Honored Alumni – Benedictine Recognizes Hemberger, Gainer

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Alumni Reunion 2019

More than 300 alumni of Benedictine College and its founding institutions, Mount St. Scholastica College and St. Benedict’s College, returned to Atchison for the annual Alumni Reunion June 7 – 9. The weekend featured the presentation of the Benet Awards, which date back to the founding institutions and honor prominent female and male alumni. This year, Judy Badstieber Hemberger ’69 received the 2019 Offeramus Medal and Terrance W. Gainer ’69 received the 2019 Kansas Monk Award. 

Hemberger gives credit for her success to the outstanding liberal arts education she received from the Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica College, particularly the mentorship of Sister Mary Collins, OSB ’57.

“What Sister Mary Collins and the amazing Sisters taught us was that you approach life with certain principles and you stick to them,” said Hemberger. “And these are principles that are alive in the college today. You treat people with respect, and you treat people with dignity, no matter who they are or what they are. And you pray, you thank God for what He has given you. And you give it to others. You give of yourself freely and openly.”

S. Esther Fangman, Judy Hemberger, and President Stephen Minnis

Hemberger graduated from Mount St. Scholastica College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She earned a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and an MBA from Rockhurst University. Judy taught in the medical school at UMKC before joining Marion Laboratories (later Hoechst Marion Roussel). It was there that she came under the mentorship of the great Ewing Kauffman, founder of Marion Laboratories and the Kansas City Royals. She eventually became their Global Head of Regulatory Affairs.

Hemberger became the co-founder and COO of the Pharmion Corporation. Upon Pharmion’s sale to Celgene in 2008 for $2.9 billion, Judy joined Nomura, a venture capital firm. Today, she’s the President and CEO of SuviCa, Inc., a research group out of the University of Colorado, developing new treatments for blood cancers.

She has served on 16 for-profit boards, as well as the boards of Benedictine College and The Parkinson’s Institute. She has created two charitable foundations and has a passion for mentorship of young people, particularly helping young women in career path development.

Gainer credits his Benedictine education, particularly the guidance of Fr. Terence Sullivan, OSB ’53, professor of sociology, for preparing him for over 44 years in law enforcement.

“Each of the individuals who were our teachers, I think left a great impression,” said Gainer. “We’ve been blessed, and I think it’s the basic, fundamental work ethic of work and prayer that the Benedictines taught us. Being part of St. Benedict’s, being Benedictine, has made me better.”

President Stephen Minnis, Terrance Gainer, Fr. Meinrad Miller

Gainer graduated with a degree in Sociology and went on to earn a Master of Science in Management of Public Service and Juris Doctor Degree from DePaul University of Chicago. He also graduated from the FBI National Executive Institute. He is a decorated veteran who served in Vietnam and retired as a Captain in the United States Naval Reserve in 2000. After Vietnam, Gainer’s career saw him serve on the Chicago Police Department, rise to Director of the Illinois State Police, become the Chief of U.S. Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., and serve as the United States Capitol Senate Sergeant-at-Arms—the chief law enforcement officer on Capitol Hill. He still consults for the U.S. Department of Justice, assisting police chiefs in troubled cities to create more peaceful environments through relationships with their citizens.

Gainer and his high school sweetheart, Irene, celebrated their 50th anniversary this summer. They have six children and 14 grandchildren, two of whom are considering Benedictine College for the fall 2019 semester. The Gainers are Eucharistic ministers in their home parish in Chicago.

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.

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