Hickerts Honored with 2016 Family Award | Benedictine College

Hickerts Honored with Family Award

Sisters and Monks also Honored during Founders' Day

Published: Monday, October 3, 2016

Hickert Family receives Family AwardBenedictine College is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Family Award; the Bernard “Barney” and Beatrice “Tucky” Hickert Family. Each year, the College honors a family that has truly lived out the Benedictine mission through their involvement on the campus and their commitment to building a fruitful and supportive community in the Benedictine tradition. The Hickert Family has always been very supportive of the college and was recognized in Wilcox Stadium during halftime of the Family Weekend football game on October 1, 2016.

Barney graduated from the St. Joseph Military Academy in Hays, Kansas, and joined the U.S. Army in 1943, serving in World War II. He was a farmer, stockman and lifelong resident of the Lenora area until moving to Wichita in 2001. Barney and Tucky were married in 1948 and raised 11 children, six of whom they sent to Benedictine College with financial help from the grandparents. Barney passed away in 2003 at the age of 77.

Barney and Tucky’s children are Stephen, who passed away in June, and his wife, Jody; Dr. Susan Brown ’73, and her husband, Scott; Nancy Kreutzer; Beatrice Heikes and her husband Ron; B.J. ’77 and his wife, Barbara, an alumna from the class of ’82; Joe ’80 and his wife, Gail, a Raven from the Class of ’81; Diane Witwer ’82 and her husband, George; Dr. Maureen Hickert ’84 and her husband, William Salomon; George ’85; Caroline Schippers and her husband, Dale; and Colette Haider and her husband, Jawad. The family has a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives who graduated from Mount St. Scholastica Academy, Maur Hill High School, Mount St. Scholastica College, St. Benedict’s College and Benedictine College.

In addition to the overwhelming support in attendance, the family has established two scholarships to allow students to attend Benedictine College. B.J. spearheaded the effort to establish a scholarship for his grandparents on his father’s side of the family. Established in 2001, the Hickert Family Scholarship serves as a memorial to John W. and Mary Hickert, Barney’s parents. They themselves raised 11 children, and Barney was the oldest. Growing up, the children worked on the successful family farm in Northwest Kansas, where they gained a solid work ethic and a strong faith foundation. Throughout their lives, JW and Mary Hickert were faithful and respected members of the Catholic Church in New Almelo, Kan. The scholarship provides assistance to students from the Northwest Kansas area.

In 2006, Tucky created the Schandler-Steichen Scholarship to honor her parents, Joseph and Dolorose (Steichen) Schandler. The Schandlers believed in Catholic education and sent Tucky and her sister, Miriam, to Mount St. Scholastica Academy. They also helped send six of Tucky and Barney’s 11 children to Benedictine College. They felt a Catholic education would instill a desire to learn in their children and grandchildren and reinforce the family values they believed in. The scholarship is awarded with preference to students of Native American descent or legacy students.

“With dozens of graduates from Atchison area Catholic schools and multiple scholarships established by the family, the Hickerts are very deserving of the Family of the Year honor,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “This family has sent us their children, contributed their financial support, and most certainly kept the college in their prayers.”

Founders Day 2016

The halftime festivities also included a Founders' Day recognition for the Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery and the Monks of St. Benedict's Abbey. The two founding institutions started Mount St. Scholastica College and St. Benedict's College, which merged in 1971 to form Benedictine College. For generations, the Sisters and Monks have been strong influences in Atchison; they have kept the faith burning bright on Benedictine's campus, and they have been courageous role models through their schools, parishes, retreats, and missions. 

The monks and sisters created something special along the banks of the Missouri River. Today, Sister Anne Shepard, prioress of Mount St. Scholastica, and Fr. James Albers, abbot of St. Benedict’s Abbey, lead thriving institutions that are still very engaged with Benedictine College. Sisters and Monks are involved in everything from college administration to Move-In Day. They are professors, prayer partners, spiritual guides and mentors. 

Family Weekend also included a dedication of the Murphy Recreation Center, a family-oriented dance featuring the Michael Beers Band, football, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer games, the Pops Concert, a Fall Festival of Fables, the Cheers for Cheer fundraiser, and much more. There were hundreds of families on campus and it is estimated that it was the highest attended Family Weekend in the history of the college. The college honored them on Founders' Day as a means of recognizing their long-term contributions and as a way of saying "thank you."

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.