USD Spotlights Outstanding Alumni

13th Annual Gala Recognizes Outstanding Graduates in Career and Athletic Achievement, Contributions to Humanitarian Causes & Volunteer Service to USD


The University of San Diego will honor nine outstanding graduates April 26 including several top business executives, a federal judge, an army colonel and advocates for health care and social justice.


Honorees include Liam E. McGee, president of Global Consumer and Small Business Banking for Bank of America; Lowell McAdam, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless; Michael Maher, senior vice president for investments at Merrill Lynch; U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan and U.S. Army Col. (Retired) Mary T. Sarnecky.

Others receiving awards at the gala event are Rabbi Laurie E. Coskey, executive director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice of San Diego County and Mary E. Caffery, program coordinator of UCSD’s Mother, Child and Adolescent HIV program.


“We are proud to honor this impressive group of alumni whose achievements in business and public service reflect the values and high standards that we set for all our graduates,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons.


Alumnus Bert Degheri, whose gifts totaling $10 million helped fund the Degheri Alumni Center and Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, will receive the inaugural Order of the Alcalá award.


Susie M. Erpelding, an Academic All-American in women’s basketball will be inducted into the Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame.


The USD Alumni Honors celebration is a gala evening of dinner, tributes, and dancing honoring outstanding graduates in the areas of career and athletic achievement, contributions to humanitarian causes and volunteer service to USD. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. For more information, visit or call (619) 260-4819.


The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the University’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Education, Law and Nursing and Health Sciences.



About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.