Alumni to be Honored During Awards LuncheonSeptember 19, 2013

Four alumni will be honored for their community service and professional achievements during Rockhurst University’s annual Alumni Awards luncheon, scheduled to begin at noon Sept. 28 in the Greenlease Library at Rockhurst University.

The ceremony is part of the University’s Family and Alumni Weekend. Paul Carden, Gary Belske, Thomas Sack and Daniel Holmes will be honored during the luncheon as Rockhurst alumni learning, leading and serving in the Jesuit tradition during the ceremony.

“During Family and Alumni Weekend, we will be recognizing these alumni for their outstanding contributions and individual excellence,” said Mary Mooney Burns, director of University engagement. “It is fitting that magis is our theme for the academic year because these four people exemplify what it means to continually improve and seek excellence.”

Carden, ’80, will receive the Xavier Medal of Honor for his more than 30 years of experience as an emergency aid provider, a career that began as a disaster volunteer with the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross. Working at the national level, Carden has responded to hurricanes Hugo, Floyd and Andrew. He now serves as the emergency services director for the National Capital Region of the Red Cross, a division that responds to more than 400 reported disasters each year. Carden was the first Red Cross director to respond on behalf of New Jersey to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Sack and Belske will both be honored with the St. Ignatius Award recognizing achievements in their respective professional fields.

Sack, ’80, is the interim president and chief executive officer at MRIGlobal, a Kansas City-based firm that performs contract research, specializing in global health, energy and national security. He oversees more than $100 million in research contracts annually. He graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. In addition to his work with MRIGlobal, Sack serves on the board of directors for Science Pioneers Kansas, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy and the Institutional Advisory Committee for the Kansas City Area Life Science Institute. He also advocates for science education.

Belske graduated from Rockhurst in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science Business Administration. He started his career with the Ernst and Young accounting firm in 1978, after earning a master’s in accounting. In 1986, he transferred to Ernst and Young’s Dallas-Fort Worth office, serving on some of the firm’s major accounts in the financial services and manufacturing sectors. In addition to his professional achievements, Belske has also been an active community member in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, serving as an officer for the Mental Health Association of Dallas, on the Parish Council of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and on the National Board of College for Every Student.

Holmes, ’07 and ’08 MBA, will be honored with the Faber Young Alumni Award. Currently employed with the St. Louis office of Rubin Brown, Holmes oversees gaming regulatory compliance audits, internal control assessments, business improvement reviews and, policy and procedure development and financial statement audits. In addition to his professional achievements, Holmes also works to keep the service tradition strong at his alma mater, serving as the community service chairman for the Rockhurst University St. Louis Alumni Council.

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