Thursday September 14, 2006

Extraordinary Alumni

The University of Dayton will honor one of the nation's leading cancer researchers and the creator of the Bill of Rights Institute when it bestows the 2006 Alumni Awards.

The University of Dayton's National Alumni Association is honoring five alumni for their embodiment of UD's emphasis on learning, leadership and service.

"Whether it's serving students for more than 40 years from a solid spiritual base to reaching back to help the student organization you were an integral part of as a student to conducting nationally acclaimed cancer research, these Alumni Award winners truly personify the University of Dayton's motto of learn, lead and serve," said Bill Hunt, assistant vice president of alumni relations. "UD is immensely proud of them. By recognizing these graduates, the National Alumni Association hopes to generate alumni pride and reflect on the true excellence of a UD education."

The 2006 University of Dayton Alumni Award winners are:

  • Eileen Dolan, one of the nation's leading cancer researchers. She will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dolan, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, has dedicated her research to making chemotherapy more effective and less toxic for patients by focusing on the ways that DNA repair proteins can be modulated to prevent killing cells. Her work has led to the development of a drug now in clinical trials that shows effectiveness for the treatment of brain tumors in adult and pediatric patients. She holds 31 patents related to cancer research, her research is widely published, and she serves as teacher, adviser and mentor to students ranging from high schools to doctoral programs. She graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and resides in Oak Park, Ill.
  • Bill Ricco, who helped found Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, when it opened its doors in 1965. He's still there today more than 6,000 students later. Ricco will receive the Christian Service Award. Before retiring in 1996 and returning as a counselor and alumni coordinator, he served Walsh as a teacher, football coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal, helping oversee the transition of the school from an all-boys to a co-ed institution. He is a past winner of the Humanitarian Award from the Akron Beacon Journal and the Manresa Award from Walsh, given to those who "are outstanding exemplars of the Jesuit motto, "men and women for others." He graduated in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in secondary education and resides in Akron, Ohio.
  • Victoria Knipper Hughes, who created the Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., in 1999 to help educate students about the United States' founding principles. In its seven years, the institute has grown to a staff of 14 and a budget of $2.6 million and has provided educational materials to nearly 30,000 teachers. In 2006, she was appointed by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to serve as national commissioner to UNESCO. Hughes, who will receive a special achievement award, graduated in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She lives in Falls Church, Va.
  • Joseph Scherger, professor of clinical family practice and preventative medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 300 medical publications and is past editor-in-chief of Hippocrates, published by the Massachusetts Medical Society. In 2001, he became the founding dean of Florida State University's College of Medicine, and in 1989, he was named Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the California Academy of Family Physicians. Scherger, who will receive a special achievement award, graduated in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in pre-medicine. He resides in Del Mar, Calif.
  • Mandy Brogdon, an engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She has been an integral part of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) since her sophomore year at UD. Her leadership stretched beyond UD's campus as she served as the Region V student representative at the biannual ASME international meetings. She has recently been elected to ASME's committee on Early Career Development, where she is able to continue her involvement in the UD and regional sections of ASME. Brogdon graduated in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and resides in Fairborn, Ohio. She receives the Joe Belle Memorial Award for volunteer service to students and early career achievement.

The 2006 Alumni Award winners will receive their awards at a dinner on campus on Friday, Sept. 15.

Contact Bill Hunt at 937-229-3294.