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Bill and Donna Medland became the fifth couple to be honored with Viterbo University's Pope John XXIII Awards for Distinguished Service on Thursday night.

Parker Palmer, a nationally known writer, teacher and lecturer, also received the award at a banquet at Viterbo's Fine Arts Center.

The Pope John XXIII Award was established in 1975 and is Viterbo's highest non-academic honor.

The Medlands were honored for their contributions both to Viterbo and the

La Crosse community. During Bill Medland's 15-year tenure as president, Viterbo's enrollment has doubled and its end-owment has increased by more than $10 million.

The Medlands also have served as foster parents for 17 infants during the past five years.

"When told we were getting the award, we asked, 'Why?' Standing here, I could name a few of you who are more worthy to receive this award," Bill Medland said. "We are humbled and honored to receive this award."

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