Benedictine College Honors Joseph Buessing Family as 2017 Family of the Year

Benedictine College Honors Joseph Buessing Family as 2017 Family of the Year

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Buessing Family, 2017 Family Award recipients


September 23 was a hot day for the beginning of fall, but the heat did nothing to dampen the joy that is Family Weekend each year. Students were excited to see their parents and the traditional events, from the dance in the Murphy Recreation Center to athletic competition to the annual Pops Concert, all saw huge attendance. One of the Family Weekend traditions is the naming of the Family of the Year and this year, that honor went to the Joseph Buessing 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 entire Buessing Family has always been very supportive of the college, the church and the community throughout the generations,” said Benedictine President Stephen D. Minnis ’82.

Born in 1879 in Ohio, Joseph came to Kansas with his parents in the late 1800s, settling in St. Benedict, just north of Seneca. In 1906, he bought a farm in Nemaha County, married Helena Engelken and started a family. They had 10 children, six boys (John, Louis, Vincent, Paul, Joseph and Bernard) and four girls (Norene, Hermena, Helen and Marie). Raised as faithful Catholics, Joseph’s children started sending the next generation to St. Benedict’s College or Mount St. Scholastica College.

Today, the family comprises the Buessings, Hirsches, Skalskys, Muetings, Shaughnessys, Renyers, Stechs, Meysenburgs, Claases, and Humburgs. They have sent at least 16 family members to Benedictine College or its founding institutions, have had graduates in the 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2010s, and have two current freshmen on campus. They have had family members join the priesthood and become members of the Mount.

Accepting the award on behalf of the family was Larry Beussing. He and his wife, Tresa, created the Larry and Tresa (Murphy) Buessing Scholarship, which is awarded to a full time Benedictine College student who is the oldest in the family to attend college. Larry was honored with the Kansas Monk Award in 1991 and Tresa received the Mount’s Fidelus Award in 2001. Larry and Tresa received the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict at the Benedictine College Scholarship Ball in 2004 and Larry currently serves on the Benedictine College Board of Directors.

This year, Family Weekend also included Founders’ Day and the Benedictine sisters and monks from Mount St. Scholastica Monastery and St. Benedict’s Abbey were recognized during halftime of the football game. Fr. Henry Lemke came to the Kansas Territory in 1854 and by 1858, additional monks had arrived and a school for boys had been founded on the western frontier. In 1863, at the height of the Civil War, six Benedictine Sisters came to Atchison and soon a school for girls was founded.

For generations, the sisters and monks have been strong influences in Atchison. They have kept the faith burning bright on the Benedictine campus, and they have been courageous role models through their schools, parishes, retreats and missions.

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.