St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School recognized two St. Bernard College alumni as part of the 113th Commencement Ceremonies held on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012, in the Abbey Church. Phillip B. Rooney, college class of 1966, and Bernard F. Morrey, college class of 1965, were the recipients of the St. Bernard Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2012. The awards were presented by Abbot Cletus Meagher, O.S.B., Chairman of the Board.
After his service in the Marines, during which time he received the Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal, Phil Rooney began his business career in Chicago, IL, his home town. He joined Waste Management Corporation in 1969 and by 1984 was the President of the company. When he resigned as President and CEO in 1997, the company had reached $10 billion in revenues.
Recognized for his business acumen, Rooney has served on many and various boards including Illinois Tool Works, Caremark International, Van Kampen Fund and Stone Container Corporation. ServiceMaster, Wheelabrator Technologies and Rust International likewise benefited from his leadership. Today his chairmanships include Nationwide Studios, Claddagh Investment Company and the Edgewater Fund which takes in Bolder’s Specialty Testing Group.
In concert with his leadership in business, he serves on educational, civic and community boards including Notre Dame University, After School Matters, Children at the Crossroads Foundation and the Chicago Cultural Center. The Heart Institute of Hinsdale Hospital, named in honor of his father, stands as a witness to his concern for the human community. A dedicated family man, Rooney and his wife, Sue, have four children and eleven grandchildren.
“It’s with a sense of high regard that we honor Phil today,” said Abbot Cletus. “It’s my hope that the education he received at St. Bernard played a significant role in his outlook on life and helped prepare him for his success. With that success has come his philanthropy to so many. We take great pride in recognizing Phil as an alumnus of St. Bernard.”
Bernard Morrey, a native of Fort Worth, TX, enrolled in the medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch soon after his graduation from St Bernard College. An internship and residency followed at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, during which time he received a Master’s Degree in Biomechanics from the University of Minnesota. After two years of military service, he joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic in 1978.
During his medical career, Morrey has received numerous awards and honors, not to mention professional memberships and recognitions. He holds seven patents for orthopedic devices and has authored twelve major textbooks under four different titles that have become standard fare for doctors training to become orthopedic surgeons. These works have been translated into five languages.
For eight years he served on the Board of Governors of the Mayo Clinic. He is a Fulbright Scholar and has been a consultant to the National Football League and to the Orthopedic Device Panel of the Food and Drug Administration. A master surgeon, he has treated not only Presidents of the United States but also countless others who have found healing because of his dedication and zeal. A proud father and husband, he and his wife, Carla, a registered nurse, have four children and twelve grandchildren.
“Bernie has had a tremendously positive influence in the science and art of medicine,” said Abbot Cletus. “St. Bernard was his spring board not only in his education but especially in his dedication to helping others through the medical arts. We hold him in high esteem as a member of the St. Bernard alumni family.”
In concluding his remarks, Abbot Cletus said, “This has been a wonderful opportunity to honor both of these men. Not only are we proud that they are graduates from St. Bernard but, even more, we are proud that they are our friends.”