Caritas and Veritas. The motto means “love and truth,” and it is especially appropriate for Dominican University. At the second annual Caritas Veritas Symposium, some faculty and staff members earned awards for their contributions to the Dominican University community. One award in particular, the Honorary Dean Emerita Award, was presented to Patricia Klbecka, secretary and administrative assistant of the university’s Rosary College of Arts and Science’s office.
Patricia Klbecka is described by others as loving, dedicated, and funny. Of course, those are just a few words to describe her.
Klbecka was born and raised on the north side of Chicago in the Humbolt Park area and later moved to Paulina Avenue. She and her younger sister both attended Catholic schools near Grand Avenue and Ashland Avenue in the city.
“It was easier being a kid because there wasn’t a lot of technology,” Klbecka said about her childhood. She and other children in her neighborhood would often play outdoors and take piano lessons.
After graduating high school, she bypassed college and went straight into the workforce. One of her first jobs was working at a trophy making company, Dodge Trophies, Inc., where she typed up orders for trophies, in addition to other secretarial tasks.
“It was not common to attend college,” Klbecka said about post high school education in the earlier decades, “You get a job and help at home.”
All the jobs Klbecka had taken in lieu of college were secretarial, purchasing, or office management positions. Eventually she married, had two daughters, and became a stay-at-home mother. As her daughters grew older, Klbecka went back into the workforce part-time.
In 1980, Klbecka found a newspaper ad requesting that a Dominican University position be filled. For the next 31 and a half years, Klbecka has worked as an administrative assistant and has made many contributions to Dominican University, such as being involved in the Sinsinawa Dominican Association, a faith exploration group.
One of the things she loves about working at Dominican University is the students. “They keep me young and alert,” she said. “Especially freshmen. [They] develop confidence and maturity and prepare for graduation.”
“Pat is an extraordinary woman with amazing patience,” said Lauren Tocik, senior and advising office assistant. “She knows the inner workings of this campus and how to establish a great and efficient working environment.”
One of Klbecka’s most memorable moments working at Dominican has been the 90 commencement ceremonies she has attended over the years.
“Watching a student walk down the aisle who has struggled over the years and finally seeing them make it through is emotional,” Klbecka said.
At the end of October, Klbecka will be retiring and leaving her Dominican University family to spend time with her personal family.
“Pat is awesome,” senior Kelly Butler said. “Dominican University will go on, but she will be missed.”
Klbecka currently lives with her husband of 53 years and has two grandsons in addition to her two daughters.
– Jenna Ramiro, Staff Reporter