Alumni Stars Shine at USD

The University of San Diego will recognize the accomplishments of nine distinguished honorees at its 16th annual Alumni Honors celebration on June 4.

Honorees include leaders in business, education, health care, public service and athletics.

Five honorees will receive the Author E. Hughes Award for Career Achievement. Tres Conrique ’03 (MSEL), founder of Rancho Santa Fe Technology which helps leverage technology and increase revenue and serves clients in 13 states, is the honoree from the School of Business Administration. Cynthia D. Flores ’79 (MA), who has mentored many first-generation college students and is the campus director at the Coachella Valley Campus of Brandman University, is the honoree from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

San Diego trial attorney Virginia C. Nelson ’79 (JD) who has been chosen by her peers as one of the Top 10 Southern California Super-Lawyers will be honored by the School of Law. Marilyn T. Macdonald ’05 (PhD), associate professor of nursing at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and is a member of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute Core Team of Researchers on Safety in home care, will be honored by the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science. And Sara M. Story ’95 (BA), the founder and president of New York City-based Sara Story Design whose interior design projects have been recognized by Elle Décor, Vogue Living and other publications, will be honored by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Kevin Turner ’03 (MA), a human rights officer with the United Nations who monitors the human rights situation in Palestine and Israel, will receive the Alumni Emerging Leader Award from the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.

“These outstanding honorees exemplify the work of thousands of USD honorees making positive differences in their communities across the nation and around the world,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons. “We are very proud to honor them.” 

Monsignor Mark A. Campbell ’76 (BA), ’79 (MEd), pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town, will receive the Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award for contributions to humanitarian causes. Monsignor Campbell serves as a member of the board of directors and as chaplain of Whispering Winds Catholic Conference Center and Camp, where he has promoted and sponsored family camps and youth retreats for families and young people from the inner city and Imperial Valley. He serves on the board of directors of several organizations including the Mercy Hospital Foundation at Scripps Mercy Hospital. He served for 10 years as president of the San Diego County Jail Ministries, an ecumenical organization that facilitates worship services in the county’s detention facilities.

Emilie I. Hersh ’00 (MBA), will receive the Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill Award, named after USD’s other co-founder, for exemplary service to the university. Hersh, CEO of InterKnowlogy, LLC, has served for more than eight years on USD’s Alumni Association Board where she has successfully increased participation, professional event offerings and the USD network. She also has served as a mentor to many graduate business students.

Hank Egan, USD men’s  basketball coach from 1984 to 1994, who holds the best single-season record of 24-6 in 1986-87, will be inducted into the Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame.

The 16th annual Alumni Honors celebration begins at 6 p.m. in USD’s Shiley Theatre, followed by dinner under the stars. Tickets are $100 per person  for the black-tie optional event. To purchase tickets go  to or call (619) 260-4819.

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.


Pamela Gray Payton
(619) 260-4681