Distinguished Alumnus Award

For National or International Achievements

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor accorded by the Alumni Association and recognizes a graduate of the University of Dayton who has earned special distinction, thereby reflecting great honor on the University of Dayton and its alumni.

The award is given to a person who has sustained a record of accomplishment and whose reputation is widespread.

In selecting the distinguished alumnus, special attention shall be given to the accomplishments that embody the University’s goal to participate effectively in the quest for a more perfect human society. To be eligible, a person must be a graduate of the University of Dayton with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, and must have received the degree at least 25 years prior to being nominated for the award.  Unless there is a compelling reason to merit an exception, only one award will be given each year.

Fred Tenover, Ph.D.


Fred C. Tenover

The summer after his freshman year at the University of Dayton, Fred C. Tenover completed a three-month study tour at eight European universities, learning from some of the leading theologians of the day.

Tenover had considered joining the Society of Mary, but struggled with his desire to continue his scientific pursuits. The experience helped him understand that his faith could coexist with his scientific beliefs, and after speaking with Father Marty Solma, S.M., during a retreat in Toronto, he felt comfortable with his decision to pursue a science career. He earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry in 1976.

“My Catholic faith is fundamental to my science,” Tenover said. “I see the two as interconnected — the integration of faith and science makes sense to me.”

A board-certified clinical microbiologist, Tenover has more than 30 years of experience directing diagnostic laboratories and working in academic, governmental and corporate settings. He earned master’s and doctorate degrees in microbiology from the University of Rochester, and his work has taken him from the Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Washington to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He’s now vice president for scientific affairs with Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company in Sunnyvale, California, and consulting professor of pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Tenover’s studies of how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, including the discovery of the first real “superbug resistance gene” in the United States in 2001, place him among the top five experts in the world on the topic. 

At each stop in his career, Tenover has intentionally sought opportunities to grow in his faith. From feeding the homeless during summers at a Seattle food kitchen while completing post-doctoral work to teaching RCIA classes in multiple parishes for more than 35 years, Tenover continues to integrate his beliefs in faith and science, using his immersion in both worlds for the betterment of society.


Past Recipients

Katherine Schipper '71
Richard A. Abdoo '65
John B. Alexander '25
Paul W. Armstrong '67
Edwin G. Becker '14
Erma F. Bombeck '49
David Bradley '71
Ricardo Bressani, Ph.D. '48
Edward L. Buescher '45
Simon Burick '30
Irmengard Raush Carr '55
Doris I. Charles '52
Ronald W. Collins '57
John E. Condon '51
Carl J. Crane '24
Richard P. Davis '72
Ralph D. Delaney '55
Eileen Dolan '79

Dr. Sean Donahue '84
F. Thomas Eggemeier '67
Richard H. Finan '54
Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M. '64
George E. Freitas '29
Thomas J. Frericks '53
Donald R. Geiger, S.M. '55
William E. Hammer, Jr. '62
James C. Herbert '63
Martin J. Hillenbrand '37
Carroll A. Hochwalt '20
George K. Houghtailing '29
Howard L. Hughes, S.M. '51
Cordell W. Hull '56
Clement G. Jauch '08
Soichi Kawazoe '30
Joseph E. Keller '29
Thomas C. Kennedy '59
Donald M. Knowlan '51
John L. Lahey '68, '70
Frank F. Ledford, Jr. '55
John A. Lombardo '71
John J. Lucier, S.M. '37
Peter A. Luongo '65
John T. Makley '57
Torrence A. Makley, Jr. '40
Al H. Mahrt '12
M. Michele Mariscalco, M.D. '77
Paul V. McEnroe '59
John F. McHale '78
Theodore Q. Miller '68
Simon Nathan '42
Colombe Nicholas '64
Charles H. Noll '53
John L. O'Grady '68
Joseph D. Park '29
Charles J. Pedersen '26
David Phillips '62
Shirley A. Pohl '57
Rita M. Rapp '50
Raymond A. Roesch, S.M. '36
Col. Gordon R. Roberts '74
Dr. Richard M. Schoen '72
Sanford M. Shapero '50
Katherine Schipper '71
Barry J. Shillito '49
James R. Spotila '66
Eugene Steuerle '68
George E. Thoma '43
Charles L. Weber '58
John R. Westerheide '47
Charles W. Whalen, Jr. '42
Bernard L. Whelan '09
Donald W. Wigal '55
Charles R. Wilke '40


Alumni Relations

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300 College Park  
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7052