Press Release

Saint Mary's College Announces 2009 Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient


Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College
(574) 284-4579

May 27, 2009 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Distinguished Alumna Award, awarded annually by the Alumnae Association of Saint Mary's College, honors a woman who exemplifies the standards, ideals, and mission of the College and who has given outstanding service through ongoing work for the Alumnae Association. The award is association's highest recognition. The 2009 recipient is Kathy Malone Beeler ‘69 of South Bend, Ind. Beeler will receive the award at the Reunion Banquet on Saturday, June 6 as part of Reunion Weekend, June 4-7.

After graduating from Saint Mary's in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature, Beeler earned her master’s degree in English from the University of Chicago. She served children as a mother of five and as an English and language arts educator in Illinois, Wisconsin and South Bend at John Adams High School, St. Joseph Grade School and Corpus Christi Grade School.  She is also a successful businesswoman and the current chair of the board of Beeler Industries in Elkhart, Ind.

Beeler has served South Bend-area education, church, arts, healthcare and civic organizations in various ways over the years. She served as president of the board of directors of Logan Center in South Bend and oversaw the “Opening New Doors” capital campaign to build the new facility on East Jefferson Boulevard. She currently sits on the board of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center and served on the cabinet to raise the funds for the new hospital in Mishawaka, which is scheduled to open in the fall. She also sits on the board of the Women’s Care Center and has been a member of the South Bend Symphony Board of Directors and the Marian High School and St. Joseph High School boards of directors. In 2002 Beeler was the first female chairman of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese for which she helped raise over $5 million.

Beeler plunges into philanthropic pursuits with the same passion she holds for her service activities and provides leadership in her commitment of time, talent, and treasure to Saint Mary’s. She has actively worked in leadership positions for the College since 1994 when she accepted the role as Michiana Regional co-chair for the $30 million Sesquicentennial Campaign. She initiated the Saint Mary's College “Down the Avenue” event, which honors an outstanding woman in the South Bend community who has demonstrated a commitment to voluntarism in her community.  She was the honoree in 2005. Beeler is generous in her gifts to the College, contributing annually since 1978, and has helped raise significant donations for Saint Mary’s as a member of the Madeleva Society Steering Committee. The Madeleva Society is named for Sister M. Madeleva Wolff, C.S.C., who served as College president from 1934 to 1961. Beeler is also an active member of the South Bend Alumnae Club.

If you are with the media and would like to arrange an interview, please contact Gwen O’Brien, director of media relations at Saint Mary's College.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering bachelor’s degrees in more than 30 major areas of study. The College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the nation's top liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 annual survey. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.