Byrnes Clarke and O'Brien Receive President's Medals at PBC Dinner

PBC Dinner returns to New York City, surpasses goal.
Patti Byrnes Clarke '86, P'17, '19, Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., University President, and Tom O'Brien '86, P'19 enjoy a moment together at the PBC 21st Annual Award Dinner at Gotham Hall Sept. 29.
Patti Byrnes Clarke '86, P'17, '19, Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., University President, and Tom O'Brien '86, P'19 enjoy a moment together at the PBC 21st Annual Award Dinner at Gotham Hall Sept. 29.

The University of Scranton’s President’s Business Council (PBC) presented Patti Byrnes Clarke ’86, P’17,’19, global chief talent officer, Havas Group, and Tom O’Brien ’86, P’19, senior managing director, SumRidge Partners, a Raymond James company, with President’s Medals at its 21st Annual Award Dinner on Sept. 29 at Gotham Hall in New York City. Proceeds from the gala, which raised more than $1.1 million, support the University’s Presidential Scholarship Endowment Fund.

“Our University has been blessed to be able to honor so many extraordinary individuals over the years and this year is no different. We are privileged to count among them our alumni Patricia Byrnes Clarke and Tom P. O’Brien, both of the class of 1986,” said Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton in his remarks.

The President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have achieved excellence in their fields and demonstrated extraordinary compassion for others, representing lifetime achievements that reflect the University’s mission of Catholic and Jesuit excellence and service.

“Patti and Tom are highly successful professionals who have had a tremendous impact on generations of alumni,” said Frank Pearn ’83, P’16, global chief compliance officer, JPMorgan Chase and Co., and chair of the President’s Business Council, in his remarks at the dinner. “They truly embody everything that the PBC aims to represent and, given the way that they share their talents, gifts and insights, they are wonderful examples of St. Ignatius’s quote that ‘Love is shown more in deeds than in words.’”

Through its celebrations, the PBC has generated more than $20 million for the University’s Presidential Scholarship Endowment Fund. Presidential Scholarships are four-year, full-tuition scholarships awarded to incoming first-year students at Scranton with both outstanding records in high school and notable community involvement.

Presidential Scholar Dominic Finan ’23, Malvern, a neuroscience and philosophy double major in the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, spoke at the award dinner on behalf of the Presidential Scholars.


Dominic Finan '23 addresses the crowd at the PBC 21st Annual Award Dinner flanked by his fellow Presidential Scholars. 

“Collectively, the 18 of us (from the class of 2023) have 28 majors, 18 minors, and 5 concentrations. … These academic pursuits, research opportunities and moments of profound growth would not be possible without the contributions of everyone in this room. So, for that I say thank you. Thank you for empowering our unique gifts, talents, and interests; and thank you, most importantly, for helping us call The University of Scranton our home. You have changed our lives, and our family’s lives, for the better,” said Finan. “The generosity of the President’s Business Council cleared a path for us to become future lawyers, doctors, actuaries, educators, researchers, and business executives alike. We promise to use the spark you ignited in us to ‘go forth and set the world on fire.’”

In accepting their awards, Byrnes Clarke and O’Brien talked about why they became involved with the PBC and in giving back to the University.

“I got involved with the PBC because I wanted to try to give back to students and help with mentoring and job placement,” said O’Brien. “Early in my career, a fellow Scranton alumnus, whom I did not know, helped me. … I need to do this because someone a long time ago helped me.” In recollecting his persistence in getting Scranton students considered for internships at Morgan Stanley and then at SumRidge Partners, O’Brien added, “If you haven’t tried it yet, I encourage you to do so. You are getting someone who is productive, hard-working, resilient and not entitled that will make a huge impact on your business.”

“The exposure to Scranton and its students and its alumni challenged me to take on my own journey to do more and to do better as a person, a family member, a leader and a friend,” said Byrnes Clarke. “It’s true that as Scranton students we are exposed to the Ignatian values, but aren’t always mature enough to overtly put them into practice in our lives. But, with a Scranton education, that Ignatian foundation is always there. And when you choose to be engaged, and get involved and give back to Scranton, you get this very special opportunity to explore those Ignatian roots.”

A recording of the 2022 PBC Dinner is available at, and photos from the event can be found on the Alumni Society's Shutterfly page. For more information on the PBC, contact Executive Director Tim Pryle ’89 at 570-941-5837 or, or visit


About Patti Byrnes Clarke


Frank Pearn '83, P'16 and Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S. J., University President, present Patti Byrnes Clarke '86, P'17, '19 with the President's Medal.

During her time at the Havas Group, which is one of the world’s largest global communications groups and part of the Vivendi Group, Patti Byrnes Clarke has built a talent management approach that includes initiatives on network mobility, high-potential leadership development, women’s leadership advancement, global employee engagement, employer branding, global diversity, equity and inclusion and wellness. As the global chief talent officer, she is responsible for leading the talent and cultural strategy for the group’s 20,000 plus employees in more than 100 countries.

Byrnes Clarke earned her bachelor’s degree in management from the University in 1986. She is a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees and a former member of the Kania School of Management Advisory Board and the University’s Parents’ Executive Council (PEC). She is also a former chair of the PBC and created the PBC/Kania School of Management Career Coaches Program, in which she remains a mentor to current University students. She and her husband, David, reside in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, and have five children.


About Tom O’Brien


Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., University President, and Frank Pearn '83, P'16 present Tom O'Brien '86, P'19 with the President's Medal. 

Prior to the acquisition of SumRidge Partners, LLC, by Raymond James in July 2022, Tom O’Brien was a co-founder, chief executive officer and president of SumRidge Partners, L.LC., which formed in 2010. SumRidge Partners is a top-ranked electronic fixed income market maker specializing in high-yield, investment-grade corporate bonds, municipal bonds, institutional preferred securities, and emerging market bonds. Prior to launching SumRidge Partners, O’Brien was co-head of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Capital Markets division and was also a member of the firm’s management and risk committees.

O’Brien earned his bachelor’s degree of economics/finance from the University in 1986 and a master of business administration from Fordham University. He is a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees, where he served as vice chair, and was a former chair of the PBC. Today, he acts as a mentor to current University students and frequently teaches in the fixed income securities and markets course, which he co-developed with the late Frank Corcione, Ph.D., and Murli Rajan, Ph.D., G’84. He resides in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife, Denise, and their three sons.

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