Enchanted Evening

USD 2012 Alumni Honorees


Held for the first time at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre, the 2012 Alumni Honors event was a spectacular tribute to nine extraordinary graduates who exemplify the Torero spirit.

The 17th annual event, held on April 28, honored Joseph Ghougassian ’77 (MA), ’80 (JD); Sandra Chew Phillips ’68 (BA); Kevin Herde ’93 (BBA); Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. ’87 (JD); Capt. Jacqueline D. Rychnovsky, PhD, CPNP ’04 (PhD); J. Scott Di Valerio ’85 (BBA); Arnulfo Manriquez ’05 (MA); Susi Menazza ’03 (MA); and Timothy Lynch ’95 (BA).

“These alumni have accomplished great things in their careers and for their communities, and have made a significant impact on USD,” says Director of Alumni Relations Charles Bass. “It’s a privilege to share their stories with the campus and alumni from across the nation and around the world.”

Now retired, Ghougassian, who received the Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award, was the first naturalized United States citizen from the Middle East to become a U.S. Am-bassador after President Ronald Reagan appointed him in 1985. In 1989, Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the rank of Knighthood Commander in the Order of St. Gregory the Great for influencing the Qatar government to lift 14 centuries of religious prohibition on the public practice of the Christian faith and other faiths.

Chew Philips, a technical writer for Qualcomm, was given the Mother Rosalie Hill Clifton Award because of her dedication to USD. Over the past 40 years, she’s served on the University of San Diego Alumni Association Board of Directors, as well as the alumni board for the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She has also been active in the Alumnae of the Sacred Heart, serving on the Sacred Heart Advisory Committee to the USD Discovery Campaign.

Herde, who was inducted into the Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame, was primarily a catcher for the baseball team, but earned the moniker “Mr. Versatility,” because he also saw action at first base, on the pitcher’s mound and as a designated hitter. He is the only Torero baseball player to have earned the team’s Most Valuable Player award three times (1991-1993).

Inaugurated in 1995 to commemorate the legacy of USD President Emeritus Author E. Hughes, the university this year gave an Author E. Hughes Career Achievement award to one alumnus or alumna from each school.

Boutrous, the School of Law recipient, is a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and has been called one of the best media and appellate attorneys in the nation. In 2011, he convinced the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse one of the largest class actions of all time in the landmark case of Wal-Mart v. Dukes.

Rychnovsky, who was honored by the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, joined the U.S. Navy in 1990 and has worked as head of nursing research at the Naval Medical Center San Diego before serving a six-month tour as the head of inpatient nursing at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. She is currently the executive officer of the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.

Di Valerio, who was chosen by the School of Business Administration, is the chief financial officer of Coinstar Inc. Before joining Coinstar, Di Valerio was president of the Americas for Lenovo Group and, prior to that, was Microsoft’s corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer Division.

Manriquez, recipient for the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, is president and chief executive officer of MAAC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Maximizing Access to Advance our Communities. He has dedicated his career to working directly with underserved individuals, households and communities of San Diego County and promotes self-sufficiency through housing, economic, educational and employment programs.

Menazza, who represents the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, is a senior policy advisor for The Nature Conservancy. Her primary task is establishing relationships with European countries and organizations on issues affecting Asia-Pacific’s environment and development — such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and the establishment of “green” economies. She is also regularly involved in international policy negotiations.

Lynch, who is being honored by the College of Arts and Sciences, is co-founder and executive producer of Farm League and Woodshed Films. He has traveled the globe creating award-winning film projects that capture adventure and inspire environmental stewardship. Also an esteemed video producer, Lynch has helmed a number of groundbreaking music videos — including the winner of the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards’ Video of the Year, Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

Following the presentations, guests spilled out onto the Garden of the Sky plaza for an evening under the stars, complete with fabulous food stations and the soulful tunes of the Bill Magee Blues Band.

“Tonight is about honoring ordinary people who lead extraordinary lives,” says President Mary E. Lyons. “We call them leaders and visionaries, advocates and ambassadors. They are peacemakers. They are changemakers. They are Toreros.” — Krystn Shrieve 

Pictured (left to right): J. Scott Di Valerio ’85; Sandra Chew Phillips ’68; Timothy Lynch ’95; Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. ’87; Joseph Ghougassian ‘77, ‘80; Jacqueline D. Rychnovsky ‘04; Arnulfo Manriquez ‘05; Susi Menazza ‘03; and Kevin Herde ‘93.