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Veritas Awards to be held April 1 to honor professional alumni excellence

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Caldwell University will honor alumni professional excellence at its 31st annual Veritas Awards Friday, April 1 at the Essex Fells Country Club in Essex Fells, N.J.

The honorees are: Eileen Curtis ’68 for Excellence in Cultural Programming,
Mary Lou Donnelly Doneski ’56 for Excellence in Leadership and Service, and Colonel Christopher Doneski ’90 for Excellence in Military Service . The Veritas Award is the highest honor the university bestows on its alumni.

Curtis, of Falls Church, Virginia, has served as president of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce since 1994. She has been recognized as Woman of the Year by the Herndon Business and Professional Women and as Chamber Executive of the Year by the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

In her former career, as music director at WGMS Radio, Curtis produced cultural documentaries that gained her a Peabody Award and a Silver Medal for the Arts from the Government of Austria. Among the many highlights of her career, she collaborated with pyrotechnic experts to create the music for the fireworks on the Washington Mall that accompanied the return of the Iranian hostages, for which she was thanked by President Ronald Reagan. Curtis is also a published author. She holds a B.A. in Music from Caldwell College, an M.A.in Musicology from the Catholic University of America, and a certificate from the Mozarteum,

Mary Louise Donnelly Doneski, of Bethesda, Maryland, has been a trailblazer for women in the military. She followed in the footsteps of her mother, who worked in a munitions plant during  World War II, and an aunt who served in the U.S. Coast Guard, Doneski was the first woman to be commissioned as a Naval officer directly from a college or university in New Jersey. As a lieutenant, Doneski was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. After that, she continued to serve her country as a military spouse, supporting her husband’s career in the Army. She raised five children through nine family moves and her husband’s two deployments to Vietnam and Korea. She mentored the spouses of junior officers. She served on the campaign staff for President Kennedy and worked to turn out the military vote while stationed in West Germany. She is a shining example of leadership, selfless service, scholarship, and motherhood, which has inspired all of her family to a life of service and left an indelible impression on all those who have been touched by her many acts of kindness and charity.

Her commitment to lifelong education and service has inspired all of her children including her son Christopher who will also receive a Veritas award. For over 40 years, she has served in leadership positions in the Woman’s Club of Bethesda, which is active in supporting local shelters and scholarships for students She holds a B.A. in Social Studies from Caldwell College for Women and has a master’s degree.

United States Army Colonel Christopher Doneski has over 25 years experience in the United States Army and has made a name for himself as a leader, expert observer, coach, and mentor.

Currently stationed in Kuwait, Doneski is part of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), which is responsible for running counter ISIL operations in Iraq and Syria. In 2015, he was selected to serve as the director of the Armored Warfighting Forum, which was established to enhance the professional and leadership development of the Army’s maneuver warfare community.

He has worked as the deputy and then acting chief of staff for III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. He served as the Commander of First Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Opposing Force, as the senior brigade combat trainer at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, where he was responsible for preparing brigades for combat in Afghanistan, was deputy brigade trainer at the Joint Multinational Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany and brigade chief of operations in Afghanistan for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, known as the Sky Soldiers .

He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Caldwell College, an M.B.A. from University of Maryland, and a Master’s of Strategic Studies from U.S. Army War College.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $95 and can be obtained by going to www.caldwell.edu/alumni/veritas or calling 973-618-3352.