$1 Million Humanitarian Award to
be Given at|
Opus Prize will be awarded on Nov. 7
Oct. 31, 2005
The $1 million Opus Prize, an international
humanitarian award given to people or organizations that are
committed to changing deeply rooted problems such as poverty,
hunger, illiteracy or disease, will be awarded at Marquette
University's Alumni Memorial Union Ballroom on Nov. 7 at 6
p.m. Marquette University was chosen by the Opus Foundation,
which funds the Opus Prize, to administer this year's award.
||$1 million Opus Prize Award Dinner
||Monday, Nov. 7
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
||Human rights leaders from across the country,
Marquette faculty, staff and students, Opus Prize
jurors and others will be in attendance as the $1
million Opus Prize is conferred. Two additional
prizes of $100,000 each will also be conferred.
||Alumni Memorial Union, Ballroom, Marquette University
campus 1442 W. Wisconson Ave.
are encouraged to attend the dinner on Nov. 7. All
three winners will be in Milwaukee from Nov. 3 through
Nov. 12 and are available for interviews. Please
contact Anne Broeker at (414) 288-0286
or Brigid O'Brien Miller at (414) 288-7445 to set
up interviews or for more information.
Reach Education Action Programme (REAP), founded by Rev.
Trevor Miranda, S.J., in Mumbai, India, is the second recipient
of the annual prize. The million-dollar cash award will be
used to further REAP's mission of “empowering the underprivileged
through literacy for a new world of freedom, justice, dignity
Under Rev. Miranda's leadership, in just six years REAP has
opened more than 450 literacy centers to bring books and teachers
to the desperately poor. Wherever the children may be – on
the streets, in the hills, on the highways or in tribal areas
– REAP's mission is to reach them, and to set them on a more
hopeful path in the mainstream of society. REAP has also launched
an adult literacy program that focuses on giving women the
education, training and skills they need to take on dignified
jobs and escape from the streets.
Two other endeavors will also be recognized at the Nov. 7
award ceremony. Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (“Our Little Brothers
and Sisters”), a charitable organization serving orphaned
and abandoned children in Latin America and the Caribbean
founded by Rev. William Wasson, will receive a $100,000 prize.
Dr. Juliana Akinyi Otieno will also receive $100,000 for
her service as a pediatrician in eastern Kenya, where two
in every ten children still die before the age of five. Until
recently, she was the only pediatrician serving a community
of 300,000 people.
All three winners will be in attendance to accept
their awards. Father Miranda will also receive an
honorary degree from Marquette. The award recipients will
also participate in a week-long series of events on campus
dedicated to the cause of human rights around the world.
About the prize selection
The winners were selected by a jury appointed
by Marquette University. The jurors were Chris Abele
of the Argosy Foundation, R.W. Apple, Jr.
of the New York Times , William
Burleigh of E.W. Scripps Company, the Honorable
Janine Geske of Marquette University, Erica
John of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting
Fund, Kerry Kennedy of the Robert F. Kennedy
Memorial Center for Human Rights, Sheldon Lubar
of Lubar & Company, Roy Reiman of Reiman
Publications, the Honorable Tommy Thompson ,
former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and former
Governor of Wisconsin, and Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J.
of Marquette University.
The Opus Foundation sent a group to the site of the finalists
selected by the panel of jurists. Marquette's contingent in
the group included three current students, who are actively
involved in community service projects in the Milwaukee area
and around the world. Senior Nikki Hertel traveled to Mexico
to see two of the NPH orphanages. Junior Conor Sweeney and
Senior Lisa Hench went to India and Africa. The three students
will introduce the winners at the awards dinner and share
their experiences from the trips.
The nondenominational Opus Prize honors faith in action,
singling out the good works, fidelity, and exemplary character
of recipients. The Opus Prize Foundation is a philanthropy
established by the Opus Corporation, a Minnesota company providing
architectural, construction and real estate development services
in 40 markets nationwide.
Marquette's participation in administering the Opus Prize
has been a catalyst to exploring issues of human dignity and
human rights and the response of individuals and institutions
to such issues. As part of the year-long “Human Dignity, Human
Rights: A Call to Service,” the university will present faculty
lectures across academic disciplines, a film series, performing
arts productions, and presentations by university guests on
issues of human rights in the context of Marquette's Catholic,
For more information on the Opus Prize, the 2005 winners,
or the selection process, please visit www.opusprize.com.
Office of Marketing and Communication Contacts
Brigid O'Brien Miller
Director of University Communication
Phone: (414) 288-7445
Sr. Media Relations Specialist
Phone: (414) 288-0286