Each year, the Catholic Education Foundation recognizes individuals whose generosity helps ensure students of all backgrounds have access to a high-quality, faith-filled education. The Michael and Patty Morrisey Angels Among Us Award celebrates members of our caring CEF community for their dedication to Catholic education.

2023 Michael and Patty Morrisey Angels Among Us Honorees

The Byron and Jeanne Thompson Family

For decades, the Byron and Jeanne Thompson family has been instrumental in providing vital support to communities across the Kansas City area.

Rooted in their commitment to God, family and community, the Byron and Jeanne Thompson family have become a cornerstone of support for the Catholic Education Foundation, ensuring students of all backgrounds have access to a Catholic education.

During their lifetimes, Byron and Jeanne brought about positive change and inspired countless individuals through their remarkable generosity. Today, Byron and Jeanne’s legacy proudly lives on through their children and grandchildren.

Their unwavering dedication to bettering their community and the world, guided by their faith in Christ, serves as a powerful testament to the profound and far-reaching impact of their well-lived lives.

(back) Mark Thompson, Chris Thompson, Greg Thompson, Paul Thompson, Scott Thompson, Tim Thompson; (front) Kate Brown, Mary O’Connor, Ann Eckels.

The Catholic Education Foundation is proud to honor the Byron and Jeanne Thompson Family at this year's Gaudeamus benefit gala on Saturday, October 28th at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Join us at Gaudeamus on October 28th!

Each year, we celebrate ..... Larectur. Si fitanum fur audem quamquod defent, con vastemplica vicaudem invo, quam, su mo consultus, maio ve, nernimultia nonloccii iam factumullem avenatabis nonimum nihices cemurionfe.


2022 – (CEF Lifetime Achievement Award) Blake Mulvany, Tom Zarda, Rich Henry, Archbishop James P. Keleher, Sr. Vickie Perkins, and Leonard & Ellen McKinzie

2021 – Archdiocesan Catholic School Teachers

2020 – Lamar & Rita Hunt

2019 – Kathleen A. O’Hara, PH.D.

2018 – Hamp & Nikki Henning and Glenn & Joan Wells

2017 – Stan & Suzan Cramer

2016 – Tom & Sandy Long

2015 – Mark & Lisa Ledom, Pat & Mel McAnany, and Nelson & Marcia Newcomer

2014 – John & Bridget Murphy

2013 – Gaudeamus 10 Year Honorees Reunion

2012 – Bishops and Archbishops Past & Present

2011 – Catholic School Pastors

2010 – The Straub Family

2009 – John & Pat Menghini

2008 – Bob & Esther White and Ben & Betty Zarda

2007 – Charlie & Antoinette Berkel, Bill & Jean Dunn, and Leonard & Ellen McKinzie

2006 – Richard & Sheila Henry and Thomas & Mickey Zarda

2005 – Abbot Barnabas Senecal, OSB

2004 – Archbishop James P. Keleher

2003 – Blake & Rose Ann Mulvany

The Catholic Education Foundation: Bringing high-quality, faith-based education to all children, regardless of their financial situation.

Already registered? Click here for night-of information and special instructions for sponsors and table hosts!

Kyle and Nicole Hill and Jake and Ashley Rieke

Meet our 2022 Gaudeamus Chairs

The 2022 Gaudeamus gala chairs were Kyle and Nicole Hill and Jake and Ashley Rieke.

Jake Rieke and Nicole Davila Hill are grandchildren of Tom and Mickey Zarda, one of CEF's founding families.

Jake Rieke, COO of Ernie Rieke Equipment, is a graduate of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School and serves as the Grand Knight of St. Joseph’s Knights of Columbus council. Ashley, an event coordinator, is a graduate of Bishop Miege High School and has served as co-chair for the school auction at St. Joseph Catholic School in Shawnee, where their three children attend elementary school.

Kyle and Nicole Hill are both graduates of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School. They have two young sons and are accomplished entrepreneurs. Together, they run Hill Homes KC, a remodel and home design company, and Kyle is the founder and CEO of Tywoo Technologies.

Both couples are members of the St. Joseph parish in Shawnee and share a passion for Catholic education.

The 2022 Gaudeamus committee included: Stephen and Joan Charbonneau, Andy and Stephanie Eilert, Brad and Katie Inman, Shannon Lillis, Darren and Janet Lovick, Mary Parrigon, Colin and Micala Quinn, Tom and Katy Rottinghaus, Chris and Megan Schumm, John and Rose Shaw, Jolynn Taratino, and Jeff and Amy Zeller

Together, they helped us recognize our founding leaders and celebrate 25 years of Catholic Education Foundation’s impact at the 2022 Gaudeamus benefit gala.




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