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UC Alumni Association Names Top Alumni Award Winners
5 UC alumni to receive highest honors at April 14 event

CINCINNATI – December 11, 2015 – The University of Cincinnati Alumni Association today announced the winners of its highest honor for UC alumni. This year’s recipients include:

  • Richard E. Thornburgh, Bus ’74, Hon ’09
  • Patricia C. Weller Bresler, DAAP ’84
  • Karen Bankston, Nur ’05, PhD
  • Thomas A. Viola, CCM ’76
  • Julienne R. Cromwell, CEAS ’01, ’03

Each year, the UC Alumni Association selects a handful of its more than 285,000 alumni based on their career accomplishments and contributions to the university and community, honoring them at the UC Distinguished Alumni Celebration during Alumni Weekend each spring.

“Our 2016 class of Distinguished Alumni Award winners spans multiple fields and disciplines,” said Jennifer Heisey, executive director of the UC Alumni Association and vice president of alumni relations for the UC Foundation. “We’re honoring a true leader in the global finance industry, a brand design industry expert, a champion for inclusivity and opportunity within health care career pathways, a celebrated humanitarian, and a local engineering superstar.”

The five honorees, along with 14 college-specific award recipients, will be recognized at the 2016 UC Distinguished Alumni Celebration on Thursday, April 14, 2016. Tickets may be purchased for $100 (general admission), $75 (young professional) or $75 (student) at alumni.uc.edu/dac. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Brad McDonough at brad.mcdonough@uc.edu or 513-556-4013 to learn more.

About the honorees:

Dick ThornburghRichard E. Thornburgh, Bus ’74, Hon ’09 – William Howard Taft Medal for Notable Achievement

For four decades working primarily with Credit Suisse Group, Thornburgh has been a brilliant and skilled leader in the global financial industry. He built a reputation as a relationship builder; a go-to advisor on landmark merger-and-acquisition transactions, sector recapitalizations and privatizations; and an initiator of key investments that benefited millions of people and the world economy. He is known for his sound judgment, steadfast moral compass and deep compassion.

Patti Weller BreslerPatricia C. Weller Bresler, DAAP ’84 – Distinguished Service Award

Bresler has enjoyed a successful design career spanning more than 25 years, the second half of which has been with Brandimage in her native Cincinnati, where as Creative Director she develops new brands and revitalizes existing ones. Her strong belief in the unique value of UC’s co-op program and the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning’s unique approach to education has compelled her to spearhead a multitude of efforts to advance her college, from board oversight and scholarship fundraising to student recruitment and event management.

Karen BankstonKaren Bankston, Nur ’05, PhD – Mosaic Award

With a diverse career in the nursing field, Bankston is renowned for her profound devotion to decreasing health disparities in the community while increasing inclusivity and opportunity for all. Her focus has always included enhancing the diversity of the health care workforce pipeline and improving educational outcomes for underrepresented individuals interested in health care careers. She currently serves as Associate Dean of Clinical Practice, Partnership and Community Engagement with UC’s College of Nursing.

Tom ViolaThomas A. Viola, CCM ’76 – Mosaic Award

As the long-time leader of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), Viola has overseen efforts that have raised over $250 million to help people living with HIV/AIDS and other vital health issues nationwide. Under Viola’s tireless guidance, BC/EFA’s high-level events enable the awarding of grants to a wide variety of AIDS and family services — from clinics and food pantries to case management, counseling and emergency financial assistance.

Julie CromwellJulienne R. Cromwell, CEAS ’01, ’03 – Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award

Cromwell has packed more high-profile engineering projects into a still young career than most people in her field could hope to achieve in a lifetime. She currently serves as an engineer and principal with one of the region’s premier design firms -- THP Ltd. Cromwell takes time to mentor UC students, provide volunteer leadership for the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management department, and teach in her area of specialty, reinforced concrete design.

2016 Outstanding Alumni Awards
College of Allied Health Sciences - Jean Sepate ’83
McMicken College of Arts and Sciences - Elizabeth A. Murray ’88, ’93 PhD
Blue Ash College - Andrew D. Ciafardini ’01
Carl H. Lindner College of Business - Robert R. “Bob” Buck ’70
Clermont College - Robert G. “Bob” Lees ’74, ’76
College-Conservatory of Music - David C. Daniels ’90
College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning - Robert L. Greiwe ’55
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services - Patricia O’Reilly ’52, ’67, ’71 PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science - J. Phillip Holloman ’78
College of Law - Marianna Bettman ’66, ’77 JD
College of Medicine - George S. Deepe, Jr., MD ’76
College of Nursing - Lou Ann T. Emerson ’63, ’71 PhD
James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy - Thomas E. Imhoff ’71, ’74 PharmD
UC Athletics - Michael W. “Mick” Cronin, A&S ’97

Visit alumni.uc.edu/dac for more information about the honorees and the UC Distinguished Alumni Celebration.

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About the University of Cincinnati Alumni Association
The UC Alumni Association (UCAA) represents and serves UC’s more than 285,000 alumni worldwide, helping them maintain a lifetime connection to each other and their alma mater. The UCAA staff and volunteers work to provide year-round opportunities for networking, continuing education and professional development.


By Caitlin Whitehurst
Associate Director and Senior Writer, Communications and Marketing
UC Foundation

Email Caitlin
or call 513-556-4395

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