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Distinguished alumni honored at jazz brunch

April 13, 2012

Loyola University New Orleans Alumni Association will honor prominent alumni from four colleges at its annual jazz brunch on Sunday, April 15 as part of the 2012 Alumni Weekend.

Recipients include: Michelle Clarke ’06, John Deveney ’88, Eric Eckholdt ’89, Jean Arnoult Gaul ’55, M.Ed. ’92 and Georgia McBride ’06, MBA ’11.

Michelle Clark: Young Alumna of the Year

Clarke graduated from Loyola University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. Following her graduation from Loyola, she earned her Master of Public Administration degree from the University of New Orleans. She is currently an account supervisor at Peter Mayer Advertising.

Clarke is the president of the Ad Club of New Orleans and recently served as district ADDY chair. She received the Advertising Person of the Year award in 2010.

In the New Orleans community, Clarke was the founder of the Magis Fund, a fundraising effort which provided assistance to Loyola faculty and students who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Clark is a member of the Young Leadership Council, Women in the Next Generation United Way, Emeril Lagasse Foundation and the University of New Orleans Public Administration Student and Alumni Association.

Within the Loyola community, Clarke is president of the Young Alumni Pack and a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Career Networking Committee. She serves as a project coordinator on the Wolves on the Prowl committee. As president of the Young Alumni Pack, Clarke has ensured that the young alumni in New Orleans are offered a variety of social, spiritual, philanthropic and community-based activities.

College of Social Sciences: John Deveney

Deveney graduated from Loyola in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. He established a career in public relations over the next eight years and, in 1996 founded Deveney Communications.

Within the New Orleans Community, Deveney is a member of the boards of the Boy Scouts of America’s Learning for Life program, Covenant House, United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area, Our Lady of Holy Cross College, New Orleans Police Foundation, the Southern Film Institute, the New Orleans Public Library, the March of Dimes and Bridge House, among several others.

Deveney has been named a Young Leadership Council Role Model and the PR News Agency Executive of the Year. He has recently been inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame, and his company recently won two Marketing Awards of Excellence and two Certificates of Merit from the MAX Awards. Deveney and Deveney Communications were named the 2011 Champion of the Year by the New Orleans Chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Deveney is chairman of the College of Social Sciences Visiting Committee at Loyola. He has also served as the professional advisor to the Bateman Team and teaches classes in the School of Mass Communication. He helped form the Deveney Communication Endowed Scholarship and has employed several student interns from Loyola.

College of Business: Eric Eckholdt

Eckholdt graduated from Loyola University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and Finance. Eckholdt has served as the executive director of the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation since 2004 and oversees all philanthropic activities for Credit Suisse in the United States and Latin America.

Eckholdt led the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation through a strategic review, which expanded its historical focus on volunteerism and introduced a new program area in education. This program has identified schools that offer children a materially better alternative and provides them with support for ongoing operations and expansion. Recognizing that effective teachers and principals are essential for systemic change, the program is also directing support to organizations that address these issues.

Eckholdt’s professional career is centered on philanthropy, charitable giving and fundraising. He urges his employees to take part in volunteer opportunities, including Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank for New York City. Eckholdt comes from a background in banking and finance and worked at Credit Suisse between 1996 and 1998, followed by six years of service at the New York-based nonprofit Prep for Prep.

Within the Loyola Community, he has served as the New York alumni chapter president and was the driving force behind the fundraising campaign for the William Barnett Professorship in Free Enterprise Studies.

College of Humanities and Natural Sciences: Jean Gaul

Gaul graduated from Loyola in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She was recognized with the American Chemical Society’s Outstanding Achievement Award in the Study of Chemistry. As a professional, Gaul worked for 32 years as an analytical chemist, a supervisory chemist and a compliance officer with the United States Food and Drug Administration. In 1988, she received the United States FDA Award of Merit for exemplary service.

Following her retirement from the FDA, Gaul earned a master’s degree in secondary education from Loyola in 1992. She earned the Loyola University Hilda C. Smith Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Secondary Education and the St. Agnes Elementary School Award for Distinguished Graduate. She received her Louisiana teaching certification for mathematics and chemistry, and has taught algebra, science, reading and chemistry to middle school and high school students. She continues to tutor students in mathematics and chemistry.

Gaul has also volunteered within the New Orleans community. She is a parishioner of St. Matthew the Apostle Church, where she serves as presidium president of the Legion of Mary, a Eucharistic minister to homebound parishioners, and has been a catechist for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. She also volunteers with River Region Hospice, sending sympathy cards and quarterly HOPE messages to bereaved family members.

Within the Loyola community, Gaul has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to her alma mater. She recently completed 80 hours of volunteer service for the Office of Institutional Advancement, surveying campus buildings for named and dedicated spaces.

College of Music and Fine Arts: Georgia McBride

McBride graduated from Loyola University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies. She received her MBA from Loyola in December 2011. She recently moved to Houston after serving as the career development coordinator for the College of Music and Fine Arts in the Career Development Office at Loyola University for several years. McBride is currently the assistant marketing manager at the Houston Symphony.

Within the New Orleans community, she co-founded the Crescent City Café, which provides New Orleans homeless with restaurant-quality food and a dining experience that gives them more than just a hot meal. The café serves breakfast to the homeless the first Saturday of every month at Rayne Memorial Methodist Church. The guests are provided with a setting, service and food that are reminiscent of a high-quality restaurant, including white table cloths, real silverware and a volunteer wait staff.

The restaurant encourages a meaningful interaction between patrons and volunteers in an effort to put real faces on the homeless population in New Orleans. Volunteers range in age from 18 – 40. Some of them are students or young professionals, and others are more established in their lives and careers. The café is supported by members of the faith community as well as Brown’s Dairy and partner organization Grow Dat. As a volunteer for Loyola, McBride is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 504-861-5454 or alumni@loyno.edu.

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