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Benedictine College honors Brungardts with ‘2013 Family Award’

The Most Rev. John B. Brungardt, far right, is pictured with members of his family in the foreground of Benedictine College in Atchison. The family was presented the 2013 Family Award Oct. 5.

Special to the Register
Atchison -- Family Weekend at Benedictine College featured the presentation of the 2013 Family Award to the Dr. Balthasar and Mrs. Margaret Brungardt Family.  Each year the college recognizes a family that has been particularly active as alumni, as legacies, and in service to the college.  The Brungardts were honored with a presentation during halftime of the Benedictine football game versus Graceland University on Saturday, Oct. 5.  Paul (St. Benedict’s College class of 1965) and Marg (Mount St. Scholastica Class of 1966) Brungardt accepted the award on behalf of the entire family.  Paul was part of the second generation to attend the college and was the “senior” member present for the honor.

“For four generations, the Brungardts have been sending their children to Benedictine College,” said Stephen D. Minnis, president of Benedictine College.  “The family is one of only two we know of with legacies that stretch back that far.  As a group, they include a Bishop, a priest, a state senator, five doctors and two who have served on our Board of Directors.  They have sent almost 20 family members to Benedictine College.  It is fitting that the entire Brungardt Family receives our Benedictine College Family Award for 2013.”
It all began in the early 1900s with Balthasar Brungardt from Victoria, Kan.  He graduated from St. Benedict’s College, now Benedictine College, in 1908 and earned a Master’s Degree from Creighton University in 1910. In 1914, he completed his medical degree at Creighton and set up his practice in Salina.  He served in World War I and then returned to his practice in Salina.  The Brungardt’s are connected to another large legacy family at Benedictine College, the Schaefers, through Balthasar’s first wife, Mary Zita (Schaefer) Brungardt.  She passed away in 1925.  He and his second wife, Margaret, raised 18 children.
Six of Balthasar’s boys attended St. Benedict’s and one married a Mountie.  Five of his grandchildren are Benedictine graduates, including Bishop John Brungardt of Dodge City, former state senator Pete Brungardt of Salina, Dr. Jerry Brungardt from Wichita, Elaine (Brungardt) Scott of Atchison, and Kathleen (Brungardt) Fitzpatrick of Wichita.  Jerry Brungardt and his aunt, Mary (Brungardt) Buser, have both served the college as members of the Board of Directors and Jerry is currently on the board.
Balthasar’s great granddaughter, Aubry Scott, graduated in 2005; his great-grandson, Joseph Brungardt, graduated in 2011; his great grandson, Michael Brungardt, attended Benedictine but left to go to seminary; and another great-granddaughter, Virginia Brungardt, is the most recent graduate, having walked across the stage this past May.  The Brungardt family has enjoyed Benedictine College commencement exercises for the past 105 years!
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school was named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.

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