O’Shaughnessys to receive honorary degrees at spring 2014 commencement
Patrick and Kathy O’Shaughnessy will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degree during Spring 2014 Commencement, May 10. The university bestows the honorary degrees upon members of the extended Newman community based on exemplary dedication to one of the university’s Core Values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence, and Global Perspective.
The O’Shaughnessys were selected as models of Catholic Identity for their devotion to their faith and commitment to the Church, Catholic education and the Newman community. Their support of Catholic higher education is a family legacy reaching back to the Sacred Heart College era, when both Kathy and Patrick’s fathers were supporters of the college. Patrick served on the Board of what was then Kansas Newman College, including a term as Chairman, and the O’Shaughnessys have been generous contributors to Newman, including their gift that helped create the O’Shaughnessy Hall sports complex.
The O’Shaughnessys are devoted to their six grown children and 16 grandchildren, and are strong supporters of their parish, The Church of The Magdalen. Patrick served as honorary chair of the church’s most recent capital campaign and Kathy has been active in Bible Study, pro-life activities and other areas of interest. Patrick has served multiple terms on the Finance and Investment Committees of the Diocese of Wichita, and was
on the Board of Holy Family Center, where he was a strong contributor to the agency’s work for educable individuals with mental disabilities. In 1998 Kathy was named a Dame and Patrick was named a Knight Commander to the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, a Papal Order given for conspicuous service to the Church and society.