|3/21/2012 9:47:00 AM|
UP celebrates 'moral imagination'
After being shot twice by a mentally ill man, Portland Police Officer Chris Burley didn't seek revenge. Instead, he stood up before the public and God and said we all need to take better care of mentally ill people.
Burley, a 2002 graduate of the University of Portland, yesterday received an award from his alma mater. He was one of four alumni honored for living out the university's values of faith and service.
The kudos were given during the university's annual luncheon at the Multnomah Athletic Club near downtown Portland. During the meal, Holy Cross Father William Beauchamp said he's glad the university forms students who bring "character and moral imagination to life."
Father Beauchamp, president of the North Portland school, gave his "State of the University" speech to 350 supporters.
"One thing you will never find us doing is kicking back and saying our work is done," the priest said. Part of the ongoing work, he explained, is helping modern culture realize that individualism has run rampant to the demise of communal values and the common good.
Other University of Portland graduates honored included Bill Winter, from the class of 1964, who was named distinguished alumni. Winter, who also went to Central Catholic High, has been a leader in Oregon health care for the past 45 years, and for 20 years was president of Silverton Hospital Network. He told the crowd that his accomplishments could not have happened without family and peers.
Also lauded was Matt Powell, a 1984 graduate who helped found De La Salle North Catholic High School in 2000 and serves as the school’s president. The school gives a Catholic college prep education and work experience to low-income urban students. Powell is also involved as a CYO coach, teacher and athletic director for Holy Family Parish and School.
The award for student leadership went to senior Kailey Sparks, a nursing and Spanish double major. She has coordinated student plunges and retreats. She's been a eucharistic minister at residence hall Masses and a volunteer with St. Andre Bessette Parish and Habitat for Humanity. After graduation, Sparks plans to partner with an organization to provide nursing care in a developing country.
Alumni volunteers also announced that the school has raised $128 million for its $175 million campaign with two years still left to go.