The Rockhurst High School National Alumni Association Executive Committee will honor Peter B. Browne ’85 as its 2022 Alumnus of the Year. Browne will accept the award during the school’s Homecoming Mass on September 29, 2022.
“Pete is a fantastic example of what it means to live out the Jesuit ideals,” said Frank C. Allen ’05, president of the Alumni Board of Governors. “He has continually reinvested his time and resources to support his local parish, the Rockhurst community, and the broader Kansas City community. We are fortunate to have him as an alumnus of Rockhurst High School and we are pleased to recognize him with this award.”
While a student at Rockhurst in the early-1980s, Browne developed his passion for community building and service. That would shape his professional calling a decade later.
“I had a wonderful experience at The Rock,” commented Browne. “Beyond the great education, it was dedicated teachers like Mr. Tom Norman and the Jesuit ‘men for others’ ethos that has informed my approach to building a business and serving our community.”
Browne co-founded Kissick Construction in 1994 with fellow longtime Rockhurst supporter Jim Kissick. They began the construction firm with a commitment to provide quality service to their Kansas City client base. That dedication has led to employing almost 400 team members and managing projects as large as $100 million. Throughout his more than 36 years of experience and leadership in the construction industry, Browne has developed a strong reputation for providing innovative solutions to complex engineering challenges for their clients, including Rockhurst High School.
The same enthusiasm and care are devoted to Browne’s community service work. He is an advocate for the arts, education, and community development.
Browne currently serves in leadership roles with Notre Dame de Sion Schools of Kansas City, the Folly Theater, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, The Heavy Constructors Association, and is a member of the KCUR Radio Community Advisory Board. He previously served the Roanoke Park Conservancy, Kansas City Industrial Council, and Kansas City Area Development Council.
His most recent undertaking has been his election as the president of the Kansas City Public Library’s Board of Trustees. Browne joined the board in 2020 and accepted his new role in January 2022, becoming the first new president in 17 years.
“Pete exudes what it means to be a ‘man for others’,” said Spencer Hardwick ’07, Alumni Board of Governors secretary and Alumnus of the Year Chairman. “His accomplishments both in the private and public sector over the course of his career speak for themselves as well as his steadfast commitment to Rockhurst in a variety of ways. We're humbled to honor his contributions in this capacity and celebrate knowing that his best work is still ahead.”
Generous supporters of Rockhurst High School, Browne and his spouse, Julie Walker, are also proud to have their sons, Joe ’25 and Jack ’28, as current and future Hawklets. Their daughter, Maureen, is a senior at Notre Dame de Sion.
The Alumnus of the Year Award is named for the Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, who was Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1983. Fr. Arrupe coined the phrase “men for others” as a challenge to alumni of Jesuit institutions to change the world with devotion and service to mankind. Award recipients serve as role models for the entire Rockhurst High School community, particularly its students.
Past honorees include:
2021 – Ray D. Evans ’78
2020 – Allen K. Roberson ’84
2019 – M. James Van Dyke ’72
2018 – Jonathan R. Haden ’75
2017 – Thomas A. McDonnell ’62
2016 – Michael J. Brown ’75
2015 – William H. Dunn ’40
2014 – John G. Houlehan ’60
2013 – Rev. Jeffrey P. Putthoff, SJ ’83
2012 – David M. Knopke ’66
2011 – M. Rev. Geo. K. Fitzsimons, DD ’45
2010 – Thomas H. Norman ’59
2009 – Timothy P. O’Connor, PharmaD. ’74
2008 – James C. Wirken ’62
2007 – Raymond W. Sonnenberg ’65
2006 – Timothy M. Trabon ’69
2005 – Michael J. Van Dyke ’66
2004 – Robert E. Miller ’46
2003 – Mark J. Henke ’72
2002 – William J. McGraw ’44