The Gold and Blue gala is an evening for our community to proclaim their dedication to Holy Cross and its mission. We had the pleasure of announcing The Alumnus of the year, Young Alumnus of the Year, and Firmin Simms Award Recipients. The recipients of these awards are given to Alumni that are exceptional representation of The Holy Cross Man.
Alumnus of the Year is given to a man who has rendered noteworthy service of exceptional character to the school, community, church, or in their chosen profession. His service in these areas should be regarded as outstanding or distinctive beyond the expectation of normal duty. This year’s recipient is Jack C. Jensen Jr. ‘74.
Jack Jensen has over 40 years of experience in the transportation, logistics, supply, value-added, import/export, port development and trucking industries. His most recent accomplishment is being appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards as a board chairman for the Port of New Orleans. He has also served on the boards of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Covenant House and Holy Cross School. His commitment to holy cross far extends his time on our board. He is consistently active on campus and even is a Gold level sponsor for the Blue and Gold Gala. His community involvement includes working with Catholic Charities of New Orleans, Bridge House, Desire NOLA, and the Save Our Lake Foundation.
Our Young Alumnus of the Year award is to be bestowed to a Holy Cross Alumnus who has rendered noteworthy service to the school, community, church, or within his chosen profession within twenty years of . Andrew R. Lopez ‘04 has been an exemplary illustration of all those things.
He has been loyal with his involvement and representation of Holy Cross. He served as religion teacher and basketball coach for Holy Cross for three years. In his free time, he has been an active volunteer for several summer camp organizations for children with pre-dispositions of illness or disabilities such as Camp Challenge and Camp Pelican.
Andrew has had a prosperous career in Sports Journalism. He has been a beat writer for Tulane Athletics, Louisiana State University Athletics, and the New Orleans Pelicans! He currently is an NBA Reporter for ESPN with his day-to-day responsibilities focused on the New Orleans Pelicans!
This year we recognized three extraordinary men for their have demonstrated a lifetime of service to his community and embodies the spirit of the Holy Cross Man. The Firmin Simms Award: Eduardo A. Aguirre Jr. ’63, Reverend Pedro F. Nunez ’67, and Joseph Spitale ’70.
Eduardo A. Aguirre Jr. ’63 Aguirre has had a wildly successful career for which we are very proud of him for. His over 50-year professional career spans government service, banking, and international business consulting. He is best known as a former U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. Ambassador Aguirre also served in President George W. Bush’s administration in other positions, including first director of the newly created U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an Under-Secretary ranked position in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In addition to his amazing career accomplishments, he also spent much of his time completing charitable endeavors. His extensive community service includes serving as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System. He serves on the not-for-profit boards of the Greater Houston Partnership (Emeritus Director), Texas Children Hospital, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Lifetime Director), and the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A & M University (Director Emeritus).
Father Pedro F. Núñez, a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, is one of the best-known Catholic preachers in the Spanish-speaking world. Born in Cuba, emigrated to the United States in 1962 and ordained in 1977. Since 1979 has directed the MENSAJE Ministry of the Office of Spanish Communications of said Archdiocese.
He is host of the weekly TV show “Conozca Primero Su Fe Católica” (Know First Your Catholic Faith) which is broadcasted live to more than 350 million households in more than 145 countries and 16 territories through EWTN Global Catholic Network. He also hosts the Radio Program “A Solas con Jesús” (Alone with Jesus), which airs on EWTN’s “Radio Católica Mundial” (EWTN Global Catholic Radio).
He has written several books on Christian apologetics including: “Conozca Más Su Fe Católica” (Know Your Catholic Faith More), “Conozca Primero Su Fe Católica” (Know First your Catholic Faith), “Cuántas Iglesias Fundó Jesús” (How Many Churches Did Jesus Established), “150 Historias que Cambiarán Tu Vida” (150 Stories that Will Change your Life) and “Promesas Bíblicas para Tiempos Difíciles” (Biblical Promises for Difficult Times). This last one is also available as an Audio Book.
Moreover, Fr. Pedro Núñez is the top Hispanic Catholic Priest with more followers on Facebook. At present, with close to 2 Million followers on his page (www.facebook.com/ppedronunez).
Active in St Ann Church, lector, usher, altar server, extraordinary minister of the eucharist, Joseph Spitale '70 has been an active member of his community. He is an active member of St Ann’s Knights of Columbus and serves of the Board of Directors for Ozanam Inn. Recently in 2022, Joseph and his wife, Cathy, were the recipient of the St. Louis Medallion. He is the President /CEO of Nationwide Nurse Staffing Company, one of Louisiana’s top 100 employers with over 1,800 employees.