Esprit de Corps honorees (left to right): Bill Ervin, Mary Ann Luby Kilgore ’74, Ann Schumacher, President Mary Higgins ’69, Rose Ann Shannon Johnson ’69, and Carolyn and John Gehring.
Marian High School honored six individuals with service and leadership awards as part of the Esprit de Corps Awards Banquet held Sept. 5, 2019. Over 100 guests attended the annual recognition program, held at Happy Hollow Club, which featured a cocktail hour, dinner and awards ceremony. The Alumna of the Year award was presented to Mary Ann Luby Kilgore ’74; the Sr. Marcella Leadership Award to Rose Ann Shannon Johnson ’69; the Marian Award to John and Carolyn Gehring; the Spirit of Marian Award to Bill Ervin and an Honorary Diploma to Ann Schumacher.
In her opening remarks, President Mary Higgins recognized the example set forth by the Servants of Mary, Marian’s founding order. “After God, Marian’s next biggest link is with the Servants of Mary, our founders, the creators of our mission, our roots. Led by Prioress, Sr. Mary Gehringer, they are the ones who keep us grounded so that we never forget where we are headed, why we are going there or where we came from.”
Mary Ann Luby Kilgore ’74 was named Alumna of the Year, the most prestigious honor given by the Marian Alumnae Association. In her practice of law, Mary Ann first worked in a Kansas City private practice and then as an in-house attorney for Trans World Airlines. She returned to Omaha in 1990 and retired after working for 27 years as an attorney in the Union Pacific Railroad Law Department. Mary Ann served on the Marian Board of Directors for six years on the communications, marketing, and executive committees, helping transition Marian’s governing structure from a head of school to a president/principal model, as well as chairing the search committees that resulted in the hiring of Mary Higgins and Susie Sullivan. She was chair of the board during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years, during which she led the board through the initiation of the new Haddix Academic Center.
Rose Ann Shannon Johnson ’69 received the Sister Marcella Leadership Award, named for Marian’s first principal, Sr. Mary Marcella Sitzmann, OSM. Rose Ann recently retired from her position as the news director at KETV in Omaha, where she oversaw a staff of 57 and 30 hours of locally produced news each week. She held this position for almost 25 years. Rose Ann is a member of the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Omaha Press Club Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Women’s Press Association Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In 2011, Rose Ann joined Media of Nebraska, a consortium of news organizations that deals with First Amendment and public access issues. She continues to serve on that organization’s board.
The Marian Award was presented to John and Carolyn Gehring. Throughout the past 25 years, Carolyn and John have supported their children’s schools financially through numerous volunteer efforts including classroom and other in-school assistance, athletics, parish finance council and fundraising campaigns. The Gehrings have also supported many community and education causes, including United Way and the Evans Scholars Caddie Scholarship Program. They are particularly focused on increasing Catholic and other educational opportunities for those who need financial assistance. Their daughters, Leslie ’08, Lisa ’10 and Kelly ’17 are all Marian graduates.
Bill Ervin received the Spirit of Marian Award. Bill oversees agency creative direction, agency management and business development at EG Integrated, a full-service marketing agency. He has an extensive marketing background in financial services, health care, agriculture, secondary education, technology and manufacturing. Bill’s father, Frank Ervin, designed the Marian logo in 1994 and worked on several projects for Marian through the years. In the mid-1990s, Bill began to work with Marian in his father’s place, and he has been working with Marian ever since. His work includes the development of a comprehensive brand guide in 2010 and designing the logo and print communications for every MarianFEST since 2006.
Ann Schumacher was conferred an honorary Marian diploma. Ann has served in numerous health care leadership roles throughout her 34-year career. Currently, she serves as president of Immanuel Hospital in Omaha and Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. She is actively involved in the Omaha community and serves on the board of directors for the Nebraska Spine Hospital, Catholic Charities, Charles Drew and most recently the CUES Fund. She was also involved as the past chair of the board of directors for Marian High School and the American Hospital Association Governing Council and serves on the Lasting Hope Recovery Center Advisory Board. Ann and her husband Mark are the parents of Emily ’08, Amanda ’10, Morgan ’12 and Elizabeth ’15.