The Entertainers
•  By Tom Nugent

Alumni Newsmakers Class of 1955

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Alumni Programs Offer Guidance to Students

Last fall, sophomore Alison Devenny had dinner with a GW alumna who moti-vated her to be more focused on her career. “Afterwards, I was bursting with energy, trying to find new internships and researching other programs that came up at the dinner.”

International trade lawyer Richard Popkin, BA ’71, MA ’72, speaks to students at his home in February, when he hosted a group of GW students who wanted to know more about his line of work.

Devenny is one of 150 undergraduate students to participate in GW’s newly launched Dinner with Alumni program. The program pairs up small groups of students with alumni for dinner in and around the Washington metropolitan area. Alumni have hosted dinners in locations ranging from the National Press Club to Pizza Paradiso restaurant. Devenny and some of her Elliott School of International Affairs classmates attended a dinner hosted by Nicole Speulda, BA ’99; Cameron MacKenzie, MA ’03; and Sarah Marquis Ladislaw, BA ’01, MA ’03.

For alumni, the dinners provide an opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater and give back to the University in a significant way. “When GW came to me to ask if I would be willing to host a dinner with students who have expressed interest in international law and trade, I was thrilled to have the opportunity,” says alumnus Richard Popkin, BA ’71, MA ’72, an international trade lawyer and partner at Swidler Berlin in Washington, who opened his home to students in February. “The more practical light that can be shined on academic programs, the better.”

The Dinner with Alumni program is one of two new offerings for undergraduates that the Office of Alumni Programs has launched. Another program, co-sponsored with Class Council, a student organization, is the “How Do I Become A…?” lecture series. The series showcases successful alumni in a range of professions, providing guidance to students considering particular career fields.

Retired secret agent Joseph Kiehl, BA ’72, MA ’76, addresses students during his “How Do I Become a CIA Operative?” talk.

Retired secret agent Joseph A. Kiehl, BA ’72, MA ’76, kicked off the series in February with his talk, How Do I Become a CIA Operative? New York Times investigative reporter and alumna Diana Henriques, BA ’69, addressed students in March on pursuing careers in journalism. And in April, Josh N. Kuriloff, BBA ’81, executive vice president of Cushman & Wakefield of New York, discussed how students bitten by the entrepreneurial bug can succeed in the real estate field. The Alumni Programs staff plans to expand the series in the 2005-06 academic year.

“We think it’s important for students to see alumni on campus often, since our alumni are an important part of our University community,” says Scott Mory, executive director of alumni programs. “The lecture series and dinner program are ways that we are able to show students how alumni make a difference both on campus and in the world beyond GW.”

University Holds Annual Scholarship Luncheon

Shaina Jones ,BA ’05, thanks benefactors at the scholarship luncheon.

Dave Scavone

More than 100 people gathered in the Marvin Center in November to recognize donors of endowed scholarships for the wonderful support they give to the University and its students. The event afforded the opportunity for donors and recipients of endowed scholarships and fellowships to meet each other. At this year’s luncheon, GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg offered thanks to the University’s scholarship supporters, stating, “You are not only helping the University and its students, you are also helping to educate the leaders of the 21st century.”

Several accomplished students were highlighted throughout the program, including neuroscience major Melissa Davis, a recipient of the Mary Ellen Caplin Scholarship, the George Gamow Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and the Luther Rice Collaborative Fellowship; and Wazir Jefferson, a student in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and a recipient of the Vest Family Fellowship. Shaina Jones, a senior in the School of Media and Public Affairs and both a Larry King Scholar and a Gridiron Scholar, gave a moving talk about the benefits of donor support in higher education.

Alumni Association Honors a Dozen of Its Own

GW alumni make a difference! In honor of the professional achievements of GW graduates, the George Washington Alumni Association sponsors the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, bestowed each spring on alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions. The awards date back to 1937; past recipients include former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover BL ’16, LLM ’17; Zelda Fichandler, AA ’43, MA ’50, founder of Arena Stage; and Colin Powell, MBA ’71, former secretary of state.

GW also highlights the contributions alumni make through service to the University with the Alumni Service Awards, which began in 1959. The awards, also given each spring, have been conferred on a broad range of alumni noted for their generosity to the University.

And the Awardees are:

For Distinguished Alumni Achievement:

Robert Ames Alden, BA ’65, MA ’68, editor at The Washington Post from 1952 to 2000

Walter M. Bortz III, EdD ’98, president of Hampden-Sydney College

Diana B. Henriques, BA ’69, an investigtive reporter for The New York Times

James F. Humphreys, JD ’79, West Virginia state senator Pradman Kaul, BS ’67, CEO and chairman of Hughes Network Systems

Floyd D. Loop, MD ’62, chairman and CEO for the Board of Governors of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Christine E. Seidman, MD ’78, professor of medicine and genetics at Harvard Medical School

George W. Wellde Jr., MBA ’76, managing director of Goldman Sachs


And, for Alumni Service:

Jeffrey S. Akman, MD ’81, Res ’85, professor and chair of the GW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department

Bruce J. Ammerman, MD ’72, Res ’77, a neurosurgeon with the Washington Neurosurgical Associates

Gary Granoff, BBA ’70, JD ’73, chairman and CEO of Ameritrans Capital Corporation

Arthur Mintz, BBA ’66, CEO and CFO of Kingly Manufacturing Co.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards recipients will be honored at a brunch held during commencement weekend, and the Alumni Service Awards recipients will accept their honors at a special reception held in June.

Donors Gather for Annual Luther Rice Society Reception

More than 100 alumni and friends gathered on March 23 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington for the Luther Rice Society annual reception. The society honors donors who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more to GW. President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg warmly thanked the guests, noting the significant role that alumni support plays in the future of all institutions of higher education.

Among those present at the reception were Mary Miller, MBA ’78, who has made a gift to GW’s annual fund for each of the past 25 years; Oscar Dodek, MD ’56, JD ’88, who supports the annual funds of both the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Law School; and William Oakley, MS ’71, who recently established a scholarship fund at the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Mary Miller, MBA ’78, has supported GW for every one of the past 25 years.

Julie Woodford


Donors to Columbian College gather at the Luther Rice Society reception on March 23.


William Oakley, MS ’71, right, chats with Paul Rohling, a member of the Luther Rice Society and of GW’s advancement team.

Julie Woodford


Chapter News and Regional Update

Art. Networking. Pastries. What do these three things have in common? Each of these items was featured in some way at a GW regional event. From a tour of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, to a lecture on entrepreneurship given by Warren Brown, JD ’98, owner of the popular CakeLove bakery, to presidential receptions across the country, GW has instituted dynamic regional programming, with something for everyone.

President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg has been traveling the country this academic year, meeting with alumni in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, and San Francisco. Several tailgating events have taken place in Washington, with pre- or post-game networking receptions and tickets to basketball games. Philadelphia and South Florida hosted watch parties for the GW men’s and women’s teams, where fellow alumni viewed the game while enjoying food and drink. Additionally, regional programs from lectures and theatrical performances to happy-hour gatherings and museum visits have provided alumni with numerous opportunities to engage with the University.

This spring, the Office of Alumni Programs sponsored a Texas tour with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; stops included Austin, Houston, and Dallas. Boston alumni watched the Celtics take on Shaq and the Miami Heat, and alumni in San Francisco hosted a wine reception. This list is a small sampling of upcoming regional events. For more details, visit the alumni Web site at and click on Calendar of Events.

You are welcome and encouraged to attend any of the events in your area. For more information, please contact Stacey Martin, MTA ’02, Senior Director of Regional Alumni Programs; 1925 F Street NW; Washington, D.C., 20052; (202) 994-7429, or at

Seniors Remember 9/11 With Scholarship Fund

The Class of 2005 arrived at GW just a few weeks before Sept. 11, 2001, and were profoundly affected by the shattering events of that day. So it is fitting that graduating seniors have chosen to leave as their legacy a scholarship fund recognizing that experience.

In November, more than 1,000 seniors voted to create the Class of 2005 September 11th Scholarship Fund to recognize the courage and valor of the men and women who served their country on that day. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a rising senior who has served as a first responder or in military service. The campaign, which is entirely student run, has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 by commencement in May.

“As we prepare to graduate from GW, it’s important for us to begin to realize our responsibility to provide opportunities for future generations of GW students,” says senior Chrissy Trotta, one of the campaign co-chairs.

The senior class gift tradition dates back to the 1980s. It is an important initiative that educates undergraduates about the significance of philanthropy and helps them make the transition from students to alumni. Landmarks such as the phone booth at the intersection of G and 22nd streets and the mosaic featured prominently in the Marvin Center main lobby exist because of the energy, initiative, and financial support of senior classes. Last year’s seniors created the Class of 2004 Gelman Library Book Fund, which allows Gelman to purchase books every year in honor of the class

For more information on Senior Class Gift Campaign, please contact the Office of Alumni Programs at (202) 994-6435, toll-free at 1(800) ALUMNI-7, or at

Princeton to GW: Join Us!

The Princeton Club of New York is offering exclusive membership opportunities to alumni, faculty, and administrators of The George Washington University. The Princeton Club is located in midtown Manhattan and offers a wide range of benefits including an athletic facility, guest rooms, and a business center. Social events include distinguished lecturers, social mixers, Broadway theater packages, private tours, and a variety of clubs and committees. Membership in the Princeton Club also includes access to exclusive clubs around the world. For a membership application, visit the Alumni Online Community at, and click on Alumni Benefits on the left side. Take advantage of this opportunity to join a prestigious alumni club today.

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