JCA Alumni Association announces Annual Alumni Awards

Joliet Catholic Academy Director of Alumni Relations Sue Bebar and JCA Alumni Board President Jeff Phelan recently announced the 2018 JCA Alumni Awards. This year’s honorees include – JCA Alumni of the Year Award: Dr. Tom ’85 and Colleen ’87 (Graham) Dow, JCA Career Achievement Award: Dr. John Kahler ’65, Rev. Paddy McGowan Award (for athletic achievement): Mr. Josh Ferguson ’11, JCA Honorary Alumna of the Year: Mrs. Sue Hansen, and the Sr. Marie Becker Service to JCA Award: Mrs. Maria Acosta. This year’s award winners will be honored at a dinner and program Thursday, May 10, 2018 at the Jacob Henry Mansion Victorian Ballroom. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.jca-online.org/alumni-honors-banquet or by calling JCA Alumni Relations at 815.741.0500, ext. 269.

Tom and Colleen Dow

Tom and Colleen Dow exemplify the JCA spirit through generous donation of their time and leadership. Tom is the current Chairman and long-standing member of the JCA Board of Directors, and together they were Co-Chairs for JCA’s largest annual fundraiser Jubilate in 2018. They are true advocates for JCA internally and to the broader community. The Dows have dedicated particular energy toward the development of JCA’s award-winning Drama Program, of which their daughter, Katie ’18 has been a star contributor. Both the Dow and Graham families have been deeply involved in supporting JCA, with Colleen’s parents, Pat (’59) and Patty (Liker ’60) Graham, receiving the 2017 Jubilate Recognition Award.

Dr. John Kahler

Dr. John Kahler is Chicago-area Pediatrician, and winner of Chicago Magazine’s 2017 Man of the Year award, along with his partners, for his medical work in Syria as part of the Syrian American Medical Society.  John has repeatedly risked his own life traveling multiple times to Syria to provide medical assistance to the citizens of this war-torn country. He has also been to Haiti and Pakistan to assist those populations in recovering from natural and man-made disasters, a true example of selflessness and the embodiment of the Catholic mission. John has three children (Debbie, Chris and Angela) and resides in Palos Heights with his wife Cecilia.

Josh Ferguson

Josh Ferguson is currently a member of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and was a key performer for four years at the University of Illinois, the foundation of which was laid as a three-year varsity starter for the IHSA-record 13-time State Champion Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers football program.  As a senior, Josh earned IHSA Coaches Association 5A All-State Team and Chicago Tribune 1st Team All-State recognition and was the ESCC Conference Player of the Year in 2010.  During his Hilltopper career, Josh amassed 49 TD’s and 3,479 rushing yards for an average of 10.7 yards per carry.  Josh grew up in Naperville and currently resides in Indiana.

Sue Hansen

Sue Hansen has been employed at JCA for over 25 years, currently serving as the Development Coordinator.  She continuously goes above and beyond in all aspects of her work, from maintaining the Alumni database to coordinating the presentation of JCA’s Annual Fund and Annual Report, to help keep alumni and friends engaged in the support of JCA.  She previously worked as the Administrative Assistant for Sister Faith Szambelanczyk, OSF, and remains a constant presence and supporter at school and Alumni events, including the Hilltopper Banquet and the Alumni Golf Outing.  Sue has always been an Angel at heart.

Maria Acosta

Maria Acosta remains a constant supporter of JCA at school-sponsored and team-based events. She was a past Chairperson of Jubilate following several years of dedicated committee work. Maria often donates her time and energy helping to coordinate hosting family and team events and lives the JCA spirit of servant leadership. She and her husband Felipe are proud parents of Antonio (’14), Andriana (’16), Alaina (’18) and Ante (’21).

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