Success & Impact

Esteemed Alumni Celebrated at Annual Leadership Awards Dinner

by Emmalee Eckstein

Michael Hare ’83, Denise Viola Monahan ’85, Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., Anthony Carfagno ’60 and Claire C. Tedesco ’15.

Four Hawks were honored at this year's Leadership Awards Dinner, held Oct. 24 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, for their unprecedented devotion to their alma mater.  

Claire C. Tedesco ’15, Denise Viola Monahan ’85, Michael Hare ’83 and Anthony Carfagno ’60 proudly took the stage to accept their awards and deliver remarks. Tedesco (the youngest alumnus to ever receive a Leadership Award) has taken the fierce leadership she employed on Hawk Hill and extended it to her professional and personal life as an alumna; Monahan stands up as a leader in her industry and community; Hare uses his significant professional standing to further the mission of the University; and Carfagno has spent the majority of his time since graduation making significant contributions to ensuring Saint Joseph's University is the best it can be. (Watch video tributes to Tedesco, Monahan, Hare and Carfagno.)

Tedesco speaks at a podium

Tedesco received the Ignatius Award for devoted efforts in the service and promotion of Saint Joseph’s University and a life of “service to others” consistent with the principles of St. Ignatius Loyola.

Tedesco is a rising star in the food marketing industry as a manager at HelloFresh in New York City. During her time on Hawk Hill, she was on the women’s rowing team, served as a resident assistant and became an orientation leader. She was accepted into the pilot class of the Dean’s Leadership Program and was a Student Senate officer for all four of her undergraduate years, leading to her eventual election as president of the Student Government Association.

"I distinctly remember the people I met with when I visited campus and I remember thinking 'these people live for something greater than just themselves,'" Tedesco remembered. "The way they see the world and how they want to make their impact wasn’t just inspiring — it made me want to be better and strive for something greater than myself. That's why, when people tell me that I do too much and maybe I should slow down a bit, I tell them 'oh this is just the beginning.'" 

Monahan addresses a crowd.

Monahan received the Alumni Professional Achievement Award for success in her field, which has brought distinction to herself, credit to Saint Joseph’s University and benefit to her community.

Currently the administrative vice president at M&T Bank, Monahan lends her expertise to a broad range of nonprofits in Southern New Jersey. During her time on Hawk Hill, she was an education major, which she credits with differentiating her professionally from her peers in the banking industry.

"Many years ago, I embarked on an academic, social and spiritual journey that continues today, a journey that is a gift that keeps giving," Monahan remarked. "I am so tremendously humbled and honored by this recognition tonight, but more grateful and blessed for the meaningful impact my Saint Joseph’s education has had on me, both personally and professionally."

Hare poses with Dr. Reed and alumni association president John Bradley.

Hare received the Hogan Award for exemplifying the Christian principles of faith, hope and love, and outstanding loyal service to Saint Joseph’s University.

One of the most influential figures in Delaware business, politics and not-for-profit community, Hare is also one of Saint Joseph’s most dedicated alumni. Currently, he is the executive vice president for development at The Buccini/Pollin Group, a real estate development and management company co-headquartered in Wilmington and Washington D.C. As an undergraduate, Hare served as president of the student association and was manager for the men’s varsity basketball team. He has remained active as an alumnus, serving as co-chair of SJU Young Alumni (1988-91), chair of the SJU Wilmington Alumni Chapter (1987-93), a member of the Alumni Board of Governors and National Alumni Board, and co-chair of the original Hawktoberfest. A men’s basketball season ticket holder for over 30 years, he also served as co-chair of the Hawk T Committee and is a member of the SJU Real Estate and Construction Alumni Advisory Board.

"I got my acceptance to St. Joe's and my mother told me it was a message from God, it was the way it was meant to be," Hare recalled. "Truer words had never been spoken. I arrived at St. Joe's in the fall of '79 and I am so grateful for the things I learned in those years. Most importantly, I learned that it is important to be a critical thinker, a decent person — and these were things I learned from the people around me, including the people who join me on this stage tonight."

Carfagno speaks at a podium

Carfagno received the Shield of Loyola for remarkable success in his profession, a life that reflects the values of St. Ignatius Loyola, and unparalleled loyalty to Saint Joseph’s University.

Carfagno used his degree in biology to launch a long and successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. He was the founding chairman of the Erivan K. Haub School of Business’ Board of Visitors and its chairman for 22 years, making him instrumental in the School’s growth and development into the largest Jesuit business school in the nation.

Carfagno and his wife, Evelyn, also established the Carfagno Lecture Series, which promotes civic engagement and thought leadership through informative engaging discussion. The series has brought the likes of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Vice President Joe Biden to campus. Their generosity is evident across campus from the Carfagno Ticket Office in the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena to the Carfagno Seminar Room in Mandeville Hall. Carfagno was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Class of 1960 scholarship and set up the Chandu Patel Scholarship in Pharmaceutical Marketing.

"I'm very humbled to be the first post-DiJulia Shield recipient," Carfagno joked, referencing SJU's 2018 Shield of Loyola recipient and former Athletic Director Don DiJulia. "I may be the first recipient of the Shield who has attended every other Shield ceremony. That's how long I've been around. But you know what they say: The older you get, the better you used to be."