10/04/10 Ancilla College’s Inge Kirk was recently named the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Blessed Catherine Kasper Award.

Kirk, a Center for Student Achievement Advisor, was honored at the Annual Awards Luncheon held at the PHJC Ministry Center in Donaldson, IN, on September 12.

The award recognizes coworkers who “carry on the legacy of Blessed Catherine and the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ” and honors them for acting as models of the Poor Handmaid’s core values: Openness to the Spirit; Community; Simplicity; and Dignity and Respect for all. It is open to employees of the various ministries under the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

“I’m very delighted Inge Kirk was chosen to be honored,” said Sr. Carleen Wrasman, PHJC and Coordinator of Campus Ministry. “Day in and day out, she strives to do what is best for our students. Her contact with students is both professional and very personable.

“We all try to live in the spirit of Catherine Kasper, and she has exemplified that over all these years. She is certainly a deserving honoree for living those values in the spirit of Catherine Kasper.”

Kirk first came to the Donaldson-based campus in 1998 as a 50-year-old non-traditional student following a layoff from her job at local wire harness manufacturing company Lear.

During her time as a student, she served as a work study in both the Office of Admissions and the Registrar Office. Upon graduation in 2000, she was hired as the Assistant Registrar.

Kirk was eventually promoted to Associate Registrar before transferring to the Center for Student Achievement in 2007.

“I feel very honored,” said Kirk. “I always thought the world of my coworkers. I know they care about me. I was in a state of shock when I found out. It is a special honor, and I am humbled by it.”

Kirk, whose husband, Don, passed away not too long ago, was quick to mention how supportive the campus was for her during those times and how much it meant to her.

“They were with me when Don was sick. When I lost my husband, they were there for me. I’m humbled by it. I could not believe when Don passed away and I saw 75 percent of Ancilla College come (to pay their respects). How do you say thank you? There are no cards, no words, are there?”

Kirk has also become a favorite amongst many students over the years. Her willingness to spend time with and to be a strong role model for them has made her a confidant to numerous members of Ancilla’s student body.

“That’s how my grandmother raised me, to have strong morals, vales and appreciate all of mankind” said Kirk. “All my life, my grandmother was my idol, my hero. I strive to be half the person she was. I never know when I’ll reach that halfway mark.”

Ancilla College is a Catholic, two-year, co-educational, liberal arts college in Donaldson, Indiana sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

Photo: Inge Kirk (left) and Sr. Carleen Wrasman pose in front of a mural of Blessed Catherine Kasper with the Blessed Catherine Kasper Award. Kirk was recently honored with the award at the PHJC Ministry Center’s Annual Awards Luncheon.