Benedictine College Recognizes Jamie Raftery with 2016 Young Alumni Award

Benedictine College Recognizes Jamie Raftery with the Young Alumni Award

Published: Friday, May 13, 2016

Young Alumni Award Honoree Jamie Raftery with Professors Baird and Brothers

Benedictine College was pleased to honor Jamie Lambrecht Raftery ’03 with the Young Alumni Award during the Senior Champagne Brunch on May 13. The award recognizes alumni who are under 35 years old, have distinguished themselves in their community and profession, and who support the values promoted at Benedictine College. Each year the honoree returns to address the graduating seniors the day before Commencement.

“As we celebrate the Century of Science at Benedictine College, we thought it wholly appropriate that we recognize someone who has distinguished themselves in the science field at a relatively young age,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis in his introduction.

Jamie came from a Catholic background in Topeka, Kan., and said Benedictine College felt like home from the moment she first walked onto campus. She was a math whiz and thoroughly enjoyed the subject, but wasn’t sure how to use it in a career. In the days before the advent of engineering at Benedictine College, she looked to Physics as an outlet.

Dr. Doug Brothers, whom Jamie considers the “heart and soul of the Physics Department,” introduced her to geophysics and opened a world of opportunities for her. She went on to a graduate program in geology with an emphasis in geophysics at the University of Kansas. It turned out that her advising professor there was Dr. Rick Miller, a 1984 Benedictine College graduate, so the connection continued.

Once she finished her Master’s program, she found employment with the Shell Exploration and Production Company in Houston. She started as a geophysicist and worked in several locations, from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska. She currently holds the position of Onshore Regional Staff Geophysicist at Shell.

“As I reflect, not only on my time at college but also on how being a Raven has shaped my life, I have become even more grateful for what this school, faculty, administrators and Benedictine’s core values have instilled in me,” she told the gathered seniors at the brunch.

She offered some additional advice to the Class of 2016, telling them to believe in themselves.

“If you believe you can achieve something, others will support you,” she said.

She went on to tell them to be okay outside their comfort zone, to map out their career and personal development plan, and to give back.

“God bless all of us with abilities,” she said. “Using those gifts to give back has brought me more enjoyment and happiness than just using those gifts for self-gain.”

Today, Jamie and her husband, Colin Raftery, live in Katy, Texas. They have decided to give three gifts for the Physics & Astronomy Department, honoring three current or former faculty members, Dr. Doug Brothers, Dr. Scott Baird and Dr. Vern Ostdiek, with named offices in the renovated Westerman Hall as part of the current campaign to expand the Benedictine College science and engineering facilities.

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.