Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni Award

For National or International Achievements

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor accorded by the Alumni Association and recognizes a graduate of the University of Dayton who has earned special distinction, thereby reflecting great honor on the University of Dayton and its alumni.

The award is given to a person who has sustained a record of accomplishment and whose reputation is widespread.

In selecting the distinguished alumni, special attention shall be given to the accomplishments that embody the University’s goal to participate effectively in the quest for a more perfect human society. To be eligible, a person must be a graduate of the University of Dayton with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, and must have received the degree at least 25 years prior to being nominated for the award.  Unless there is a compelling reason to merit an exception, only one award will be given each year.

Lourdes Maurice, Ph.D. `83, `86

Lourdes Maurice, Ph.D. `83, `86

Lourdes Maurice’s path in life had very humble beginnings: fleeing the Castro regime in Cuba with her mother, sister and grandparents. When Lourdes was 11 years old, the family landed in Dayton, Ohio, thanks to the goodwill of a local church. From there, Lourdes’ mother insisted on a Catholic, Marianist education for her daughters, sending them to Our Lady of Mercy Elementary School and Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton. Lourdes continued on that route, heading to the University of Dayton. Studying chemical and aerospace engineering at the University, Lourdes joined an industry where women and minorities were scarce. All of these obstacles presented to Lourdes in her formative years only seemed to fuel her desire to excel — and excel she did.

Eventually obtaining a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from one of the top engineering schools in the world, the University of London, Imperial College, Lourdes had a swift rise through the Air Force research enterprise, and then she became a top leader at the Federal Aviation Administration. In this capacity, she became one of the most influential and respected international leaders in setting aviation noise and environmental policy for the United States and the world. Now retired, her government service culminated in a role as executive director for environment and energy at the FAA, in which she led the negotiations for the international community on how aviation would address its climate impact. Before this role, she served as chief scientific and technical advisor for environment in the FAA's Office Of Environment and Energy, where she was the agency’s technical expert for basic and exploratory research, advanced technology development focused on aircraft environmental impacts and its application to noise and emissions certification and policy, and the application of alternative fuels to mitigate environmental impacts.

During her career, Lourdes also served on the Advisory Board for engineering schools at the University of Dayton, the Ohio State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, in addition to authoring over 100 publications. She was also recognized for her role in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, which she helped the winner obtain through her work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Only one person can accept the honor, but the winner provided Lourdes with a full-size duplicate of the award to reflect her invaluable contribution to the acquisition of the prize.

Since retiring in 2017, Lourdes still makes a substantial mark in her field, serving on the startup company Boom Supersonic’s advisory board to help them address the environmental challenges associated with bringing commercial supersonic flight to market. In addition, she is currently an associate editor for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Journal of Propulsion and Power and serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Aeroacoustics. She received her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from UD in 1983 and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from UD in 1986.


Past Recipients

Katherine Schipper '71
Richard A. Abdoo '65
John B. Alexander '25
Paul W. Armstrong '67
Edwin G. Becker '14
Erma F. Bombeck '49
David Bradley '71
Ricardo Bressani, Ph.D. '48
Edward L. Buescher '45
Simon Burick '30
Doris I. Charles '52
Ronald W. Collins '57
John E. Condon '51
Carl J. Crane '24
Richard P. Davis '72
Ralph D. Delaney '55
Joseph Desch '29 (posthumously awarded)
Eileen Dolan '79

Dr. Sean Donahue '84
F. Thomas Eggemeier '67
Richard H. Finan '54
Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M. '64
George E. Freitas '29
Thomas J. Frericks '53
Donald R. Geiger, S.M. '55
William E. Hammer, Jr. '62
James C. Herbert '63
Martin J. Hillenbrand '37
Carroll A. Hochwalt '20
George K. Houghtailing '29
Howard L. Hughes, S.M. '51
Cordell W. Hull '56
Clement G. Jauch '08
Soichi Kawazoe '30
Joseph E. Keller '29
Thomas C. Kennedy '59
Donald M. Knowlan '51
John L. Lahey '68, '70
Frank F. Ledford, Jr. '55
John A. Lombardo '71
John J. Lucier, S.M. '37
Peter A. Luongo '65
John T. Makley '57
Torrence A. Makley, Jr. '40
Al H. Mahrt '12
M. Michele Mariscalco, M.D. '77
Paul V. McEnroe '59
John F. McHale '78
Theodore Q. Miller '68
Simon Nathan '42
Colombe Nicholas '64
Charles H. Noll '53
John L. O'Grady '68
Joseph D. Park '29
Charles J. Pedersen '26
David Phillips '62
Shirley A. Pohl '57
Rita M. Rapp '50
Irmengard Raush '55
Raymond A. Roesch, S.M. '36
Col. Gordon R. Roberts '74
Dr. Richard M. Schoen '72
Sanford M. Shapero '50
Katherine Schipper '71
Barry J. Shillito '49
James R. Spotila '66
Eugene Steuerle '68
George E. Thoma '43
Fred Tenover, Ph.D. '76
Charles L. Weber '58
John R. Westerheide '47
Charles W. Whalen, Jr. '42
Bernard L. Whelan '09
Donald W. Wigal '55
Charles R. Wilke '40
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