Lemont Couple Honored for Philanthropy

Russ and Dawn Smyth received award from Lewis University.

Lewis University presented the Frank J. Lewis Philanthropists of the Year Awards to Russ and Dawn Smyth of Lemont at the 17th annual President’s Circle dinner at the university's main campus in Romeoville.

The couple received the award during a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception and four-course dinner for more than 200 guests. The President’s Circle Dinner annually honors the university’s top donors for their commitment to higher education and dedication to Lewis University through financial support.

Lewis University describes the awardees as follows:

“Extraordinary in their commitment to Catholic education, Russ and Dawn Smyth have been remarkable for their generosity and concern for those less fortunate, expressing their faith by assisting others throughout their exemplary Christian lives.”

Russ completed both a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration. He began his career at McDonald’s Corporation in 1984 and  served the fast food company in a variety of executive leadership roles for more than 20 years.

He became a member of the Lewis University Board of Trustees in 2004, and has served as chair of the trustee development committee and also as a member of the board’s executive committee. More recently, Russ was named the vice chair of the board of trustees.

Dawn earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing and has been a consistent and generous volunteer at the couple’s parish, serving in leadership roles as president and treasurer for the SS Cyril and Methodius Mother’s Club, as well as working closely with the Ronald McDonald House charities.

Lewis University also presented the Philanthropists of the Year Award to Dr. Paul and Kathleen Kaiser of Joliet, whom they described thusly: “Highly dedicated to Catholic education and staunch advocates for human rights, Dr. Paul and Kathleen Kaiser have consistently demonstrated exceptional generosity in their leadership in social justice causes, benevolent support of people in need, and outstanding volunteer service in the local community and beyond.”

Editor's note: The information above is from a press release issued by Lewis University.

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