2007 Ignatius Award Recipient
Saint Ignatius Award Photo
The inscription on the reverse of the medallion reads:
TAKE, LORD, AND RECEIVE ALL MY
LIBERTY, MY MEMORY, MY
UNDERSTANDING AND MY ENTIRE
WILL. ALL THAT I HAVE AND POSSESS,
YOU HAVE GIVEN ME TO YOU, O LORD,
I RETURN IT. ALL IS YOURS, DISPOSE OF IT
WHOLLY ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL. GIVE ME
YOUR LOVE AND YOUR GRACE, FOR THIS IS
SUFFICIENT FOR ME.
The award was presented
at the Founder's Week Mass on
February 11, 2007 in St. John's Church.
Bette Novit Evans
Department of Political Science & International Studies
Ignatian Award Citation
Scholarship is a passion; teaching is a profession; combining these with her spirit of compassion is the personal mission of Dr. Bette Novit Evans, which she has exercised here at Creighton for thirty years.
Bette calls teaching an act of faith: faith in the search for truth, in the power of great ideas to transform persons, in the political process. With tremendous respect for the complexity of law and how legal judgments often push society forward, she teaches her students about the power of law to broaden our vision of what is human and fair.
Bette's thirst for justice extends well beyond the classroom. Her keen sense of the plight of the outsider has led her to membership in organizations such as the National Urban League and the Southern Poverty Center. She is watchful for those who are excluded or silenced, and she has the preferential option for the poor in her bones.
Bette's actions reflect her deep faith. She has served on both the Jewish Federation Adult Education Committee, and on the Committee on Education of Temple Israel. As a longtime member of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue group, Bette is always more interested in finding out what other people believe than in rehearsing her own beliefs to others.
Her service on campus is equally extensive and selfless. She has served on the Executive Board of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society from its inception. She works annually with the Klutznick Symposium, and she has sponsored meetings for the Arts and Sciences Women Faculty. She is widely regarded as a friend, mentor, and revered colleague. Her humility is matched by her genuine intellectual curiosity and desire to learn more about her neighbors and colleagues.
In a word, Bette carries her learning and expertise lightly, rather always preferring to invite others into dialogue. Like St. Ignatius but in her own quiet, unassuming way, Bette is always seeking the "more." The "more" for Bette is at the center of her warm and enthusiastic availability. Her eagerness for personal interaction is the very spirit of Ignatius, which is her graceful way.
Ignatian Award Citation
"When walking into the Boyne Building one morning, I asked a campus delivery person how it was going. Rather than a typical 'good,' 'fine,' or some other benign response, she stated with strong and sincere emphasis, 'I'm living the dream and making someone's day with every package I deliver!'"
Dean Steven Friedrichsen of Creighton's School of Dentistry shared this anecdote about a well-known person on campus whose real name few people know. She sometimes goes by the title "Mail Lady," though she does not deliver the mail. She works for Central Receiving, where all Creighton purchases and packages are delivered. Her official job is distributing those boxes and packages to their proper office and person.
She does her official job with loyalty, dedication and care, but her real
impact on others is a packaged blessing. Her colleagues in Facilities Management enjoy her presence and spirit, and celebrate her exuberance as they send her out on her daily rounds.
While delivering parcels, she delivers a spirit of sensitive care. When she asks a person how he or she is, she waits for an honest answer. She remembers what people reveal to her and returns to them days later with words of concern. As with most packages, she wraps herself in business, but the real delivery is her warmth, directness, and humble honesty.
She has a wonderful care for the students on campus as well. When help is needed, she offers rides to the airport and pitches in as the students move in and out of the residence halls. While others on campus may reach the students with inspiring words of historical role models, she is there in the flesh, walking the walk and providing a living, humble example, always with a smile.
Her work is her work; her kind personal concern for others is her mission. It is this spirit of quiet, and sometimes not so quiet, dedication to caring for others which we recognize by giving the "Mail Lady," Beth Grammes, the St. Ignatius Award.