Notre Dame awarded the annual alumni awards after the opening Mass of the 2021-22 school year.
Dr. Paul Lombardo was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Paul received his bachelor’s degree from Rockhurst College, a master's degree from Loyola Chicago, and both his Ph.D. and J.D. from University of Virginia. From 1985 – 1990 he practiced law in California. In 1990, he served on the faculty of the Schools of Law and Medicine at the University of Virginia, where he directed the Center for Mental Health Law at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy and the Program in Law and Medicine at the Center for Biomedical Ethics. In 2006, he accepted a position at the Georgia State University, where he is now the Bobby Lee Cook Professor. In 2017, he was awarded a Regents’ Professorship, the highest academic appointment in the University System of Georgia. He has lectured In Italy, Russia, Pakistan, Canada and at many colleges and universities in the US.
Mr. Lombardo has served as a senior advisor to the Presidential Commission for the study of Bioethical issues, drafted Virginia’s Patient Health Records Privacy Act, is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and has served as a historical consultant and advisor on several television and movie productions. He is an expert in matters of laws concerning bioethical issues and has been interviewed by various news organizations including the New York Times, The BBC, National Public Radio, and the Washington Post. He was also contributor and consultant for the U. S. Memorial Holocaust Museum and has authored two books. In 2009 he spoke at the Vatican on “New Frontiers of Genetics and the Danger of Eugenics.” Recently, Mr. Lombardo was awarded the Jay Healey Health Law Teacher of the Year Award from the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics.
The Jim Phifer Service Award is given each year to an alumnus, parent, or friend of Notre Dame who seeks to uphold the characteristics of the late James D. "Coach" Phifer '49, principal from 1974-1993, and who has provided extraordinary service to Notre Dame. This year the Alumni Council and Phifer Family chose recently retired President, now President Emeritus, George Valadie '71.
Mr. Valadie has been a student, teacher, coach, development director, assistant principal, and president. His office door was always open to students, faculty and parents. He could be found in the hallways helping a student with his tie, cheering on student athletes, attending a band concert or theatrical production, or providing extra guidance to students in need. Like his mentor and friend, the late Jim Phifer, his love for all things Notre Dame was and is evident in his every action.