgr. Hyland exemplifies a servant leader. His dedication to the university helps us fulfill our mission and achieve our vision.”
Following the presentations and Mass, a reception was held in the gathering space.
Jim Collins said he was surprised and honored and “I remain committed to service. Karen and I have reached out to those who showed us love and support to our family and we are paying it forward.”
Msgr. Hyland said it was a nice surprise to receive the honor. He had many family members attend, including “a lot from the chancery — my second family.”
When he officially retires from all positions in 2016, Msgr. Hyland still plans to be involved at St. Ambrose.