Rockhurst to Honor 2012 Alumni Award RecipientsSeptember 25, 2012

From left to right: Dr. Thomas Hastings, '81; Joan Horan, '86 MBA; Dr. Thomas Coppinger, '58; and Kara Bemboom-Grefrath, '02.



A physician who has been nationally recognized for his work and a local civic leader who actively supports the arts are among four who will be recognized by Rockhurst University for outstanding achievements at the 2012 Family and Alumni Weekend celebration.

The four alumni who will be honored at the Alumni Awards luncheon at noon Saturday, Sept. 29, in the university’s Greenlease Library are: Dr. Thomas Hastings, ’81; Joan Horan, ’86 MBA; Dr. Thomas Coppinger, ’58; and Kara Bemboom-Grefrath, ’02.

“These four alumni are proof that a Rockhurst education prepares you to lead and serve others,” said Mary Landers, director of alumni and constituent relations. “Each of them has given so much back to their communities through their personal and professional endeavors.”

Hastings and Horan will receive the St. Ignatius Award, given to alumni who have shown exceptional achievement in his or her fields of endeavor.

Hastings is honored for his work practicing medicine in St. Louis. He has been recognized by a number of national organizations, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, and American Stroke Association. He has been named an Ideal Missouri Practice Physician and, in 2009, became a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Hastings was also recognized as a “Best Doctor in St. Louis” in 2011 and 2012.

Horan, who was the first director of personnel and vice president of human resources for DST Systems, is honored for her involvement in boards and committees throughout the Kansas City community, including the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City Symphony, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Donnelly College, Harvesters, Lakemary Center, Don Bosco Center and Children’s International. Horan has also served Rockhurst University as a member of the search committee for dean of the Helzberg School of Management, the Executive Fellows MBA evaluation committee, and as a Rockhurst University Regent from 2001-11.

The Xavier Medal of Honor will be presented to Dr. Thomas Coppinger, ’58. This award is given to an alumnus who has made a substantial impact through service consistent with Rockhurst’s Jesuit tradition of service to others.

Coppinger had a distinguished career as a physician of internal medicine from 1968-2006. His volunteer leadership is extensive, including involvement through a variety of leadership positions at Rockhurst. Coppinger has been involved with the Rockhurst Century Club, Rockhurst University Alumni Board, Rockhurst Regents, serving as co-chair and chair, and most recently as chairman of the Rockhurst University Leaders Council. He has also devoted his time to Seton Center, Avila University, Serra Club, and “Blisters for Sisters.” Coppinger was recently awarded the Generosity of St. Joseph Award from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

The final award is the Faber Young Alumni Award, which will be presented to Kara Bemboom-Grefrath, ’02.

Bemboom-Grefrath worked as an analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City before returning to law school at the University of Kansas in 2006 where she earned her juris doctorate. She then practiced law in the business litigation group for Husch Blackwell until returning to the Federal Reserve Bank as counsel. In 2012, Bemboom-Grefrath was named assistant vice president and assistant general counsel. She is committed to Rockhurst, serving on the university’s Kansas City Alumni Council for several years, including two years as the council’s president. Bemboom-Grefrath serves as the first Young Alumni member of the Rockhurst University Leaders Council.

To learn more about the alumni awards, contact the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at 800-756-2586 or

For a full list of Family and Alumni Weekend events, visit

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