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Distinguished alumni honored at Jazz brunch

May 13, 2011

Loyola University New Orleans Alumni Association will honor prominent alumni from each college at its annual Jazz brunch on Sunday, May 15, part of the 2011 Alumni Weekend.

Recipients include: Jennifer C. Bordes ’84, College of Business Alumna of the Year; Sean C. O’Keefe ’77, College of Humanities and Natural Sciences Alumnus of the Year; Susan C. Hanemann ’73, College of Music and Fine Arts Alumna of the Year; Gary G. Hymel ’54, College of Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year; and Sharonda R. Williams, J.D. ’01, Young Alumna of the Year, College of Law.

College of Business: Jennifer Bordes
Bordes graduated from Loyola in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She then earned her Master of Science in taxation from the University of New Orleans in 1995. She has been employed at LaPorte, Sehrt, Romig and Hand for 23 years and is now the director of tax consulting services. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants, New Orleans Estate Planning Council, Society of Louisiana CPA’s, Women’s Professional Council, National Association of Women Business Owners and the Greater New Orleans Council of Planned Giving.

Bordes also volunteers with the March of Dimes, the Girl Scouts of America, Leukemia Society and the Mount Carmel Academy alumni association. She was recently made an equity shareholder of LaPorte, Sehrt, Romig and Hand, and she is the fifth woman to be given such an honor.

College of Humanities and Natural Sciences: Sean O’Keefe

Sean O’Keefe is currently a member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees. He was appointed CEO of EADS North America in 2009. EADS is the parent company of some of the most recognized international defense and aerospace units, including Airbus, Eurocopter, Astrium and Defense and Security. Prior to joining EADS, O’Keefe served as corporate officer of the General Electric Company aviation business. He was chancellor of Louisiana State University from 2005–08, and was the tenth administrator of NASA from 2001–05. He has served as presidential appointee on four separate occasions as Secretary of the Navy, comptroller and CFO of the Defense Department, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and deputy assistant to the president, as well as the appointment at NASA under two presidential administrations. He received the Distinguished Public Service Award from President George Herbert Walker Bush and then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in 1993. His public service began in 1978 upon his selection as a presidential management intern. O’Keefe earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University New Orleans in 1977 and his Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in 1978.

College of Music and Fine Arts: Susan Hanemann

Susan Hanemann earned her Bachelor of Music in theory and composition in 1973 from Loyola. She currently is a flutist and a paralegal assistant for Stephen M. Chouest and Associates. Hanemann volunteers heavily with St. Michael’s Special School including being a volunteer music teacher, playing piano and flute for special occasions. She has also been the chairman of the Blue Rose Ball and the Chef’s Charity, a member of the Loyola College of Music and Fine Arts Visiting Committee, and a committee member of Boys Hope. She has served on the Boys Hope Gala, and in 1993 she was the chairman. In 2004, she and her husband created the Parents’ Scholarship for Vocal Studies Abroad, which allows vocal students to study during the summer in Rome, Italy. She is the flutist for the St. Louis Cathedral Boys Choir during camp, performances and competitions.

Hanemann is currently on the committees for the NOMA Home Tour Fundraiser and the Parkway Promenade and Jefferson the Beautiful. In the past she has worked with the Loyola Parents’ Committee and Alumni Board, and the Mount Carmel Academy Board of Directors. She has also volunteered with Jefferson Dollars for Scholars, the New Orleans Musical Walk of Fame LA Music Commission, Children’s Hospital, Jefferson Parish Arts Society, New Orleans Symphony, and the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness. In 2004, Hanemann received the St. Elizabeth’s Guild Activist Award.

College of Social Sciences: Gary Hymel

Gary Hymel graduated from Loyola with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism in 1954. He earned a Master of Arts degree in journalism from Louisiana State University in 1959. After graduation, Hymel joined the United States Army Reserve and served as captain 1954–56. In 1956, he began reporting for The States Item, now The Times-Picayune. He worked at The States Item until 1965 when he became the chief lobbyist for Hale Boggs, the United States Representative from Louisiana. He also served as chief of staff for Massachusetts Representative Thomas “Tip” O’Neill. Hymel was then the lobbyist for Bob Gray, the former cabinet secretary during the Eisenhower administration. When Gray created the public relations firm, Gray and Co., Hymel served as the vice president and lead lobbyist, which he still performs as today. He also co-authored a book with Tip O’Neill titled “All Politics is Local and Other Rules of the Game” and authored “Ten Rules for Dealing with the Staff.” Hymel has been a member of Loyola’s College of Social Sciences Visiting Committee since 1983 and serves as a member on the Academic Affairs Strategic Agenda National Alumni Planning Committee. He is a trustee of the United States Capitol Historic Society and a member of the Congressional Fellowship Program Advisory Committee of the American Political Science Association. In 2008, he was named to the Louisiana Board of Ethics.

College of Law, Young Alumna of the Year: Sharonda R. Williams

Sharonda Williams graduated from Loyola’s College of Law in 2001. She received her Bachelor of Science in pre-med/biology from Xavier University in 1994. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha fraternity. Williams is employed by Sher, Garner, Cahill, Richter, Klein and Hilbert, LLC in New Orleans and she practices in litigation, intellectual property and entertainment law. In 2009, she became the first African-American to become partner of the firm. Prior to her current position, she was employed at Kilpatrick, Stockton, LLP Associates. She is a member of the Louisiana Bar Association-Intellectual Property Section, the New Orleans Bar Association- Young Lawyers Section, American Bar Association-Intellectual Section, Association of Women Attorneys, Louis A. Martinet Society-Martinet Society Legislative Committee, and the Louisiana State Bar-Minority Involvement Section.

Williams has volunteered with the Truancy Intervention Project and the Domestic Violence Victims/Assistance as a volunteer attorney. She is also a member of the Loyola Law Alumni Board of Directors. In 2010, Williams was recognized as one of Gambit’s Top 40 Under 40. She is a co-founder of the Louisiana Association of Black Women Attorneys, which provides a mentorship program for underprivileged high school girls. Williams was also instrumental in bringing the 85th Annual National Bar Association Convention to New Orleans. She also has volunteered with the Feminist Women’s Health Care Center and is a delegate to the university-wide Alumni Board and chair of the Loyola Women in Law Tea.

For more information, contact Allison Russell Waldron at awaldron@loyno.edu or 504-861-5789.

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