Recognizing Outstanding Alumni

St. Edward’s University seeks to recognize alumni who live out the mission of the university and in doing so, make outstanding contributions to their professional, civic, and religious communities.

The Alumni Association Board of Directors reviews the nominees each year and, in partnership with the Alumni Relations staff, selects each year's honorees. Honorees are then recognized during Alumni Weekend. The timeline for the Alumni Award nomination process will be shared via social media and email. To stay updated, please follow us at @seualumni and ensure your contact information is current.

Discover more about the 2024 Alumni Awards recipients. 

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award is given at Alumni Weekend and is granted to an alumnus/alumna based on the following criteria:

  • Professional excellence and substantial contributions to his/her profession
  • Substantial community service contributions
  • Exemplifies leadership and ethical standards
  • Record of continued support to the university and its programs
  • Graduated more than 20 years ago

2024 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Martha Avery '84, MBA '93

Martha Avery ’84, MBA ’93

BA, Religious Studies

Master of Business Administration

As a child, Martha Avery grew up hearing inspiring stories from her father about the Brothers of Holy Cross at St. Edward’s. She came to St. Edward’s in her father’s footsteps in 1980. After graduating with her bachelor’s in Religious Studies, she was hired as the first full-time youth minister for the newly established St. Thomas More Catholic Church in North Austin. In addition to her youth ministry responsibilities, she directed the entire religious education program for grades 6–12. Martha transitioned from professional nonprofit work with the church into the corporate world with the Marriott Corporation in their management training program. She was later recruited by the St. Edward’s Office of University Advancement to be the assistant alumni director. “My time working at St. Edward’s and earning my MBA was a special rewarding time in my life,” she says. “I not only furthered my formal education but also entered a career path into development that allowed me to serve nonprofit mission-based institutions in rewarding professional roles.” With her MBA in hand, Martha transitioned into healthcare fundraising with what eventually became the Seton Health System. She was instrumental in assisting Seton in establishing a new Children’s Health Foundation of Central Texas and serving as its inaugural executive director. Martha went on to work with the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Los Angeles in a leadership role with a multi-million-dollar capital campaign. She returned to Texas to establish a comprehensive development program for Driscoll Children’s Hospital of South Texas. Over her nearly 16-year career with the Driscoll Health System, she initiated and executed multiple campaigns. She is most proud of the transformational funds raised to initiate new life-saving healthcare programs for the children of South Texas, which included creating the first and only pediatric kidney transplant program in South Texas; a comprehensive pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center; and endowments for the Child Life Program. Throughout her career, Martha valued mentoring others. She served her profession on regional and national boards, and presented at many regional and national conferences. She was recognized as Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year by the Coastal Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2017. Despite her demanding career, Martha remained engaged in her church and community. She was a lector and Eucharistic minister, and brought her expertise to bear on the building development committee. She chaired many community events, served as president of the local Kiwanis Organization, and was one of the only female Commodores of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club. “I am deeply grateful for the priceless liberal arts education I received at St. Edward’s,” says Martha. “The Holy Cross lessons of the heart and spirit have been the most profound in my life.” She credits her St. Edward’s experience with continuing to mold, shape and cement the values from her father of faith, loyalty, commitment, service and love of God. Martha’s enduring legacy on the hilltop includes establishing an endowed scholarship in memory of her father, Dr. Chester Joseph St. Romain, Jr., SEU Class of 1952. In recognition of her outstanding achievements and servant’s heart, the Alumni Association is proud to present Martha Avery with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Alumni Achievement Award

This award is given at Alumni Weekend and is granted to an alumnus/alumna based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated potential for professional excellence and contributions to his/her profession
  • Contributes to his/her community
  • Exemplifies leadership and ethical standards
  • Record of continued support to the university and its programs as an alumnus/alumna
  • Alumni are eligible five years after graduation

2024 Alumni Achievement Award Recipient

Daniel Guerrero

Dr. Daniel Guerrero MSOLE ’09, EdD ’22

Masters of Science, Organizational Leadership and Ethics

Doctor of Education - EdD, Leadership in Higher Education

Daniel Guerrero’s personal and professional achievements are a shining tribute to his passion for ethical leadership, lifelong learning and giving back to his community. From 2004–2008, Daniel served as a member of the San Marcos City Council and as a managing director with INROADS, a nonprofit focused on career development for minority students. Those experiences inspired him to aim for bigger leadership roles in his career. In 2008, Daniel made a New Year’s resolution to earn his master’s degree, a goal that led him to attending St. Edward’s and completing a master’s in Organizational Leadership and Ethics (MSOLE). Daniel says he was “drawn to the small classroom environment, close-knit community and unique degree offerings at St. Edward’s.” After meeting with Professor Tom Sechrest, director of the MSOLE program, he made an immediate decision to enroll in the program. “Dr. Sechrest’s mentorship played a significant role in shaping my graduate learning experience and inspiring me to pursue leadership roles in municipal government and higher education,” says Daniel. “At St. Edward’s, I had the opportunity to build genuine relationships with my classmates and professors while learning to think critically, take action and pursue systemic change through my leadership efforts.” After graduating in 2009, Daniel ran a successful campaign to become the first Latino elected mayor of San Marcos, a position he held for six years. “It’s my proudest accomplishment as an alum of St. Edward’s,” he says. “As mayor, I relied on the empathy, compassion and resilience I gained through my Holy Cross education.” Determined to broaden his expertise in the educational field, Daniel achieved another series of firsts. In 2019, he became a member of the first doctoral cohort at St. Edward’s and, in 2022, the first student to receive a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Higher Education from the university. He now chairs the MBA Program at Concordia University Texas, where he applies the lessons from his coursework and from the leadership that his professors modeled in the classroom. Daniel is also a senior consultant with AXIOM Learning Solutions and J.L. Powers & Associates. In addition, he serves as a board member for the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, the Texas Book Festival and the Alumni Association at Texas State University, where he earned a BA in Mass Communications. He volunteers with Sunshine Kids Foundation and is on the board of Discovery Camps, both of which serve children with cancer. Daniel is a highly engaged Hilltopper, attending campus events and volunteering with many university endeavors, including Homecoming and the Love Blue Give Gold campaign. He served as keynote speaker for the graduate commencement ceremony in December 2011 and regularly shares his perspective on servant leadership as a guest lecturer on the hilltop. He was recently appointed to the Texas Book Festival's Board of Directors. His prevailing message to students is timeless: “Your most valuable assets will never appear in a bank account or listed on the stock exchange. Your most valuable assets are the relationships that you nurture throughout your life. Cherish the people that God has blessed to enter your life.” In honor of his outstanding accomplishments and servant’s heart, the Alumni Association is proud to present Daniel Guerrero with the Alumni Achievement Award.

Alumni Service Award

This award is given at Alumni Weekend and is granted to an alumnus/alumna based on the following criteria:

  • Extraordinary ongoing service to the Alumni Association
  • Exemplifies leadership and ethical standards
  • Proud and loyal ambassador for St. Edward’s University
  • Record of continued support to the university and its programs as an alumnus/alumna
  • Lives out the mission of St. Edward’s University

2024 Alumni Service Award Recipient

Jeremias Alvarez

Jeremias Alvarez ’01, MPA

BA in Spanish and International Business

Jeremias Alvarez learned about St. Edward’s and its College Assistance Migrant Program as a teenager growing up in Presidio, Texas. St. Edward’s was one of the few colleges that recruited students in the small border town. Through close friends who attended St. Edward’s as CAMP students, his connection to the university grew. He says he chose St. Edward’s “given their commitment to our local small community, the positive experiences people I knew had there and the opportunity to get funding through the CAMP program.” Jeremias thrived on the hilltop with impressive accomplishments in the classroom and beyond. So much so that he earned two distinguished university awards. He was selected to be a Brown Scholar, a merit-based scholarship for students who demonstrated a commitment to service. He also received the Presidential Award in recognition of outstanding academic, extracurricular and community service achievements. After graduating in 2001, he entered The LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, completing his Master of Public Affairs in 2003. Since then, he has lived and worked in the Washington, DC, metro area and is currently a partner with Guidehouse (previously PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector) overseeing the Defense and Security Segment. “One of the things I love most about St. Edward’s is its focus on community service,” says Jeremias.  He encourages others to “Serve and give as much as you can.” His passion for service is seen in his many volunteer and leadership activities, including being a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.  For example, Jeremias is a board member with Point Foundation, a national organization that provides educational assistance to empower promising LGBTQ+ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential. He serves on the board of Studio Theatre, a regional theater in DC that focuses on contemporary works that examine the biggest societal issues of our day, ranging from racial justice to LGBTQ+ equality. He is an executive sponsor with Out Professional Employee Network LGBTQ+ Employee Group at Guidehouse, which focuses on serving LGBTQ+ community needs within Guidehouse and the local community.  Jeremias routinely volunteers at Whitman Walker Health, a local LGBTQ+ health provider, where Guidehouse sponsors several initiatives every year, including the annual fundraising Walk to End HIV. He is also an avid supporter of SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders), a nonprofit that creates opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth to build self-confidence and develop critical life skills.  Jeremias is a generous, longtime supporter of St. Edward’s. Currently, he serves on the advisory board for the School of Arts and Humanities and the CAMP Anniversary Committee. In addition, he is eager to facilitate internships for and hire Hilltoppers at Guidehouse. What single message would Jeremias convey to today’s students? “Live with purpose in your personal and professional lives,” he says. “When we live with purpose, we get the most out of every day we have, we create meaning in our life, and most importantly, we feel happier and more fulfilled.”

Jeremias Alvarez lives his purpose by making service to others a top priority in his life. The Alumni Association is honored to present him with the Alumni Service Award.

Rising Star Award

This award is given during Alumni Weekend and is granted to an alumnus/alumna based on the following criteria:

  • Graduated within 5 years
  • Has demonstrated professional excellence and substantial contributions to their field
  • Has exemplary ethical and leadership standards
  • Has contributed to their community through volunteer service
  • Has a record of engagement and support to the university and its programs

2024 Rising Star Award Recipient

Aaron Keith Kennard

Aaron Keith Kennard ’18, MPS

BA in Communication

When Aaron Keith Kennard traveled to Austin to visit colleges, the moment he set foot on the hilltop, he knew St. Edward’s was where he wanted to be. “I didn't even need the prospective student tour, though it certainly helped,” he says. “I went back to the hotel room and completed the entire application that night.” During his time at St. Edward’s, Aaron immersed himself in his academic pursuits and student leadership, making an indelible mark on the hilltop.  Among his many campus involvements, he served as executive director of the Student Philanthropy Council, helping inspire the Class of 2018 to be the most philanthropic outgoing class in the history of St. Edward’s. He worked with Student Life to craft a meaningful new-student Orientation program, and he served as co-leader of the St. Edward’s chapter of It’s On Us, a national program dedicated to college sexual assault prevention and survivor support. In his senior year, Aaron was named the Father Edward Sorin Outstanding Leader of the Year as well as Outstanding Graduating Senior in Communication. After graduating in 2018 and working with the American Heart Association for over a year, Aaron decided to continue his professional development by attending the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas, earning a master’s degree in Public Service.  During his time at the Clinton School, Aaron conducted numerous projects to benefit those living in Arkansas. He researched why young professionals were leaving Little Rock and made recommendations to the mayor's office on how to slow brain drain and bring more young professionals to the city. He conducted an LGBTQ+ diversity audit for an Arkansas based immigration rights organization.  Aaron also conducted research on how to better recruit and train LGBTQ+ adults to become foster parents in Arkansas. Lastly, he researched the threats to Arkansas water resources and developed a guide for discussing the threats and how to mitigate them with Arkansas citizens. His guide was recognized and applauded by the National Issues Forum and the Kettering Foundation. One of his proudest achievements as an alumnus occurred within his current role as Program Officer with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. He worked with the Arkansas Governor’s Food Desert Working Group, collaborating with cross-sector professionals to complete community-based research on the causes of food insecurity in Arkansas.  “Teaming up with a group of highly passionate people to develop actionable recommendations for eliminating food deserts and food insecurity — ones that have already been taken up by communities and the legislature — was incredibly rewarding,” he says. Most recently, Aaron launched Civic Arkansas, a program to increase civic participation in Arkansas.

A valuable piece of advice Aaron lives by is one he freely shares: “Look for the good in others, and you’ll always find a friend. If you go into every interaction with someone believing that they are operating with good intentions, they’ll be more likely to want to work with you. The vast majority of people just want to live happy and healthy lives, and if we happen to disagree on some things, that doesn't change their value.” In light of his outstanding personal and professional achievements, and his commitment to championing the good in everyone, the Alumni Association is pleased to present Aaron Keith Kennard with the Rising Star Award.