Sister Shirley Davis and actor Jonathan Goldsmith were the recipients of CSJ’s Sisters of St. Joseph Humanitarian Award during this year’s Founders’ Day Celebration held Wednesday, March 20th at 1 p.m. Formerly called Pour le Merite, this award honors outstanding individuals from the region whose lives reflect a commitment to the importance of community service and concern for others.
Sister Shirley Davis is dedicated to CSJ and the Rutland community. She serves on the Board of Directors of CSJ and continues to be active locally as a mentor, a tutor and a foster grandparent among other roles. As a Sister of St. Joseph she is committed to serve the dear neighbor without distinction and she does so with a good mind, kind heart and selfless dedication.
Jonathan Goldsmith became a pop culture icon in 2006 with his portrayal of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in the Dos Equis television commercials. Jonathan has used his celebrity to promote many charitable organizations in Vermont and around the world. He is currently the celebrity spokesman for Make a Wish Vermont.
Founders’ Day commemorates the Sisters of St. Joseph, who had the vision and perseverance to establish a Catholic college in Rutland in 1956. This annual ceremony is held in March to coincide with the Feast of St. Joseph. It is also an occasion to honor members of the community for their service to others, and to remember deceased members of the CSJ family.
In addition to the Sisters of St. Joseph Humanitarian Award, the College also honors one student who goes above and beyond in both the College and the Rutland community. This year’s recipient of the Mother Teresa Service Award is Kaitlin Jenkins, a senior from Georgia, Vermont, who is being recognized for involvement in community service outside the college environment; for being a student in good academic standing; and for displaying a positive allegiance to College of St. Joseph and its mission.
Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in March of 1956, CSJ has provided 63 years of personalized education and resources to the Rutland community and beyond. The establishment of CSJ was built on the values expressed by the Sisters of St. Joseph, including hospitality, love of neighbor without distinction, reconciliation, and unity of all people with God and one another.
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Past Pour le Merite Honorees: 1994: Michelle Langello Hughes, Bruce Nelson ’87; 1995: Maura Naughton, John Bloomer, Sr. Miriam Francis Preedom, Dr. Fred Csizmesia; 1996: Deva Bolgioni, Mary Haapala, Sr. Mary Polworth, Sylvia Willard; 1997: Jacqueline Abbey ’92, Mayor John Cassarino, John Miller; 1998: Al Wilkinson; 1999: Rita Whalen McCaffrey, Robert Kittner; 2000: Victor and Ethel Sevigny; 2001: Terese Veverka Black and Thomas O’Brien; 2002: William F. Gillam, Jr. ’00, Roy J. Rotella; 2003: Joseph and Barbara Giancola; 2004: Dr. Craig Knapp; 2005: Sharon Russell; 2006: Dr. Gary Lawler and Patricia Miglorie; 2007: Nanci Gordon ’83; 2008: Ian Akin; 2009: Rena Bernstein; 2010: Jerry Munger; 2011: Michael Dick, DMD and The Vermont Country Store; 2012: Gregory Fallon; 2013: Steve Costello and Rev. Eric C. van Leeuwe; 2014: Terry “Jaye” Jarrosak; 2015; Thomas Dowling; 2016: Dr. Richard Lloyd; 2017: Lawrence Jensen and Sarah Fortier ’12; 2018: Carol Barbagallo ’72 and Sandra Lee Casey ’04.