Brescia University will welcome back alumni and friends to campus for the 2017 Alumni Homecoming, “Live Like a Bearcat,” October 26th – 29th. The event will feature a host of activities for students, alumni, faculty and staff, as they celebrate the rich tradition and return of treasured alumni. As a part of that celebration, Brescia will honor four Distinguished Alumni, as well as, four new Athletic Hall of Fame members.
Since the inception of the prestigious Distinguished Alumni recognition, Brescia has awarded more than 50 alumni with the title. The award was created to honor graduates who exemplify the elements that encompass The Brescia Difference: Respect for the Sacred, Devotion to Learning, Commitment to Growth in Virtue, and Promotion of Servant Leadership.
Because of the breadth and scope of their life’s work, the magnitude of their impact on the regional, national and often international scene, and their examples of service and leadership, alumni who receive this esteemed honor have distinguished themselves among their peers.
The 2017 Distinguished Alumni who will be honored at the banquet on Friday, October 27th at 6:00 pm at The Moore Center are Dr. Paul Coomes ’73, Eric ’92 and Jason Kyle ’96, and Sister Sharon Sullivan, ‘75.
Dr. Paul Coomes is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Louisville. He is a graduate of Brescia College (BA), Indiana University (MS), and the University of Texas (Ph.D.). Professor Coomes came to the University of Louisville from Texas in 1985.
Coomes is past chair of the Economics department at Louisville, past president of the Kentucky Economic Association, and was the 2014 Distinguished Economist of that organization. He also recently served as Executive Director of the Office Health Policy for Kentucky state government.
Paul lives with his wife in eastern Jefferson County. He is descended from William and Jane Coomes, who arrived in 1774 at Fort Harrod, Kentucky – where Jane became the first school teacher in the state.
Eric Kyle, a 1992 alumnus, and Jason Kyle, a 1996 alumnus, are owners of Red Pixel Studios, a marketing design group in Owensboro. Under their leadership, Red Pixel Studios is heavily involved in the community, donating time and talent to develop websites and other materials for several non-profit organizations. Jason serves on the boards of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation and Daniel Pitino Shelter. The Red Pixel Studios team, which includes two other Brescia alumni, have partnered with Brescia on numerous campaigns and projects.
Sister Sharon Sullivan, a 1975 alumna in Special Education, taught in the Daviess County school system, then became an Ursuline Sister and returned to Brescia College in 1984, serving as Director of Residential Life, Education Faculty, and Academic Dean until 2010, when she became the Congregational Leader of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.
She has been appointed to and served on Kentucky’s State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children and Daviess County’s Greenwood Cemetery Advisory Board. Sr. Sharon has also served on the national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, on Brescia University’s Board of Trustees, and the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana Board of Directors.
The Brescia University Athletic Hall of Fame honors student-athletes, coaches, and other individuals who have contributed to the promotion, development, and success of Brescia University’s athletic program. Inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame exemplify excellence in the classroom, on and off the field of play, and in service to others. Through their personal and team successes, these individuals serve as a shining example of what it means to be a Brescia Bearcat.
The 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored at the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, October 28th at 6:30 pm at the Moore Center are Graeme Abel ’04, Matthew Lowe ’12, John Reilly and Marty Rowe.
Graeme Abel, currently serves as the Goalkeeper Coach for the United States Women’s National Team. He was a vital part of the 2015 Women’s World Cup team staff that helped the United States win its first World Cup title in 16 years.
Abel has extensive coaching experience in youth and college programs, including stints with: USA FIFA U-20, USA’s youth National Teams, Oklahoma University, Washington State University, and the University of Nevada. In 2004, Graeme started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Brescia University.
Before attending Brescia University, Abel’s playing career has included time with: Everton FC, Stockport County FC, and Lindsey Wilson College, where he was named NAIA All American, 1999 NAIA National Tournament MVP, and led Lindsey Wilson to a national championship. While at Brescia, Abel was once again an NAIA All-American and two-time KIAC Conference Player of the Year.
He currently resides in Seattle with his wife Katie and two children, Kian and Lila. Graeme will also serve as the guest speaker for the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet.
Matthew Lowe, currently serves as the Assistant Cross Country/Track & Field Coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College. While at Brescia, Lowe was a member of the Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams.
From 2008-2013, Lowe garnered numerous awards and set a number of school records in Cross Country/Track & Field. Over the course of his career, Lowe was a five-time all-conference selection, three-time conference champion, and two-time NAIA All-American. Lowe is the first Cross County and Track & Field athlete to be inducted into the Brescia University Athletic Hall of Fame.
John Reilly was the head coach of the Brescia Men’s Basketball program from 1993 to 2005. During his tenure, the Bearcats produced ten winning seasons, two NAIA Division 1 tournament appearances, and eleven NAIA All Americans.
Reilly is the all-leader in wins for Bearcat Basketball with a career record of 219-134 and a .609 career winning percentage. Reilly also won three consecutive conference Coach of Year awards from 1997-1999. During the final nine years of his tenure at Brescia, Reilly also served as the Director of Athletics.
Today, John Reilly is the Head Men’s basketball coach at NCAAA Div. II Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Marty Rowe was the Head Women’s Basketball coach for Brescia from 1998 to 2004. Over the course of just six seasons, Rowe led the Lady Bearcats to four NAIA national tournament appearances, including Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, Rowe’s Lady Bearcats reached the NAIA Final Four. Rowe coached a combined 16 athletic and academic NAIA All-Americans, was named NAIA Independent Coach of the Year each year from 2002-2004, and his Lady Bearcats won the 2004 NAIA Independent Tournament Championship.
In addition to leading the Women’s Basketball Program, Rowe also served as Brescia’s Head Men’s Golf Coach. His teams made six consecutive appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, including a Tenth place finish in 2002 and a Fifth place finish in 2001. Rowe began his coaching career at Brescia University as an assistant coach with Men’s Basketball.
Marty Rowe currently serves as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Various other homecoming activities will be held throughout the weekend to celebrate the tradition of Brescia:
Thursday, October 26th
7:00 pm – “Return to the Arch” Alumni Speaker Series featuring Sister Michele Morek, OSU ’66 (Taylor Lecture Hall)
Friday, October 27th
6:00 PM Distinguished Alumni Cocktail Hour – The Moore Center
6:30 PM Distinguished Alumni Banquet – The Moore Center (Advance tickets required, $40.)
Saturday, October 28th
10:00 AM Chariot Races Tailgating – Brescia University Alumni Hall (7th street)
11:00 AM Chariot Races (Crowning of the Homecoming Court immediately following the race)
12:00 PM Lunch (O’Bryan’s Dining Hall)
12:30 PM Annual Alumni Association Meeting (O’Bryan’s Dinning Hall)
6:00 PM Athletic Hall of Fame Cocktail Reception
6:30 PM Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet featuring guest speaker Graeme Abel ’03 (The Moore Center)
Sunday, October 29th
10:00 AM Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel (Brunch immediately following in O’Bryan’s Dinning Hall)
For more information regarding Homecoming festivities or to purchased tickets for select events, contact Jake Davis, Director of Alumni Relations, at 270-686-2111 or [email protected].