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 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards are now open! Nominations for consideration this year will be open until April 10, 2023. If you have any questions, please contact alumni@catlin.edu.

Submit your nomination here!

2022 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Profile photos of Van Sant, Chang, and Michel

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award - Gus Van Sant ’71 is an American film director, producer, photographer, and musician who has earned acclaim as both an independent and mainstream filmmaker. His films typically deal with themes of marginalized subcultures, in particular homosexuality; Van Sant is considered one of the most prominent auteurs of the New Queer Cinema movement.

Van Sant’s early career was devoted to directing television commercials in the Pacific Northwest. He made his feature-length cinematic directorial debut with Mala Noche (1985). His second feature, Drugstore Cowboy (1989), was highly acclaimed, and earned him screenwriting awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and New York Film Critics Circle and the award for Best Director from the National Society of Film Critics. His next film, My Own Private Idaho (1991), was similarly praised, as was the black comedy To Die For (1995), the drama Good Will Hunting (1997), and the biographical film Milk (2008); for the latter two, Van Sant was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and both films received Best Picture nominations.

Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award - Tamara "Tammie" Chang ’99 MD is an author, speaker, and fierce national advocate for cultural change in healthcare. She is a practicing board-certified pediatric hematology/oncology physician at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington, the Medical Director of Provider Wellness for MultiCare Health System, the Co-Founder of Pink Coat, MD, a platform dedicated to helping women physicians to thrive in their lives and careers, and the Founder and Program Director of ELEVATE, the American Medical Womens Association’s (AMWA) National Leadership Development Program for Women Physician Attendings.

She is the author of the bestselling Boundaries for Women Physicians, the co-author of the bestselling How to Thrive as a Woman Physician, together with her Pink Coat, MD co-founder, Luisa Duran, and the founder and host of the LeadHER Podcast for Women Physicians.

Tammie has received numerous awards, including the 2022 Gold Maverick of the Year and Gold Woman of the Year Stevie American Business Awards, and Women We Admire’s Top 50 Women Leaders of Washington for 2022.

Tammie earned her B.A. and M.D. from Brown University, completed a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Massachusetts, and completed her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Tammie is a certified leadership coach and received her coaching certifications from the Co-Active Training Institute and the International Coaching Federation. She has additional training and certifications from John Maxwell Leadership, Gallup CliftonStrengths, and Crucial Conversations, and as a Playing Big Facilitator.

Tammie lives with her husband, Matthew, and their three fur babies: Golden retrievers Gus and Toby, and cat Mimi. Playing Rachmaninoff and Chopin on the piano and being active in the beautiful outdoors with her family are the favorite moments of her day!

Distinguished Younger Alumni Award - Casey Michel ’06 is a writer and journalist based in New York, where he covers illicit finance, trans-national money laundering, and kleptocracy. He is the author of American Kleptocracy, named by The Economist as one of the "best books to read to understand financial crime," and his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and The Washington Post, among others. He received his Master’s degree in Russian Studies from Columbia University, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan. He's originally from Portland, OR, and being the captain of the Catlin Gabel baseball team remains his greatest accomplishment.

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