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CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Feb. 16, 2023) — After a four-year hiatus, Thomas More University is set to honor outstanding community members at the 25th Bishop William A. Hughes Award Dinner on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, sponsored by DBL Law. Three distinct awards will be presented to individuals who have shown leadership in the community and made significant impact on Catholic education. Honorees at this year’s dinner include Alan Pickett, executive director of Catholic Charities, Raymond G. Hebert, Ph.D., executive director of the Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III ’67 Institute for Religious Liberty (IRL), and Wilbert Ziegler ’53, J.D., honorary chair of the Thomas More University Second Century Campaign Steering Committee.

Pickett receives the Bishop William A. Hughes Award – for whom the dinner is named. This award was established in 1996 to honor those who have made significant contributions to Catholic higher education. Pickett joined Catholic Charities in September 2014 as the ninth executive director after 36 years in professional service as a practicing CPA, holding various administrative and leadership roles in several professional service firms. Pickett completed a Master of Arts in lay pastoral ministry from the Athenaeum of Ohio in 2010. In addition, he has spent much of his adult life actively participating in numerous ministries at his parish and volunteering in a variety of programs in the community including the Diocese of Covington Pro Life Commission, Tender Mercies, and Exodus Jail Listening Ministry of Northern Kentucky.

While the Bishop Hughes award is designed to honor external community members who have made significant contributions to Catholic education, the newly created Dr. Raymond Hebert Distinguished Service Award honors those who have made a signification contribution within the University. The inaugural award is being presented to Hebert, who has more than 47 years of service to the University. He currently serves the University as a dean emeritus and executive director of the IRL. Hebert’s tremendous legacy began when he joined Thomas More in 1975 as a faculty member. Since then, Hebert has filled many roles including dean of summer session, chairperson of both history and the expanded history, international students, and political science departments, interim dean of student affairs, vice president of academic affairs/dean of the college, director of James Graham Brown Honors program, director of the dual credit program, as well as coordinator of many study abroad programs.

The Thomas More Medallion, being presented to Ziegler, is the highest dedicated service award granted to a member of the Thomas More community, recognizing that individual’s extraordinary service to the University and to the larger community which the University serves. After graduating from Thomas More, Ziegler went on to have a paramount impact on not only the University, but Catholic education in the region as a whole, serving on several boards in the community, including as honorary chair of the Second Century Campaign Steering Committee and the Advancement and Outreach committee at Thomas More University. He has also created several scholarships in support of students at Covington Latin School, Thomas More, and the University of Cincinnati which serve to continue his legacy.

Bishop William A. Hughes began his ministry as a clergy member in 1946. After being appointed to the role of bishop in 1974, he was an active member and served as chairman of various committees within the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference. He was appointed the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Covington in 1979 and served on various boards within the Greater Cincinnati community, also serving as chancellor of Thomas More University. He retired in July 1995 and passed away on Feb. 7, 2013.

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For more information about Thomas More University, visit www.thomasmore.edu.


About Thomas More University

For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, build upon its excellent return on investment (ranked #1 among private universities/colleges in Kentucky by MSN Money in 2021 and ranked #2 for long term gain in Kentucky by a 2022 Georgetown University study) and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit thomasmore.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lyna Kelley, director of communications and PR, kelleyl@thomasmore.edu, 859.344.3309