Association of Marquette University Women Award Recipient
Mary Neville Bielefeld Award
Peg found great joy in teaching and promoting the best and brightest, and she did both for several years as an instructor of clinical dental hygiene at Marquette and executive director of Alpha Sigma Nu.
“When I was at the Dental School, the thing I loved most was the moment when a struggling student ‘got it’,” says Peg, who was an instructor there from 1951–79.
After that, she worked as director of major gifts for the American Heart Association of Wisconsin and director of financial development for the Children’s Service Society.
Feeling the pull to return to Jesuit education, Peg joined Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor societies of colleges and universities. The society honors students who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty to the ideals of Jesuit education and service to others while attending one of the 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities; Regis and Campion colleges in Canada; or Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea.
“The opportunity to promote the best and brightest in Jesuit higher education for their scholarship, service and loyalty was incredible,” she says. “Also, I was able to build the infrastructure for the current successes of the organization. Alpha Sigma Nu gave me the opportunity to use all of the skills that I had learned in my previous professional lives.”
These days, Peg is a docent at Ten Chimneys and St. John’s Cathedral. Previously, she was national director of the Marquette University Alumni Association and served on the university’s reunion committee.
Her Marquette connections include her husband, Bob, Arts ’51, Law ’57, and father, Dr. Edwin T. Finucan, Dent 1914. Many of her cousins also attended Marquette.
Favorite book: God Speaks by Charles Peguy
Favorite quote: Peguy’s entire poem titled Hope, which ends: “Hope is the shoot and the bud of the bloom of eternity itself.”
Dream dinner guests: “Dr. Judy Mayotte, Grad ’76, former Marquette theology professor who started the university’s South Africa Service Learning Program. She now serves on the board of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation Board and Operating Committee.”
“Also, the late Rev. Bernard Cooke, Hon Deg ’03, who founded Marquette’s doctoral program in theology in 1963. His department included laypeople, which is what made it so remarkable; Mabel McElligott, former Marquette dean of women; the late Dr. Tony Kuchan, former Marquette assistant professor of psychology; Rev. Greg Lucey, S.J., founder of Marquette’s Center of Ignatian Spirituality and current president of Spring Hill College; and Dr. John Pustejovsky, associate professor of German at Marquette.”
Favorite Marquette memories: “Dormitory conversations long and late into the night.
“At Christmas time, descending the gorgeous staircase at Lisette Lodge, dressed in a formal. In that setting, we just knew that we were beautiful.”
Career she aspired to in grade school: “I don’t think I thought about growing up. But by high school, I was thinking about being a librarian so that I could spend all day with books.”