2021 O'Keefe Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award Recipient: Class of 1970 Reunion Planning Committee

A unique reunion year has called for a truly unique Ruth McGrath O’Keefe ’35 Outstanding Volunteer Award winner: the Class of 1970 Reunion Planning Committee. The committee consists of eight classmates: Karen Hausing Brown, Diane Miller Daly, Brigitte Hillier DePue, Maryalice Maloney Dewbray, Mary Hayes, Margaret Enright Molenda, Mimi Gorak Murray, and Jean Rasmussen. With the reunion planning efforts beginning in late 2019, these dutiful volunteers have met the challenges of 2020 with grace, humility, and humor, all while working hard to engage their classmates. Their efforts have not only been felt by their classmates at this fabulous reunion, but will be felt by generations of alums to come through their incredible gift of scholarship. The Class of 1970 Scholarship Fund is the largest fundraising effort by any 50th Reunion Class. Here are the incredible alumnae whose hard work has brought their class together:

Karen Hausing Brown, EdD
Karen served Catholic high schools in the Chicago area for 44 years as an English teacher and administrator. Her doctoral dissertation researched college readiness for writing, and her memoir of traveling in the West since 1960 is a current Amazon publication. She and her husband Bob are a “pair o’ docs” enjoying their retirement in Mesa, Arizona.

Diane Miller Daly
Diane married Greg Daly in 1973 and has lived in River Forest since 1982. They have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. Diane taught for many years, and has had her business, Calligraphy by Diane Daly, for 30 years.

Brigitte Hillier DePue
Brigitte majored in mathematics and minored in German and spent 32 years in education. She enjoys her summers in Michigan, and spending time with her nine grandchildren. Her Catholic faith givers her strength to face whatever life throws her way. 

Maryalice Maloney Dewbray
Maryalice has been married to her husband Mike for 51 years and lives in Darien, a southwest suburb of Chicago. They have four children and ten grandchildren, who all live in the Chicago area. Maryalice retired after teaching for twenty-five years in a Catholic grammar school, and is a lector and Eucharistic Minister at their parish.

Mary Hayes
Mary is adjusting to having retirement and COVID happen at the same time, after a long stint at being a pediatric dentist in her Chicago practice. While missing her patients, she is happy to have moved to Lakeside, Michigan where her actual garden is now tended. With vaccine progress she is excited to travel again and for reunion to jumpstart plans!

Margaret Enright Molenda
Margaret has spent her life devoted to her family and students, and married her husband while at Rosary. Together they have three children and nine grandchildren, and she now lives in Michigan helping her son raise his six children. She enjoys many forms of art including watercolor and acrylic.

Mimi Gorak Murray
Mimi met Mike, her husband of 51 years, at the first mixer in her freshman year at Rosary. After his 26 year career in the Navy, they settled in San Diego where Mimi had a career in higher education (administration and on faculty) at Chapman University and Brandman University. An active volunteer both locally and nationally for over 40 years, Mimi currently serves on several non-profit board committees. “Find your fit and make a difference.”

Jean Rasmussen
Jean has been an English language arts educator for grades six through 12 for the better part of these 51 years, also working as resource teacher for her colleagues, supporting their work as reading teachers across content areas. Jean also received a graduate teaching fellowship from the University of Iowa where she taught and supervised ELA teacher candidates. Along with being a founding member of the South Suburban Action Conference and a past chairperson of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Jean finds great joy in traveling and spending time with her adult children, son-in-law and three grandchildren.

Previous Recipients of the O'Keefe Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award

2019: Susan Kreuz McCoyd ’69
2018: Carol Anderson Kunze ’68, Marilyn Freehill Jancewicz ’68
2017: Mary Boyle Callow ’67
2015: Cheryl Skender ’80
2013: Susan Flynn ’63
2012: Dorothy Ann Shields De Spain ’52
2011: Anna Marie Garippo Sciaraffa ’49
2010: Sr. Kaye Ashe, OP ’52
2009: Anne and Hugh McElwain
2008: Sherry S. Treston ’72
2007: Kathleen Prunty ’94, MBA ’97
2006: M. Catherine Crowley Ryan ’61
2005: Ann Therese Gorman ’50
2004: Henry W. Wiggins, Jr., MD 
2003: Jean Burke Foran ’47
2002: Carolyn Haddad Lang
2001: Victor Romano, MD, Allan Santos, MBA ’91
2000: Ruth McGrath O’Keefe ’35, Eileen Gomolinski Priest ’68
1998: Mary Swanson Koch ’42
1997: Laura M. Nozicka ’92
1996: Maureen Hayes Philips ’88, Karen Rezabek ’75

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The O'Keefe Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Awardnamed for Ruth McGrath O’Keefe ’35, is presented to a dedicated alumna/us for her/his life-long advocacy of Dominican University. It is awarded at Alumnae/i Weekend.

To nominate an alumna/us for the O'Keefe Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award, click the following Nomination form and select “O'Keefe Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award” in the drop-down menu.

Supplemental materials that cannot be uploaded may be mailed to Office of Alumnae/i Relations, Dominican University, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest, IL 60305. You can also fax supplemental materials to (708) 366-4197.

Please email the Office of Alumnae/i Relations at alumni@dom.edu (link sends e-mail) or call (708) 524-6286 with any questions regarding award nominations.