Alumni Award Recipient Archives
Earlham College presents alumni awards each year to Earlhamites who have demonstrated excellence or achievement in a chosen career, service to the College, active participation in service and volunteer organizations or service to the Society of Friends, or outstanding achievement in athletics. These honors include the Outstanding Alumni Award, Distinguished Service Award, and induction into the Earlham College Athletics Hall of Fame.
Learn more about past recipients below.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Simone Leigh ’90
In 2022, Simone Leigh ’90 became the first Black woman to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, one of the oldest and most prestigious cultural exhibitions in the world. She was also among the first Black women selected for the Biennale’s top honor, the Golden Lion Award.
Leigh’s remarkable artistic journey included Earlham College, where she studied fine art and philosophy. She was also influenced by the College’s Quaker beliefs. In March 2022, The New Yorker published a story documenting Simone’s rise to fame and her introduction to working with clay on Earlham’s campus. “Earlham really saved me,” Leigh told The New Yorker. “Quakers believe that God is in everyone, and they respect people so much. It was ideal for me to be in the Quaker environment at that time.”
Leigh’s art highlights the Black female experience. She creates objects and environments that question and reclaim stereotypes associated with Black women and celebrate Black life. Leigh’s work has been presented at museums, shows and venues for more than a decade. “Brick House,” Leigh’s towering 16-foot-tall bust of a Black woman, was the first art piece to be installed at New York’s High Line Plinth, a landmark destination for major public artworks on Manhattan’s west side.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Michael Merryman-Lotze ’99
Michael Merryman-Lotze ’99 discovered his passion for human rights advocacy during his time at Earlham. During a trip to Israel and Palestine as a part of an Earlham study abroad program, Merryman-Lotze worked to build understanding across borders and communities—principles which have guided his now lifelong advocacy work on the Israel-Palestine conflict and human rights more broadly.
Since his graduation, Merryman-Lotze has become a champion of Palestinian and other human rights, working to end conflict and violence. He began his career working as a researcher with the Palestinian human rights Organization Al-Haq during the second intifada. From Al-Haq, Merryman-Lotze went on to earn a master’s degree in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University. He then managed programs in Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq with Partners for Democratic Change and returned to Palestine as the Child Rights Program Director for Save the Children.
Today, he is the Middle East program director at the American Friends Service Committee. In this role, he works closely with AFSC’s offices in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territory, Jordan and the U.S., supporting programs in the Middle East, coordinating Middle East advocacy work and organizing grassroots activism. Merryman-Lotze is committed to undermining and ending systems of injustice so that people can live in dignity, free from violence and oppression.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Sunghee Tark ’16
Sunghee Tark ’16 has a history volunteerism and a recognized passion for social justice. While still at Earlham College, she participated in various student organizations, including Amnesty International and Student Government. Since graduating, her drive for social justice grown and flourished.
Out of that passion for justice, Tark co-founded Bean Voyage, provider of training and market access to women coffee farmers. With Tark as the CEO, Bean Voyage aims to eradicate the gender gap in farming communities. The feminist non-profit works to increase incomes and agency for smallholder women farmers in Latin America.
Over the past five years, Tark has served over 1,200 smallholder producers. She has been awarded with the LEAD Scholarship and the Re:co Fellowship by the Specialty Coffee Association. She has also been awarded the Social Capital Markets Fellow for helping raise the income of producers by 300 percent.
In 2021, the College is pleased to honor Lauren North ’09 as the recipient of Earlham’s 2021 Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Peter V. Johnson ’71 as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award (posthumous) and Jessica Rettig ’91 as the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Lauren North ’09
Since graduating from Earlham, Lauren North ’09 has pursued a life dedicated to service and justice. After serving in the Peace Corps for two years in the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), North returned to the U.S. to work for Democratic causes, including Obama’s 2012 re-election bid, the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Department of Labor and a bus tour with Gabby Gifford for common-sense gun reform. North went on to receive a master’s degree in gender studies from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from the University of Louisville. She worked in several high-impact civil and reproductive rights fellowships throughout law school.
Throughout 2020, she served as a lead legal observer coordinator for the National Lawyers Guild of Kentucky during the racial justice protests following the murder of Breonna Taylor in her home city. During this time, she also raised over $40,000 for the Innocence Project through an online fundraising campaign in honor of Juneteenth. Over the last year, North has worked tirelessly on a voting rights campaign in Georgia as part of a year-long post-grad fellowship. North recently accepted a permanent position as a staff attorney for Jefferson County Family Court with her law school mentor, Judge Shelley Santry.
At Earlham, North majored in peace and global studies. She started her tenure at Earlham by surviving a brown recluse spider bite during August Wilderness and never slowed down. North studied abroad twice (Northern Ireland and London), was a community organizer for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and has maintained close connections with many of her classmates through the years.
Distinguished Service Award (posthumous)
Peter V. Johnson ’71
Since graduating from Earlham, Peter V. Johnson ’71 devoted his life to the field of college admissions and the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue a quality education. Beginning his career at Earlham as a part of the Upward Bound program, Johnson went on to work for 10 years in residential life and admissions at Hampshire College. In 1982, he began a 35-year career at Columbia University, first as the assistant dean for student affairs and later as the director of enrollment group special projects and special assistant to the dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid.
A contributing writer for The Multicultural Student’s Guide to Colleges: What Every African American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and Native American Applicant Needs to Know About America’s Top Schools, Johnson sought out and mentored under-resourced students throughout his career. As an inspirational speaker, he regularly visited high schools and community-based organizations across the country, and his life was featured in First Generation, a 2012 documentary about high-achieving, low-income students trying to be the first in their families to attend college. In 2014, he served as a judge for ABC’s “The Scholar,” a reality television show which offered college scholarships as prizes. And in 2016, Johnson was the recipient of the Columbia Black Alumni Council Heritage Award, which honors those who have made considerable contributions to the community and to their fields.
Johnson served on a number of committees and boards, including the College Board Middle States Regional committee, the scholarship committee for the New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of NYC, and the Board of Friends of Columbia’s Double Discovery Center, which works with low-income, first-generation college-bound youth from Harlem and Washington Heights. In the words of Jessica Marinaccio, dean of undergraduate admissions and financial aid for Columbia College and the Fu Foundation of Engineering and Applied Science, “The number of lives that Peter has influenced and touched, however, far surpass those mere years—he was a mentor, guide, adviser, friend and stalwart educational leader in all he did.”
Outstanding Alumni Award
Jessica Rettig ’91
Jessica Rettig ’91 is a dedicated teacher and scholar in the field of biology. As a full professor of biology at Denison University, Rettig is one of only two women full professors in the sciences at Denison. She is sought after as an expert on the evaluation of colleges and departments, having served as an external reviewer of biology departments and as a Higher Learning Commission accreditation reviewer for multiple colleges. After obtaining her Ph.D. in zoology and in ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior from Michigan State University in 1999, Rettig served as a visiting assistant professor at Earlham College and an assistant professor at William Jewell College.
In her current role at Denison she teaches in biology and Denison’s writing program, and also is the Anderson Endowment director and the coordinator of the Ronneberg Lecture Series. At Denison, Rettig has been instrumental in providing research support and opportunities to science students.
In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Rettig is highly engaged in her local community. She has coached soccer and basketball, engaged high school students in science outreach programs and research, serves as the clerk of the Granville Friends Meeting, coordinates the Granville Ministerium (a group of local clergy) and serves on the Board of Trustees of Kendal at Granville, a Quaker-associated retirement and assisted living community.
Rettig’s husband, Geoff Smith ’90, is also a professor of biology at Denison. Together, they are committed to their students and the teaching of natural history and field biology to undergraduates, including having worked in tandem with Earlham Professor Emeritus John Iverson to bring Earlham and Denison students together for field research on iguanas and turtles for many years.
In 2019, the College is pleased to honor Avis Stewart `74 as the recipient of Earlham’s 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award, and Stephen Heiny and Charles Meyer `69 as recipients of the Distinguished Service Award.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Avis Stewart `74
Avis Stewart ’74 stands apart for his record of service to Earlham. Few, if any, have served Earlham in more varied and substantive ways. His 39-year career at the College him in numerous departments and touched thousands of lives. Most recently, he was appointed interim president in June 2018 and concluded his service one year later with the hiring of Anne Houtman as president of the College. Stewart served as vice president for community relations from 2002-2015 and vice president for institutional advancement and community relations from 2015-17. In 2017-18, he served on the president’s cabinet as a senior adviser to the president and as a major gift officer. Prior appointments include such roles as associate vice president of major gifts, assistant vice president for development and director of special projects, regional alumni and development director, director of alumni relations, associate dean of student development for student activities, assistant professor of Sports & Movement Studies and head men’s basketball coach. Stewart’s contributions to Earlham and the communities of Richmond and Wayne County have been widely celebrated. In 2014, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Indiana’s highest accolade for public service. His other honors include the Townsend Community Center President’s Award, United Way of Whitewater Valley Volunteer of the Year, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce’s Appreciation of Service Award and the Art Vivian Distinguished Community Leader Award. A native of Marion, Indiana, Stewart came to Earlham in 1970 as a student and was a four-year member of the Earlham basketball team and three-year member of the track team while earning his bachelor’s degree. He was inducted into the Earlham Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. Colleagues and students who gathered in May 2018 for a celebration of his service, lauded him for his gifts of talented dedication, care for others, humility and love for the College.
Distinguished Service Award
Professor Emeritus Stephen Heiny
Steve Heiny has been a champion for Classics and the humanities at Earlham since he arrived as a newly minted Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1970. And, although he technically retired in 2012, he has yet to step away from the College’s seminar tables. Described as “endlessly energetic both intellectually and physically, furiously curious about almost everything,” his example invites students and colleagues to jump in with a similar zeal. He works tirelessly to cultivate great discussions and true exchanges of views, combining a love of the material with scrupulous preparation. Notable to students and colleagues alike is his ability to make learning fun. Although Heiny is best known for his work in the classroom, he also led Ford-Knight student-faculty research projects on such subjects as Greek plays, the Olympic Games and the poetry of Seamus Heaney. In the nomination papers, Gordon Thompson, professor emeritus of English, recalls a scene from the 1980s in which Heiny, working in a recently rearranged room, was teaching in his usual hyper-focused manner: “He crashed into a desk he hadn’t seen, almost fell to the floor and, clearly injured, he hobbled back to the board. Any other teacher would have self-consciously cracked a joke or two, but this teacher didn’t break stride or pause for breath — and his students didn’t even laugh. What was going on in that class was too important — for everyone — to take time out for a snicker.”
Charles Meyer `69
Charles “Chuck” Meyer ’69 used his intellectual gifts to help people. Ordained as an Episcopal priest, he became a medical ethicist, working on end-of-life care and related issues, and eventually becoming a hospital administrator. Meyer earned a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, a master’s in education guidance and counseling from the University of Bridgeport, and certification in correctional counseling and pastoral counseling. At the time of his death in 2000 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, Meyer was vice president of operations for St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He taught in Austin at both the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest and at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. In addition, he served at Union, New York and General theological seminaries, as well as the University of Bridgeport. In 1985, he was named one of Austin’s Ten Outstanding Citizens. At St. David’s he helped create the medical ethics committee, which became a model for others around the country. He co-founded Hospice Austin and had a large impact on the larger community of Austin through his work on medical ethics, grieving and pastoral care. Also a mystery writer, he authored 13 books and is well known in mystery writers’ circles for the Lucas Holt murder mysteries set in Austin.
The Earlham College Alumni Council was pleased to announce Mat Johnson `93 and Anne Mathews-Younes `68 as the recipients of Earlham’s 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award, and John Young `55 as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Mat Johnson `93
Mat Johnson ’93, an award-winning American writer, holds an endowed chair at the University of Oregon. He is author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop and Hunting in Harlem (which won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in fiction), the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Right State, Incognegro and Dark Rain.
After graduating from Earlham with majors in English and African American Studies, Johnson received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship that allowed him to study the African-American diaspora in Europe and Africa while living in London. He received his M.F.A. from Columbia University and has taught at Rutgers College, Bard College, Columbia, Hope College and Temple University.
In 2007, Johnson was the first recipient of the James Baldwin Fellowship and in 2011 was the Dos Passos Prize winner. Johnson’s writing, provocative and entertaining, addresses race and social issues both in the past and present day.
Anne Mathews-Younes `68
Anne Mathews-Younes ’68 is director of the Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress and Special Programs for the Center for Mental Health Services in the Federal Department of Health and Human Services and president of the E. Stanley Jones Foundation. She completed her doctorate in counseling and consulting psychology from Harvard in 1980 and has worked in state and federal mental health agencies for more than 40 years in programs designed to prevent school violence and suicide (in particular, suicide prevention on college campuses), promote mental health and prevent mental disorders, treat child trauma, and support disaster, terrorism and bioterrorism preparedness and response.
Mathews-Younes also completed a master’s degree in theological studies in 2007 and a doctoral degree in 2012 in ministry, both at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Both of her theology degree theses focused on the life, mission and theology of her late grandfather, E. Stanley Jones, with whom she traveled extensively through India and Africa after majoring in religion from Earlham.
She is currently working with Methodist Publishing House to reprint Jones’ 28 books so a new generation can engage with his writings.
Distinguished Service Award
John G. Young `55
John G. Young `55 is the retired board chairman and CEO of the Jay Garment Corporation in Portland, Ind., a company with which he was associated for 41 years. He is former chairman and CEO of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association. He and his wife Gretchen Schultze Young `57 developed a herd of beef cattle on their farm in Indiana and continue to be involved in the beef business as owners of an Angus herd located in Nebraska. Young is also a former director of Union Bank in Greensburg, Ind.
After graduating from Earlham, he spent a year in graduate study at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and completed the course work on his master’s degree at Trinity University in Texas while he was stationed with the U.S. Army in San Antonio.
His service to the College dates back to the year after he graduated from Earlham, having served as class chair for the Class of 1955 since 1956. Young served 18 years as an Earlham alumni trustee and an at-large trustee approved by Western Yearly Meeting. He was vice chair of the Board of Trustees and served a 10-year term, some of them as chair of the Earlham Foundation. He served briefly as chair of the Conner Prairie Board during Conner Prairie’s transition to independence and was the first Earlham appointee to the independent Conner Prairie Museum Board of Directors. John and Gretchen have four children: Rebecca ’81, Melissa ’82, Jennifer, and David ’92.
The Earlham College Alumni Council was pleased to honor Amanda Mills Wilcox `76 and Daniel J. Brat `87 with Earlham’s 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award as well as Lavona Bane `52 and David Stump `72 with the Distinguished Service Award. Read their bios below.
Induction into the Earlham College Athletics Hall of Fame was awarded to Bob Stein `67, Walker Yane `07, Lisa Vanderkolk Giles `07, and the 1967 Men’s Volleyball Team. To see the Athletic Hall of Fame recipient archive, visit the Athletics page.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Amanda Mills Wilcox `76
Amanda Mills Wilcox `76 has lived a life guided by Quaker values to become an effective agent of change. After graduating from Earlham, she went on to a career as an educator and she and her husband raised their three children in rural Nevada County, California.
Wilcox’s family was transformed Jan. 10, 2001, when 19-year-old daughter Laura, who was working at a behavioral clinic during holiday break from Haverford College, was shot and killed by a man with severe mental illness.
In the wake of their loss, Wilcox and her husband began to work toward reducing violence in society. They advocated for passage of Laura’s Law, which allows for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment for those with serious mental illness. Many California counties have implemented Laura’s Law. They also worked to help pass the Mental Health Services Act in 2004, which provides increased funding for mental health care in California.
As volunteer legislative advocates, they have been instrumental in the enactment of significant state firearms laws. Amanda is the founder and president of a local chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Since 2005 she has served as the legislation and policy chair for the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign and leader of California’s Gun Violence Prevention Coalition. She also works on behalf of California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Wilcox says that it is critical in her advocacy to understand the needs of the opposition, to give accurate information, to show respect to others and to conduct herself in accordance with her beliefs.
Daniel J. Brat `87
Daniel J. Brat `87 is the Chair of Pathology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Previously a diagnostic neuropathologist and brain tumor researcher at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, Brat’s clinical and research interests are in mechanisms underlying glioblastoma progression, and investigations have focused on the contributions of genetics, tumor microenvironment and stem cells.
Brat’s clinical and research interests are in mechanisms underlying glioblastoma progression, and investigations have focused on the contributions of genetics, tumor microenvironment and stem cells. He also uses biomedical informatics approaches to creatively interrogate large molecular data sets to uncover how biomarker expression influences clinical outcomes.
Brat earned his medical degree and doctorate from Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School. He completed his residency in anatomic pathology and his fellowship in neuropathology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Brat has led brain tumor initiatives throughout the world, including those of the World Health Organization and the Cancer Genome Atlas. He serves in leadership positions in the Society for Neuro-oncology and American Association of Neuropathologists, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the College of American Pathologists in 2016. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha and American Society of Clinical Investigation honor societies.
Distinguished Service Award
Lavona Bane `52
Lavona Bane `52, a birthright Quaker, grew up in Kansas and Nebraska, but made Richmond her home. She took time away from her studies at Earlham, begun in 1948, and married in 1949. Five of her children went on to be Earlham graduates: Gail Miller `72, Karen Elmore `74, Gregg Godsey `78, David Godsey `81, and Sulyn Godsey `84.
Bane began working for the College in 1967, and in 1968 became the school’s registrar, a position she held for 27 years. During six of those years, she also served as associate dean of student development. In addition, she led the wilderness program and directed or co-directed the New Student Week Committee and the May Day Committee for several years. She has served on the Earlham Board of Trustees and is currently on the Board of the Earlham School of Religion.
In Richmond, Bane has served on several boards, including the Townsend Community Center, the Adult Day Care Center and Richmond Friends School. For more than 30 years, she has been a Reid Hospice volunteer, caring for the terminally ill. A longtime member of Richmond First Friends Meeting, Bane is on the Stewardship Finance Commission, is co-clerk of the Hospitality Committee and is co-coordinator of the Care Team.
Bane earned special recognition into Earlham’s Athletics Hall of Fame and was the first woman to serve as a faculty representative to the North Coast Athletic Conference. She has been an exceptionally faithful and active member of the Class of `52, hosting class gatherings in her home on many occasions.
David Stump `72
David Stump `72 is a physician and scientist, now retired in Potomac, Maryland, after a career in academic medicine and biopharmaceutical research and development. He shepherded several new cancer drugs through the approval process and led the development of the first new drug approved for lupus in more than 50 years. Early in his career Stump helped develop tPA, the first and only FDA-approved treatment for stroke.
He retired as executive vice president of research and development at Human Genome Sciences, where he was from 1999-2012. Stump held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech from 1989-1999, including vice president of clinical research. In 1996, he was named a Genentech Fellow for leadership of its cardiovascular drug development projects.
Before joining the biotechnology industry he was associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at the University of Vermont. He has written 60 scientific publications and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology of the American Heart Association.
After graduating from Earlham, Stump earned an M.D. from Indiana University, followed by residency and fellowship training at the University of Iowa. Postgraduate training was completed at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is now an industry consultant and serves on the boards of several pharmaceutical companies as well as on Earlham’s Board of Trustees, where he chairs the College Academic Affairs Committee. In 2016 he also chaired Earlham’s presidential search committee.
The Earlham College Alumni Council was pleased to honor Ron Berry `95, Sunu P. Chandy `94 and Sara Gelser `94 with Earlham’s 2016 Outstanding Alumni Award, and John Iverson with the Distinguished Service Award. The ceremony took place on Saturday, October 15, 2016, during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2016.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Ron Berry `95
Theatrical visionary Ron Berry `95 brings artists and audiences together to explore issues, ideas and new possibilities. Toward this goal, Berry founded and serves as artistic director of Fusebox Austin, an award-winning multidisciplinary arts organization best known for its annual festival, which attracts more than 30,000 attendees. The festival features artists working across all disciplines in more than 20 locations in Austin.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a major in theater, Berry moved with friends to Austin and converted an old warehouse into a performance space and a gallery/exhibition space. Fusebox grew from this initial endeavor as an attempt to promote the cross-pollinating of ideas. Over the past 12 years, Fusebox has also worked closely with community members to identify creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing Austin, resulting in new initiatives for community health, affordable housing and urban planning.
In a recent interview, Berry described his experience at Earlham as, “a bit like going to school in a John Cougar Mellencamp video, only with more crunchy college kids.” He credits his Earlham semester in London as being a transformational one, exposing him to a wide variety of performances and developing a perspective that helps him curate Fusebox.
Sunu P. Chandy `94
By combining her interests and training, Sunu P. Chandy `94 has been a passionate and dynamic civil rights attorney since her law school graduation. In July 2016, Sunu began as the deputy director for civil rights for the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Sunu spearheads the civil rights work at this agency and will be focused on OCR’s ongoing priorities, including implementation of Section 1557, and will lead OCR’s work on Administration priorities that involve civil rights.
Before that, she served as a federal policy consultant with Ms. Foundation and also as general counsel for the Washington D.C. Office of Human Rights. From 1999-2014, she served with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), litigating civil rights employment matters through its New York District Office. On behalf of the U.S. government she litigated federal cases against private employers engaged in systematic discrimination based on race, sex (including sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and gender identity), national origin, age and religion. She litigated several high profile cases that brought significant policy changes during her EEOC tenure.
Before EEOC she served as a labor lawyer representing workers in arbitrations as well as unions in court matters. After completing a double major in women’s studies and in peace and global studies at Earlham, Chandy received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in 1998 and in 2013 went on to complete her MFA in poetry from Queens College, City University of New York. Her creative work has been published in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Asian American Literary Review, and This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation. Chandy also served on several boards of directors during her 15 years in New York City including the Audre Lorde Project and the South Asian Women’s Creative Collection. Chandy was born in Richmond, Indiana when her parents, Mary and P.V. Chandy, arrived from Kerala, India to be students at Earlham School of Religion.
Sara Gelser `94
Prior to legislative service, Gelser served on the Corvallis School Board and worked for the Oregon Department of Human Services. Gelser’s work has focused on education, human services and social justice. Legislative accomplishments include strengthening Oregon’s rape statute, eliminating Oregon’s zero tolerance school discipline policies, limiting the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools, prohibiting the use conversion therapy with LGBTQ youth, strengthening abuse protections for seniors and people with disabilities, and establishing the nation’s first LGBTQ Veterans’ Coordinator.
In 2007 Gelser spearheaded Karly’s Law which improved child abuse investigations and is now being replicated in jurisdictions across the country. Gelser is currently leading a transformation of Oregon’s child welfare program to ensure all services and policies are driven by the voice, experience and well being of children and youth.
Gelser, just 16 when she enrolled at Earlham, majored in history. While at Earlham she also met her husband, Peter Gelser `94. They have four children, including a member of Earlham’s Class of 2020.
Distinguished Service Award
Even in retirement John Iverson, a herpetologist whose large-scale turtle and iguana research was decades ahead of its time, continues to share his knowledge, passion and expertise, especially with Earlham students. Iverson, who retired from full-time teaching in the biology department and directing the Joseph Moore Museum in 2011, is a frequent guest lecturer in biology, teaches courses in Trail Building and Invasive Species Control, and still involves students in his 37-year research projects on the population biology of turtles in Nebraska and northern Indiana and iguanas in the Bahamas.
In 1972, he began amassing records for each of the world’s turtle species. In 1986 he published his Checklist with Distribution Maps of the Turtles of the World, which was revised in 1992, and subsequently made available online. He has also published over 250 papers, 47 of them coauthored with 36 different Earlham students.
Iverson received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1977 and came to Earlham in 1978. Earlham, he says, allowed him to continue his long-term studies, involving talented Earlham students. His wealth of turtle knowledge and willingness to share this knowledge makes him well known in global turtle conservation circles. In fact, two turtles, the Fujian pond turtle Mauremys iversoni and the Yucatan slider Trachemys venusta iversoni, were named in his honor.
The Earlham College Alumni Council was pleased to honor Douglas Hamilton `74, Herman B. White `70, and Katie Yamasaki `99 with Earlham’s 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award, and David Matthews `65 with the Distinguished Service Award. The ceremony took place on Saturday, October 31, 2015, during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2015.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Douglas Hamilton `74, M.D., Ph.D.
Douglas Hamilton `74 received his Ph.D. in microbiology at Vanderbilt University. He completed his M.D. at Vanderbilt Medical School as a National Health Service Corps Fellow and afterward worked with Indian Health Services for a number of years as an officer in the United States Public Health Service on several Native American reservations in the Northwest.
In 1991 he joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, dealing with disease outbreaks around the world. In 1998 he became the director of the EIS program. These disease detectives, 160 in number, travel the globe investigating disease outbreaks, including extensive work in West Africa dealing with the current Ebola epidemic.
Hamilton’s work has contributed significantly to the better good and public health of the United States and to global health. In 2010 the USPHS selected him as the Applied Public Health Physician of the Year.
Herman B. White `70, Ph.D.
Herman B. White `70 has been a scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), America’s premier particle physics laboratory, for more than 40 years.
After undergraduate studies at Earlham, he studied nuclear and accelerator physics at Michigan State University, earning a master’s degree, and studied particle physics at Florida State University, where he was awarded his doctorate. He was also an Alfred P. Sloan Travel Fellow at the CERN Laboratory and a University Fellow at Yale.
White has participated in more than a dozen major experiments involving particle and nuclear physics, accelerators and particle beams. The experiments have lead to more than 100 research publications, including an empirical formula that bears his name. For his contributions to Kaon Physics and the establishment of a new kind of interaction distinguishing matter from antimatter, he received the American Physical Society Edward A. Bouchet Award in 2010.
For many years he has lead efforts to sustain support for physical science research informing the U. S. Congress and agencies in Washington and around the world. He has served on national advisory panels for the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, NASA and the US National Academies. He has also served in leadership roles on various corporate and governing boards. In addition to his position at Fermilab, White has served for more than two decades as an Illinois Research Corridor Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Physics at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.
In 2014 White’s life story was included in The HistoryMakers, an archival collection of African American video oral histories.
Katie Yamasaki `99
Katie Yamasaki ’99 is a Brooklyn-based artist who divides her time between mural work, writing and illustrating children’s books and working as a teaching artist.
Her art has enabled her to work with children in Cuba, Namibian teens, Japanese auto manufacturers and indigenous women inmates fighting for gender equality and non-violence within the prisons of Chiapas, Mexico. Her public projects have explored topics that range from the Japanese Internment to Appalachia’s economic crisis to maternal incarceration. She has worked on a collaborative mural project with members of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in Chiapas and most recently completed projects in Basque Country, Spain, and at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
Currently, Yamasaki is embarking on a multi-project participatory art endeavor with the New York City public hospital system. She is also currently in the process of writing and illustrating her fourth and fifth published books for children.
Yamasaki believes in the power of art and storytelling to inspire individual and social transformation and finds motivation from her work with people from all walks of life.
Distinguished Service Award
David Matthews `65, Ph.D.
David Matthews `65 is credited with groundbreaking work using X-ray crystallography that allowed the drug industry to produce better drugs, and to do so in a shorter time.
After obtaining a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Illinois and working 14 years in the chemistry department at the University of California, San Diego, Matthews became the scientific founder of a biotech pharmaceutical company that produced one of the most effective AIDS drugs, helping to save the lives of thousands upon thousands. He also played an important role in getting large pharmaceutical companies to form partnerships with non-profit organizations such as Medicines for Malaria Venture and the Gates Foundation to assist in designing drugs against diseases that are prevalent in poor countries.
Matthews retired in 2005 to work, mostly pro bono, with MMV and the Gates Foundation. Two anti-malarial drugs that Matthews co-discovered are in clinical trials in humans. One of those drugs is being tested as a single dose cure for malaria. Possibly as early as next year, a drug against tuberculosis that was co-discovered by Matthews will also begin clinical trials.
In addition to his advances in the pharmaceutical world, Matthews has led by example in service to Earlham through his contributions of time, talent, wisdom and philanthropy. Since 2007, he has been a member of Earlham’s Board of Trustees serving on the Campaign Steering Committee and the Executive Committee and chairing the Property and Finance Committee. He is also fully engaged in Earlham’s strategic planning and implementation efforts to increase Earlham’s national reputation and strengthen its enrollment.
The following people have received Earlham’s 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award or Distinguished Service Award. The ceremony took place on Saturday, October 25, 2014, during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Howard Federoff `74, M.D., Ph.D.
As Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Georgetown University and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine, Howard Federoff is responsible for Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). He is a professor of Neurology and Neuroscience. He previously held appointments at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, the Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences, the Division of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy and the University of Rochester’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program.
Federoff’s research interests include gene therapy and neurodegenerative diseases, and he was recently in the news for his research related to the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease. He has published more than 250 peer reviewed and invited articles and currently serves on the editorial boards of five journals.
Federoff served as chair of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee from 2007-10. He chairs the Gene Therapy Resource Program for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, was president of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair (2012-13) and is president of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics.
After Earlham, Federoff earned his M.S., Ph.D., and M.D. degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, did his internship, residency, and clinical and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and practiced medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and University of Rochester. He is a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and National Academy of Inventors. He resides in the greater Washington area with his wife, Wendy. His two daughters, Monica and Allison, are currently pursuing graduate studies in medicine and law, respectively.
Jewell Spears `57, R.N.
Jewell Spears worked as a nurse for many years before moving into leadership roles at Reid Hospital in Richmond, eventually serving as a vice president of the hospital from 1979 until her retirement in 1995.
During her tenure at Reid, she was responsible for seven different departments of the hospital. She helped start the Aurora chemical dependency program, the Home Health Services Department and the Parish Nursing program. Spears served as president of the Indiana State Board Nursing Education and Registration and traveled to Serpukhov in the former Soviet Union as part of a local delegation.
She has also served on Earlham’s Board of Trustees, Alumni Council, African American Advisory Board and Community Partnerships Council. Spears has received many honors including a Sagamore of the Wabash from Indiana Governor Bob Orr and a Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Award from the Indiana University School of Nursing.
Arthur Wagner `46, Ph.D.
Arthur Wagner was head of the Graduate Professional Actor Training Program at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). A philosophy major at Earlham, Wagner earned a master’s degree from Smith College and a doctorate from Stanford University. He taught at Rollins College and founded the professional actor training programs at Tulane University, Ohio University, and Temple University.
At UCSD, where he was the first chair of the theatre department, he served on the faculty from 1972-91, and was head of the graduate program in acting for most of his tenure. With colleagues, he built the theatre program from the ground up, creating graduate programs that are now considered among the best in the country. One of the theatres at UCSD is named in Wagner’s honor.
He serves as a board member for La Jolla Playhouse, has extensive credits as an actor and director and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
Distinguished Service Award
Mervyn Love, Ph.D.
Mervyn Love has been the coordinator and on-site leader for Earlham’s Northern Ireland program since he created it in 1991. The goal of this program is to increase students’ understanding of the complexities of the conflict and the peace process in Northern Ireland and to use the knowledge gained to analyze and to increase understanding of the conflict in their own and other societies.
Love is based in the department of history at the University of Ulster and has numerous contacts on all sides of the Northern Ireland conflict who help him to present a balanced view of the history and current events of Northern Ireland. He arranges all lodging, meals, transportation and programming in Northern Ireland. More than that, he is a mentor, friend, father, brother and troop leader during a student’s most formative Earlham experiences.
The following people have received Earlham’s 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award. The ceremony took place on Saturday, October 19, 2013 during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.
Juan Dies ’88
Juan Dies is the co-founder and Executive Director of Sones de México Ensemble, a Grammy- and Latin Grammy-nominated organization based in Chicago since 1994. He performs (vocals, bass), records, and teaches with the ensemble. At Earlham, Juan double-majored in Music and Sociology/Anthropology. Later he earned an M.A. in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University.
Before devoting himself to Sones de México and other endeavors full-time, he served as Director of Community Outreach at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago for thirteen years. As a freelance folklorist, he has done research to document artists for different agencies across the United States and served as a festival curator for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. He consults regularly on municipal, state, and national arts grants panels.
Sones de México has released six CDs, performed nearly 3,000 shows coast-to-coast, from The Getty Museum in Los Angeles to Carnegie Hall in New York, and produces a syndicated radio show in Spanish. They have been featured on such radio programs as “Morning Edition” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” As a not-for-profit organization, the ensemble works to promote greater appreciation of Mexican folk and traditional music and has introduced thousands of children and adults to the wealth and depth of this aspect of Mexican culture through their educational programs.
Helen Greenwood Hansma ’67
Helen Greenwood Hansma, Ph.D., is a researcher emeritus and associate adjunct professor emeritus at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), where she also earned her doctorate in biological sciences. A prolific researcher in biochemistry and biophysics, she was a pioneer in the development and application of atomic force microscopy to biological questions.
She received a great deal of attention for her well-supported hypothesis that life originated between sheets of mica, which she published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology in 2010. In all, she has published more than 100 scientific papers or book chapters and delivered at least 45 invited lectures. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, which also recruited her to be a program manager for the Directoriate for Biological Sciences – Division of Biological Infrastructure from 2004-08.
Hansma also has been heavily involved in outreach activities to encourage science, technology, engineering and math education in K-12 schools.
Lew Frederick ’73
Lew Frederick is a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 43, in Portland. He serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education and is vice-chair of the House Land Use Committee. Frederick is a former member of the State Board of Education.
Professionally, he is a strategic communications consultant focusing on strategic planning, community relations, science and technical issues and crisis communications. Earlier in his career, he worked as television reporter and was director of public information for Portland Public Schools. In addition to Earlham, he has studied at Morehouse College, MIT and the Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratories. He is a doctoral candidate at Portland State University.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Don McNemar ’65
Don McNemar ’65 was president of Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.) from 1996-2002 and headmaster of Phillips Academy (Andover, MA.) from 1981-1994. A political scientist, McNemar earned his doctorate at Princeton University. He taught international relations and international law at Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.) and currently teaches global studies at Bentley University (Waltham, MA.). McNemar and his wife, Britta, have remained connected to Earlham over the years, and their daughter, Galen McNemar Hamann ’00, is also an Earlhamite. He has served on both the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Council.
Bruce L. Pearson ’53
Bruce L. Pearson ’53 — a linguist, educator and activist — taught for more than 30 years at the University of South Carolina and conducted extensive research on the languages of Delaware, Shawnee and Wyandotte Native American tribes. He earned his master’s degree at Indiana University and his doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. A Quaker, Pearson was a conscientious objector during the Korean War, worked for many decades to end the death penalty and currently teaches classes for prisoners at the Monroe County (Ind.) Jail. He wrote the libretto for Small Box, an one-act opera about a man on death row, which was premiered in 2009 in Bloomington, Ind., where he and his wife, Julia, now live. His sister Nancy Pearson Drew ’56 is also an Earlhamite.
Ron Oberle ’59
Ron Oberle ’59 is president and C.E.O. of Oberle & Associates, Crane Inc. and “The Woodshop,” full-service construction companies based in Richmond that work within a 300 mile radius of the city. Oberle is the third generation of his family to serve in the construction business and he has led the company since 1965. Some projects include the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the Indiana High School Basketball Hall-of-Fame in New Castle and many others. The companies have also worked on local projects including schools, libraries, museums and government buildings. Oberle says, “Our best projects, however, are those at home at Earlham College, including the current construction of the new facilities for the sciences and the visual and performing arts.” The Oberle family is involved is many civic and philanthropic activities in Richmond and Wayne County.
Distinguished Service Award
William “Bill” Harvey, professor emeritus of biology, taught at Earlham from 1972-2004 and will receive a distinguished service award. In addition to teaching, Harvey served as the primary adviser to students preparing for health careers, guiding scores of Earlham students to careers as physicians, dentists, biomedical researchers and other health-related careers. A group of alumni created the William Harvey Biomedical and Health Careers Scholarship to honor Harvey and his commitment to helping Earlham students pursue graduate studies. From 1988-2002, Harvey directed Earlham’s HHMI programs, a set of academic initiatives funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This fall, he will receive an honorary membership in the Delta Omega society, the public health honorary society. The award honors Harvey’s efforts to bring awareness of public health to undergraduate institutions. Harvey earned his bachelor’s degree at Georgetown College, a master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate at the University of Tennessee.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Charles Matthews ’50
Charlie Matthews is a teacher, actor and director. He earned an M.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1955, worked at Pittsburgh Playhouse from 1955-57 and served as an instructor at Earlham from 1957-60. He lived in New York City from 1960-62, where he studied with the legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen. He played minor roles on and off Broadway, and landed a bit part in the film Splendor in the Grass. Matthews returned to Richmond and taught English, speech and theatre at the high school from 1962-77. Among many other activities, Matthews has enjoyed a long association with Richmond Civic Theatre, performing in more than 50 productions, serving on various committees and directing youth theatre productions.
Bill Buskirk ’66
Bill Buskirk taught at Earlham from 1974-2008 and has made important contributions to Earlham, especially: promoting an interest in ornithology and natural history among students, developing experiential educational opportunities and encouraging philanthropy on behalf of the College. Buskirk inspired hundreds of students with his love of natural history and mentored several students who went on to become professional ornithologists. In addition to his on-campus teaching, he was a leader of off-campus programs (including East Africa, New Zealand South west Field Studies program), short-term field trips and alumni trips. With the late Jim Cope, he developed Birding Big Day, which has evolved into an important annual fundraiser for Earlham.
Rebecca Voelkel ’91
Rebecca Voelkel is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (U.C.C.) and is Director of the Institute for Welcoming Resources and Faith Work for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She works with a network of “welcoming churches” (pro-LGBT congregations, mostly within mainline protestant denominations) that has grown to more than 4,000 churches nationwide. She is also the author of Preventing Sexual Abuse: A Course for Teenagers (Pilgrim Press, 1996). Voelkel previously worked for Center for the Prevention of the Sexual and Domestic Violence, Seattle Mental Health Chaplaincy and as Pastor of Spirit of the Lakes U.C.C. in Minneapolis.
Del Harris, men’s basketball head coach from 1965-74, has maintained a close relationship with Earlham during his long career as a coach in the N.B.A. and for four different international teams. Harris was head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1994-98, leading the team to three consecutive 50-plus win seasons and was named NBA Coach of the Year following the 1997-98 season. During earlier stints as a head coach, he guided the Milwaukee Bucks to four straight playoff appearances between 1987-92 and led the Houston Rockets to the playoffs three times, including a trip to the N.B.A. finals in 1981. He led his Earlham teams to 176 victories and 19 tournament or conference championships, including a berth in the N.A.I.A. national finals.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Rey Carranza ’55
Rey Carranza of Valparaiso, Zacetecas, Mexico – worked as a teacher, librarian and school director in Mexico. He founded schools in several rural communities, and opened a medical clinic in a town without a resident doctor. Most recently, Carranza has been working to improve conditions in Santa Lucia, a remote village in the Sierra Madres Mountains, leading an effort to build a library in the community. After Carranza reconnected with classmate John Young ’55 during their 50th class reunion, Young helped organize funding for the project through the Portland, Ind. Rotary Club and Rotary International.
Christine Fukui ’70
Christine Fukui, of Honolulu, Hawaii, is a retired medical doctor. Fukui had worked at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center since 1980, holding such appointments as Chief of Pulmonary Medicine, Chief of Medical Subspecialities and Vice President for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety. She attended medical school at University of California, San Francisco, and then completed an internal medicine fellowship and a pulmonary fellowship there. In 2006, she received the Outstanding Clinician Award from the American Thoracic Society. She has also taught at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. A dedicated volunteer, she is active with the American Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association.
Ward Trueblood ’60
Ward Trueblood, of Menlo Park, Calif., is a general surgeon and Clinical Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Medical School. He received his medical training at Stanford, and then was drafted into the military, serving as a surgeon at a field hospital during the Vietnam War. In his subsequent medical career, he focused on cancer surgery. Trueblood, nephew of the legendary Earlham professor D. Elton Trueblood, is a relative of several other Earlhamites. He has been a committed supporter of the College, volunteering to work with science classes and supporting fundraising campaigns. He is also a poet and has published a collection of verse entitled, To Bind Up their Wounds.
- Anne Kreisel’s Introduction (PDF)
- Ward Trueblood’s Remarks (PDF)
- Poems written and read by Ward Trueblood (PDF)
Distinguished Service Award
Gordon Thompson, of Richmond, Ind., taught English at Earlham for 38 years. Thompson received his undergraduate education at Dartmouth and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Thompson was notable for the extraordinary depth and breadth of his knowledge of literature. His areas of teaching specialty ranged from 18th and 19th century British literature, to post-colonial literature, to Jewish Studies to the Humanities Program. Well known even among Earlhamites who never took a class with him, Thompson was a pivotal figure on campus for nearly four decades, and treasured by students and faculty alike.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Margaret Heafield Hamilton ’58
Margaret Heafield Hamilton, a math major and philosophy minor at Earlham, deferred entry into a doctoral program in abstract mathematics in order to work on the fledging space program. She directed the on-board flight software project for the Apollo and Skylab projects while serving as director of the software engineering division of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She became a pioneer in the systems engineering and software development industry. She also helped define system software requirements for the Space Shuttle program. Hamilton is founder and C.E.O. of Hamilton Technologies, Inc., which designs systems and develops software based on a paradigm known as “Development Before the Fact.” In 1986, she received the Augusta Lovelace Award from the Association for Women in Computing.
Katherine “Kay” Krewson Pickering ’59
Kay Krewson Pickering has made her mark on her community with her extreme dedication to volunteer service, most notably through the Harrisburg (Pa.) Center for Peace and Justice. She is known for her work on conflict mediation and housing counseling, helping clients from lower socio-economic backgrounds find appropriate and affordable housing. Pickering’s work is widely known and appreciated in her area, and she has been honored for her volunteerism with awards from such diverse groups as the Dauphin County Bar Association, the United Way of the Capital Region, Temple University, YWCA of Greater Harrisburg and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education. A member of the Religious Society of Friends since she was 10 years old, she spent the summer of 1959 at American Friends Service Committee work camps in France and Germany. She has been a member of Harrisburg Friends Meeting for 45 years.
David K. Wagner ’52
David K. Wagner was a pioneer in the field of emergency medicine. Originally trained as a pediatric surgeon, he saw a need for more specialized training for doctors working in hospital emergency rooms. At Drexel University College of Medicine, he created one of the first training programs in the country for emergency medicine. He worked to get emergency medicine accepted as a board-recognized specialty and was a founding editor of Principles of Practice of Emergency Medicine, the first textbook in the field. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field and is the namesake of the David K. Wagner Award from the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, which honors “individuals who have made a meaningful impact on the field.” Wagner received the first such award in 1995. He attended medical school at St. Louis University, completed his residency at the University of Washington and a fellowship at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
Distinguished Service Award
State Senator Allen Paul
Citizens of East Central Indiana will remember State Senator Allen Paul for a variety of legislative accomplishments, but at Earlham, he may always be known as Senator Stoplight. The Senator, a 23-year veteran of the Indiana legislature, was instrumental this year in securing a traffic signal at the main entrance to campus. The College had been trying to convince the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to install a stoplight at the location since at least 1962, but Sen. Paul made the initiative a priority and arranged a pivotal meeting with the commissioner of INDOT and a representative of the Governor’s office. The new traffic signal will be added as part of an on-going project to widen Route 40. Paul, a Republican, is a former Assistant Majority Caucus Chairman and Assistant Majority whip in the State Senate. A decorated veteran of the U.S. Army and a retired Brigadier General of the Indiana National Guard Reserve, he is chairman of the Veteran Affairs Committee. He also chairs the Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee and serves on such other committees as the Agriculture and Small Business Committee and Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs. He is a graduate of Parsons College.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Anne Norton Miller ’66
Anne Norton Miller recently retired from the Senior Executive Service at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and her position as the Director of the Office of Federal Activities (OFA) in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. As OFA’s director, she was responsible for EPA’s environmental review of other federal agencies’ proposed actions that may have a significant impact on the environment and EPA’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She also led EPA’s import/export program for hazardous wastes, and for international enforcement and compliance programs that work with other federal agencies, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and other countries to strengthen protection at our borders from hazardous wastes, chemicals, pesticides, ozone- depleting substances, and imports that do not meet national environmental standards. A charter member of the E.P.A., she began her career as a bench microbiologist in the Lake Erie Basin Office of the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, and worked in a series of positions with increasing responsibility during a career than spanned three decades. She moved to E.P.A. headquarters in 1984, became Deputy Director of OFA in 1994, and was promoted to Director in 2001. EPA honored her with a Distinguished Career Service Award upon her retirement.
Fred McClure ’84
Fred McClure ’84 is a partner with the law firm DLA Piper US LLP, one of the three largest law firms in the world. Within the firm, he serves as a member of the firm’s 18-member Executive Committee, Florida Litigation Practice Group Leader, and as one of two firm Diversity & Inclusion partners. Each year since 2004, Florida Trend magazine has named Fred among “Florida’s Legal Elite”, and since 2006 Law and Politics Magazine has named him as a “Florida Super Lawyer”. He is a past chair of the 180,000 member American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and was at the time only the second African- American to serve in that post. He was the first African- American to serve as president of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and Chattanooga Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Now living in the Tampa, Fla. area, he is the immediate past chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
Richard Nakamura ’68
Richard Nakamura is currently Scientific Director of the National Institute of Mental Health at NIH serving in one the most senior non- political positions in the federal government. He is also one of a handful of Asian-Americans to serve at this level. He began as a research scientist and gradually moved into senior administrative roles that have included providing research funding, science policy and public education on mental health and mental illness. Richard worked with US Surgeon General David Satcher to write the Surgeon General’s Mental Health Report. He also served as acting Director of NIMH for one year, for which he was awarded the federal Presidential Rank Merit Award for his leadership.
Distinguished Service Award
Professor Emeritus of Biology Bill Stephenson
Bill Stephenson was a beloved biology professor at Earlham from 1954-93. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he served the College in such capacities as Clerk of the Faculty, Dean of the Faculty and as a leader of off-campus programs in England and Japan. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and maintained an active research career, spending many summers at the Marine Biology Lab in Woods Hole, Mass. A theatre aficionado, Stephenson has also appeared in numerous productions with Earlham’s Mask & Mantle and at Richmond Civic Theater. He and his wife, Jane, live in Friends Fellowship Community, in Richmond.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Liza Donnelly ’77
Liza Donnelly ’77 is a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker, where her work has appeared regularly since 1982. Her cartoons have also appeared in such national publications as The New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and National Lampoon. She is the author of a series of children’s books about dinosaurs that has sold more than two million copies and has edited several collections of cartoons. Donnelly’s book, Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons, was published by Prometheus Books in 2005. (Beginning with the Summer ’07 issue, Donnelly has contributed an original cartoon to each issue of the Earlhamite.)
Priscilla Hayner ’85
Priscilla Hayner ’85 is co-founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), an organization that assists countries pursuing accountability for past mass atrocity or human rights abuse. She is currently director of ICTJ’s Geneva office and manages its Liberia program, and is director of a new Program on Peace and Justice at the ICTJ. Hayner is the author of Unspeakable Truths, a study of “truth commissions” in more than 20 countries worldwide. She earned a master’s degree from School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and has previously worked for the Ford Foundation, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Distinguished Service Award
Thomas Gottschalk ’64
Tom Gottschalk ’64 is retiring this year as Executive Vice President for Law and Public Policy at General Motors. Before joining GM in 1994, he was a partner and a member of the management committee at Kirkland & Ellis, a Washington, D.C. law firm. This year, he received the Chesterfield Smith Award from the Pro Bono Institute. The award which recognizes “extraordinary individuals” who have particularly committed to pro bono legal work throughout their careers presented by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She called Gottschalk one of the “very best in our profession.” Gottschalk’s public service includes taking on major civil rights cases and establishing a model legal clinic in Detroit.
In 2006, Alumni Council honored the Mills family with the dedication of Mills Hall.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
George R. Reller ’49
George R. Reller ’49, was an Earlham trustee for nine years and legal counsel for the College for many more. His volunteer service to Earlham include leadership of the Alumni Association during the early 1970s and prominent roles in two successful capital campaigns.
Throughout his long career as an attorney, George Reller was widely esteemed for his skill, insight and honesty. For many lawyers in the Wayne County Bar Association he was the model for what an attorney should be: intelligent, principled and devoted to justice and the welfare of his community. More than a few of the letters supporting his Distinguished Alumni Award speak also of his affability, humor and quality as a sympathetic listener.
George Reller served 30 years as a trustee for Reid Hospital in Richmond and 19 years as the board’s chairman. He is a long-time trustee of the Wayne County Boys Club and is past president of the Richmond Rotary Club.
Andrea Seabrook ’96
Andrea Seabrook ’96 speaks a voice familiar to millions of listeners to National Public Radios news and information programs. As NPR’s congressional correspondent she brings daily breaking news as well as longer, in-depth features on Congress. While frequently a thorn in the side of the House leadership in both parties as any good reporter ought to be she is often sought out by them, says NPR’s senior Washington editor Ron Elving. This is a testament to her great gift of personable interaction.
Seabrook joined the NPR in 1998 as an editorial assistant. After a stint at NPRs Mexico Bureau she returned to Washington and eventually became an editorial assistant for the networks Morning Edition program. In January 2003 she was named congressional correspondent, a job that keeps her in almost constant motion.
Seabrook majored in biology at Earlham, where she also studied Spanish and worked for the student radio station, WECI. A confessed devotee of Earlham, she has returned to campus often, most recently in November 2003 to deliver a convocation address and meet with students and faculty members.
Distinguished Service Awards
P. Gerald Mills ’49
P.Gerald Mills ’49 bears the surname of a family that has connected itself with Earlham since its founding. His 2005 award for Distinguished Service recognizes, in part, his service on the Earlham Board of Trustees that began in 1970 and continues still. Between 1975 and 1985, he served as the board’s chair. He remains an honorary lifetime trustee.
“Capturing Gerald’s leadership on the Board of Trustees is more a task for the College Archivist than a letter like this,” one board colleague wrote in support of the award. He recalled that “Gerald was a model of what a college trustee should be. He was a quiet, but effective counselor to Earlham’s presidents and encouraged his fellow trustees to take the long view of the role of the College, insisting on fiscal responsibility and using his business acumen to inform his own opinions and to help shape the Boards consensus on many, many issues.”
Gerald Mills was a successful leader in American retailing. He served as president of Indianapolis based L.S. Ayres Department Stores. Later he served as executive vice president of Dayton Hudson Corporation, a national chain of retail stores that includes Target. The corporation is consistently saluted for its practice of expressed ethical standards. After retiring from Dayton Hudson Corporation, he served as Chairman and CEO of Jacobsons specialty stores.
Paul A. Lacey
Paul A. Lacey was practically an institution within an institution long before he retired from Earlham College as professor of English in 2001. For thousands of students who matriculated through his diverse courses in English and the Humanities, Paul Lacey’s face remains a fond memory of Earlham.
Noting that a senior colleague once had asserted that Paul Lacey was “the most important person” at the College, a professor who nominated him for the Distinguished Service Award concurred. “That was a fair assessment, it is not going too far to say that for most of his time at Earlham, Paul was our mentor, our visionary and our conscience.”
His service to Earlham included a three-year term as provost (1972-75), sandwiched with one year as acting president. His fellowships and awards include the Danforth Foundation’s Harbison Prize for Distinguished Teaching and the Sears Roebuck Foundation’s Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award. In 1992, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education named Paul Lacey the Indiana Professor of the Year.
Since 2003, Lacey has been presiding clerk of the American Friends Service Committee Board, a role that includes his acting as liaison between the Service Committee and its Quaker constituents.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Charles Asher ’74
Charles Asher ’74 is a lawyer and philanthropist in South Bend, Indiana. Long concerned with the way the legal system handles family conflicts, Asher reduced his caseload to devote nearly full time to finding ways to change the way lawyers handle divorce. He now works to promote mediation and conciliation as an alternative to confrontational divorce proceedings.
He and his wife, Barbara, created the Freedom 22 Foundation, a family charity that provides assistance to community organizations. Its focus is on addressing the needs of parents in conflict and protecting children.
Among the organization’s other projects was the setting up of the first mediation service in St. Joseph County Circuit Court for couples with divorces pending for more than a year. The foundation has also funded minority scholarships and helped establish a health care facility for indigent persons in the South Bend area.
In 2003, the American Bar Association gave Asher its “Lawyer as Problem Solver Award” in recognition of his efforts and initiatives of saving marriages and helping families.
Herbert L. Bonkovsky ’63
Herbert L. Bonkovsky ’63 is a professor of medicine, biochemistry, molecular biology and pathology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. But that hardly describes his responsibilities. He is director of the U. Mass Medical Center’s Division of Digestive Disease and Nutrition and directs its Liver-Billiary-Pancreatic Center and the facility’s Digestive Disease Laboratory and its Center for Study of Disorder of Iron and Porphyrin Metabolism.
Bonkovsky’s research in those areas is widely known in the medical field. He has been the author or coauthor some 150 published papers in scientific journals. He has also been a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and the Emory University of Medicine.
At Earlham College he was a Merit Scholar and valedictorian of his graduating class. He also a four-year member of the varsity basketball and baseball teams. After Earlham, he earned his medical degree from Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Suzanne Hoerner Jackson ’49
Suzanne Hoerner Jackson ’49 is why Earlham has one of the finest collegiate equestrian programs in the country. Her vision for the educational value of a student-run horse and riding operation led to the creation of the shining equestrian center that bears her name.
The center evolved from the horse and stable program created while Jackson was a student riding enthusiast at Earlham. In addition to financing the new, modern center, Jackson’s generosity has steadily maintained and enhanced Hoerner residence hall, named for her father, Richard ’20.
The center, completed in 1998, features a 20-stall barn with tack rooms, lounge, classroom and medical and feed facilities. The barn opens on a 60-by-120 foot riding ring, four fenced pastures and access to miles of riding trails through Earlham’s south campus. Next to the center is a 20,000 square foot indoor riding arena that was completed and dedicated last fall.
Back home in her native Minnesota, Jackson is a loyal supporter and promoter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Minneapolis.
Thomas J. Mullen ’56
Thomas J. Mullen ’56 is widely known as a religious scholar and beloved as a humorist whose books have enlightened and inspired as they amused. He is a former professor and dean of the Earlham School of Religion and has served on the Earlham Board of Trustees.
He initiated the successful Ministry of Writing Colloquium at ESR, which annually brings noted authors to campus for discussion sessions with aspiring writers.
In 2002 the Yale Divinity School announced to Mullen that he was the recipient of its Alumni Board award “in recognition of your superb work in theological education.”
Among the best-selling titles of Mullen’s 13 books are Living Longer and Other Sobering Possibilities, Laughing Out Loud and Other Religious Experiences, and A Very Good Marriage, the latter a testament to his family years with his late wife, Nancy.
Tom Mullen lives in retirement in Richmond and remains active with his writing, pastoring and involvement with Earlham College and ESR.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Barbara Ruch ’54
Barbara Ruch ’54, Professor Emerita of Japanese Literature and Culture at Columbia University, and Director of the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies there, is recognized as a leading scholar of Japanese culture.
In the l950’s there was no Japanese Studies program at Earlham. It was her work as a staff person with the American Friends Service Committee in Osaka, Japan, that sparked her interest in Oriental Studies.
Her early research focused on popular literature and art of the medieval period. She has published widely in this field in both English and Japanese.
Later she pioneered the discovery that in some Buddhist convents nuns had preserved Imperial cultural treasures. In l989, when the Japanese Ministry of Education selected her as Foreign Research Scholar at the National Institute for Japanese Literature in Tokyo, she established the ongoing joint international research project which is devoted to carrying out Japan’s first Imperial Buddhist convent survey of materials related to women’s religious faith in pre-modern eras. This work has broadened and deepened the discipline of medieval Japanese religious studies which heretofore had focused only on the male spiritual experience.
Barbara has received many honors. Most recently (1999) the Japanese Government awarded her the Imperial decoration, The Order of the Precious Crown with Butterfly Crest. And in 2000 the Osaka Prefecture Government of Civic and Cultural Affairs awarded her the Yamagata Banto Prize. This is given annually to one Japanese specialist nominated worldwide. It honors the outstanding achievement, leadership and creativity of the nominee in contributing to the study of Japanese culture.
Randall B. Wisehart ’75
Randall B. Wisehart ’75 has proven to be an important leader and change maker for more than twenty-six years in the field of education. After graduating from Earlham College in 1975 and Miami University in 1980, Randy has been an accomplished teacher of both children and educators as well as an accomplished author. He has earned sixty hours beyond his masters including administrative certification from Indiana University. He has facilitated training in improved teaching for countless teachers; working with the Coalition of Essential Schools, Ohio Writing Project, facilitator and trainer for High Schools That Work, implementing Socratic Seminars, Performance Assessment, Collaborative Learning and numerous other workshops for teachers throughout Indiana and the Midwest. He was a charter member of the National Congress for the Coalition of Essential Schools as well as a member of the CES National Faculty. While teaching full time, he also served as peer coach for the Indiana Department of Education Office of School Improvement from 1991-1995. He was co-founder of Indiana Essential Schools Network and co-director from 1998-2001. He is currently the chairman of the board of IESN. He has published research for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Randy has also served as a consultant for education classes here at Earlham and has contributed his time and talent to the ELII (Earlham/Lilly Indiana Initiative) program. It is no surprise to learn that he has been the Richmond Community Schools Teacher-of-the-Year.
As an author Randy has extended his Quaker beliefs and Earlham education through the publication of two young adult books, A Winding Road to Freedom and Luke’s Summer Secret, both historical novels based on the work of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. A Winding Road to Freedom is now being considered for a movie. Such interest reveals the power of Randy’s writing and how he also seeks to serve children not only in his teaching but also through his writing.
One of the most significant aspects of his work in promoting Earlham and the notion of the nurturing of the “teacher within” is through his unstinting support of the College’s Education and M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) programs. Despite being a full-time employee for Richmond Community Schools, as a teacher and teacher leader, he has mightily contributed to the formation of the M.A.T. program as consultant, teacher and volunteer.
Robert L. Wixom ’47
Robert L. Wixom’s life shows his Quaker heritage and his liberal arts program approach developed at Earlham College. This is reflected in his later choices of profession (teaching and research in biochemistry at the School of Medicine at both University of Arkansas and University of Missouri), his frequent contact/interaction with many medical, biochemical and other health-related students, his search for scientific approach to truth with graduate and medical students and his open-minded inquiry-based approach to science, religion and the world community.
He has received three teaching awards, one of which was a nomination by MU students for the Conservation Educator of the Year (1996) for the State of Missouri. He served as a Departmental Representative to the Graduate Faculty Senate (1970 to 1993) and the Chair of the Biological Sciences Sector 1989 to 1992; this included a key role in three new major university programs. He was the co-initiator of the UMC Environmental Affairs Council, served as their first Chair for three years (1990 to 1994). He initiated and served as Senior Editor of the 1997 book, “Environmental Challenges for Higher Education: Integration of Sustainability into Academic Programs”. Most recently he was Co-Editor of the book “Chromatography – A Century of Discovery 1900-2000, The Bridges to the Sciences and Technology”. He officially retired in 1992 as Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, but continues many similar activities.
Robert Graham ’65
After graduating from Earlham College in 1965, Robert received his MD from University of Kansas School of Medicine 1970. He held administrative positions in the service and resources divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services. He has held numerous health related management and policymaking positions during his career, including a brief stint as a teacher at Baylor University Medical School.
From 1985 to 1999 Robert served as Executive VP of American Academy of Family Physicians, a national non-profit medical association of more than 88,000 members. In September 1999, Robert received the first AAFP Executive Award, to be called the Robert Graham Family Physician Executive Award. It is given annually for dedication to improving health care access and fostering the tenets of family practice. Awarded to honor Graham’s executive skills contributing to excellence in the provision of high-quality health care and demonstration of how Family Physicians can lead their organizations in ways that improve patient care. The award citation notes Graham’s service at AAFP, his contributions as head of the Health Resources and Services Administration, and his work on the staff of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
Later that month, the American Academy of Family Physicians renamed the Academy’s Policy Center in honor of Robert Graham. To quote, “We do this in recognition of his many contributions to the profession of family medicine and to the health of all Americans,” said Richard Roberts, MD, JD, president of the AAFP. The center’s plaque that hangs in the entrance of the building reads “The Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Practice and Primary Care.”
Outstanding Alumni Award
George Oberle ’52
George H. Oberle is known nationally for his many years of service and participation in all phases of health, physical education and recreation at almost every level of involvement. As a teacher and a university administrator, he built an outstanding career. Students have used his teaching and administrative styles to become leaders in their respective fields.
In 1968, Oberle assisted in the development of the first Special Olympics in Indiana and has continued his support for the games since. From 1993 through 1995 he served as the first director of Special Olympics Unified Sports Program. This unique program combines the skills and abilities of people with mental handicaps and people without disabilities in team play.
The Unified Sports Program has become a major aspect of Special Olympics worldwide, with more than 150,000 participants annually. In 1987 President Reagan appointed Oberle to the National Council on Disability; he was subsequently reappointed by President George Bush. At the National Council Oberle helped write and bring into law the Americans with Disability Act. George Oberle has made a significant and lasting difference to hundreds of people with mental retardation and their families.
Distinguished Service Awards
Ronald McDaniel ’61
Ronald McDaniel began his 40-year career in the railway supply industry in the engineering department of Hayes Track Appliance Company in Richmond, Indiana. Since 1957 he has held various positions with Western-Cullen-Hayes, Inc., becoming company president and CEO in 1977. WCH manufactures signal and maintenance of way instruments for the rail industry. He has also been a leader in grade crossing safety through Operation Lifesafer and has served as member of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Rail Safety Committee.
McDaniel’s philanthropic spirit and his confidence in Earlham’s Management Program preparing students well for careers in the profit and nonprofit sectors resulted in his establishing the Ronald L. McDaniel Endowed Chair in Management Studies in 1999.
William ’54 and Kathryn Pilgert ’53 Solt
William Solt earned a master’s degree in economics from Ohio State University in 1956 then worked seven years for Standard Oil Company of Indiana. From 1963 to 1978 he was market research analyst for Pullman-Standard Company. In 1979 he became manager of the Stanray Products division of Abex Corporation, manufacturer of railroad freight car parts. In 1984, Solt became president of Stanrail Corporation in Gary, Indiana. The company specializes in making a variety of railroad equipment. His wife Kathryn Solt worked for Richard D. Irwin Publishing from 1960 to the late 1980s before becoming a book editor. She has been active with Children’s Theatre in Chicago, Recording for the Blind in Louisville, and worked in the acquisition section of Ramapo College in New Jersey
William has been a major supporter of the Management Program at Earlham and was instrumental in establishing the program’s endowment and for bringing another alumnus, Ron McDaniel, back into active support of the College. William and Kathryn Solt also gave the College its existing signs on the front drive facing National Road West. They have also supported the new Landrum Bolling Center and will name the Management Program Office, the Seminar Room and two faculty offices for the management faculty staff.
David ’64 and Elaine Johnson ’64 Wynegar
David Wynegar is president and CEO of Neochem Corporation of Houston. The company developed a process for making lead-free gasoline and other chemicals more cheaply than they had been. The catalytic distillation process is licensed throughout the world to companies like Exxon, Amoco and Mobile. Wynegar’s idea for a catalytic distillation process was financed by a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Energy in 1979. David gives much credit for Neochem’s success to his wife, Elaine Wynegar, who has worked in the business since its beginning in 1976. Elaine is very active in the Houston community as a literacy volunteer.
Both Elaine and David are past Alumni Council members and former trustees. David is also past member of Earlham’s Alumni/Parent Task Force. David credits Jerry Bakker, emeritus professor of chemistry, for much of his professional success.
|2001||Martha Neal Franz ’49|
Norma Ross Henderson ’56
Laura Sessions Stepp ’73
|2000||Marilyn Moore Bigelow ’59|
Deborah Miller Hull ’67
Ann Wooley Kendall ’51
Polly Penhale ’70
|1999||Deborah Gerner ’77|
Robert Metcalf ’65
Elizabeth Joyner ’56
Larry Overman ’65
|1998||Daniel Burke ’62|
Sybil Jordan Hampton ’66
Robert Wissler ’39
|1997||James R. ’47 and A.J. ’47 Daggy|
Dwight Young ’31
Eugene S. ’48 and Dorothy Wildman ’47 Mills
|1996||Jackson Bailey ’50|
Barbara Jean Risen Gottschalk ’64
Wayne E. Vincent ’54
|1995||Robert M. Hirsch ’71|
Gregory Porter ’78
Sam M. Wentworth ’65
|1994||Conrad Joyner ’53|
Alice C. Shaffer ’28
Taylor Jones, Jr. ’62
James Cope `47
|1993||Darrell M. Beane ’55|
Hali Giessler ’49
Ruby Hiday Jones ’30
John East ’53
|1992||Susan Porter Rose ’63|
John E. Thorne ’42
William Tabb ’62
|1991||Henry T. Tanaka ’44|
James Fowler ’52
Linda Randall ’72
|1990||Ralph Caplan ’49|
Al S. Cobine ’50
Janet Zollinger Giele ’56
Roy Schuckman ’51
|1989||Manning Marable ’71|
Ernie Mills ’39
Mildred Kearns O’Keefe ’33
|1988||George Powell ’68|
R. Edward Lee ’50
Peter Beidler ’62
|1987||B. Adele Miller ’71|
Tom Newlin ’57
Francis Hole ’33
|1986||Peter Burkholder ’75|
Mary Love Beane ’30
John Bland ’40
|1985||Alice Henderson North ’69|
Halsey Miller North ’70
Tom DeCou ’34
Mary Coate Houtz ’26