Lucy Helm, UofL's 2022 Alumna of the Year
Lucy Lee Helm,’79, ’82 was honored as the 2022 UofL Alumna of the Year for her role chief partner officer for Starbucks, guiding the company through multiple human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Lucy Helm ’79 ’82, who as chief partner officer guided Starbucks through multiple human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, is now leading another exceptional group – the 2022 UofL Alumni Awards class.

The Alumni Awards are the highest honors bestowed by Louisville Alumni. Helm is one of 18 honorees who will be celebrated this fall during Homecoming Week, Oct. 17-23.

Helm received a Bachelor of Arts with highest honors in political science in 1979 and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Brandeis School of Law in 1982. She was twice selected as a University of Louisville Alumni Fellow: in 2008, for the College of Arts & Sciences and in 2017, for the Brandeis School of Law.

She retired from Starbucks Coffee Co. after a prestigious 21-year career in legal and human resources roles, including serving on the company’s executive team as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary and executive vice president, chief partner officer (leading human resources).

“Lucy Helm is an extraordinary Cardinal who is deeply committed to UofL’s mission. We are proud and excited to recognize her accomplishments at this year’s Alumni Awards celebration,” said Josh Hawkins, assistant vice president for alumni relations. “Her commitment to excellence inspires all of us to follow her lead and make a positive impact on our community.”

At Starbucks, Helm was a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, including leading the company’s achievement of gender and racial pay equity in the U.S. She also created Starbucks’ pro bono services program, which became a model for other corporate law departments. Helm is now the global chair of the board of Mercy Corps, a global relief and development organization.

The Alumnus of the Year honoree personifies the qualities, mission and values of the university. The award is presented to a graduate who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in professional and philanthropic endeavors and who has shown loyalty and support to the entire university.

Helm joins the 2022 Alumni Fellows who represent each of UofL’s colleges, schools, libraries and student affairs division, as well as the signature award winners, who will be recognized for extraordinary achievements in their profession and enduring service in their community.

The 2022 Alumni Fellows are:

  • Charles P. Denny ’75, ’80
  • Sadiqa N. Reynolds ’93
  • Evan Holladay ’13
  • Lois S. Cronholm ’62, ’67
  • Lynn Hampton ’78, ’83
  • Amy B. Farnsworth ’92, ’95
  • Awab Habib ’15
  • Michael D. Anthony ’05, ’10
  • Renee Campbell ’82
  • Gulam Zade ’11
  • Carol Friedman Abrams ’68
  • Christa-Marie Singleton ’92
  • Barry C. Johnson ’81, ’85
  • Kimberly Meyer ’92, ’16
  • Duke Appiah ’09, ’13
  • Norbert E. Paulin ’70

For more than 30 years, the Alumni Awards have honored and celebrated the historic achievements of graduates who are exemplary ambassadors for the university.

“Louisville Alumni is grateful for the strong culture of alumni innovators, educators and collaborators who share the common bond of being UofL graduates,” Hawkins said. “The Alumni Awards is our opportunity to honor and celebrate our extraordinary alumni.” 

The 2022 Alumni Awards presented by Commonwealth Credit Union will be held Thursday, Oct. 20. Read winner bios, get ceremony details and connect with UofL alumni.