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Elizabeth P. Hoisington '40 Distinguished Alumna Award

The Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40 Distinguished Alumna Award is presented to a graduate who, through achievements in career and or community service, embodies the principles of Notre Dame.

Winners, who have graduated no fewer than five years ago, have demonstrated loyalty to the University and achievements in career and or community. After her death in 2007, the award was dedicated to Brig. Gen. Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40, who served our nation with leadership and vision—particularly as one of the first women to attain the rank of U.S. Army general. The 2008 award was the first given under the new name.

2015 Award Winner- Frances Hanna Flanigan '65

Enjoying a lifelong career devoted to environmental issues, Fran is well-known in the region for her incredible ability to pull together people to deal with issues facing the environment, particularly the Chesapeake Bay. As a public affairs consultant since 2001, Fran Flanigan has provided assistance on public policy to numerous agencies and organizations including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Maryland, the Maryland Department of the Environment, the U.S. Forest Service and many others.

Prior to her consulting work, Fran led the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay as their Executive Director for over 20 years. During her tenure, she worked to bring diverse points of view to the table and developed a variety of innovative programs to engage the public. She organized numerous conferences, including the historic 1983 conference that resulted in the signing of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, which pledged the states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the federal government to work together to restore the Chesapeake Bay. Fran’s work drew a standing ovation at the end of the conference. Since 2001, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Environmental Leadership Award has been given annually in Fran’s honor.

She serves on a number of nonprofit boards and is the recipient of several service awards, including the Gulf Oil Conservation award, Harry E. Schlenz Medal from the Water Pollution Control Federation, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

A devoted alumna, Fran is a member of the Mary Meletia Society and the 2015 Reunion Committee.

 2015 Award Winner- The Honorable Irene Murphy Keeley '65

United States District Judge Irene M. Keeley of Clarksburg, West Virginia is a member of the Class of 1965 and received her Masters Degree from West Virginia University. Before attending law school, she was employed as a secondary education teacher. She received her juris doctorate from the West Virginia University College of Law, where she was an associate editor of the West Virginia Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Board. From 1980-1992, she practiced law with the firm of Steptoe & Johnson in Clarksburg, concentrating her practice in the areas of litigation and health care law. She was appointed as judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia by President George H. W. Bush in 1992. She previously served as chief judge of the Northern District from March 2001 to March 2008.

Judge Keeley is a member of the American Bar Association, West Virginia State Bar, and the West Virginia Bar Association. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and also is a Fellow of the West Virginia Bar Foundation. She is a past chair of the ABA National Conference of Federal Trial Judges. From May 2005 until May 2007, she served as president of the Federal Judges Association, and currently serves as chair of the Committee on Criminal Law of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
She is a former Chair of the Board of Advisors of West Virginia University.

In 2003, she was honored with the Order of Vandalia from West Virginia University, and in 2005 she received the Justicia Officium Award from the West Virginia University College of Law. In 2003, she received the President’s Medal from Notre Dame of Maryland University. Between 2004 and 2014, she served two terms on the Board of Trustees and from 2012 to 2014, she served as chair of the Board Compensation Committee.

She and her husband, Jack Keeley, live in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and have three daughters and four grandchildren.


1991:  Patricia Ann Denny Bathon ’49 2003:  Mary Lu Schroeder McNeal ’50
1992:  Veronica Walker Hackett ’67 2004:  Regina McKeowne Hubbard ’43
1993:  Mildred Buzek Otenasek ’36, Ph.D.   2005:  Candee Morici Swenson ’69, Ph.D.
1994:  Margaret Dempsey McManus ’41 2006:  Dr. Doris Ann Trauner ’66, M.D.
1995:  School Sisters of Notre Dame 2007:  Kathleen Carney Buetow ’50, Ph.D.
1996:  Margaret Dougherty ’41 2008:  Dolores Warwick Frese ’58 , Ph.D.
1997:  Dorothy Brown, Ph.D. ’54 2009:  Jo Trueschler '49
1998:  Donna Ringger Easton ’70 2010:  Edith McParland Donohue '60
1999:  Suzanne Janes Peck ’64 2011:  Patricia Knott Smyth '51
2000:  Alice El Koury ’39 2012:  Kathleen O'Ferrall Friedman '62
2001:  Margaret J. Steinhagen’54, Ph.D. 2013: Margaret Haskell Farnham '92
2002:  Anne Bruggy Deming ’61, Ph.D. 2014: Mary Kay Shartle Galotto '64, Ph.D.
  2015: Frances Hanna Flanigan '65
          The Hon. Irene Murphy Keeley '65