The 1998 Awardees
Charles M. Cawley
Charles M. Cawley, founder of the Maryland Bank National Association and the creator of the affinity credit card, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, NY on May 2, 1998.
Cawley, a 1962 graduate of the College, was a vice president for credit cards at Maryland National Bank and frustrated that the state of Maryland would not raise the interest rate on credit cards, which at the time were marketed only to account holders. He set up a branch across the Delaware border known as MBNA to market cards nationally, and began a revolution in the industry.
"Mr. Cawley theorized that consumers were more likely to apply for a card affiliated with their favorite team or school than an impersonal bank and less likely to default, " wrote the New York Times. His first client was the Georgetown University Alumni Association, whose affinity card debuted in 1982. With a small royalty on every sale, the Alumni Association was able to fund programs that it could not fund through a University's subsidy. The University liked it because alumni showed brand loyalty to GU and their budget for alumni programs wasn't increased. In the end, MBNA was a big winner in that over the next 20 years, some 50 million affinity cards were produced, beginning with Georgetown.
By 2003, MBNA earned a profit of $2.3 billion, almost all of it via credit cards, and had displaced DuPont as the state of Delaware's largest employer. Cawley retired that year and two years later, MBNA was sold to bank of America for $35 billion.
Cawley was generous in retirement. He donated millions for the University of Delaware and set up scholarship funds for MBNA employees to go to college. His gifts to Georgetown included a endowed scholarship, a career center now in his name, as well as support for the Baker Scholars program. The affinity card was transformative for the Alumni Association in ways it would not have been if Cawley had simply signed a deal with the University.
"Every job is a self-portrait," Cawley said. "Make yours a masterpiece." His masterpiece lives on following his death in 2015 at the age of 74.
John F. Donahue Jr.
Port Washington, NY
John F. ("Jack") Donahue, a securities industry executive, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, NY on May 2, 1998.
A 1958 graduate of the College, Donahue spent more than 40 years in the securities industry. he was a former president of the firm of A.G. Becker and Co., and held executive positions with Oppenheimer and Co., and Prudential-Bache Securities.
Donahue was a member of the Georgetown University Board of Regents in the 1990's and served on the athletics committee for the University's Third Century Campaign.
Jack Donahue died in 2014 at the age of 78.
Dr. Frances M. Litrenta
Dr. Frances M. Litrenta, a child psychiatrist and member of the Georgetown University Medical Center faculty over a 23 year period from 1954 to 1987, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, NY on May 2, 1998.
A 1954 graduate of the Medical School, Dr. Litrenta completed her residency at Georgetown in 1959 as a child psychiatrist. In private practice since 1987, she has served on two advisory boards to the Department of Education.
Dr. Litrenta served on the Board of Governors of the Georgetown University Alumni Association from 1989 to 1995 and was one of the founders of the Warwick Evans Society, the annual giving society for the School of Medicine.
George P. O'Sullivan
Business Executive, Alumni Volunteer
New York, NY
George O'Sullivan, a securities industry executive, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, NY on May 2, 1998.
A 1963 graduate of the College, O'Sullivan received his law degree from NYU in 1966. At attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions, he worked with the firm of Willkie Farr and Gallagher from 1968 to 2002 and is currently of counsel to the form of O'Melveny & Myers LLP, both in New York.
O'Sullivan was a member of the Board of Regents and the Wall Street Alliance, and is a founder of the National Athletics Leadership group, a select group of major donors with commitments to supporting intercollegiate athletics at Georgetown.
Stephen J. Paluszek
Investment Advisor, Alumni Volunteer
New York, NY
Stephen J. ("Steve") Paluszek, a New York investment manager, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, NY on May 2, 1998.
The 1998 awards program saluted Paluszek as follows: "Steve Paluszek's ceaseless energy, his ability to motivate and inspire others, and his record of exceeding expectations have enabled him to grow quickly into positions of increasing responsibility within the financial services industry. Those same qualities that have secured his professional achievements have also guided him to serve his community and to emerge as a leader among Georgetown alumni." An active member of his class giving efforts, the Board of Governors, Board of Regents, and Wall Street Alliance at the time of his aware in 1998 has only grown in the intervening years.