Creighton hosts 17th Leaders for Life Luncheon

OMAHA, Neb. — Mary Pat McCormick and Lisa Meekins were among those honored by Creighton Athletics at the 17th Annual Leaders for Life Luncheon at the DJ Sokol Arena at the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center today.

The Leaders for Life Luncheon is an annual fundraising event that celebrates Creighton’s student-athletes and gives these students an opportunity to thank the supporters of women’s athletics who make it possible to compete in the BIG EAST and at the NCAA Division I level to compete All Leaders for Life gifts support female students, including Leaders for Life Scholarship Funds and leadership development programs that ensure we educate, develop and graduate outstanding female students. In addition, this luncheon provides Creighton Athletics with the opportunity to honor two influential supporters of women’s athletics for their continued leadership and advancement at Creighton and in the community. This year’s event raised more than $225,000, bringing the total raised over the years well over $1 million.

Today’s event also begins Creighton’s plan to mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark Title IX legislation of June 1972. It also included the public unveiling of https://www.creightontitleix.coma website highlighting some of the key moments in the history of Creighton Women’s Athletics.

Creighton Athletics has partnered with Borsheims on this unique campaign that will highlight the significant impact that Title IX has had on our women’s programs, coaches and student-athletes over the past 50 years. The partnership demonstrates the Borsheims’ commitment to not only giving back to their community, but to encouraging young girls and women to focus on their goals and chart the path for their future.

“We are very excited to partner with Creighton University on the 50th anniversary of Title IX,” said Karen Goracke, Borsheims CEO and President. “For us, it’s a natural partnership that demonstrates our commitment to empowering women and encouraging them to push boundaries to achieve their dreams.”

Mary Higgins, a pioneer of women’s sports in Creighton in the 1970’s as an undergraduate student, again served as the presenter of the Leaders For Life event.

“To say we’ve come a long way is a ridiculous understatement,” observed Higgins. “Less you doubt the impact of Title IX…prior to its passage, Creighton had NO women’s sports…no teams, no facilities, no uniforms…no coaches…nada, null!”

Mary Pat McCormick was selected to receive the Believe and Achieve Award. A native of Denver, Colorado and Carmel, California, McCormick, BS’62, graduated from Creighton in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and from the University of Denver, MLS in 1993. She was also certified by the Catholic Bible School, Archdiocese of Denver. Her community service has a focus on children, education and mental health. Mary Pat served on the Board of Birthright Fargo, the St. Joseph Hospital Service League, and the National Alumni Board of Creighton, Omaha; Mount St. Vincent Children’s Home, Third Way Center, Denver Zoo, Arrupe Jesuit High School and Regis University, Denver. She is also an active faculty member and research editor for the Carmel Mission and is a co-author of the book Art from the Carmel Mission, a compilation of her art and history.




Lisa Meekins received the Leaders for Life Award. Meekins, BSBA’02, is from Superior, Neb. and lives in Chicago, Illinois. She was a member of the Creighton University volleyball team from 1998-01 before graduating from Creighton in 2002 with a BSBA in finance. She continued her education by receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas in 2005 and her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from Northwestern University in 2006. Lisa is a Principal in the Mergers & Acquisitions Tax Practice in the Chicago office of KPMG, LLP, where she has practiced for more than 15 years. Within the Chicago community, Lisa is active with the Special Olympics of Illinois, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Heart Association. She is also an Associate Professor at Northwestern School of Law and a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Lisa remains committed to the success of the Creighton Volleyball program and attends home and away games as often as she can.

Engelberg, a junior on the rowing team, received the Dr. Melissa Kean Foundation Scholarship. Junior Ashley Riley of the women’s cross-country team received the Leaders for Life Foundation Scholarship. Both awards are for the 2022-23 academic year.

 

Kara Kelley served as Committee Chair for the Leaders for Life 2022 event, with Gail Werner-Robertson as Honorary Chair. Also on the committee are Jane Alseth, Michelle Cannella, Lisa Chipps, Aimee Demulling, Emily Flanery, Shelley Guthrie GatesJulie Hefflinger, Stephanie Kremlin Heng, Deb Macdonald, Pat Manion, Anne McGuire, Brandy Menaugh, Lauren Miltenberger, Karen Nelsen, Judy Pritza, Erin Swanson Russell, Patsy Sumner, and Molly Zabrowski.

Held annually in May, Leaders for Life is a fundraiser for annual and endowment scholarships that directly increase tuition for outstanding female athletes. Please support Leaders for Life with a donation CLICK HERE.

ALL TIME RECEIVER LEADER FOR LIFE AWARD
OLIVE ODORISIO CIRCO 2006
CAROL KETCHAM 2007
MARY HIGGINS 2008
ROSEMARY BIG 2009
CONNIE RYAN 2010
CONNIE YORI 2011
HEIDI GEIER WOODARD 2012
PAM GRADOVILLE SIMON 2013
ERIN SWANSON RUSSELL 2014
Tanya Warren 2015
KIRSTEN BERNTHAL STAND 2016
JUDY PRITZA 2017
SHANNON HOOS THOMPSON 2018
SHARON HANSON 2019
Lisa Chipps 2020
LAURA BAKER 2021
LISA MEEKINS 2022

ALL TIME RECEIVERS BELIEVE & ACHIEVE AWARDS
LISA ROSKEN 2012
DEB MACDONALD 2013
Val Ackermann 2014
GAIL WERNER ROBERTSON 2015
MELISSA KEAN 2016
RHONDA HAWKS 2017
DOROTHY NIPP2018
Ruth Scott 2019
ANNE MCGUIRE 2020
JOSIE ABBOUD 2021
MARY PAT MCCORMICK 2022

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