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Omahan Michael Galeski receives prestigious Spirit of Creighton Award during University’s commencement ceremony

A Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences graduate was honored with the University’s highest student honor during the virtual commencement exercises Saturday, May 16, 2020.

The Spirit of Creighton Award is conferred upon students who embody the spirit of Creighton’s founders. Awarded annually since 1949, the award honors undergraduate, graduate and professional students for their initiative, enterprise, academic achievement and outstanding character traits.

Michael GaleskiMichael Galeski, an Omaha native who graduated with honors with a major in sustainability studies and minors in business administration and African studies, was one of 15 finalists for the prestigious and highly competitive Rhodes Scholarship.

Galeski’s passions are wide-ranging and very successful.

His sophomore year, he studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and taught math at a local grade school. Seeing a need for better nutrition among his students, he helped revitalize an urban garden at the school – and even helped drill a well for water. That experience left a lasting impression.

Galeski established the Omaha chapter of Pencils of Promise, a global nonprofit organization that builds schools in developing countries. He traveled to Laos in November 2018 to learn more about the group’s efforts to build schools in that country’s rural areas. He returned home even more committed in his desire to help provide education to young students around the globe.

Last summer, Galeski appeared on TV’s “American Ninja Warrior” – competing in the Oklahoma City regional and raising money and awareness for Pencils of Promise.

Galeski also cares deeply, passionately, and intellectually about environmental issues directly related to the effects of climate change. He emerged as a leader among his Creighton peers, working collaboratively, thoughtfully, and strategically to champion divestment initiatives and other institutional and individual responsibilities that showcase care and concern for our common home.


Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.

A Jesuit, Catholic University since 1878

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