Three receive Distinguished Alumnus Award at St. Meinrad

Special to The Message

Three alumni of St. Meinrad were honored on July 23 as recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. They are Bill McGuire of Indianapolis, and Deacon Frank and Mary Olmsted of St. Charles, Missouri.

Bill McGuire
McGuire studied at St. Meinrad from 1952 to 1958. He attended Catholic schools in Haubstadt and Fort Branch. As he approached high school, he felt he was being called to the priesthood. He enrolled in the minor seminary at St. Meinrad in 1952, during some of the most formative years of his life.

After discerning he was not meant for the priesthood, McGuire left St. Meinrad and attended the University of Evansville, where he met his wife, Margaret. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 1962 and worked for nearly 30 years at Indiana Bell/Ameritech in Indianapolis. After retiring from Ameritech, he went to work at Hancock Telecom on a part-time basis.

In 2009, he retired from Hancock Telecom, where he was director of settlements and special projects. He received the distinguished service award from the Indiana Telecommunications Association in 2005.

McGuire served the alumni of St. Meinrad as an Alumni Association board member from 1973-1976 and again from 2011-2017. He has served as class chairman and still holds the record for recruiting the most class members to attend an Alumni Reunion.

McGuire has been a St. Meinrad Day of Service leader since 2015, and he attends regional dinners. He believes his involvement with St. Meinrad has drawn him to other areas of service.

He is active at St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis and has served as the Eucharistic minister coordinator for 28 years, including scheduling and training all Eucharistic ministers.

For the past 15 years, he has been going on mission trips to Tijuana, Mexico, and the southwest United States. He made his 23rd and 24th mission trips this summer.

Frank and Mary Olmsted
Frank and Mary were the first married couple to attend Summer Session classes at St. Meinrad, arriving in 1977.

The Olmsteds originally came to St. Meinrad because Frank had received a grant to take summer classes in the areas of youth ministry and religious education. After that first summer, they returned to St. Meinrad for five more summers, and both earned master’s degrees in religious education.

St. Meinrad remained an important part of their lives — through raising their kids (they adopted two children; Abby in 1983 and Justin in 1990), working (Frank as a teacher and deacon and Mary in parish work and teaching), and serving the school in various ways.

In 2018, Frank retired after 34 years as theology teacher and campus ministry director at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, and 10 years at Benedictine College. He also taught evening and summer courses for Pope Paul VI Pastoral Institute, St. Louis, for 20 years. He was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of St. Louis on June 6, 1999, and is serving at St. Cletus Parish in St. Charles, Missouri.

Mary has retired as director of religious education at St. Cletus, where she worked for 21 years in three different stints. She also taught English as a second language at Benedictine College (five years), directed retreats at the Passionist and Marianist retreat centers in St. Louis (nine years), and was a theology teacher at Duchesne High School in St. Charles (seven years).

Frank served as dean of students in St. Meinrad’s summer school (1980-82), and he is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Overseers, He and Mary have served on the Summer Session Alumni Board of Directors and given workshops for St. Meinrad’s diaconate program in the Diocese of Belleville.

With the 2019 recipients, 30 alumni have received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Given by the St. Meinrad Alumni Association, the award began in 1990 to honor alumni who exemplify the Gospel values and have provided exemplary service in their lives or professions. The association’s board of directors reviews nominations for the award annually and makes the recommendations.