Xavier University’s Founders’ Day award honors individuals whose outstanding contributions to Xavier help the University better serve students and society. During the annual Founders’ Day Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 24, the University honored Ann McCabe Buenger as the 2009 Founders’ Day award recipient.
Buenger is a living example of the Ignatian ideal of service to others. Long a champion of young people in general and education in particular, her charitable efforts extend throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. And though her gifts continue to benefit countless boys and girls, Buenger has humbly refused to draw attention to herself.
A Northern Kentucky native, Ann Buenger grew up in Fort Thomas and graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills in 1944. In 1950, she married Clement Buenger, a 1953 Xavier graduate whom she first met in grade school. Together, they built a life of service and volunteerism that expanded in scope and possibility as Clem Buenger rose to become chairman and president of Fifth Third Bancorp.
At the University, the scope of those undertakings is perhaps most visible in Clement and Ann Buenger Hall, which houses students in the University scholars and honors programs. But their generosity is also manifest in the Clem and Ann Buenger endowed scholarship and such wide-ranging projects as the Initiative for Catholic Schools, the renovation of the Alumni Center and the creation of the Gallagher Student Center, among many others.
Beyond Xavier, the Buengers also lent their time and resources to St. Xavier High School, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Fund for Independent Schools in Cincinnati. And their support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati—along with their role in encouraging others to offer support—was recognized in 1996 when the organization opened the Clem and Ann Buenger Boys & Girls Club in Newport, Ky.
In addition to these activities, Ann Buenger has generously given her time as a volunteer at St. Luke Hospital in Fort Thomas, has long been a benefactress of Notre Dame Academy and is a member of the Marian Circle. In 2002, she was honored at Notre Dame’s first-ever Women Making a Difference recognition luncheon. In 2004, Xavier University honored her with the St. Francis Xavier Medal.
In recognition of her lifetime of dedication to and support for the University and its mission—qualities that exemplify the tradition of those visionaries who founded, nurtured and sustained the institution for more than 175 years—Xavier is proud to present Ann McCabe Buenger with the 2009 Founders’ Day Award.