Monday February 8, 2010

Alumni Award Winners

Four alumni will be honored for their achievements beyond graduation and for exemplifying the University's motto: Learn, Lead and serve.

Four alumni will be honored for their achievements since graduation and for exemplifying the University's motto: To learn, lead and serve.

The alumni association will present the awards at an invitation-only reception and dinner Friday, Feb. 19, in the Kennedy Union ballroom.

"We are proud to count these fine individuals among our Flyer alumni," said Todd Imwalle, interim assistant vice president for alumni outreach. "We commend their achievements and contributions to medicine, children and developing the future leaders of our country."

Col. Gordon R. Roberts '74, Washington, D.C.
Distinguished Alumnus Award for national or international activities

U.S. Army Col. Gordon R. Roberts received his sociology degree after returning from four years in Vietnam, service for which he received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, awarded by Congress for risk of life in combat beyond the call of duty. Continuing his commitment to serviceafter graduation, Roberts worked for 18 years as a social worker, juvenile court administrator, probation officer and youth treatment center director. He returned to military service as a member of the National Guard in 1989 and resumed active duty in the Army in 1991. His accomplishments include leading a battalion in Iraq and serving in the U.S., Haiti, Korea and Kuwait. Since 2008, Roberts has worked to improve the lives of veterans as commander of the medical center brigade of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Timothy M. Harris '79, Indianapolis
Christian Service Award for living out the Marianist ideals in today's society

Timothy M. Harris promotes Marianist principles in many venues, including the TM Youth Camp he founded in 1980 in Zanesville, Ohio, and the TM Youth Development Foundation he started to provide life skills, counseling, tutoring and other services to children and young adults. As a chemical engineering graduate, he started a chemical company in Indianapolis in 1994. Harris also is well-known as a founder and pastor at Turning Point Family Worship Center in Indianapolis.

Thomas J. Dharte '05, New York City
Joe Belle Memorial Award for volunteer service to students and early career achievement

After years as an accounting major in the University's Davis Center for Portfolio Management, Thomas Dharte decided to help other University students pursuing similar careers. Dharte, working alongside the alumni relations staff and the National Alumni Association, launched the Select Internship Program to place University finance, accounting and law students in elite internships in financial centers such as New York and Chicago. He also started an endowment fund to assist those interns with housing costs. Dharte also convinced his employer, BlackRock Private Equity Partners, to designate the University as a top recruiting site and to include it in its annual portfolio competition. Dharte also continues active leadership in the Davis Center Alumni Association.

Wayne D. Lancaster '69, Detroit
Special Achievement Award for distinction in professional or civic activities

Wayne D. Lancaster, a professor¿ in the Wayne State University School of Medicine's Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, discovered important links between human papillomaviruses and cervical cancer, which affects nearly a half-million women worldwide each year. Lancaster's discoveries have led to better understanding of the relationship between the virus and cancer. Lancaster's has worked to boost education and prevention efforts such as wider use of an HPV vaccine. He has received more than $5 million in research funding and holds seven U.S. and international patents and has published hundreds of papers and has delivered lectures on his research around the world.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or

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