May 12, 2024

Elyse Keeffer ’24 Receives Sister Catherine McAuley Award

Mount Mercy University graduate Elyse Keeffer ’24 received the Sister Catherine McAuley Award during Mount Mercy’s 2024 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 12. Elyse received her bachelor’s degree in religion and social work.

The Sister Catherine McAuley Award is presented to the graduate who best exemplifies our university mission in how they reflect, engage, serve, and live a purposeful life during their time at Mount Mercy. The award is named for Sister Mary Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831.

Elyse served two years as President of the student organization Emmaus, was a member of the Social Work Organization, was part of the Honors Program, and was a Residential Peer Minister.

One nominator noted, “Elyse has exemplified the values and mission of MMU in a stellar fashion through the integrity of her relationships with the entire community. The leadership she has promoted especially through student organizations, her responsiveness to the needs of others in her commitment to service, her degree choice melding theology and social work, and through the constancy of her compassion reaching out to others on and beyond the campus.”

The nominator went on to say, “The five critical concerns have been the foundation of her service. These are too numerous to enumerate but include: fall/spring break trips (Los Angeles), service project to the Blackfeet Reservation, serving meals at the Dubuque Mission, and assisting with Milestones Adult Day Health Services and with the Catherine McAuley Center. Holistically, Elyse has developed her total person and witnesses well the value and importance of a liberal arts education. In short, Elyse acts with compassion, committed to justice, and focused on the common good.”

Congratulations, Elyse!