USD to Honor Outstanding Alumni

A San Diego entrepreneur who led the creation of a fund to aid Hurricane Sandy victims and a human rights leader in Nepal, will both receive alumni awards from the University of San Diego on April 26.
Other honorees include executives from C-SPAN, Qualcomm and Sharp Coronado Hospital.

James W. Brennan, CEO of Enlightened Hospitality Group, was the driving force behind the creation of the Rockaway Hurricane Relief Fund that raised more than $600,000 to aid victims in his hometown of Rockaway, N.Y. and other nearby communities. Following his efforts, Brennan was profiled on “60 Minutes” in the fall of 2012. He will receive USD’s Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award for contributions to humanitarian causes.

Kevin W. Dooley, who founded USD’s Wine Classic event that has raised more than $230,000 for student scholarships since 2009, will receive the Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill Award for exemplary service to the university.

Honorees for the Author E. Hughes Award for Career Achievement include Shobha Pradhan Shrestha, founder and executive chair of Women for Peace and Democracy, Nepal. Shrestha has more than a decade of experience in peacebuilding and conflict resolution and is currently working with several hundred women in rural Nepal to expand their economic and political opportunities.

“All over the world these outstanding honorees are finding innovative and creative solutions to help those in need and transforming their organizations for greater success,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons. “They represent the very best of the Torero spirit of excellence and service we seek to instill in all our graduates.”

Other honorees for the Author E. Hughes Award for Career Achievement include Peter Kiley, vice president of Affiliate Relations for C-SPAN; Mauricio López-Hodoyán, vice president of Strategy & Analysis at Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and Susan Stone, senior vice president and CEO of Sharp Coronado Hospital.
Robert Bruning, managing partner of EY’s San Diego practice (formerly Ernst & Young LLP); Stuart Grauer, founder of The Grauer School in Encinitas and Jeffrey T. Thomas, partner in the Orange County office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher will also receive career achievement awards.

Andrew Rae, a Torero tennis player and two-time NCAA Division II All American and national singles champion, will be inducted into the Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame.

The 19th Annual Alumni Honors celebration on April 26 will recognize 10 outstanding University of San Diego alumni for career achievement, contributions to humanitarian causes, extraordinary athletic success and exemplary service to USD. The cocktail-attire event begins at 6 p.m. with the awards ceremony in the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace & Justice, followed by a gourmet soiree and live music under the stars. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at or by calling (619) 260-7889.

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.


Denise Ward
(619) 260-4659