Wieberg Named Mercy Alumna Award Recipient
A famous author once said, “The family is God’s greatest masterpiece.” Ann Bendon Wieberg ’57 has been working on that masterpiece all her life. Motivated by faith and devoting her time and energy to family, she has led a life as a Woman of Mercy. For Ann, that family has not only included her immediate family, but her Mercy family and her community. She has been named the 2019 Distinguished Woman of Mercy Alumna, an award given by the Mercy High School Alumnae Association.
The award recognizes an alumna for her outstanding achievements, service, and contributions, which promote the growth of faith, knowledge, and service in her career, community and/or society. As the recipient of this award, the honoree is someone who is respected by peers, outstanding in her field, and promotes society in a way that benefits many people.
Ann started high school at St. John’s and migrated to Mercy when the schools joined in 1955. Her parents wanted her to go to Catholic school and the logical choice was St. John’s as the family attended St. John’s Church.
When she was 15, her mother passed away. As the oldest of six, she stepped up and helped to care for her siblings, the youngest a 15-month old. This did not allow time for after school activities, but Ann loved her Latin and English classes and how the Mercy’s commitment to a faith education reinforced her values.
“At Mercy the teachers cared about you, modeled positive behavior, and instilled in us both academics and life lessons. Service was not an after-thought; it was part of everything we did. I also made life-long friends I still have today,” she said.
Because of family obligations, she could not afford to go on to college. She started working two weeks after graduation at AT&T. Ann married John Wieberg in 1963 and started her own family. She had five children, including four daughters who also attended Mercy. ( Angela Wieberg Maynard ’83 , Susan Wieberg Meschede ’84, Mary Ann Wieberg Tietjen ’90, and Theresa Wieberg Cook ’98)
“My husband John and I felt it was important for our girls to go to Mercy. The value of a same-sex education was undeniable, and it gave our girls leadership opportunities they would not have experienced anywhere else,” she said.
Over the years, in addition to providing support as a Mercy parent, she volunteered for Right to Life, delivered meals to families at shelters, and kept active in her church and community by serving on the Parish Council and School Board. She also tries to bring a feeling of family to her friends who are homebound by connecting with them on a regular basis.
Her love of Mercy runs deep. She has served on the school’s Alumnae Council for five years. The Golden Guild Tea, where alumnae who graduated 50 or more years ago come back to the school to be honored, was her brainchild.
“This celebration is a nice way for women of my age to connect with the school and their classmates,” she said.
Her family masterpiece continues to be created. Three sisters, two nieces and all three granddaughters have attended Mercy. The third, Kate Tietjen will graduate this May.
In nominating Ann for the award, the nominator said, “With great dedication and humility, she excels in all areas that make up the recipient of this award. She is truly the epitome of a Woman of Mercy. “
The announcement was made at the school’s annual FIESTA on February 16, but she will receive the award at the school’s 2019 All-School Reunion on Sunday, June 2 at Mercy.