St. Bonaventure University named Richard P. Kearns, a 1972 graduate of St. Bonaventure, the 2017 William P. “Stax” McCarthy Alumnus of the Year for lifelong service and dedication.
The award, named in memory of William “Stax” McCarthy, a 1972 graduate and former annual fund and alumni director, is bestowed annually to a Bona grad who offers continued service to the university and captures the spirit of saints Francis, Bonaventure and Clare.
Kearns is the retired chief administrative officer of Zurich Financial Services Group.
“From his time at St. Bonaventure as a student, through decades of volunteer service and philanthropy that continue today, Dick Kearns has served his alma mater with great joy and distinction,” said Joe Flanagan, ’74, director of alumni services.
Kearns began his career at Price Waterhouse in 1972 and was admitted to the partnership in 1984. He was appointed leader of Global Partner Affairs following the merger that created PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998.
He joined Zurich’s senior management team in 2002. From then until his retirement in 2011, he was based in Switzerland as Zurich’s chief administrative officer and a member of the Group Management Board. He continues to serve on the Boards and Audit Committees of Zurich’s U.S. subsidiaries.
Kearns is an active alumnus, having operated a phonathon from his corporate office in New York following his graduation, as well as hosting alumni gatherings in the New York City area.
The university honored him with a metro New York Gaudete Award in 1998. He later became involved with Project Metro, a program that was developed to increase enrollment and SBU presence in the New York City and Long Island areas and served as a member of the New York City Gaudete Committee (and co-chair in 2003).
He served as a St. Bonaventure University trustee from 2000 to 2009. He has also been a Class Reunion volunteer, class agent and annual fund volunteer. He was the keynote speaker for the Accountants in Residence program in 2002.
His philanthropy matches his volunteer efforts. He is an original member of the athletic Sixth Man Club and a long-time contributor to The Bonaventure Fund. He also supported the School of Business campaign and the 150th Anniversary campaign.
Kearns and his wife, Maureen, fund and lead the strategy for the Kearns Global Business Lecture Series at St. Bonaventure. Launched in 2013, the lecture series brings to campus industry leaders who can offer diverse perspectives on global business matters so that students can develop a global mindset as they prepare to enter the work world.
Kearns lives with his wife in East Williston, N.Y. They have four grown children and nine grandchildren, and can often be spotted at the family-owned Copperhill restaurant in Long Island.
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