2009 Ignatius Award Recipients

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.

ST. IGNATIUS

The award was presented
at the Founder's Week Mass on
February 8, 2009 at St. John's Church.

Rick Davis

Office of Marketing and Public Relations

Ignatian Award Citation

A spirit of “simple contemplation” resulting in gracious and personal presence resides in Rick Davis. From this quiet reservoir flows his generous and caring service to the Creighton Family as a partner in the Public Relations Office. His activities on and off campus are many as he relates with the public in communicating the spirit, essence and activities of our university’s mission.  

“In an often demanding work environment, Rick meets challenges with humor and grace and competence and seeks to build community with his co-workers. His spirit creates confidence in those around him and encourages their own creativity. Because of his sincere excitement about his work and our mission, when Rick asks someone to write a column for a Creighton publication, it is impossible to turn him down. 

He and his wife both really do need a simple contemplative spirit having a family of five children including the two young brothers they have adopted recently from Poland. As one colleague puts it, “Rick is my idea of a person with and for others.” “When Rick’s work-day ends he takes on a whole other life as parent, husband, church-member, neighbor and friend to many.  We who share in his spirit share as well in his peaceful acceptance of the good in others as he walks with Christ in all he does.   

His department-members say that it is an honor to work with this man of sensitive humor. “Each day I appreciate his kindness, patience sense of humor, innate goodness and his joy in what life can bring.” We’re just glad to know and work along side this die-hard Blue Jay fan and we feel privileged to work with him and count him as a friend.”  He is a friend of our Ignatian mission whom we are grateful to recognize with this St. Ignatius Award. 

Dr. Ken Keefner

School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

Ignatian Award Citation

Ken Keefner does not have a job here at Creighton, but a personal mission.  As one nominator writes, “Dr. Keefner is always willing to assist a student who is struggling academically or personally and to give that student a chance to do better or to right a wrong. He has often voiced his belief that students should be provided the opportunity to benefit from their mistakes and not be punished without any hope of redeeming themselves.”    

Another speaks of his faith in action:  Quote “Regularly, Dr. Keefner prays for the students at Creighton. He tells them he is doing so, reminding them gently that God is present and involved in their everyday lives.” And yet another: “Ken stresses the importance of instilling in our students that we are all part of a larger community created and loved by one God, and designed to be men and women serving others.”

Ken’s life is a liturgical series of serving. He is a distributor of the Eucharistic Bread at his parish and each Wednesday evening collects Panera bread that he distributes the next morning to the St. Vincent House. He has been involved in Habitat for Humanity, because -–as he would say with characteristic simplicity -- he feels called and sent to do good works. He is dedicated to living his spiritual life and is willing to share it with everyone. He lives the words of St. Francis, “Proclaim the Gospel of Christ to everyone; use words if you must."

The spirit of Ignatius involves a sense of one’s being known and loved intimately by God. This intimacy results in an abiding sense of gratitude for Dr. Ken Keefner.  This grace of gratitude plays out in his gracious interactions with other people.  In a hundred ways, Ken enters the hearts and minds of the students, faculty and staff. This is for him a wonderful way to honor his God. We honor that same God by honoring him with the Spirit of St. Ignatius Award.

Kate Mahern

School of Law

Ignatian Award Citation

Personality can be described as “an unbroken succession of successful gestures.” Kate Mahern redescribes personality with the succession of gestures which are all successful, because of the intensity of mind and heart that motivate her and inspire others. Kate has been the Director of the Milton R. Abraham’s Legal Clinic within the Creighton School of Law since 1992. More than her level-headed, clear-thinking approach to teaching is her passion. As one nominator writes, “The way she gets angry when a poor person is harmed by the system, the way she gets excited when a student wins a case in court for an indigent client who otherwise would have lost certain rights and privileges, the way she becomes supportive when a friend becomes ill or harmed.”  All these and more mark her success and reflect Kate’s personality.

Some landlords and fly-by-night credit-loan outfits don’t like her and some attorneys who represent large housing units don’t like her, but her students love her as a model and more, as a friend.                                                                                                                                                            

Kate is a woman of faith-strength. She walks the walk and if you would follow her walking you would become tired as she teaches, visits sick friends, and helps a client move his belongings, because he is being evicted. All this and more while she is raising two young men to be persons of conscience themselves.

If one characteristic of the Ignatian Spirit is being with and for others, then Kate is the “real deal”. Her belief that all life is sacred, that all life is a mystery and that she belongs to this mystery in its brokenness then Kate has dedicated her days in attempting to serve life’s fractions. It is Kate’s great gift to teach everyone she comes in contact with what service is really about. We thank God for the gift of Kate Mahern and celebrate her with this-years St. Ignatius Award.