SAU applauds couples’ efforts

Barb Arland-Fye
From left, St. Ambrose University President Amy Novak, McMullen Award recipients Molly and Edmund Carroll and Chaplain Ross Epping pose for a photo in Christ the King Chapel in Davenport April 11. Recipients Dr. Shelagh and Stephen Roell,

For The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University honored two couples with the McMullen Award at the conclusion of Mass in Christ the King Chapel on April 11. The McMullen Award recognizes individuals who embody St. Ambrose University’s mission to act courageously, seek wisdom through faith and reason, work for justice, and lead lives of service.

Recipients Edmund and Molly Carroll “personify the concept of serving in, with and for our community,” St. Ambrose University President Amy Novak said. Edmund Carroll, an attorney specializing in corporate and transactional law, joined the university’s Board of Trustees in 2008 and served as chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. His service to the community extends to the Scott County Family YMCA and the Genesis Health Services Foundation. Molly Carroll had years of experience in the newspaper industry, working for the Chicago Tribune, Lee Enterprises and as publisher of the Muscatine Journal. Her community involvement includes volunteering at Project Renewal and Assumption High School and serving as co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Council.

Recipients Dr. Shelagh and Stephen Roell, below, were unable to attend the ceremony.

The couple joined the university’s Wine Festival Committee in 2008 and became co-chairs of the Preview Dinner in 2021. They have actively supported this fundraising event since its inception in the 1990s. “We’ve benefited greatly from their experience, knowledge and faith,” Novak said.


Stephen Roell (SAU Class of 1971) and his wife, Dr. Shelagh Roell, were unable to attend the award ceremony. The couple, based in Milwaukee, co-chaired the McMullen Hall Capital Initiative. They continue to invest in St. Ambrose University, Novak said. Stephen Roell credits Professor Wally Evans for serving as a mentor and changing the course of his life. Stephen Roell worked as a public accountant before joining Johnson Controls in 1982 as operations controller. He retired in 2013 as CEO and then founded Johnson Controls Innovation Center.

Stephen Roell said St. Ambrose University “provided me with the education, encouragement, character and values to be successful in my business career.” Dr. Roell is a retired clinical psychologist and registered nurse. She also taught, conducted research and leveraged her passion for riding horses by serving organizations that provide physical, emotional and social benefits through riding.

The McMullen Award takes its name from the first Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport (1881-1883), who founded St. Ambrose College. Father Ross Epping, the university’s chaplain, blessed each couple’s award after the Mass at which he presided. The award is fashioned from crosses that once hung in the chapel’s sanctuary.

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