University of Holy Cross

University of Holy Cross to Honor Marilyn and Peter Quirk and The Alden and Margaret Laborde Foundation at Spes Unica Awards on Thursday, April 11

University’s Annual Awards Ceremony Takes Place at 6:30 p.m. at 580 Woodvine Ave.

UHC News | April 4, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – Marilyn and Peter Quirk and The Alden and Margaret Laborde Foundation will receive the University of Holy Cross’s annual Spes Unica (One Hope) Award. The awards will be presented during a dinner on Thursday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. at 580 Woodvine Ave. In addition to the Spes Unica awards, Cor et Mentum honors will be awarded to Dr. Paul Ceasar, Dr. Myles Seghers and Keith and Sharon Taranto.

The Spes Unica award is the highest honor awarded by UHC. Spes Unica is also the motto of the university and refers to the fact that the cross is humanity’s one hope. Additionally, Spes Unica refers to the unity found in the Family of Holy Cross.

Marilyn and Peter Quirk have been prominent in Catholic and civic activities for over 50 years. Marilyn’s service includes founding of ‘Magnificat,’ a ministry for Catholic women which today has grown to over 100 chapters in 12 countries. Following a 37-year career in engineering, completing with service as President and CEO at Walk Haydel/A Dames & Moore Company, “Pete” Quirk went on to serve the Archdiocese for 17 years, including 12 years as Executive Director of the then-Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The second honoree is The Alden and Margaret Laborde Foundation, the charitable organization was established in 1997 to help support religious, educational, and charitable organizations that reflected their values of family, faith, and philanthropy. Today with second-and third-generation family members at the helm, the foundation continues their legacy.

“The university’s Spes Unica awards is the highest honor we give out to those who embody our university’s mission and make significant impacts in the New Orleans community,” said UHC President Dr. David M. “Buck” Landry. “Both Marilyn and Peter Quirk and The Alden and Margaret Laborde Foundation are shining of examples of positive forces in our world.”

In addition to the Spes Unica awards, Cor et Mentum awards will be received by Ceasar, Seghers and the Tarantos.

Dr. Ceasar has been the Executive Director of Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat center in Metairie since November, 2013 when the Archdiocese purchased the Center from the Cenacle Sisters. Prior to that, he was affiliated with the graduate counseling program as associate professor in the department of Health and Human Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond Louisiana (2006-2013) and, from 1995-2006, served as a faculty member at then-Our Lady of Holy Cross College as well as Director of the esteemed Counseling program. During 2005-06, Dr. Ceasar also served as President of the College.

Dr. Seghers is well known throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans because of his forty-four years of service in Catholic education. He began his career as a high-school teacher and coach; and, after eight years, he moved into administration. For the next 36 years, Dr. Seghers served in various administrative positions on the high-school level, at the Catholic schools’ central office, and in higher education as president at then- Our Lady of Holy Cross College (now University of Holy Cross).

Keith and Shannon Taranto are both graduates of the University of Holy Cross – where they first met. Keith is a Respiratory Therapy graduate, Class of ’01 and Shannon is a Business-Accounting major, Class of ’03. They are both heavily involved with Camp Pelican, a camp for children ages 5-15 years old who suffer from various Pulmonary Disorders, such as Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, tracheotomy and ventilator-dependent children.

Keith currently works at the Department of Veteran Affairs for the Prosthetics and Sensory Aid Service in an administrative capacity as a Prosthetics Representative. Keith also serves as a facility tour guide for new employees and is the Individuals with Disabilities Special Emphasis Program Manager.

Shannon Taranto currently works at the Department of Veteran Affairs as Executive Secretary of Surgery Service. She also volunteers with fundraising for Camp Pelican and is a Corporation Member of the Louisiana Pulmonary Disease Camp Incorporated. Both are very active alumni of the University of Holy Cross.

The Spes Unica Awards have been awarded since 1988. Former recipients include the Honorable Corrine “Lindy” Boggs, Blaine S. Kern, Michael S. Sport, Joseph and Sue Ellen Canizaro, Dr. Jack and Priscilla Andonie, and the late Reverend Thomas E. Chambers, CSC. ***

About the University of Holy Cross

A fully accredited Catholic university in New Orleans, the University of Holy Cross (formerly Our Lady of Holy Cross College) offers more than 65 majors and programs to more than 1,200 students. With 154 faculty members and a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, students enjoy a personalized academic experience on an active campus where they are encouraged to explore spiritual values and pursue service opportunities. Some of the university’s most distinctive programs are in Business, Education, Counseling, Nursing and Healthcare. The university was founded in 1916 by the Marianites of Holy Cross, whose distinguished history of educating minds and hearts dates to 1848.

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