The 2014 Alumni Weekend was definitely a weekend to remember. The schedule was packed with festivities that were attended by well over 150 alumni and supporters. This year’s alumni weekend was held in conjunction with the TFAS “Freedom and the Future” 47th Anniversary Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. TFAS supporters and alumni heard from speakers and award winners at the National Press Club for the 2014 Journalism Awards Ceremony, attended a briefing on the Hill – led by TFAS alumni Jamie Corley (IPJ 06), Brian Wood (IBGA 06), Jeremy Harrell (ICPES 08) and Jeffrey Zubricki (IBGA 05) and attended a luncheon with presentations from TFAS professors. In addition to these events, alumni attended the 47th Anniversary Annual Conference dinner where the 2014 Alumni Awards winners were presented, the student and alumni BBQ and our signature alumni event of the year – the Alumni Ball.
TFAS honored the 2014 Alumni Award winners at the 47th Anniversary Annual Conference dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. on the night of June 20. Each year TFAS presents awards to distinguished alumni for their accomplishments and dedication to the mission of TFAS. The award winners were selected by the awards committee of the TFAS Alumni Council, chaired by Neil Vigdor (IPJ 98).
“The caliber of the nominees was just outstanding and I really marvel at the resumes and the credentials and the work that people do, in not just furthering their own careers but in promoting the values and mission of The Fund for American Studies,” said Vigdor.
TFAS awarded Betsy Bryant (IBGA 05) with the Kevin Burket Alumni Service Award, an award that is given to an alumnus/a that has a heart of service and dedication to enhance and further the mission of TFAS. “It is the people, the staff, supporters, current students and alumni that really give life to the TFAS mission and motivate us to give the best of ourselves to this important and unique institution,” said Bryant in her acceptance speech. Betsy has served as a TFAS mentor to many students, the D.C. chapter president and as a member of the Alumni Council.
Michelle Easton (ICPES 73) was the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, which is given to an alumnus/a that has achieved considerable success in a professional field or endeavor. She is the president of the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, an organization that she founded that prepares and promotes conservative women leaders. “I am grateful for the Fund because it was the first thing that I did when I came to Washington after I graduated from college… It had a tremendous impact on me, on my professional life and my social life and I am just grateful to receive this award,” said Easton.
Dr. Richard Boyd was awarded the Outstanding Professor Award. Dr. Boyd has been a part of the TFAS faculty for the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service for over five years teaching the course entitled “Issues in Political Theories and Values.” Professor Boyd is well received by his students. In fact, last summer he received perfect marks from every student, meaning that each student rated him with a score of five out of five for excellence on their professor evaluation forms. “It’s really my privilege to be involved with this program [TFAS] and be able to teach for IPVS every summer,” said Boyd in his acceptance remarks.
ALUMNI COUNCIL MEETING AND BBQ
TFAS held the first Alumni Council meeting of the 2014-2015 year on June 21. The newly elected members were present with the incumbents to discuss alumni programming, upcoming events and alumni council committees. The Alumni Council meets twice a year, has several conference calls throughout the year and is the decision making body of TFAS alumni.
The TFAS student and alumni BBQ, held at George Washington University’s University Yard, was a great chance for alumni to meet current TFAS students and relive the “glory days” of TFAS. Students from the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS) hosted a corn-hole tournament and a raffle as part of their class project, a series of fundraisers that students host throughout the summer to raise money for a local charity that the class selects. Thanks to alumni, staff and other student donations and contributions, the IPVS students raised over $650 at the BBQ.
If you didn’t make it to the Alumni Ball, you missed out on a phenomenal event. TFAS alumni, supporters and friends attended the TFAS Alumni Ball, the signature alumni event of the year. More than 160 alumni and friends attended the Ball at the Maison Biltmore in Adams Morgan. “The Alumni Ball was a good event for me to attend because I was able to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen in a while. We got to exchange stories and relive several fun TFAS moments,” said Collin Figley (CSF 12). The night was filled with cocktails, food, dancing and a silent auction, with proceeds going to alumni programming and the TFAS alumni scholarship fund. Special thank you to all those who donated items and bid on items. Thanks to you, we raised over $2,000 for the TFAS scholarship fund.