Eileen Quick sincerely appreciated the sentiment, but she had a better idea.

A member of the most philanthropic family in the history of St. Bonaventure University, Quick politely declined the school’s offer to award her an honorary degree. From her perspective, Maggie Doyne deserved it more.

Doyne, who spent $5,000 of her babysitting savings to open a home for children in Nepal, received an honorary degree from St. Bonaventure Monday (Dec. 7) at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

“I’ve done this presentation 1,000 times, and often open it up to questions right afterward,” Doyne told members of the university community. “And so often the first question I’m asked is where did I eventually go to college and get my degree. The answer is always that I didn’t.

“But after today,” she said, fighting back tears, “I can say that I did.”

Doyne, 29, was named CNN’s Hero of the Year on Nov. 17, winning $100,000 for her foundation. The CNN telecast of the awards ceremony aired Dec. 6.