2010 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.
The award was presented
at the Founder's Week Mass on
February 7, 2010 at St. John's Church.
Maria Teresa Gaston
Creighton Center for Service and Justice
Ignatian Award Citation
"Maria Teresa Gaston is as Ignatian as any Jesuit we have known,” one person writes. Another offered, “She lives the life that does justice, practices the Spiritual Exercises, and is involved in helping students, coworkers, friends and community members who are discerning “big decisions” in life’s paths."
Other comments continue: “Perhaps the most Ignatian thing Maria Teresa does is bake bread, offer hospitality and build community from her family outward.” And “She truly finds God in all things.” And "There is always room in her home for one more person to eat or sleep there.”
She had the wisdom to marry a kind and gentle man, John, who is equally committed to hospitality, faith and justice. Together with their three sons, Philipe, Martin and Luke they extend the family experience beyond their own comfort zone. Maria Teresa often goes out of her office, where she is Director of the Creighton Center for Service and Justice, to do such things as meet with workers in meat-packing plants; she recently represented North American Jesuits at a conference on Lay Collaboration. She has been a regular at the Ignatian Teach-ins at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Her goings out bring local, national and international interests and involvements back with her for our students to feel and taste. Yes, she does love baking bread to share, but she spends much more time cooking up nourishing dishes of social involvement for so many of our Creighton students. She prepares an extended table for students to share in the pains, fears, poverty, alienation and unentitlement, in the lives of sisters and brothers they had not yet met.
Through her strong sense of Social Justice, the boundaries of our campus have become the boundaries of our city, state, country and the world. With her intense passion for life she inspires others to reach out, not just to give to, but more importantly, to receive from, those who live less comfortably on the edge.
Maria Teresa Gaston is not exactly a quiet voice for the voiceless, nor a casual observer of the needs around us and the needs of our students to hear the cries of the poor. She is a woman of faith who preaches the Gospel of Jesus quietly and sometimes challengingly loud. She is a true gift from God to our Christian Creighton mission. We give thanks to God this day for the gift of Maria Teresa Gaston, a woman of the spirit of St. Ignatius.
Ignatian Award Citation
Creighton is the “Alma Mater” for thousands of its graduates. The Latin words mean “Nurturing mother.” We honor and give thanks to God for a “nurturing mother” alive and loving in our midst. Tanya Winegard is Assistant Vice President of Student Services for Student Life. She is an example of a working mother involved in her family with husband Mike and sons Gabriel and Noah, her parish, and the community of students at Creighton.
The word “safety” characterizes Tanya’s motherly care as she labors tirelessly to educate our students from hurting themselves and toward profiting from their poor choices. Tanya, in a spirit of dedication beyond a job-description, often deals with the not-so-pretty side of student life. She was instrumental in establishing The Center for Student Integrity which deals with assisting students who stand in need of growing into responsible young men and women, because they have violated our codes of conduct and our spirit of caring for others. Her care for them is firm yet positive. Often Tanya has to return to campus at all hours of the night to incarnate Creighton’s personal care for students who have injured themselves through the misuse of alcohol.
“Tanya Winegard puts her students before herself just as a mother does for her children” one co-worker writes. And another: "While some would say this is all part of her job, the way and the spirit with which she provides these services are unique, because of her empathy and her ability to make the students feel that they are her top priority as children of God.”
The James R. Russell Child Development Center and the All University Committee on the Status of Women are two special areas where her compassion and special sense for safety flourish.
Recipients of this award represent all those who quietly work in the Creighton Community sharing the values which are most important for a Jesuit school. We here are particularly blessed to have a woman like Tanya Winegard. In often tough circumstances she maintains the values we know are vital to mentoring the young people entrusted to us.
Tanya deals with issues of abuse, personal or family injuries, and untimely deaths of students. In all this, she puts aside her personal emotions for the well-being of those involved. She becomes the “calm in the storm.” Her total commitment to Creighton is matched only by her endless energy and positive attitude.
It is not easy to walk down the mall with Tanya, especially if one is in a hurry. Every ten feet she is stopped by a student or faculty member who is glad to see her and glad to share the need for her care and insights. She seems not to take time off from her responsibilities for the well-being of our most precious commodity here at Creighton, our students and mission companions. She does what she can to make sure that those teachable moments are cherished by those truly seeking their growth. Creighton parents would be pleased to know that their daughters and sons are left in the hands of such persons as Tanya. She lives the Ignatian spirit every day as a woman for others striving to reflect God’s goodness in what she does. We give thanks to God this day for such a gift as Tanya Winegard.