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AZ: Midwestern University Honors Three Outstanding Individuals at Annual Gala

October 24, 2014

by Office of Communications

More than 500 academic, healthcare, business, and community leaders attended the annual Bright Lights, Shining Stars gala

More than 500 academic, healthcare, business, and community leaders joined together on Saturday, October 18 at the annual Bright Lights, Shining Stars gala where Midwestern University recognized and honored individuals for their commitment to helping others. The event was held at Midwestern University's Glendale Campus at 19555 North 59th Avenue.

Harry and Rose Papp, Partners, L. Roy Papp & Associates, LLP, were the joint recipients of the 2014 COMET (Community Outreach: Motivating Excellence for Tomorrow) Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who have shown exemplary commitment to the community.

Mr. Papp is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona and serves on the Boards of the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona State University Foundation, and Community Health Charities of Arizona. He also serves as President of Arizona Five Arts Circle and serves on the Planned Giving Committee for the Desert Botanical Garden, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Heard Museum. He received his M.B.A. and a Master of Science in Geochemistry from the University of Chicago and earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University.

Mrs. Papp graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan and went on to achieve her Master of Management degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. She is a Director of the Flinn Foundation and serves as Treasurer and Chair of the Investment Committee. She serves on the Board of Trustees and acts as Treasurer for the Phoenix Art Museum and the Desert Botanical Garden. Additionally, she is a member of Arizona Women's Forum and the Arizona State University Foundation's Women and Philanthropy group.

The COMET Award was presented to Mr. and Ms. Papp by Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University.

In addition to the COMET Award, Dr. Goeppinger presented the 2014 Shooting Star Award, which recognizes a community leader for outstanding contributions to healthcare and education, to Steven Hansen, D.V.M., M.B.A., DACAW, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Humane Society (AHS). Dr. Hansen has nearly three decades of experience in animal welfare. He has served as the Chief Operating Officer for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and as the Director of Veterinary Research and Support for Wellmark International, and practiced clinical veterinary medicine in Houston and Chicago. He received his B.S. and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Iowa State University and received an M.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois.

During his short tenure with AHS, Dr. Hansen has proven to be a vital catalyst and transformation leader committed to solving our community's pet overpopulation problem through innovative programs and partnerships.  Dr. Hansen has overseen the implementation of several new initiatives to save the lives of thousands of animals and lead Maricopa County to becoming the animal welfare community of the future. Some of these lifesaving initiatives include the launch of a kitten nursery, which provides critical care and socialization to kittens too young for adoption; the Waggin' Wheels Mobile Adoption Vehicle, which allows AHS to take pets on the road to adoption throughout the Valley; and Admissions by Appointment, which is designed to give every pet surrendered to AHS its best chance for success by way of a simple, 30-minute intake appointment.

"The Midwestern University Bright Lights, Shining Stars gala is truly a community event bringing many friends of the University together to share in our growth while providing scholarship monies for our healthcare students. This year we honored three important leaders in our community who have a history of giving back to improve the health and welfare of animals through their work at the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Humane Society," said Dr. Goeppinger.

The black-tie-optional event, which raises over $100,000 annually in scholarship funds for students in all of Midwestern University's colleges, also featured an outdoor reception, formal dinner, live entertainment, and a silent auction.

More Information

For more information, please contact:
Office of Communications
630.515.7333 (IL) or 623.572.3353 (AZ)