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Community Leader to Receive Distinguished Hometown Alumni Award

The Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools (FDPS) is pleased to announce Susan Butler Ritts is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Hometown Alumni Award. The award celebrates the achievements of local public school graduates and showcases their accomplishments.

Susan Butler Ritts was raised in Dubuque and educated in the Dubuque Community Schools, graduating with honors from Senior High School in 1978. She served on the student council while at Washington Junior High and as vice president of her freshman class at Senior. Susan graduated from both Clarke University and Loras College. Her time employed at her family’s business, Cottingham & Butler, assisting clients with their employee benefits plans was rewarding.

These opportunities to serve others and gain leadership experience were the impetus for Susan’s volunteer work in a variety of nonprofits beginning in her twenties. Several community organizations that she and her husband Ed support connect with various Dubuque Public Schools programs including: the Adopt-a-Musician program with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra; Two by Two Character Development; Dubuque Museum of Art Citywide Student Art Exhibition and the Four Mounds HEART program working with students at risk of dropping out.

Throughout the years, Susan’s philanthropic efforts have focused on the arts, education, human services, healthcare, historic preservation and the environment. She has served on the board of directors of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Finley Health Foundation, and Clarke University Alumni Board, among others.


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