Bellarmine University will honor the following eight individuals and an organization on Feb. 15, 2019, at the 57th Annual Alumni Association Awards Dinner. The honorees have distinguished themselves through professional accomplishments, community service and demonstration of attitudes consistent with Bellarmine’s values. The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. in the Amelia Brown Frazier Convocation Hall on Bellarmine’s campus. Tickets are $60 per person. To register or purchase a table: 502.272.8333 or visit www.alumni.bellarmine.edu.
Alumnus of the Year
Jesse Flynn ’71
Jesse Flynn, a significant figure in the construction industry for more than 30 years, has provided Bellarmine with valuable leadership on land acquisition and building projects as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2012. He is a great believer in education, in hard work, and in providing opportunities to help others succeed.
Raised on an Anderson County farm with his three brothers and seven sisters, Mr. Flynn counts his hardworking mother as his earliest mentor—one whose example allowed failure, but did not tolerate quitting. After graduating from Bellarmine with a degree in Business Administration in 1971 and two years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Jesse formed Flynn Brothers Contracting in 1973 with his brother, John ’70.
As they built their business, he met another mentor—Carolyn Williams, the 72-year-old owner/operator of H.K. Williams Co., where the Flynn brothers bought the asphalt to fill potholes and pave driveways. She took a personal interest in him, giving him business advice and telling him always to “keep it between the lines.” Mrs. Williams provided an endowed scholarship fund for nurses studying at Bellarmine.
In 1984, Mr. Flynn formed the Flynn Holding Management Company and became partners with his brothers John and Ed, along with Jim Rice. Today, the Flynn Group, for which Jesse Flynn serves as president, owns and manages 60+ properties in the Greater Louisville area. He also serves as board chair for Flynn Brothers Contracting, an employee-owned company that builds roads and utilities. It employs more than 230 and has annual revenue in the tens of millions.
And yet he is still known in the business world as an old-fashioned “handshake guy.” That was the experience that Dave Dafoe ’91 MBA had when he was looking for space for his fledgling Flavorman Company in the 1990s. Meeting Mr. Flynn at the Bluegrass Industrial Park was a bit intimidating, Mr. Dafoe recalled. But after quizzing him on his plans, Mr. Flynn shook his hand on a lease. “He became a bit of a mentor to me,” Mr. Dafoe said. “It really helped me to build this business.”
It’s a role Mr. Flynn is glad to play when he encounters someone driven and ambitious like Mr. Dafoe. “Nobody gets anywhere without somebody helping them out or at least giving them some guidance.”
Mr. Flynn has also given much of his time to civic and volunteer activities. He was on the Board of Directors for the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce from 2001-07 and served as its president from 2005-06 and was a member of the Board of Directors at First Citizens Bank in Elizabethtown from 2002-07. He was a Kentucky delegate to the White House Conference for Small Businesses.
He is a member of the Alpha Delta Gamma fraternity, was named the Associated Builders & Contractors Member of the Year in 1994, received the March of Dimes REACH Award in 2005, and was inducted into the Bellarmine Scarlet & Silver Society, with his brother John, in 2008. He supports Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts and St. Joseph Orphanage and was heavily involved with the DePaul School for children with learning differences for 16 years.
He has also written a book, Heroes from the Attic, a history of the 48th surgical hospital and 128th evacuation hospital from 1941-45. This book was inspired by his mother and father, who served together in the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge as the U.S. Army moved across Belgium and into Germany.
Scarlet & Silver Society Inductees
Jack ’84 & Susan ’84 Horn
Jack Horn is accounting manager at Republic Bank, and Susan Horn is senior field consultant at Anthem Inc. The Horns have helped to build Bellarmine Alumni Trivia Knight into one of the largest and most successful trivia nights in the region, raising more than $120,000 for student scholarships at Bellarmine.
Msgr. Horrigan Distinguished Service Award
Ursuline Sisters of Louisville
Bellarmine University is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the merger between Bellarmine and Ursuline colleges in the 2018-19 school year. This award celebrates the rich history of the Ursuline Sisters and the many benefits Bellarmine University gained from the merger. The current president of the Ursuline Sisters, Sr. Janet Marie Peterworth OSU ’61 UC, will accept on behalf of the organization.
Gallery of Distinguished Graduates
Sr. Regina M. Bevelacqua OSU ’64 UC and Mary Jo Payne, OSU-A ’72
Co-Founders of St. Mary’s Center in Louisville
St. Mary’s Center is a Louisville nonprofit that has served intellectually challenged members of the community since 1993. St. Mary’s Center enhances the lives of its clients through its adult day training, teen after-school program and athletic activities for all ages.
Dr. John L. Roberts ’72
Vice dean, graduate, Medical Education, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Dr. Roberts was the 118th president of the Greater Louisville Medical Society for the 2016-17 year. He served as the director of the Pediatric Residency program at U of L for more than 23 years and chairs the Kentucky Medical Association’s committee that accredits Continuing Medical Education programs throughout the state.
Col. Corey Simmons ’98
United States Air Force, Commander, 71st Flying Training Wing, Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma
Col. Simmons, who joined the Air Force in 1998, previously served as vice commander for the 436th Airlift Wing at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. He has been a National Defense Fellow at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and served as Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Tromans ’04
Technical Advisor, International Rescue Committee
Ms. Tromans has spent her career serving those affected by conflict and disasters around the world, including in India, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Laos and Thailand; previously with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and currently with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She has led relief efforts in major disasters such as the 2013 Philippines Typhoon Haiyan and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake.
Accounting Alumnus of the Year
John Pieper ’78
Partner Emeritus, MCM CPAs & Advisors LLP
Mr. Pieper enjoyed 40 years in the accounting profession, spending the majority of his career with McCauley, Nicolas & Company, LLC, prior to its merger with MCM. He is an active community leader serving the Archdiocese of Louisville, Assumption, St. Agnes, New Directions, Bellarmine, One Southern Indiana and other organizations. He was previously honored at the Accounting Alumni and Student Awards Luncheon in September.