Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Catlin Gabel Alumni Council recognizes distinguished alumni through an annual awards program, honoring three distinguished alumni each year. 

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award: Granted to Catlin Gabel graduates or former students for significant accomplishments in business or professional life.

Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award: Granted to Catlin Gabel graduates or former students for extraordinary service to their community, state, nation, or the world.

Distinguished Younger Alumni Award: Granted to Catlin Gabel graduates or former students who have achieved much in the arena of professional accomplishments or social service before the age of 40.

Nominations for the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards are now open.

To be considered for this year's awards, please submit your nomination by Sunday, March 31.

Submit a Nomination Here

2023 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award - Marley Brown '65

A member of Catlin Gabel’s graduating class of 1965, Marley Brown III went to Brown University to study classical archaeology but while there became a student of James Fanto Deetz, the founder of anthropological historical archaeology in the United States. Brown pursued his doctorate with Deetz and became a specialist in the comparative colonial archaeology of the English overseas.  He has done fieldwork in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, and Barbados  He founded the Department of Archaeological Research at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which over twenty-five years he built into the largest museum-based research program in historical archaeology in the world.  From 1983 until 2019 Brown also served on the faculty of William & Mary, where he taught hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, and helped create the doctoral program in historical anthropology, which began in 2001.

Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award - Traci Rossi '83

Traci, a native Oregonian and so called, “Lifer” at Catlin Gabel, has dedicated her career to non-profit service. Some of you might have crossed paths with Traci where she was originally inspired by non-profit work in her role as program director for a gem of a non-profit organization, Summerbridge Portland, a now sunset program, that was a lovely and impactful collaboration between Catlin Gabel and Oregon Episcopal School that provided summer enrichment to underserved middle school from Portland Public Schools. The students selected to join this program rotated between the two campuses, and the summer teachers, a brilliant near peer model, were themselves college and high school students – many who attended or graduated Catlin or OES. After leaving Summerbridge, Traci spent time at home with her then young children for seven years, then returned to Catlin Gabel for seven more years as the Director of Admissions before transitioning to serve a higher needs community at organizations like I Have a Dream -Oregon and The Center for Women’s Leadership at Portland State University. Traci currently leads Friends of the Children – Portland, a local non-profit that pays fulltime professional mentors to walk alongside high priority youth from kindergartner through graduation – No Matter What. The FriendsPDX mission has great outcomes and speaks to Traci’s head and heart. She credits her commitment to service and belief in the power of mentorship to her family as well as her years at Catlin Gabel as a student, employee, board member, now Tia to Harrison in 1st grade, and an overall fan of her beloved alma mater with the power to transform habits, hearts and minds. Traci graduated from Catholic University with a BA in English Literature and currently serves on the Portland State University Foundation Board, Advantis Credit Union Board of Directors, the Gray Family Foundation Board as well as the Portland Children’s Levy’s Allocation committee. She enjoys traveling, reading, her bookclub (that hasn’t read a book together for 25 years, but yes we read indepently!) eating, hiking and cooking (by dear family and friends who were blessed with the culinary skills that she lacks) and when she can, spending time with her adult children and beloveds, Ally and Josh, who both attended Catlin through 8th grade and 5th grade respectively.

Distinguished Younger Alumni Award - Alex Bellos '02

Alex Bellos is the CEO of Food52, Schoolhouse, and Dansk, leaders in building the next generation of home and lifestyle brands. He has spent his career in the space, including fifteen years at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. where he led both their West Elm and Rejuvenation brands. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he lives with his wife Emily and two children in Brooklyn, NY.

2022 Distinguished Alumni Award RECIPIENTS

  • Gus Van Sant ’71 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Tamara Chang ’99 MD - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award
  • Casey Michel ’06 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award RECIPIENTS

  • Gil Kelley ’71 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Katie Sharff ’98 MD - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award
  • Sprinavasa Brown ’02 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Judge John H. Chun ’87 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Washington State Court of Appeals Judge
  • Ted Kaye ’73 - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award, national leader in vexillology
  • Kevin Esvelt ’00 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, leader in evolutionary and ecological engineering

2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Rukaiyah Adams ’91 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust
  • Curt Ellis ’98 - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award, leading voice in America’s food movement
  • Nadya Okamoto ’16 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD

2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Mary Beebe ’58 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, arts administration
  • Liza Gadsby ’76 & Peter Jenkins ’70 - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award, wildlife conservation: biology, ecology, social activism
  • Peter Chaille ’98 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, environmental education

2017 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Cynthia Johnson Haryuama ’77- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Se-ah-dom Edmo ’94- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • David Recordon ’04- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Margot Voorhies Thompson ’66- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Lyla J. Andrews Bashan ’98- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Andrew McCartor ’98- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • J Mary Taylor ’48- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Robin Schauffler ’68- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Nkenge Harmon Johnson ’93- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Dr. Phillip Starr ’79- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Dr. Derrick Butler ’86- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Amelia Templeton ’02- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Gretchen Corbett ’63- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Willard Rowland ’62- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Amani Reed ’93- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Philip Hult ’88- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Pippa Arend ’90- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Michael Manidberg ’91- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • David Shipley ’81- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Roz Nelson Babener ’68- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Dr. Angel Foster ’91- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Henry Dick ’65 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, marine geologist
  • Sally Bachman ’75 - Distinguished Alumni Service Award, child labor advocate
  • Rachel Cohen ’90 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, global health advocate

2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Charlotte Coe Murray ’47 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, architect and historic preservationist, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Jordan D. Schnitzer ’69 - Distinguished Alumni Service Award, president and CEO, Harsch Investment Properties, Portland; longtime civic leader and philanthropist
  • Phil Buchanan ’88 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, president, Center for Effective Philanthropy, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Past Distinguished Alumni Award recipients (before the award restructure)

  • 2007 - George Wolfe Ettelson ’42, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2006 - Alfred Aya ’43, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2005 - Kate Rogers McCarthy ’35, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2004 - Spencer Ehrman ’35*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2003 - David Lawrence ’58, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2002 - David Bragdon ’77, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2001 - Barbara Farrow Walker ’53, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2000 - Roger Meier ’43*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1999 - Nancy Neighbor Russell ’49*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1998 - Phyllis Cantrell Reynolds ’47, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1997 - Marian Wood Kolisch ’37*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1996 - Philip Hawley ’43, Distinguished Alumni Award