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Distinguished Alumni Awards

As we celebrate our 2015 Distinguished Alumni awardees,
consider nominating a deserving alum for recognition in 2016. 
Nomination deadline: May 31, 2016.
>> Download nomination form (PDF)

Submit your nomination(s) to: or 
Office of Development & Alumni Relations
Marylhurst University
17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy. 43)
Marylhurst, OR 97036

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients


Nancy Wilgenbusch Distinguished
Professional Award
Lee Po Cha '96

Lee became the executive director of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) in 2015. He began assisting refugees at IRCO in 1981 and managing programs in 1989. He took on new leadership roles in 1994 when he helped found IRCO’s Asian Family Center, becoming its director in 1997 shortly after receiving his MBA from Marylhurst University in 1996. In 2008 he became IRCO’s Associate Director. A member of the American Leadership Forum Class 21, he serves on the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services and co-founded the Coalition of Communities of Color.


Diana Pierce Knox

Service to Marylhurst Award
Diana Pierce Knox  '73

Diana is senior vice president and global head of franchise management at Visa Inc., a global payments technology company. In her role, she oversees several global customer service functions including arbitration and compliance, licensing, operating regulations, contract management, operational metrics and analytics, training and publications. She currently serves as the sponsor for ViAble, an employee resource group at Visa focused on raising awareness within the workplace of the needs and contributions of employees with disabilities, and is in her eleventh year serving on the Marylhurst University Board of Trustees. In addition to earning a B.A. in French at Marylhurst, Diana has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.


Sister Patricia Pfenning

Service to Society Award
Sister Patricia Pfenning '61

Sister Patricia entered the Holy Names Sisters, after three years at Marylhurst College and a year of work. She taught high school, was an administrative assistant at all levels of education, served in the Sisters' Care Center, led retreats and offered spiritual direction. Seventeen years ago, she moved to Dufur, Oregon, where she started a pantry in the old confessional, which has since expanded and become available to many more people. She has raised funds to pay rent for  orphaned children and help people pay utility bills and as well as to offset the local underfunded preschools. She also walks with the elderly, the ill and the dying. She says, “I just show up and hang around.”

terri daniel

Distinguished Recent Graduate Award - College of Arts & Sciences

Terri Daniel, '14

Terri is an ordained interfaith minister, clinical chaplain and educator who assists dying and grieving individuals to discover a more spiritually-spacious understanding of death and beyond. She is concurrently completing an M.A. in Pastoral Care at Fordham University and beginning a Doctor of Ministry at the New Seminary. In addition, Terri facilitates workshops focused on a mystical perspective of death and grief that offer meaning and healing through meditative and ritual practices that incorporate elements of Buddhism, Shamanism, and other spiritual paths. She has authored three books on death and the afterlife and is the producer of the annual Afterlife Awareness Conference. 


shannon kenyon

Distinguished Recent Graduate Award - School of Business

Shannon Kenyon, '13

Shannon is dedicated to helping others realize their own strengths and learn how to maximize them to achieve fulfillment. She works at Aequitas Capital Management in Organizational Development, where she designs and implements training programs to help the workforce learn new skills and become better leaders. To get there Shannon embarked upon a networking adventure she calls The Coffee Project, seeking a company culture that best fit her. She reached out to over 150 professionals and met over 60 for one-on-one coffee meetings to understand their passions, careers and advice for success. She speaks at  events, encouraging others to try this unconventional path.

anne taylor

Distinguished Recent Graduate Award - School of Graduate Studies

Anne Taylor, '13

Anne is a counselor who uses art to support the therapeutic process through making and exploring creative expression. Currently she is a counselor at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation supporting adults to address addiction and co-occurring disorders. She also has a private practice offering Art Therapy and Counseling for adults of all ages. She has developed and led several Art Therapy workshops for the LGBTQ community at the Qcenter and volunteers as an art therapist at Friendly House, supporting seniors. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art from San Jose State University and an M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling from Marylhurst.

Award Description & Past Recipients

Distinguished Recent Graduate Award 
Honorary Alumni Award
Nancy Wilgenbusch Distinguished Professional Award
Service to Marylhurst Award 
Service to Society Award
>>Download List of Previous Awardee Recipients

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