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Alumni & Parent Programs

Alumni Honors Award Recipients

Each year the Board of Alumni honors alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen field, have shown exceptional leadership qualities and/or have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service in their communities and the college.

Please join us at the Alumni Honors Banquet on Friday, February 21, 2020 to honor and celebrate the 2019 Alumni Honors Award Recipients.

Think you know of someone who should be on one of the following lists but isn’t? Please take a moment to complete a nomination form. Nominations for the next round of awards are due April 1, 2020.   Award winners will be announced in early fall and honored at the Alumni Honors Banquet in February 2021.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

This award honors an alumnus/a for superior performance in his or her chosen field and superior service to his or her chosen community.

  • 2018
    Distinguished Alumna Award
    Meet Ruthe in this video!

    Ruthe is an activist and advocate for diversity in technology. She is currently the chief evangelist at CSforAll. Previously, she was senior policy advisor for tech inclusion at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and led strategy and K–12 programs at the National Center for Women and Information Technology. She has an MBA in social entrepreneurship from the University of Oxford.

  • 2017
    Distinguished Alumnus Award
    Meet Brian in this video!

    Brian’s award-winning films reduce stigma and reveal the humanity of people living on the
    margins. His recent film, Mothering Inside, helped inspire the Oregon Legislature to fund the Family Preservation Project and to make Oregon the first state in the U.S. to pass a bill of rights for children of incarcerated parents. Last year, he was awarded the Media Arts Fellowship by Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council.
  • 2016
    Distinguished Alumnus Award
    Meet Niels in this video!

    Niels Marquardt has been the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia since 2013. This position builds on a U.S. State Department career spanning administrations from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama and service as ambassador to four African nations and as consul general in Sydney.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipients

This award honors an alumnus/a for superior performance in his or her chosen field and superior service to his or her chosen community within 15 years of graduation.

  • 2018
    Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
    Meet Jeff in this video!


    Jeff is the cofounder of SAY, a technology platform that transforms stock ownership by opening communication between companies and their owners. The idea was born at Jeff’s first company, Acorns, which he cofounded with his father, Walter, to radically simplify and democratize investing.
  • 2017
    Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
    Meet David in this video!

    After graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary, David was ordained in 2014 to work at Broad Street Ministry, a progressive faith community, in Philadelphia. He started a spirituality group for LGBTQ+ youth, along with creating an LGBTQ+ Fellowship. He is currently pastor of Maryland Presbyterian Church in Towson, Maryland.
  • 2016
    Outstanding Young Alumna Award
    Meet Haben in this video!

    Haben Girma has earned recognition as a White House Champion of Change, in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” celebration, and as a subject in the BBC World Service series “Women of Africa.” The first deaf-blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, she advocates for equal access to information for people with disabilities.

Donald G. Balmer Citation Recipients

This award honors an alumnus/a, faculty or staff member, or friend of Lewis & Clark for outstanding voluntary service to the college. Originally called the “Alumni Citation”, this award was renamed in 1991 to recognize Don Balmer’s selfless support of the college and to encourage others to follow his example.

  • 2018
    Don Balmer Citation
    Meet Joann in this video!

    Joann profoundly impacted many lives as a faculty member of the Institute for the Study of American Language and Culture (ISALC)—now known as Academic English Studies (AES). Since retiring in 2016, she remains engaged with the college, serving on the L&C Dallaire Scholarship Committee, the Fulbright Scholarship Screening Committee, and as an advisor to the students organizing the Middle East and North African Studies Symposium.

  • 2017
    Donald G. Balmer Citation
    Meet Steve in this video!

    Beloved by hundreds of students during his tenure as professor of history, Stephen was named Oregon Professor of the Year in 1994. More than just the resident expert on all things Pacific Northwest, he has been the heart and soul behind preserving the college’s history and telling our story. He has authored several books, chaired committees, and made countless presentations on the college’s behalf.
  • 2016
    Donald G. Balmer Citation
    Meet Michael in this video!

    During his influential 38-year career at the college, Michael Ford directed student activities, campus programs, alumni relations, annual giving, and residence life. He served as dean of students and as associate vice president for campus life, working with all three Lewis & Clark schools.

Pioneer Alumni Leadership Award Recipients

This award honors an alumnus/a for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in his or her service to Lewis & Clark alumni.

  • 2018
    Pioneer Alumni Leadership Award
    Meet Edgard in this video!

    Edgard’s involvement with L&C alumni runs deep. He’s volunteered for Black and Orange Parties, Alumni Weekends, class reunions, Homecoming, and more. He is also a member of the Alumni of Color Advisory Group and participated in three L&C Alumni Hood to Coast teams as both a driver and a runner. In the fall of 2018, Edgard joined the Board of Alumni.
  • 2017
    Pioneer Alumni Leadership Award
    Meet Carol in this video!

    Since her graduation, Carol has represented Lewis & Clark in a variety of capacities. Among other roles, she has served as a member and president of the Board of Alumni, and member and chair of the Hall of Fame committee; has helped organize special reunions; and has spoken at opening convocation, commencement, alumni honors banquets, and Black and Orange parties.

  • 2015
    Pioneer Alumni Leadership Award
    Meet Toshinobu Toyama in this video!

    For sixteen years, Toshinobu served as a dedicated volunteer with the L&C Japan Alumni Chapter. He organized events to build community with Japanese alumni, provided hospitality for L&C presidents, deans, college faculty and staff, and helped numerous students and alumni connect with other alumni with a focus on career development.