Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. Humanitarian Award | University of Portland

Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. Humanitarian Award

In 2017, we were honored to create a new alumni award, the Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC, Humanitarian Award, in order to recognize the Buchholz Friends Committee.

2017 — Buchholz Friends Committee

In December 2011, Herman Buchholz ’64 and Joena (Shay) Buchholz ’67 traveled to Germany to visit their daughter. Shortly after they arrived, Joena became ill with advanced phase pneumococcal septic shock and began a battle for her life. Herm and Joena's daughter reached out to Joena’s Salzburg classmates and Herm’s Upsilon Omega Pi brothers for support. These UP friends immediately sent cards, notes, prayers, handmade quilts, and financial support to Joena and Herm.

After six weeks, Joena slowly returned to consciousness with no recollection of her illness. She awakened to learn that she had lost her hands and forearms and her feet and lower legs to amputation. After her recovery in Germany, Joena began rehabilitation in Switzerland. As word spread about Joena and Herm’s emergency, financial and emotional support was continuously offered from their friends, including; members of Joena’s Salzburg class of ‘64; Herm’s brothers from Upsilon Omega Pi; members of Sigma Tau Omega and Iota Kappa Pi; friends from the Class of ’67; and Herm’s classmates from Central Catholic High School.

After almost eight months in Europe, Joena and Herm were flown home in an air ambulance, thanks to friends who had negotiated this arrangement. Joena was no longer able to work, Herm was retired, and the medical bills were overwhelming. The continued support of the Buchholz Friends Committee, as they dubbed themselves, made it possible for Herm and Joena to become reestablished in Portland, even providing an accessible van to help them regain some independence.