Matt Holmes named 2020 Distinguished Alum

May 6, 2020

Briar Cliff University announced on Friday the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award is Matt Holmes.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented each year to a Briar Cliff alumnus who lives a life reflective of the Catholic, Franciscan values; excels in professional activities reflecting skills taught at Briar Cliff; and demonstrates personal commitment to Briar Cliff in the form of hours, generosity or ideas. 

Holmes received his Bachelor of Arts from Briar Cliff in 2000 with a major in management. As an ordained and commissioned pastor, he currently serves at Sunnybrook Community Church, in Sioux City, Iowa as a Next Gen, College, Young Adults and Marriage Ministry Director. Over this career, he has held coaching positions with Briar Cliff University, Sioux City West High School and serves as a volunteer head boys basketball coach for 17 and under Arena Basketball Club.  Holmes is an Academic and Athletic All-American College Basketball Player and a 2008 Briar Cliff University Athletic Hall of Fame of Inductee. 

Holmes is a passionate believer in the importance to develop spiritual relationships through counseling, life coaching, mentoring and discipleship evidenced through his commitment to service. He helped establish a Bible Study called “The Rock,” ministering to college students. Holmes also serves as a Board member for the Northwest Iowa Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Youth Advisory Council. He has volunteered as a keynote speaker at the Ron Brown I-Can Camp and Career, College and Leadership Conference Presenter and National TRIO Day. Holmes also coordinates Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University™.

Holmes was one of thirty nationally recognized Crystal Apple Award Winners in 2005 and 2006; recognized as the top 10% with the National Professional Recognition of Integrity Dedication and Excellence Recipient; recognized as Jobs for America’s Graduates National ‘5 of 5’ recognition, and Jobs for America’s Graduates National Outstanding Achievement Award Winner. 

“He lives out the gospel in his everyday life. He serves his family consistently, his friends, and hundreds and hundreds of college students every day,” said peers as through their nomination for Holmes. “He serves. He loves. He puts others before himself. He is a true man of God. He shines the light of Jesus into others. That is the biggest achievement of all.”

Holmes and his wife, Jill, 2002 Briar Cliff University alumnae, reside in Siouxland with their five children. 

Briar Cliff Alumni Awards are typically recognized during the annual Briar Cliff Toast to the Tassel, where graduates are celebrated and welcomed to the alumni community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Briar Cliff Toast to the Tassel in person event was moved to a virtual celebration.

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