2003 Alumni Award Recipients

Alumni Award For Outstanding Professional Achievement

Jack Sweeney '68

The Alumni Award for outstanding Professional Achievement is presented to Jack Sweeney, Class of 1968.  Jack graduated with a B.A in English.  He is currently the Publisher and President of the Houston Chronicle, a position he has held since 2000. The Houston Chronicle is the largest daily newspaper in circulation in Texas and is ranked sixth among U.S. metropolitan dailies.

Jack began his career at the Washington Post, moved back to native New Jersey for the Trenton Times, then to the Boston Herald before finding a home at the Houston Chronicle. His career at the Chronicle was a steady climb to the top, beginning as Advertising Director, then Director of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Vice President & General Manager in 1991, President in 1998, Associate Publisher in 1998 and Publisher and President in 2000.

At the announcement of Jack’s promotion to Publisher, his predecessor, Richard Johnson said “Sweeney has the skills, experience and dedication to be an outstanding newspaper leader for many years.“  Upon assuming the top job at the paper, Sweeney said, “While our world has changed dramatically over all these years, in my opinion the business of a major daily newspaper will still be grounded in the basics. Journalists must write stories that need to be told …our challenge is to get more people to read and think about current problems and possible solutions.”

Professional organizations include the Executive Committee and Member of the Board of Directors of Newspaper Association of America ’97 to 2001, Member of the Board of Directors of Texas Daily Newspapers, 99 – 2000, from whom he received the 2000 Texas Newspaper Leader of the Year Award, known as the Pat Taggert Memorial Award, the highest honor given by Texas newspapers.

Jack is very active in the greater Houston community, past and present activities include, serving on the Board of Directors of the Houston Image Group, The Children’s Assessment Center Foundation, the Houston Symphony, Houston International Festival and the Greater Houston Partnership. His favorite charity remains the United Way of Texas Gulf Coast, which culminated in serving as Chairman of the 2002-2003 Campaign. They recently honored him with the 2003 Kneebone Award for Volunteer of the Year. Jack is also serving as Chairman of the “Be a Super Host” Committee of Super Bowl Houston 2004.

Jack is married to Jo Ellen Sweeney and has two children, Jake and Jessica.

The King's College Alumni Award for Service to Society

Robert L. Stanley '89 and Wilhelmina Hailstone-Stanley '90

The King’s College Alumni Award for Service to Society is presented to Robert L. Stanley ’89 and Wilhelmina Hailstone-Stanley’90 the first alumni couple to be so honored.

Bob graduated magna cum laude with a major in government and politics and a minor in economics after serving three years in the military. After a successful period as a small business owner, he sold his company, then worked in sales, financial services and currently is Vice President of Wealth Management at PNC Advisors for PNC Bank.

Mina was born in Coronado, California. As the daughter of a Navy chaplain, she was continually on the move and attended five different high schools. She spent two years in Bogotá, Colombia, studying Latin American literature. Mina’s wanderlust continued as her first daughter, Bichi, was born in Berlin, her son, Flynn, was born in the Florida Keys and third child, Andrea, was born in Pennsylvania. Mina is currently the Assistant manager of the Boscov’s stores in Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre.

Bob is an active member of the Wilkes-Barre Rotary, Wilkes-Barre Kiwanis, Association of Fund Raising for Professionals, Financial Planning Association, Luzerne County Historical Society, Wyoming Valley Art League, Life Underwriters Training Council Fellowship, Estate Planning Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Forty Fort Methodist Church. It was his association with the church that began the Stanleys’ missions to foreign countries.

In 1999 Bob traveled to a jungle village in Haiti with members of his congregation to aid in the construction of a school. The poverty was so eye opening and the experience so rewarding, that he returned two years later to help construct an orphanage. Just two weeks ago, the Stanleys joined forces to organize a Rotoplast International trip to Sucre, Boliva.

 As president –elect of his Rotary, Bob hooked up with the group that provides free reconstructive surgery and treatment for underprivileged children worldwide. Bob was ward coordinator, responsible for the 35-member group, while Mina, provided valuable translation skills between the doctors and their patients. They worked twelve and fourteen-hour days during their eleven-day work period. 

The Robert J. Ell Alumni Award For Outstanding Service to Alma Mater

Edward E. Kruska '53

Ed Kruska is a modest and unassuming gentle man, one whose smile can light a room and whose love can fill it with warmth.  A disabled veteran of the Korean War, Ed has served his country.  With distinction, he has also served King’s College.

Ed is a proud member of the class of 1953, receiving a B.A. in English.  Although 1953 was one of King’s smallest classes, what it lacked in size, it made up for in spirit.  That King’s spirit has followed Ed all through his life.

Ed’s first career was with Acme Markets.  His duties ranged from store manager, to director of transportation and warehousing, to superintendent.  He retired from Acme in 1983, and promptly returned to King’s to pursue an Associates Degree in Gerontology, graduating in 1988.  Ed says, “this school was so nice, I graduated twice.”  He retired again in 1998, after his second career as the attendance officer at Wyoming Valley West School District.

For the past 29 years, Ed has served as a volunteer, section chair and class chair for the Alumni Phonathon.   A member of the Executive Committee of the Century Club since 1988, Ed served two terms as its Chairperson, has been a volunteer for the Art Auction and the Paul Farber, C.S.C. Memorial Golf Tournament, and is always on hand to transform the gym into a winter wonderland for the Century Club Christmas Party.

You will see Ed at every reunion and at alumni events ranging from Pennsylvania to Florida.  He is also a regular at Sunday Mass in the campus Chapel. 

Ed has a son, Ed, Jr. ’85, who passed away in 1993, and a daughter, Karen. 

The Leo Award

Susan E. Unvarsky '88

The Leo Award is named for the King’s College mascot. It suggests the energy, pride, and sense of purpose, which the recipient personifies. This year’s awardee is Susan E. Unvarsky.

Susan graduated in 1988 with a degree in business administration and computers and information systems. In 1987 Prudential Financial’s Retirement Services business unit made a strategic decision to relocate its operation to Moosic, PA.  A recruiter came to campus to interview the fresh crop of graduates and made another equally strategic decision to hire Susan to learn the business and acquire the skills necessary to support the relocation to Pennsylvania.

Sue first served in the defined benefit claims division, was promoted to supervisor, and then joined a Retirement Services reengineering team to help analyze the organization of the unit. Sue was promoted to Manager in 1995 and later assigned to a “SWAT team” involved in strategic initiatives assisting other Prudential operating sites. Sue was promoted to Vice President in 1999 and managed cash control activities in addition to her client relations role. Sue holds National Association of Securities Dealers Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses in addition to a Life Insurance license with Accident & Health, Life Fixed and Variable Annuities qualifications. She has successfully completed 6 courses of the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation.

Sue has captured the spirit of the Leo Award both in her career path and in her volunteer community activities. She has remained involved at King’s as a presenter in the Career Planning and Placement Office’s Professional Development Series and has been a faithful recruiter of King’s graduates.  Sue has created opportunities for student and grads and is a valued resource for the Office of Career Planning and Placement.

In reaching out to her community, Sue includes diversity as a special interest, both at work and in her parish. She is proactively involved in helping to integrate the existing group of mostly Italian heritage parishioners at Holy Rosary with the new Hispanic community of 240 families. She is the chairperson for the Holy Rosary Church Capital Improvement Campaign and led the charge that enabled the committee to raise over $60,000 in a 3-month time frame to remodel the entire interior of the church. She is a recent graduate of Leadership Wilkes-Barre and through this program supports the Habitat for Humanity and Adopt-A-Square programs. She also oversees the Community Service Program at Prudential, which coordinates 163 volunteers and over $31,000 in employee donations and $16,000 in corporate donations for 2002. 

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