Benedictine recognizes alumni for service to others and the University   

Benedictine recognizes alumni for service to others and the University   
October 5, 2010

Phil Brozynski
(630) 829-6094

Alumni Award 2010 (web)Lisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University recognized the winners of the 2010 Alumni Awards during Homecoming festivities on October 2.

The Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in a career field or personal endeavor, was presented  to Harold G. Bicek, M.D.

Bicek earned his high school diploma from St. Procopius Academy in 1949, and attended St. Procopius College before leaving in 1952 to attend Stritch School of Medicine. Bicek earned a medical degree in 1956 and interned at Cook County Hospital.

Bicek joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1957 and was honorably discharged two years later. He opened a family practice in Downers Grove in 1959, and remained in private practice until 1987 when he left to become the physician advisor for Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

Bicek served as president of the Edward Hospital Medical Staff from 1966-68 and was president of the medical staff at Good Samaritan until leaving to become the medical director for Metropolitan Life, MetraHealth and United Health Care. Bicek retired in 1996.

Bicek and his wife, Joan, are the proud parents of Paul, M.D., David and Tom. They also have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Bicek and his wife are enjoying their family and retirement in Plainfield.

"Watching two of my sons (Paul and Tom) graduate from Illinois Benedictine College and my granddaughter graduate from Benedictine University has given us great joy," Bicek said.

The 2010 Alumni Service Award was presented to Maurice Bell in recognition of service to Benedictine University with his time and talent. Bell has been employed by PepsiCo since 1998 and is currently Senior Manager, Sales Strategy and leads the National Sales Strategy for the Convenience Channel of the Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo.

Bell participated in track and served as Business Manager of the Student Government Association while a student at Benedictine. Following graduation, Bell earned an M.B.A. from the Keller Graduate School of Management in 1993. He has served on numerous diversity and inclusion task forces and serves as a mentor to numerous employees for PepsiCo.

Bell served on the Alumni Board at Benedictine University from 2002-2008, volunteering for numerous events such as Red Carpet Day and New Student Orientation, actively supporting the President's Invitational Golf Outing and serving as the chair couple with his wife, Sarah, of the 2006 Educare Scholarship Ball. Bell also led the development of the African American Scholarship Fund.

Bell is active in his church and has partnered with Light the World Church in Uganda, Africa, to raise support for local orphanage homes in Uganda. Bell has personally traveled to Uganda the past four years to develop relationships and build more orphanages.

Bell and his wife live in Wheaton with their two children, Benjamin and Olivia.

The Benedictine Spirit Award, which is given to an alumnus who exemplifies the Benedictine values of service, hospitality and dedication in their personal and/or professional life, was presented to Joan Carberry O'Neill.

O'Neill transferred in 1971 to what was then known as Illinois Benedictine College from Moraine Valley Community College and became a member of the second class of women to graduate from the college. She volunteered her time both fundraising and recruiting for the college while a student and following graduation.

O'Neill has worked in the insurance industry for the past 27 years in a variety of roles including marketing, commercial underwriting, loss control fieldwork and currently as a sales consultant for Insurance Services Office in Lisle. She is also a licensed residential real estate broker with Coldwell Banker.

O'Neill's participates in a number of volunteer activities for both the community and Benedictine University. She is a volunteer parent at her children's school, a Cub Scout Den Leader, a member of St. James at Sag Bridge Tabernacle guild, organizes a bike-a-thon to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and has dedicated 14 years to the Alumni Association Board at Benedictine.

O'Neill has three children: Tony, 28; Lisa, 25; and Joe, 21. She lives in Niles with her husband, Kevin. 


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 53 undergraduate majors, 13 graduate and four doctorate programs. Benedictine University is ranked as a Top School in the Midwest (eighth in Illinois) for Master’s Universities, 11th in the Midwest (and sixth in Illinois) for Racial Diversity, and as a Top School for International Students, Freshmen Retention and Graduation Rate for 2010 by U.S. News & World Report.