A A Email Print Share

The Spiritus Award


"Spiritus Est Qui Vivificat":  The University's motto, "It is the Spirit that Gives Life," reflects both the philosophy of Duquesne's founders and the way in which our community advances. Faculty, staff and students pursue their daily lives with an openness to the plentiful gifts and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Spiritus Award recognizes those who are most deeply inspired to share their treasure in support of Duquesne's mission-giving generously to serve God by serving students.

Each year, the University honors an individual or couple, or a corporation or foundation, with the Spiritus Award for extraordinary leadership in philanthropic support of Duquesne.

At the third annual President's Scholarship Dinner on May 4, 2017, the Spiritus Award was presented to P. David Pappert, A'60.

Pappert is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of ViON Corporation.

A native of Pittsburgh's North Side, Pappert received his bachelor's degree in English from Duquesne in 1960. He began his career as a computer salesman with IBM and joined MAI Equipment Corporation in 1965. Three years later, he moved to ITEL Corporation, a computer leasing firm. As president and CEO of ITEL's federal services unit, Pappert engineered a purchase of the division in 1980, forming ViON Corporation. ViON integrated technology solutions for federal, state and local governments, specializing in advanced computing products and services.

Pappert was elected to Duquesne University's Board of Directors in 1998.  After serving on the finance committee and as vice chair, he served as chairman of the board from May 2007 through June 2009. Under his leadership, the board became more diverse in age, ethnicity, gender and experience.

Along with his late wife, Janet, Pappert has provided significant endowed support for Duquesne's Mary Pappert School of Music (which is named in memory of David's mother), a lecture hall in the Bayer Learning Center, and various other initiatives benefitting students.

David and Janet Pappert were inducted into the Century Club of Distinguished Duquesne Alumni in 1996. David was also named the Distinguished Alumnus of the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts in 1997, and was only the 24th recipient of the Century Club's McAnulty Service Award in 2009.

Pappert has also served on the boards of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Research Center at Georgetown University, The Woods Academy and Stone Ridge Country Day School. He resides in Bethesda, Maryland.


Previous Spiritus Award Honorees

Robert Z. Gussin, Ph.D., P'59, GP'61, H'95
Patricia E. (Stewart) Gussin, M.D., H'02

John R. McGinley, Jr., L'68