The University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois is a Catholic, Franciscan institution of higher learning. The mission of the university is to promote learning. The university seeks to develop and enrich the total human personality. Through its academic programs and other experiences, the university encourages responsibility and maturity, a reverence for truth, a desire for excellence, a knowledge of oneself and creation and a love for others.
Amy Lynn D’Amico epitomized the qualities espoused and celebrated by the university. Pursuing a lifelong dream to shape lives of young people as only a teacher can, Amy Lynn D’Amico prepared herself academically as an education major and as an exemplary student teacher who graduated with the highest honors. Besides her exceptional academic career and proven talent in the classroom, Amy Lynn’s impact was found throughout the campus community where her spirit, enthusiasm and encouraging smile shined brightly as a member of the national championship Spirit Line and other student organizations.
Amy will always be remembered for her friendly, outgoing personality, her knack for making and keeping friends, her love for children, and her caring and concern for other people, whether young or old, rich or poor, beautiful or commonplace. Amy approached every activity or project in her life with great gusto and enthusiasm. She always poured everything she had into whatever she did, always living life to the fullest. Amy will always be remembered as: forever young, forever beautiful and vivacious, forever filled with youthful exuberance, optimism, and love. Amy’s candle burned bright here on earth and her light will continue to shine in all of us who knew and loved her. Amy graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of St. Francis in December, 1998.
Tragically, the life of Amy Lynn D’Amico was cut short at the very start of her promising teaching career as the result of an automobile accident. With bulletin boards prepared, lessons ready, and second graders about to experience the warmth, talent, energy, and love of this dedicated teacher, everything changed. Rather than sharing her gifts with students and colleagues, the gift of Amy’s life shall be remembered in other ways. The spirit and life lesson of Amy Lynn D’Amico will live on through students taught by teachers touched by her memory and inspired by her life.
Accordingly, James and Judy D’Amico, Amy Lynn D’Amico’s parents and educators themselves, along with the family of Amy’s fiancé John Kovatch and the University of St. Francis established the Amy Lynn D’Amico Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship fund is a permanent endowment which provides annual scholarships to University of St. Francis students pursuing degrees in Education with a demonstrated need for financial assistance. Applicants to the Amy Lynn D’Amico Memorial Scholarship Fund must have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher and write a one to two-page typewritten essay on how they emulate Amy’s spirit and qualities. Further, the scholarship recipients shall demonstrate an understanding of Amy’s spirit and determination to impact the lives of young people in a significant way.
Through this scholarship, the University of St. Francis warmly remembers the spirit, leadership, caring, and commitment to education demonstrated by Amy Lynn D’Amico in a way that will help to promote the same qualities in others who will become the educators of tomorrow.
In recognition of Bishop Imesch’s twenty-five years of spiritual leadership as a Bishop of the Church and his commitment to Catholic education, the University of St. Francis established the “Bishop Joseph L. Imesch Award for Excellence in Teaching” in 2000. This award recognizes an outstanding elementary or secondary teacher in the Diocese of Joliet each year who demonstrates excellence in teaching; is a recognized as a Christian role model among students, faculty, and administration; and serves the educational community by a personal dedication to sharing time and talents in the service of the community.
This award is presented to community members who have made outstanding contributions in support of the mission and conceptual framework of the College of Education at the University of St. Francis. Recipients embody our conceptual framework through a student-centered approach to teaching and learning, service to the community, and exemplary professionalism.