Women of Creighton

Creighton University has a long, rich history of transformative women making a difference, starting with the founding family itself.
Mary Lucretia Creighton
Mary Lucretia (Wareham) Creighton

Long before she left the gift that went on to found the University, Mary Lucretia Creighton would go to the poorest parts of Omaha to give money and household items to those most in need. Her horse (named “Billy”) was known throughout the city. 

Visiting the University (then Creighton College), Sarah Emily Creighton was distressed by the Jesuits’ accommodations. She and her husband made a gift to build them a new residence, erecting a south wing to the main building.  

The Creighton family, including the Wareham sisters, achieved great success in their lifetimes. But today they’re remembered not for what they gained but what they gave

As one historian wrote, the Creightons were “a family composed of men and women who acquired the American dream, who shared their talents and wealth, and who established a model for those who would serve others.” (Read more about the sisters.)

Sarah Emily (Wareham) Creighton
Sarah Emily (Wareham) Creighton

Today, we honor the achievements of these two extraordinary women through an award bearing their name. Each year, Creighton's Committee on the Status of Women presents the Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Creighton Awards to female faculty, staff or students who have created an environment supportive of achievement for women, encouraged women in the development of their talents, or have served as a role model of accomplishment for women. 

Creighton also honors women through stories of the talented, compassionate individuals of Creighton who continue Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily's legacy of living for others today. We will continue to update this page with articles about the extraordinary women shaping Creighton.

Know of a female Creighton student, alumna, faculty or staff member who would make a good story? Contact RachelMabrey@creighton.edu.

 

STORIES OF CREIGHTON WOMEN

Robbie Bishop Monroe

Her journey for others

When the timing was right the life-long learner and education advocate began writing the next chapter of her life.

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Alumna Danae Mercer

Alumna talks about the Creighton faculty and staff who saved her life

Long before Danae Mercer, BA'09, became a Dubai-based journalist and Instagram influencer promoting body positivity to her 2 million followers, she was a Creighton student in crisis.

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Beth Riemersma at the Olympic Trials

Simone Biles' physical therapist is a Creighton alumna

Creighton alumna Beth Riemersma, DPT’05 — physical therapist to Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles — discusses the joys and challenges of treating Olympic gymnasts.

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Jessica St. Clair Munoz, JD'05

An unceasing gift

On Creighton's fourth annual Giving Day, Jessica St. Clair Muñoz, JD'05, was reintroduced to the Frances Ryan Diversity Scholarship. This time, not as a recipient, but as a donor.

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Kaitlynn Hunt playing softball

First female collegiate baseball coach in state history

Until recently, Kaitlynn Hunt, BA’20, didn’t know she’d earned dual degrees at Creighton — one in the classroom, one on the field.

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Mary Beth Govier

FIREd Up About Creighton

“This made it all very real for me, that there is an actual project and that there are passionate nurses building a story of research.”

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Joella Cohen

Honoring a legacy, her never-ending gift

The late Creighton alumna Joella Cohen was always digging for the details to find and tell a story.

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Deming and Mindrup

A new endowed chair in the medical humanities

The inaugural holder of Creighton’s newest endowed chair is an artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the world and can be found in the private collections of primatologist Jane Goodall and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

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Professor Haneman teaches class.

Law professor inspires student through funeral and burial project research

For 3L student Sarah Mielke, the human element and weight of emotions are at the core of life, learning and problem-solving.

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Kailynn Phillips

Caring for our medical students through scholarships

No one in Kailynn Phillips’ family went to college, let alone medical school. And yet her mother, Diane, who raised her in a small Wisconsin town, never let her question her dreams. She was determined to give Kailynn a life better than her own, no matter what it took.

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Eileen Wirth alongside a picture of Creighton.

The gift of Ignatian mentorship

Mentoring is baked into Creighton’s DNA because the entire Jesuit approach to education is based on the one-on-one design of the Spiritual Exercises.

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Kirstin McCarville, left, and Andrea Hall

A dental faculty dedicated to service

Adjunct Assistant Professor Andrea Hall, DDS, and Associate Professor Kirstin McCarville, DDS, MS, exemplify the passion, drive, and dedication to service guiding the Creighton ethos.

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Elizabeth Crampsey

Making the most of her Creighton scholarships

Recipient of two Graduate Deans’ Scholarships, Elizabeth Crampsey considers herself fortunate—and mindful that the same aid does not exist for all graduate students. “There are limited financial opportunities for support at the graduate level,” she says, “I feel blessed.”

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Joan M. Lappe

The integral interprofessional

Joan M. Lappe, PhD, RN, FAAN, MS’85, is an important figure within the College of Nursing. On second thought, the word “important” does not fully do justice.

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Maggie Larsen

Passion, persistence, and scholarship prepare student for excellence

Maggie Larsen says her education in the School of Dentistry exceeded her expectations and has prepared her to be a competent and compassionate dental professional.

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College of Nursing student Robyn Acob

How Creighton scholarships have changed my life

"Without my scholarship aid, I don't think I'd be at Creighton. It eases the stress on my family and makes this possible. The least I can do, in return, is work hard and do my best."

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Chelsey Hill

‘Diva’ alumna draws on her Creighton experience

Alumna Chelsey Hill, BFA’14, talks about the life-changing Creighton classes that prepared her for a career as the "Illustrating Diva" of the Metropolitan Opera.

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Britney Bell talks with a patient

Meeting a need in Phoenix

Britney Bell, BSCHM’13, MD’18, vividly remembers the stress of Match Day. After completing her last two years of medical school in Phoenix, she didn’t want to go anywhere else for her residency.

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Sarah Synek

Community comes through during crisis

For occupational therapy student Sarah Synek, the support she received during an unprecedented spring semester reaffirmed her faith in the Creighton community and her belief in the Jesuit mission.

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Nelly Nigro, center, with her class of 1945 pharmacy school friends Virginia Driscoll, left, and Alice Appel Duwal.

Pharmacy alumna's gift goes the distance

The success of Nelly Nigro’s life is best measured not in money nor influence but mileage.

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Rebekah Kornblum

Alumna’s generosity guided by service

Rebekah Kornblum, BSBA’15, is committed to giving the most of herself to others through both service and philanthropy. Her Creighton experience was essential in her journey to becoming a woman for and with others.

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Jennifer Taniguchi

A home 3,700 miles away from home

It can be tough to move one state over to attend college, let alone the 3,740 miles. Jennifer Taniguchi traveled from Hilo, Hawaii, to Omaha to study business at Creighton.

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Hardeep Chehal, DDS’15

Chehal thrilled to be named Belzer Endowed Chair

Hardeep Chehal, DDS’15, is the fourth holder of the Belzer Endowed Chair and the first woman appointed to the position.

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Doris Norton and her late husband, John

Driven by tradition to transform the Southwest

Guided by their hearts and innovative vision, Doris Norton and her late husband, John, created a legacy of giving that continues to underscore their passion and commitment for shaping health care education and delivery in Phoenix and the Southwest.

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Face coverings

Creighton alumna and her family start mask-making operation

A Creighton alumna has co-founded a makeshift mask-making operation with her mom, her grandma and their trusty sewing machine.

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Sue Bon Tiede, DDS’91

Creighton dental grad gets at the root of things

"There’s something that shakes you to your core about the Jesuit tradition. The giving and acceptance and service, it changed my life." — Sue Bon Tiede, DDS’91

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From left: Elizabeth “Lizzie” Erftmier, BA’18; Adelaide Herbert Erftmier, BSPHA’60; and Don Erftmier Jr., BSBA’87, on the day Elizabeth graduated.

Four generations of Bluejays

Shortly before she died in 2018, Adelaide — or “Corky,” as her friends knew her — was able to see her granddaughter graduate from Creighton, making them a four-generation Creighton family.

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Kay O’Leary, DDS’88

Wyoming banker reinvented herself as a Creighton dentist

The best thing about Creighton dental school, she says, “is that it prepares you for anything.”

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Linda Lazure

Helping Creighton students however she can

For nearly 40 years, former nursing faculty member Linda Lazure, PhD, supported students emotionally and intellectually. And for quite a few years now, she’s supported them financially, too.

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Student Lexi Weisbeck posing in front of Creighton

A Creighton lawyer

Thanks to the help of scholarships, Lexi is making the most of her time as a Creighton law student, day by day becoming the lawyer she wants to be.

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Suzy, BS’70, and Craig Smith

Alumna pays tribute to parents with gift to Heider College of Business

Her parents' lives were marked by their faith and fortitude and perhaps most of all by their generosity. 

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Maggie Brueck sings at a piano.

The key to harmony in major and minor

Scholarships allowed Maggie Brueck to make the most of her passions in music and psychology.

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Diana Ndunda treats a patient

Why the Creighton experience is so much more

Diana Ndunda came to the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions with a vision in mind and a mission at heart. “I moved to the United States to go to pharmacy school,” says the Kenyan-born student. “I knew I wanted to serve others, and that this career path would give me purpose.”

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Alumna Kassandra Montag

'I choose to have hope' — Omaha Reads author and Creighton alumna reflects on reading, resilience and the apocalypse

Kassandra Montag's "After the Flood" has been selected as the 2020 Omaha Reads pick by the Omaha Public Library.

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Brooklyn Queens of Quarantine

Creighton alumna and her friends' photo project goes viral

Like so many worthwhile creative endeavors, The Brooklyn Queens of Quarantine was spurred by boredom and isolation — two muses working overtime at the moment.

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