|Mr. Bernard Niehaus|
Conferral speech for the Distinguished Alumnus Award given at the 2012 Saint Meinrad Alumni Reunion
Presented July 24, 2012
Delivered by Distinguished Alumnus recipient Msgr. Jack Bendik O'67 for Bernie Niehaus.
Involved. Committed. Engaged. These are three words that describe Bernie Niehaus’ service to Saint Meinrad since attending high school here from 1951 to 1954. Bernie has left an indelible mark on Saint Meinrad, and it’s safe to say that Saint Meinrad has left an indelible mark on Bernie, too.
This past February, Bernie was recognized for his service on Saint Meinrad’s Board of Overseers. He shared his knowledge and wisdom for six terms – including three years as chair of the Board of Overseers – totaling 18 years of service to his alma mater. One nominator for this award noted, "Bernie has been tireless in the giving of his time to the Abbey.”
Bernie and his wife Patty, who celebrate their 50th
wedding anniversary this year, reside in
They have five children: Anne, Butch, Catherine, David and Eric; and 19 grandchildren who are the source of many joyful moments and memories for the Niehauses.
In 2004, Bernie worked with Saint Meinrad’s Abbey Press to produce his book Splinters. Throughout the book, Bernie shares his wisdom and life experiences about family matters, business operations, the Catholic Church and his community. In the Church section, Bernie wrote, "I owe Saint Meinrad a lot, for it was the best thing that happened to me.”
Bernie also recalls some of his favorite teachers and their subjects in his book, "Father Damasus for history, Father Richard for biology, Father Kevin for Physics and Father Marion for Latin.” He also recalled Fathers Aemilian and Gerard, the disciplinarians, who carried little black books to keep track of the students’ misbehavior.
Bernie often has the opportunity to speak with students and
others connected to the H
Bernie has been a strong promoter of
Bernie’s community service also has included stints as
chairman of the board of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Evansv
Another nominator summed up Bernie’s role in the life of his
family, Church and community: "Bernie is a faith-f
Bernie, we know that Saint Meinrad was one of the best
things that happened to you, but we want you to know that you’re one of the
best things to happen to Saint Meinrad. Congratulations on being honored as the
21st recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award.