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2018 Alumni Award Recipients

12/28/2018 9:40 am

Golden Grads: Class of 1968

2018 Alumni Award Recipients

Dec 28, 2018 | Catalyst

Awards of Distinction

Courtney Geiger ’02. Courtney is an active and visible community member in Rockford who for more than 11 years has served on the leadership team at Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois as Director of Mission Services. Beyond her role with Goodwill, Courtney is deeply involved in programs and volunteers her time for a wide variety of area non-profits. Her passions include community outreach efforts that help to alleviate poverty, develop and foster area youth, and improve financial literacy, just to name a few. Through both her role at Goodwill and her tireless dedication to the community she loves, including serving on the University’s Alumni Association Board, Courtney has distinguished herself as a compassionate leader and caring advocate in all that she does.

Kathy Hackwith Groth ’72. Kathy wrote the original federal grant that created the Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. Her vision back in the late 1970s to minimize food waste was to eventually have a fleet of trucks, a large warehouse, and the resources to make sure food wasn’t wasted and hungry people were fed became a reality. She continues to distribute leftover food from smaller food banks in her Volvo every week. Today, Colorado’s largest human services nonprofit, provides more than 134,000 meals a day to people in need.

Brooke Larson-Moore ’01. As a manager of Global Regulatory Affairs, Marketed Products at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Brooke is responsible for oversight of global regulatory maintenance activities for a portfolio comprised of over 3,000 unique licenses in more than 100 countries, including Japan, Europe, and Latin America. She was named an Access to Medicines Fellow to Haiti, 2017.  Brooke is a rare blend of talents and skills — a skilled scientist and leader in her field, as well as an avid volunteer and activist for multiple causes.


Talcott Cross Award

Susan Wheeler-Johnston, Ph.D., ’07 L.H.D. Dr. Susan Wheeler-Johnston started at Rockford College as a faculty member in the Department of English. During her tenure, she served as the Department Chair of English, Associate Dean, advisor for several student clubs and was the Associate Dean of Regents College. Dr. Wheeler-Johnston  remained devoted to Rockford for several years beyond her employment as a member of our Board of Trustees and also served as our commencement speaker in 2007. She currently is the President of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).


Karl C. Williams Award

John McNamara H ’89 LL.D. This former Rockford mayor served the University in many capacities and roles from 2004 through 2017, including Special Assistant to the President, Development Officer and Vice President for Institutional Advancement. His work to provide support for technological infrastructure and campus programming for business, the arts, and volunteer networks is noteworthy as is his service with the Office of Institutional Advancement where he worked to secure planned gifts through the Mary Ashby Cheek Society.


Outstanding Young Alumna/Alumnus

Heather Goodrich Lindgren ’11. As a math teacher at Luther North College Prep, Heather changed the curriculum and brought AP Calculus to their school. With her MsEd., she now teaches AP Calculus to her high school students as dual credit through Concordia University and serves as an adjunct professor. She started a math team at Luther North and coaches the WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering team) and serves as the head volleyball and head basketball coach. She was the 2010 Lincoln Laurette, and continues to serve Rockford University by speaking to classes for the math department and is involved in alumni volleyball events.


Alumna/Alumnus of the Year

Tom Muldowney ’74. Tom began his service on the Board of Trustees in 2010, serving as Board Chair from 2014 to 2017. He is a firm believer in the life-long value of a liberal arts education provides and credits his alma mater for providing the foundation that led to the many successes in his life. Tom is quick to give credit to the University for teaching him ‘how to think’ and not ‘what to think.’ Tom remains an active and fervent supporter of Rockford University, continuing to serve as a Trustee. He is also known for his extensive board leadership work and generosity throughout the community. Tom founded Savant Capital Management in 1986.

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