Sometimes, one family can change the course and reach of an organization. The Saint Philip Neri University Parish on The University of Tulsa campus (formerly known as the Saint Philip Neri Newman Center) has chosen to honor one such family — the members of the Boudreau family. In 2005, the Center established three namesake scholarships in tribute to this caring family: The Saint Philip Neri Newman Center Endowed Scholarship Fund in Honor of the Boudreau Family, The Saint Philip Neri Newman Center Endowed Scholarship Fund in Memory of Katherine Tierney Boudreau, and The Saint Philip Neri Newman Center Endowed Scholarship Fund in Memory of Alfred Boudreau.
From decades past to today, the Boudreaus have helped shape Tulsa’s Catholic institutions. The family patriarch, Alfred F. Boudreau Jr., was born Sept. 17, 1913, in Quincy, Illinois, and was the oldest of five children. He attended Tulsa’s Holy Family High School in the 1930s. It was there he and Katherine Tierney Boudreau met and became sweethearts. Born July 27, 1915, she was a Muskogee native who had attended Mount Saint Mary Academy in Oklahoma City before coming to Tulsa. Alfred went on to attend The University of Tulsa, graduating in 1934. Katherine attended the Tulsa School of Business and worked for Tulsa Funeral Service until the couple married in 1936.
A Tulsa business leader, Alfred began his work life with Manhattan Construction Company before turning to what would become a 50-year career in the petroleum industry, where he was the longtime president of Petroleum, Trading and Transportation Company. He was a founding member of the Church of St. Mary, Bishop Kelley High School, and the Friends of Catholic Education program. He also served on the boards of St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee and The St. Philip Neri Newman Center at TU. Katherine also was active in supporting Catholic education through the Church and School of St. Mary, Monte Cassino School, and the St. John Medical Center Auxiliary.
The couple raised five daughters, four of whom are TU graduates — Mary Agnes “Mag” Sullivan (’60); Barbara Kehew (’62); Margaret Ellison; Janet Pagano (’78), and Katherine “Katie” Boudreau (’74). Local news clippings show that over the years, they have been equally active in Catholic works. “Mag” is a former director of Madonna House; Barbara is an active church and school volunteer; Margaret is former development director of San Miguel School; Janet taught at Monte Cassino and St. Mary’s School, and “Katie” once taught at Bishop Kelley and has facilitated the Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life.
The Saint Philip Neri Newman Center has been a valuable part of campus life at The University of Tulsa since 1946, serving students through a ministry that provides Roman Catholic worship, as well as educational, social, and service opportunities for students of all faiths. In 2022, the Center became a University Parish to serve the college community at TU. Through the three Boudreau namesake scholarships, the Parish continues to foster academic excellence and faith-based leadership in students at The University of Tulsa by providing support for the recruitment and retention of Catholic students.
TU is grateful for these generous scholarships, which benefit the missions of both The University of Tulsa and the Saint Philip Neri University Parish — to help students receive the finest education possible and to put their talents to the best possible use.