CRESTVIEW HILLS, KY (April 19, 2024) – At a celebration hosted by Thomas More University, three individuals who have made a significant impact on the Northern Kentucky region and demonstrated a commitment to advancing Catholic education were honored for their achievements.

The 26th Annual Bishop William A. Hughes Award Dinner, sponsored by DBL Law, was held at Drees Pavilion in Devou Park on April 17. Honorees at this year’s event included Robert M. Hoffer, managing partner for DBL Law; Bob Sathe, chairman of MCF Advisors; and Coach Jim Connor ’50, former director of athletics, baseball coach and men’s basketball coach for Thomas More, who was honored posthumously.

Robert M. Hoffer received the Bishop William A. Hughes Award, named for the former bishop of the Diocese of Covington and chancellor of Thomas More University. The award has been bestowed annually since 1996 to honor those who have made significant contributions to Catholic higher education. Hoffer was recognized for his involvement with and fundraising for many local Catholic institutions and schools, including Notre Dame Academy, Covington Catholic High School, Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home (DCCH), St. Elizabeth Foundation, Carmel Manor, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, and various ministries of the Diocese of Covington. Additionally, Hoffer has shared his time and talents volunteering for various organizations serving the community, including Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK), the Kenton County Airport Board, American Heart Association, and Covington Cursillo.

(Left to right) Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, Robert M. Hoffer, Dr. Judith A. Marlowe ’69, chair of the Thomas More University board of trustees

Bob Sathe received the St. Thomas More Medallion, the University’s highest non-academic service award for extraordinary service to the University and to communities which it serves. Sathe has led many fundraising efforts, in addition to serving as a trustee at Thomas More University and as a member of the executive committee of the Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III ’67 Institute for Religious Liberty. Notably, Sathe currently serves as co-chair for Thomas More University’s Second Century Campaign – It’s time for More, which recently surpassed $37.5 million in support. Sathe has played a role on many boards throughout the region including Playhouse in the Park, Carnegie Arts Center, Cincinnati Ballet, Fine Arts Institute, Metropolitan Club, Coldstream Country Club, Cancer Family Care, Boy Scouts, Red Cross, and Bethesda Hospitals.

Bob Sathe (right), chairman of MCF Advisors, was awarded the Thomas More Medallion.

Coach Jim Connor ’50 was posthumously honored with the Dr. Raymond G. Hebert Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes those who have made a significant contribution within the University. Known for his dedication, fairness and gentlemanly demeanor, Coach Connor returned to his alma mater from 1978-1990 to serve as athletic director, also coaching baseball and men’s basketball. In addition to Thomas More, Coach Connor coached at Newport Catholic High School, Boone County High School, and Bellarmine College. His Thomas More career basketball record stands at 133-235. Notably, he was named NAIA District 32 Coach of the Year in 1981 and inducted into the Bellarmine College Sports Hall of Fame, and the Northern Kentucky Athletic Directors’ Hall of Fame. Together with the Thomas More Boosters, he spearheaded the construction of the Connor Convocation Center. He is widely regarded for his legacy of sportsmanship and dedication to athletic excellence. The Dr. Raymond G. Hebert Distinguished Service Award was accepted by Coach Connor’s family, including his son Terry Connor ’92, who currently serves as vice president and director of athletics for Thomas More University.

Coach Jim Connor (1922-96) was posthumously honored with the Dr. Raymond G. Hebert Distinguished Service Award. His family accepted the award on his behalf.

In recognition of the impact Coach Connor had on the lives of many student athletes, Thomas More University President Joseph Chillo announced plans for the University to commission a statue of Jim Connor, to be placed outside the Connor Convocation Center.

Proceeds from the Bishop William A. Hughes Award Dinner support financial aid awards for Thomas More University students. To make a donation in honor of Hoffer, Sathe, or Connor, please visit or contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at  


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About Thomas More University

Founded in 1921, Thomas More University stands as a beacon of academic excellence and innovation, challenging students to Make It More. Deeply rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, this timeless foundation supports a transformative educational experience as students looking to Be More are guided in the pursuit of knowledge, ethical leadership, and the integration of faith and reason. Through the high-quality, liberal arts education provided at Thomas More, students examine the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others which leads to the ability to think critically and contribute meaningfully to the world. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More takes its place as the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, being named one of the 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal.