Katherine Olivia Haile Receives 
Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award for Military Service

A year after graduating from Seton Hill with a bachelor’s degree in social welfare, Katherine Haile enlisted in the Army and spent three years of active-duty service as a substance abuse counselor. She stayed the course for 37 years in government service, a career devoted to assisting service members with substance abuse issues as a counselor, treatment coordinator, clinical director and program manager at posts in five states as well as Korea and Japan. 

From her start as a counselor at an Army Brigade in Florida, Katherine rose to chief administrator for the Army Substance Abuse Program for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, managing a 40-member staff. “In many ways the Seton Hill mission is in line with the U.S. Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage,” Kathy said. “I have followed these principles throughout my life.” She also served in the Army Reserves for a decade as an administrative Non-Commissioned Officer and is the recipient of numerous Army commendations and awards, including the Superior Civilian Service Award. 

Katherine earned master’s degrees in guidance and counseling from Rider University and in social and community organizations from Capella University. An active volunteer at military installations and in her community, she worked with local Girl Scout troops; as a docent at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah; and as an instructor for “A Presidential Classroom for Young Americans.” Last fall, she was selected to participate in “Operation HerStory,” the first all-female Honor Flight from Chicago, which paid tribute to 92 women veterans from all service branches during WWII, Korea, and the Vietnam War. “Above all else, I was a working single mom and provided for the best education I could for a very successful daughter."

Seton Hill University’s Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award, established in 1987, is one of the highest honors given to a graduate. Setonians have been named distinguished alumni for their leadership in education, business, science and technology, the arts, volunteerism and philanthropy.