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2015 Alma Mater Award

Miriam B. Mulva ’69Miriam B. Mulva ’69

Nearly a century ago, Anselm Keefe, O.Praem., was inspired to plant seedlings all across the St. Norbert campus. Father Keefe’s good works endure: The graceful canopy of those now-grown trees helps define the college we know today.

Miriam Mulva’s good works on behalf of the college will also endure, and shape life at St. Norbert College for generations to come. Some of those works have been on a grand scale. Others may have attracted less notice, but are no less important.

Miriam and her husband, Jim, have given our students the spectacular Miriam B. and James J. Mulva Library, the intellectual hub of our campus. The recently added studio on the library’s lower floor ­– a wildly popular center for study and high-tech collaboration among students – also owes its existence to the Mulvas’ generosity.

Across campus stands another structure that will have immeasurable impact on our institution – again made possible in large part by Miriam and her husband, together with Paul and Carol Gehl. The Gehl-Mulva Science Center is, according to President Tom Kunkel, a “game-changer”; it positions St. Norbert College to be a magnet school for budding scientists throughout this unfolding century.

Those are transformational contributions, to be sure, but Miriam’s service to the college extends well beyond them. She is an active and engaged member of the college’s board of trustees, demonstrating exemplary leadership as vice chair of the advancement committee. She is an important advocate for students, with keen insights on how board decisions might affect them. Those insights don’t come by chance: Miriam engages with the board’s student representatives at every meeting to learn about their SNC experiences.

Many of our students owe those SNC experiences in great measure to Miriam; she and Jim consistently fund scholarships through annual giving.

Miriam’s passion for the college reflects a deep belief in its mission and values. She and her husband are devout Catholics: Among their many other philanthropic endeavors, they have donated funds for a new building for seminarians at Rome’s Pontifical North American College, and for that support they were recently honored by Pope Francis with the Papal Order of St. Gregory.

Here at St. Norbert, in celebration of our heritage, they have commissioned bronze sculptures depicting the conversion of St. Norbert and the tradition of communio. These works will further beautify our campus and edify those who walk its paths.

Outside the walls of the college, Miriam has supported the communities in which she’s lived in numerous ways, many of them reflecting a lifelong interest in youth and education. She has tutored youngsters in reading and math; served on the board of her local Boys & Girls Club; been a Eucharistic homebound minister at her church; and served on the boards of symphonies and historic landmarks. To all these institutions, as to St. Norbert, Miriam has given generously and graciously of her time, talent and treasure.

For her many acts of friendship as a faithful member of the college community for 50 years, we gratefully bestow on Miriam the college’s Alma Mater Award.

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