Association of Marquette University Women
Mary Neville Bielefeld Award
Mary Alice Tierney Dunn, Sp '72
Faith, strong family connections and professional excellence are the traits that distinguish Mary Alice Tierney Dunn. Her roots grow deep in Marquette soil, where she is part of the third of four generations of Tierneys to earn degrees at the university, including her parents. Her mother, Bernice Katherine Young Tierney, was a founding member of the Marquette Alumnae Association (now the Association of Marquette University Women).
Today, Mary Alice continues that legacy of excellence in her profession as talent management consultant and executive coach for Right Management Inc., a Manpower company. She helps business executives by working with them to enhance their strategic leadership abilities.
Mary Alice began her career by responding to a need for more women in broadcast management. As a junior at Marquette, she was challenged by her professor in a broadcast management class to find her place as a broadcast executive. "I aced the class and was promoted to my first broadcast management job less than five years later," recalls Mary Alice, who later held senior positions at Aurora Health Care, Journal Communications, WTMJ-TV/Journal Broadcast Group and WISN-TV. Her work as an executive television producer earned her an Emmy award.
Perhaps most striking, however, is Mary Alice's commitment to living out her faith through service on the board of directors of the United Community Center, the Milwaukee Jesuit Partnership Council, the Milwaukee Task Force on Teen Pregnancy Prevention and a communication advisory group for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. She also is a member of the Marquette University Women's Council and Centennial Celebration of Women at Marquette Honorary Committee.
Such selfless devotion is a family trait, especially in her mother, who "quietly lived her deep, deep faith" as a woman for others. This award recognizes a special tie between mother and daughter, who have helped improve and celebrate the lives of women at Marquette.
Fun facts about Mary Alice
Favorite quote: “When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go.” — Rev. Henri J.M. Nouwen, S.J.