Beacons of Light
Alumni Honors gala celebrates outstanding graduates

ALUMNI HONOR RECIPIENTS for 2007 were (front row, left to right) Linda D. Urden ’89 (D.N.Sc.), Jean (Hicks) Miller ’59 (B.A.), Rebecca (Haddock) Smith ’93 (M.Ed.), Christine Schanes ‘69 (B.A.); (back row, left to right) Jose L. Noriega ‘92 (B.B.A.), Jebediah Dougherty ‘97 (B.B.A.), Timothy Luberski ‘73 (B.A.), Leonard Armato ‘78 (J.D.) and Ali Reza Arabnia ‘87 (M.B.A.).

Each of the nine 2007 Alumni Honors recipients refracts a different facet of the light that emanates from the University of San Diego. More than 600 alumni and friends gathered for a gala celebration at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on April 21; the evening featured video tributes, student vocal performances and a swinging after-party. The Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Awards honor alumni from each of USD’s five schools who exhibit significant or extraordinary contributions within their chosen profession. The honorees are as follows:

Ali Reza Arabnia ’87 (M.B.A.), the president and CEO of Gecofin S.p.A., an automotive paint company based in Milan.

Leonard Armato ’78 (J.D.), a sports-industry executive who has spearheaded dramatic growth of the beach volleyball circuit.

Rebecca (Haddock) Smith ’93 (M.Ed.), an up-and-comer who is director of community relations for High Tech High in San Diego.

Timothy Luberski ’73 (B.A)., president of Hidden Villa Ranch, a successful food services company.

Internationally known leader in nursing Linda Urden ’89 (D.N.Sc.), executive director of Palomar Pomerado Health in Encinitas.

This year, the Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill Award was bestowed upon Jean (Hicks) Miller ’59 (B.A.), in recognition of her outstanding service and commitment to the university. Miller has led a variety of boards and committees in support of USD.

The Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award was given to Christine Schanes ’69 (B.A.) in recognition of her exceptional contribution and commitment to humanitarian causes. Schanes — along with her two children — founded Children Helping Poor and Homeless People, which conducts outreach to help put an end to poverty, hunger and homelessness.

For the first time in the university’s history, Alumni Honors included inductees to the Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame. Jose Luis Noriega ’92 (B.B.A.), a four-time NCAA All-American in men’s tennis, and Jebediah Dougherty ’97 (B.B.A.), an Academic All-American in both football and baseball, were both inducted.

Alumni Honors was, once again, an emotional evening filled with laughter, pride and nostalgia. In the end, the night celebrated all of those who’ve made the University of San Diego shine for over 50 years.