Honorary Degrees to be Conferred on Local, National Leaders

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Honorary Degrees to be Conferred Upon Local, National Leaders

Published: December 4, 2007.

Lewis University will award honorary degrees to local and national leaders in law, healthcare and education at its winter Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16. Honorees will include Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke; Dr. Daniel Gutierrez, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet; and Brother Konrad Diebold, FSC, President of Saint Patrick High School in Chicago.

Justice Burke will be recognized with an honorary degree from Lewis University on Saturday, December 15 as part of the Commencement Ceremony for master’s degree recipients and students receiving certificates of advanced study. Dr. Gutierrez and Brother Konrad will receive honorary degrees on Sunday, December 16 during the Commencement Ceremony for baccalaureate degree recipients.

The honorary degree recipients will be recognized along with more than 600 graduates who will be awarded degrees throughout the weekend’s ceremonies. All events will be held in the Student Recreation and Fitness Center, located on the Lewis main campus on Route 53 in Romeoville. Lewis holds both spring and winter Commencement Ceremonies, graduating more than 1,300 men and women each year.

Ceremonies will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, with Commencement for graduate students in the fieldhouse of the Student Recreation and Fitness Center. The ceremony will be followed by a President’s Reception for Graduating Students and their guests in the Neil Carey Arena.

On Sunday, December 16, Commencement activities will open with a Baccalaureate Mass at 9:15 a.m. in the fieldhouse. Most Reverend Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, will be the celebrant. A continental breakfast for graduating students and their guests will be held in the Neil Carey Arena. Commencement for undergraduate students will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the fieldhouse. The ceremony will be followed by a President’s Reception in the Neil Carey Arena for graduates and guests.

At both Commencement Ceremonies, Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President of Lewis University, will congratulate each graduate personally. Dr. Stephany Schlachter, University Provost, will serve as master of ceremonies. Students earning bachelor’s degrees with academic honors will receive white cords for honors, red cords for high honors, and gold cords for highest honors.

Highly regarded as a community advocate and judge, Justice Anne Burke currently serves on the Illinois Supreme Court. Justice Burke began her career in law after earning her J.D. degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and being admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1983. She was admitted to practice before the Federal Court, Northern District of Illinois, in 1983, and before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Court in 1985. Justice Burke was certified for Trial Bar in the Federal District Court in 1987, and was appointed Judge to the Court of Claims by Governor James Thompson. Governor Jim Edgar reappointed Justice Burke to this position in 1991. Three years later, she was named special counsel to the Governor for Child Welfare Services. She was appointed to the Appellate Court, First District in 1995 and was elected to this position for a full term in 1996. From 2002-04, Justice Burke served as Chairperson of a 12-member national review board to assist U.S. Catholic Bishops in facilitating compliance with the “Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.”

Throughout her career, Justice Burke has worked to promote positive change in favor of the community’s most vulnerable citizens. She has volunteered time and energy to numerous civic and educational causes, and has written and lectured extensively on issues related to children, the disabled and the importance of ethical leadership. Justice Burke helped to found the Chicago Special Olympics in 1968, while working for the Chicago Park District as a physical education instructor for mentally challenged children. She served as the Olympics early director, and later spearheaded what would become the International Special Olympics, hosting children from more than 160 countries.

A Chicago native, Justice Burke is the wife of Chicago Alderman Edward M. Burke (14th Ward). Like his spouse, the Alderman has been very involved in working to address the significant issues concerning children. Together, the couple was honored with the 2004 Voice Award for Public Leadership which recognizes those individuals who make a positive difference while in public office. Justice Burke has received numerous other awards for her service to the community, including Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Distinguished Service Award, Chicago Legal Clinic’s Cardinal Bernardin Award, Vision Networks Service Award, the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago’s Lawyer of the Year Award, and the Federal Bar Association’s Katherine Smith Matkov Award. She has received honorary doctoral degrees from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and DePaul University in Chicago, and also has been recognized by the Women’s Bar Association, Maria High School in Chicago, the American Jewish Committee, St. Peter’s Friar’s Association, the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, Lutheran Social Services, Methodist Youth Services and the Chicago Park District, among others.

Justice Burke has been listed in Crain’s Who’s Who in Chicago Business and the 100 Most Influential Women. She received the 2005 U.S. Catholic Award for furthering the cause of women in the Church. She also presented the 2007 commencement address at Chicago-Kent College of Law, her alma mater. Justice Burke holds membership on the boards of the Ruth Page Foundation, and The Hundred Club of Cook County. She is a past board member for many professional, civic and charitable organizations including the Chicago Bar Association, DePaul University, the Children’s Brain Research Foundation, Loyola University, the Chicago Public Library Foundation, Catholic Charities of Chicago, St. Xavier University, the Chicago Lung Association, Lincoln Park Zoological Society and St. Rose School for the Mentally Disabled.

Residents of Chicago’s West Elsdon neighborhood, she and her husband are parents to five children: Jennifer, Edward, Emmett (deceased), Sarah and Travis. Edward Burke, Jr. is an alumnus of Lewis University, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal/social justice in 1998. The Burkes also have five grandchildren.

Recently named chairman of the board of directors at Silver Cross Hospital, Dr. Daniel Gutierrez is a longtime provider of and advocate for community health services. He has served on the hospital board since 1998. The youngest of nine children, Dr. Gutierrez’ interest in medicine developed before he was a teenager. By the time he entered high school, he was working as a surgical orderly at Silver Cross Hospital. He graduated Joliet Township High School, and received an associate degree from Joliet Junior College (JJC) in 1958.

After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois–Champaign, Dr. Gutierrez attended the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine and earned his medical license in 1963. Shortly after becoming a doctor, he brought his skills to those in desperate need of medical care through participation in a yearlong mission in the African country of Malawi. There, he managed a 35-bed hospital, and administered to patients suffering from leprosy, malaria and other tropical diseases. In the midst of his residency at Hines V.A. Hospital in 1966, he was called to serve his country and spent 24 months as a physician in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in Vietnam. He finished his military service as a captain in the 1st Infantry Division at the Presidio of San Francisco, and completed his medical residency at Hines V.A. Hospital in 1970.

In 1972, Dr. Gutierrez returned to his native Joliet where he ran a private practice in internal medicine until 2001. He was an assistant instructor for physical diagnosis from 1973-74 at Rush-Presbyterian Medical College. He also joined the Will County Health Department in 1975 as a medical consultant, and helped to plan for a new community health center to meet the consistently increasing need for clinical services. Opened in 1995, the center was a way for Dr. Gutierrez and his colleagues to address the insurmountable health needs of those Will County residents without health insurance, especially women who were lacking prenatal care. By 2004 – nine years after it opened – the center was seeing more than 100,000 patients each year, and delivering 1,000 babies annually. He retired from the center in June 2007 after 12 years as medical director, but he still volunteers his time and services there.

In his new role as chairman of the board at Silver Cross, Dr. Gutierrez will continue his commitment to provide health services to low-income area residents, even as the hospital prepares to relocate and expand. His relationship to the hospital dates back more than three decades. From 1974-76 he was chairman of the department of medicine, chief of staff from 1985-87, and director of continuing medical education from 1990-92. He also chaired the hospital’s credentials committee from 1995-2001. Silver Cross honored him with its 2000 Schering Medal of Excellence.

Dr. Gutierrez currently serves as an honorary director for the JJC Foundation Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Latino Business Association, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. Dr. Gutierrez received JJC’s 2002 Centennial Award for Community Service, and the 2003 Clinician Award from the National Hook-Up of Black Women. Last year, the Joliet Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Rabbi Morris Hershman Community Award.

Dr. Gutierrez and his wife Barbara reside in Manhattan, Ill., and are the proud parents of four daughters: Christina, Natalie, Elizabeth and Lisa. They also have five grandchildren.

During his 50 years as a Christian Brother, Brother Konrad Diebold, FSC, has provided strong and effective leadership and guidance in Catholic and Lasallian education. A native of Minneapolis, Brother Konrad joined the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1957 at the age of 20. He received a bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy, and a master’s degree in education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He completed post-graduate coursework at Loyola, Northwestern and DePaul universities; and studied at the Universite de Montreal, L’Alliance Française in Paris, and the Lasallian Institute Center in Rome.

Brother Konrad began teaching at Saint Patrick High School in Chicago in 1961, and in 1966 transferred to Saint Paul High School on the city’s South Side, where he taught and was principal through 1974. From 1975-1982, he served as an Auxiliary Provincial for the Christian Brothers, and fulfilled the roles of Director of Finance and Director of Education for the entire Province.

In 1983, Brother Konrad returned to Saint Patrick as principal, and was named its president in 1987 when the school adopted a principal/president model. He remains in this role today, and through his astute leadership over the last two decades, has successfully directed the school to thrive during a time when many Catholic educational institutions in the Chicago area have been forced to either close or become co-educational due to decreasing enrollment.

Throughout his career, Brother Konrad has served on numerous local and national organizations, most of which are committed to Catholic education. From 1975-82, he held multiple leadership roles for the Regional Council of the Christian Brothers, and in 1976 he was an elected delegate to the 40th International General Chapter of the Brothers of the Christian School in Rome. He also was an elected member of the Provincial Council of the Midwest Province of Christian Brothers from 1969-2000.

Brother Konrad served on the Lewis University Board of Trustees from 1984-94. During the 1990s, he was a member of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s National Alumni Board, and Driscoll Catholic High School’s Board of Consultants, and was a trustee for the Easter Seal Society of Metropolitan Chicago, Inc. He is the recipient of the 1993 Lasallian Award from De La Salle High School in Minneapolis, Minn.

Brother Konrad is a member of the National Catholic Education Association, as well as a board member at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn., and at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He also has served on the board of directors for Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, Mo.

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