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Alumni news

ODU Recognizes Community Leaders with Distinguished Alumni Award

Ohio Dominican University recognized three alumni who are leaders in their community with its Distinguished Alumni Award during ODU’s summer reunion weekend, which took place June 23-25.

Jun 8, 2017

Ohio Dominican University (ODU) recognized three alumni who are leaders in their community with its Distinguished Alumni Award during ODU’s summer reunion weekend, which took place June 23-25.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards were established in 1980 in recognition of an alumna or alumnus who, in accordance of the University Mission Statement, demonstrate a commitment to serving others in a global society as an ethical and effective leader; and are grounded in the pursuit of truth, justice and peace.

The following alumni were presented with the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award at a banquet held in their honor on June 24.

Joanne Charles McGinnis, Class of 1952 – Joanne is the only surviving person to have started at St. Mary of the Springs Academy in the first grade, staying through elementary and high school and graduating from St. Mary of the Springs College with a B.A. in History. She earned an M.A. from John Carroll, and taught a wide range of subjects during her career. Her volunteer activities include serving as a Board member of the Chagrin Valley Recreation Center; St. Vincent Charity Hospital in Cleveland Heights; reading tutor at Kenston Public Schools in Bainbridge; and serving as a member of the Christ Child Society of Cleveland. She is a founding member of St. Joan of Arc Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and served as parish council president, taught Catechism classes, and prepared special needs children for the Sacraments. In 2011, she started a group who visit people in nursing homes or are homebound.

Sr. Mary Faith Geelan, OP, Class of 1960 – Sr. Mary Faith entered the Dominican Sisters in 1955 and graduated from St. Mary of the Springs with a B.S. in Elementary Education and History. She went on to earn her M.A. in American History from the University of Notre Dame, and her MSW from Marywood University. In her career, she served in a variety of academic roles in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. In 1996, she was named Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs. Sr. Mary Faith and the other members of her leadership team oversaw the construction of the present Motherhouse and engaged in the dialogue that eventually led to the founding of the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 2009. She served on the Board of Trustees for ODU for many years, and also served in various leadership positions for the Dominican Leadership Conference and Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Craig Denney, Class of 1990 – Craig graduated summa cum laude from ODC with a B.A. in Economics and Business. He played basketball and was co-captain his junior and senior seasons. Craig earned a J.D. from Case Western School of Law; an MBA from Saint Martin’s College; and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. A colonel in the Army Reserve, he serves as the Commander and Chief Trial Judge in the U.S. Army Reserve JAG Corps. Craig works as an administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and was president of the Washoe County Bar Association. Previously, Craig was a partner at the law firm Snell & Wilmer. He served as an assistant U.S. Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office in Nevada. Craig is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nevada Reno, teaching courses in criminology.

Click here to read the honorees' full bios.

Ohio Dominican University is a comprehensive, four-year, private, liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic and Dominican tradition by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The University has approximately 1,900 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 40 majors and nine graduate degree programs. At ODU, students connect their passion with a purpose.