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Marquette University Alumni Association

All-University Award Recipients

Alumni of the Year Award

Margaret and Richard SibbernsenMargaret Conway Sibbernsen, Eng '72, and Richard D. Sibbernsen, Arts '71
Highland Park, Ill.

Dick and Meg don't let geography stand in the way of their work and volunteer activities. Their home base is in the Chicago suburbs; Dick teaches at business schools on three continents, they have dual U.S. and Australian citizenship, and both volunteer extensively — working every day to Be The Difference.

Retired from a 33-year career in human resources that included leadership roles video introat U.S. companies Tenneco and BellSouth, as well as at Sydney, Australia-based TNT Limited, Dick was respected among his colleagues for his humility and work ethic. He says both stem from a passion for helping people achieve at a level that is personally fulfilling to them: "The best reward is watching people grow in leadership, functional expertise and deep sense of purpose."

In retirement, when they are not spending time with their five grown children and 11 grandchildren, Dick and Meg find that sense of purpose through a variety of volunteer activities. Meg provides free tax preparation assistance for low-income individuals and families through Moraine (Ill.) Township. She is also involved with Project Linus, knitting new, handmade blankets for children who are ill, traumatized or in need. When the Sibbernsens lived in Atlanta, Meg helped establish a Habitat for Humanity chapter at a local high school and built homes alongside other parents and students. The student-run chapter is still going strong today with more than 300 members. Meg has also done extensive math tutoring to grade school, high school and technical college students over the years.

Dick serves his local community through the Ignatian Volunteer Corps of Chicago, with which he connected in 2009 at the recommendation of Marquette’s 22nd president, Rev. Robert A Wild, S.J., now the university's chancellor. Dick teaches a "rethinking your thinking" course to inmates of the Lake County Jail in Waukegan, Ill., and provides pro bono legal services to low-income Hispanic individuals and families there. Every six weeks, he joins other IVC volunteers for a day of spiritual reflection.

The couple has supported its alma mater in various ways and most recently committed resources to support scholarships for women in technology.

Through the giving of their time, talent and resources, Dick and Meg are living the Marquette-instilled values of Ignatian spirituality: learn, earn and return.