Distinguished Alumni Awards

Catlin Gabel Alumni Award Recipients 2020
2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients John Chun ’87, Ted Kaye ’73, and Kevin Esvelt ’00


The Catlin Gabel alumni council recognizes distinguished alumni through an annual awards program. In 2008, the alumni board revised the annual awards program to honor three alumni with diverse professional, civic, and service achievements.

Alumni Awards

  • 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.

2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

2020 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

John Chun ’87

John Chun serves as a judge on the Washington State Court of Appeals. After graduating from Catlin Gabel, John received his B.A. from Columbia and his J.D. from Cornell. He served as a law clerk to a federal appellate judge. He then practiced commercial litigation. Governor Jay Inslee appointed John to King County Superior Court, where he served as a trial judge. Governor Inslee then appointed him to his current position. Throughout his career, John has devoted considerable effort to promoting diversity in the legal profession. John lives in Seattle with his wife, Elizabeth Baldwin ’89, and their children.

2020 Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award

Ted Kaye ’73

Ted Kaye ’73 attended Catlin Gabel from 6th through 12th grades, editing the school newspaper his senior year. He helped start World College West and earned an MBA at Stanford; his career spanned banking, telecommunications, history, and high tech—plus 100+ person-years on nonprofit boards. As a vexillologist (flag scholar) who wrote the book on flag design, he has edited over 1,800 articles and books, consulted on scores of flag-change efforts at the city, state, and national levels, owns more than 400 flags, and serves as secretary of the North American Vexillological Association. Ted married classmate Debbie Ehrman ’73 in 1983 and their children Mason ’04 and Rob ’07 are both Catlin Gabel lifers.

2020 Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

Kevin Esvelt ’00

MIT Professor Kevin Esvelt leads the Sculpting Evolution Group in exploring evolutionary and ecological engineering. The creator of a synthetic ecosystem to rapidly evolve molecular tools, he helped pioneer the development of CRISPR genome editing, but is best known for his invention of CRISPR-based “gene drive” systems capable of single-handedly editing wild species. He has led efforts to ensure that all research in the field is open and community-guided, while calling for caution regarding potential misuses of biotechnology. Esvelt’s laboratory broadly focuses on developing new molecular tools, mitigating catastrophic bio-risks, improving animal welfare, and changing scientific norms to favor early-stage peer review.

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-ahdom 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