Rockhurst Honored by Southtown CouncilAugust 23, 2013

Rockhurst University was recognized for service to the Southtown community in Kansas City, Mo., Friday during the Southtown Council’s annual awards luncheon.

Rockhurst University President the Rev. Thomas B. Curran accepted the award on behalf of the University community. He invoked the circus theme of the luncheon, saying that the ringmaster of the circus is always surrounded by talent.

“That’s what I feel like today,” Fr. Curran said. “Clearly, I have the best seat in the house to be able to watch what is going on around us and to participate in it as well. I’m especially privileged because of the folks I work with every day. It is a true blessing.”

In his remarks before conveying the award, University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton said the honor is the highest recognition given by the Southtown Council, a coalition of businesses, institutions and other community leaders in the southern Kansas City area. It’s an honor, he added, that Rockhurst deserves.

“In the 103 years since it was founded, Rockhurst has been a leading example of the Jesuit tradition of education,” he said. “Not only in academics, but in leadership and in service as well, and it is in these two latter areas in particular that we honor Rockhurst this afternoon.”

Serving the Southtown community since before there was even such a designation, Morton said Rockhurst was consistently exemplifying the motto “in the city for good” with initiatives like the annual Finucane Service Project, during which freshmen perform community service as part of their orientation; in renovating a former grocery store into the Rockhurst Community Center; and in more recent projects like the partnership that founded the Prosperity Center for Financial Opportunity.

“It is no exaggeration to say that without Rockhurst, Southtown -the place and the organization- would not have achieved all that it has,” Morton said.

Fr. Curran thanked those who have helped to achieve those projects and promised the Southtown Council that Rockhurst still plans to be “in the city, for good.”

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