McMullen award recipients announced


DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University has announced John and Helen Morrissey Jr. and Joe and Joyce O’Rourke as recipients of the 2014 McMullen Award.

The award is presented annually to individuals who embody the university’s mission of enriching the lives of others, according to a St. Ambrose University press release. This year’s recipients will be honored at a Mass Dec. 7 at 10:30 a.m. in Christ the King Chapel, with a reception at 11:30 a.m.

John Morrissey Jr. is a 1958 graduate of St. Ambrose College. He served as director of St. Ambrose’s Physical Plant Services from 1959 to 2001, taking over for his father who had served the university for many years. In addition to managing the university’s historical structures, landscaping and general upkeep and maintenance, Morrissey oversaw construction of such campus additions as the townhouses, the library and Tiedemann and Hagen Halls.

Morrissey and his wife, Helen, a 1957 graduate of the Mercy nursing program, have supported the university’s capital campaigns, scholarship programs, annual fund drives and planned giving program. “With this award, St. Ambrose University honors the Morrisseys’ contributions and willingness to give selflessly to support the mission of St. Ambrose and its students,” the press release stated.


Joe O’Rourke, a 1972 alumnus, served on the university’s Board of Trustees for many years. The O’Rourkes have provided leadership gifts for capital campaigns and supported the Ambrose Annual Fund.

A contribution to the university that has also served the larger community is Jim’s Place, named in honor of Joe O’Rourke’s brother, Jim O’Rourke, who became disabled after an accident. In conjunction with Joe O’Rourke’s mother, brothers and their families, the O’Rourkes support this assistive technology showcase home — the only one of its kind in the nation — which allows students and those with disabilities to try out a wide array of home adaptations and assistive technology.

“Joe O’Rourke and his wife, Joyce, have met numerous university needs, touching almost every aspect of the St. Ambrose campus,” the press release stated.

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