“Tonight, we will honor four outstanding and highly deserving recipients for their achievements in their careers and respective communities,” said Andy Farley, BA ’99, university trustee and president of UD’s National Alumni Board, in the welcoming address for the university’s 18th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on Saturday, May 4, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
The Distinguished Alumni Award — the highest honor the university can bestow upon its alumni — recognizes alumni who have demonstrated sustained and distinguished accomplishments and contributions to any field of human endeavor. The 2019 honorees included Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, MTS ’00, one of the most sought-after speakers in the Catholic church today; University Trustee Laura Felis Quinn, BS ’86 MBA ’18, an expert in qualitative market research for the pharmaceutical industry; U.S. Deputy General Counsel John R. Parker, BA ’83 MBA ’89, a highly respected career federal prosecutor and former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas; and Professor Emerita of Drama Judy French Kelly, BA ’63, an Emmy-award winning video producer, former department chair and co-founder of the University of Dallas Drama Department.
Following the welcome address, Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas and University Chancellor Most Rev. Edward J. Burns delivered the evening invocation. Addressing the gathered audience of UD alumni, students, faculty, trustees, staff and administrators, Interim President John Plotts, Ed.D., provided a brief introduction, with congratulatory remarks to the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. “It is now my pleasure to introduce the ninth president of the University of Dallas — and our first alumnus-president — Dr. Thomas Hibbs,” said Plotts.
Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA '82 MA '83, went on to express his joy and enthusiasm to be back at UD. “I’ve been having a bit of fun walking into offices unannounced, meeting students on the Mall and introducing myself … waiting to see how long it takes for anyone to guess my true identity,” Hibbs explained.
“But I must confess that the tables have been turned on me a few times,” he continued.
Wandering around UD’s Irving campus recently, Hibbs recalled a brief encounter with Associate Professor and Graduate Director of Philosophy Chad Engelland, Ph.D., who asked him: “How about you teach my Philosophy of God class on Aquinas?”
A nationally recognized scholar-philosopher, Hibbs couldn’t pass on the opportunity to guest lecture on the Angelic Doctor — incidentally, in one of the very classrooms where he once sat as a UD student himself.
“It is inspiring to observe the way in which alumni are using the gifts they have received at UD for the betterment of their families, communities, country and church,” said National Alumni Board member Daniel Milligan, BA ’91, chair of the Distinguished Alumni Awards committee, who also served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. He continued:
“As we gather tonight to honor the accomplishments of four exceptional members of our University of Dallas community, we also gather to honor the place that helped form these individuals — the place that, presumably through your attendance here this evening, has had an immeasurable influence on everyone in this room. We celebrate the historical consciousness of this place. … For that, it seems to me, is the goal of the UD experience, the increasingly rare idea that wisdom, truth and virtue exist, and are knowable, not through the deification of progress or glorification of the autonomous self, but through the careful consideration of our shared experience.”
The university mourns the passing of Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Jack Towne, Ph.D. (April 23, 1927 - July 8, 2019), who passed away in his Irving home at age 92. He had a long, celebrated career in education, culminating in his roles at UD.+ Read More
July 1 marked an era of new beginnings at the University of Dallas as Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA '82 MA '83, stepped into the limelight as the university’s ninth and first alumnus president. And his early morning arrival on UD’s Irving campus denoted a full-circle homecoming for the former Holy Trinity seminarian.+ Read More
On July 9, President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA '82 MA '83, along with Alex and Martha Galbraith, parents of alumna Alison Galbraith, BA '12, signed the C.W. Eaker Scholarship Fund for Chemistry/Biochemistry at UD. The endowed scholarship is the first to be received by Hibbs since his presidency began on July 1; it honors longtime and much-loved chemistry professor C.W. Eaker, Ph.D., who served UD with distinction for over 40 years, first as a faculty member, then as dean of Constantin College and finally as provost of the university.+ Read More