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Long-time Board Members to Speak at Clarke Commencement

By Clarke News  |  April 15, 2016

Clarke University is honored to recognize the dedicated service of three long-serving and retiring members of its Board of Trustees at the university’s 173 Commencement on Saturday, May 7. Thomas Lynch, Brendan Quann and Robert Wahlert have provided a combined 102 years of service and will address the graduates and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at the ceremony. 

“An institution is rarely blessed with trustees who have dedicated themselves so richly to an institution,” said Clarke President Joanne Burrows, SC, Ph.D. “We have been extremely fortunate to have had three wonderful men guiding this institution for over three decades. Together these three have a combined 102 years of service to Clarke. They brought good sense, compassion, and great humor to their roles as Trustees. I will miss them.”

Lynch has been a member of the Clarke Board of Trustees for 35 years, and served as the board chair 2005-10. He is a Wealth Coach and Managing Partner with ECI/Bank Benefits of Minnesota and has also served as president of Bryn Mawr Financial Corporation and Planned Giving Systems Inc. He and his wife, Barbara, reside in Minneapolis.

Quann has been a member of the Board of Trustees for 35 years. He is senior counsel with the law firm of O’Connor & Thomas, P.C., in Dubuque, which he joined in 1976. He and his wife, Jeanne, reside in Dubuque.

Wahlert has been a member of the Board of Trustees for 32 years, and served as the board chair 1997-2002. He served as executive vice president of the Dubuque Packing Company, then succeeded his father as chairman and CEO in 1978. Bob later established FDL Inc., which became a leader in the meat-packing industry. He and his wife, Donna, live in Fort Myers, Fla.

This year’s Commencement exercises begin with a baccalaureate liturgy at 10 a.m. at which graduates will receive their academic hoods. The Commencement ceremony begins at 2 p.m. Graduates will receive their diplomas and degrees will be conferred upon both undergraduate and graduate students.Special awards will also be bestowed at Commencement. Clarke University is honored by the presence of Archbishop Michael Jackels at the Commencement ceremony.

Clarke will stream the liturgy and Commencement ceremony via Clarke’s website for off-campus viewing.