Kessler Receives “Do Something Beautiful for God” Award
- Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Dr. Frank Kessler, professor of Political Science, was awarded the “Do Something Beautiful for God” Award during the annual Benedictine College Senior Brunch on May 10. He was honored for his commitment to the faith on campus and for his longstanding practice of buying a crucifix for every room in the school’s residential and academic buildings.
“Since he arrived (at Benedictine College), Dr. Kessler has been steadfast in his goal of placing a crucifix in the classrooms and dorm rooms at Benedictine College,” said Stephen D. Minnis, president of the college. “Whenever a new building is built, it is Dr. Kessler who either donates the money or buys the crucifixes himself to place in the rooms. When you enter a room here at Benedictine and see a crucifix, it is thanks to Dr. Kessler.”
Kessler has authored two books on presidential leadership and democracy, published numerous articles for journals such as Library Journal, Current History, and Presidential Studies Quarterly, and received teaching honors ranging from the American Political Science Association Award to the Missouri Western University Distinguished Faculty Award. He has hosted radio and television shows and still occasionally serves as a guest political analyst for TV election coverage. He could have gone anywhere, but it was the faith aspect that drew him to Benedictine.
“I love the freedom to teach within a context of faith,” Kessler said. “And that’s how I try to approach my teaching. At the beginning of every course, I read ‘God’s Plan’ by John Henry Cardinal Newman, and I explain to these kids that they all have a mission in life, they’ve all been called to do something specific.”
“I could have taught elsewhere,” he said. “But I concluded that these kids have the moral and ethical principles to convert culture. And I can’t tell you what a huge blessing it is to be around them. They are just amazing.”
The “Do Something Beautiful for God” Award is named for Mother Teresa’s quote, which was “Every day on awaking, my desire and my enthusiasm is this: today I must do something beautiful for God.”
Mother Teresa visited the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison on June 9 and 10, 1981, when Benedictine College operated a South Campus at the Mount. Eyewitnesses also recall her visit to St. Benedict’s Abbey, which is adjacent to the current campus of Benedictine College. While visiting the Benedictine communities of Atchison, she said, “I beg you to give Jesus to the young people in your care.”
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.