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October 20, 2023, Adrian, Michigan – Sister Beth Butler, OP, was named an Honorary Alum of Siena Heights University in recognition of her positive influence on criminal justice students 40 years ago. She received the award during the October 13, 2023, Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony at Rueckert Auditorium. The awards program was part of Siena Heights University’s Homecoming weekend, October 13-15, 2023.
Alumni, students and staff of Siena Heights University, and friends and family of the honorees were welcomed by Andy Switzer ’13, President of the Alumni Board, and by Douglas Palmer, PhD, President of Siena Heights University.
“Today, we’re here about honoring those who have come before – welcoming our wonderful alumni who have represented Siena Heights University and are doing so well,” Dr. Palmer said. “We are thankful to have people like you who continue to demonstrate the values of a Siena Heights education. What you offer to the world is invaluable.”
In introducing Sister Beth, Sister Sharon Weber, OP, PhD, noted that Sister Beth was chosen as an Honorary Alum because she is “an inspirational model who made a difference for Siena Heights by demonstrating exceptional commitment to it and support for the mission and the spirit of the university.”
Sister Beth began her years of study at Siena Heights but graduated from Barry University and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice at Michigan State University. In her master’s work, she traveled to Europe to compare the criminal justice systems in the United States with those in other countries.
Sister Sharon said Sister Beth was “instrumental in the formative years of the Criminal Justice programs at both Siena Heights and Barry universities,” both sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She was a criminal justice professor at Siena Heights in the 1980s, serving as a mentor to her students.
Through the years, Sister Beth also ministered in the criminal justice system, teaching prison inmates in Michigan and California and serving as a probation officer, chaplain of the Miami Police Department, and supervisor for public safety and security at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California.
Sister Beth Butler, OP, displays the Honorary Alumni Award with Douglas Palmer, PhD, President of Siena Heights University.
Photo by Laura Harvey, courtesy of Siena Heights University
But Sister Beth was especially honored for her influence on her criminal justice students, who nominated her for the award. “As they looked back 40 years, they remembered that her honest questions about how they were doing in and out of the classroom played an integral part in their growth,” Sister Sharon said. “She always showed up for them and still does, offering friendship and support in many circumstances.” At the same time, Sister Beth had high expectations, requiring “hard work and perseverance on their part.”
Sister Sharon noted the continuing effect of Sister Beth’s influence over the years as her students carried forward the same qualities of care and dedication in their own work – “work that has influenced the criminal justice system where they have served at all levels…. Her influence has been widespread.”
Upon accepting the award, Sister Beth said it was an honor.
“What you have done is outstanding,” Sister Beth told her students. “You have not only worked in every field in the criminal justice system … you have been in all institutions: federal, state, county. You have become managers, directors, supervisors, chiefs.
“Your success is because you have been standing on the shoulders of many professors, Dominican Sisters, family, and friends who have influenced you in the past,” Sister Beth said. “I’m very proud of your accomplishments, and our alumni family shares this pride with me.”
The Honorary Alumni Award recognizes non-graduates of Siena Heights who “demonstrate exceptional commitment to and support for the mission and spirit of the University.” They are also “inspirational role models who have made a significant difference for Siena Heights by sharing themselves through generous and sustained gifts of time, talent, and/or treasure.”
Also recognized during the Distinguished Alumni Awards were:
Feature image caption: Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are, from left, Douglas Small ’82, Outstanding Alumni Award; Sister Beth Butler, OP, Honorary Alumni Award; and Tammy R. McCrory ’12, Recent Graduate Award. Not pictured is Jeremy J. Romer ’08, recipient of the Sister Ann Joachim Award.
Photo by Laura Harvey, courtesy of Siena Heights University
June 26, 2023, Baltimore, Maryland – The Adrian Dominican Sisters and Barry University – a Miami, Florida-based university founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters – recently received awards from the Catholic Media Association (CMA).
The Adrian Dominican Sisters received first place in the Best Annual Report for a Catholic Nonprofit Organization category for the 2021-2022 Annual Report, Awakening to the World Around Us. The award was announced during the closing banquet at the Catholic Media Association’s (CMA) 2023 conference, held June 6-9, 2023, in Baltimore, Maryland.
The title of the 2021-2022 is taken from the Prayer for General Chapter 2022, written by Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress at the time, asking God to awaken the Sisters and Associates to love. The annual report details the various ways that Sisters, Associates, Co-workers, and Benefactors have responded to the needs of the wounded world with awakened love.
Judges noted that the annual report “goes beyond the balance sheet to showcase interesting tidbits, easy-to-read articles, and quotes from those involved in the efforts,” and particularly appreciated the explanation on the back cover of the symbols on the front cover.
Co-workers in the Development and Communications Offices collaborated on the 2021-2022 annual report. Development Co-workers are Amy Palmer, Director; Laura Brosamer; Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP; Tracy Schultz; and Sarah Veres. Members of the Communications team at the time of the annual report’s production were Angie Kessler, Director; Ashley Concord; Ashley Duke; Sister Barbara Kelley, OP; Jakob Smith; and Sheila Wathen.
Students working at Barry University’s magazine, The Barry Buccaneer, received the Student Journalism Awards for Writer of the Year (first place), Best Article on Social Justice (third place), Best Creative Writing (first place), Best Front Page (second place), Best Use of Graphics with an Article (first, second, and third place), Best Single Photo (second place), and Best Story and Photo Package by an Individual (first place).
Formerly known as the Catholic Press Association, the CMA is an association of U.S. and Canadian newspaper and media specialists who report on issues and news involving the Catholic Church and Catholic organizations.