Presented at the Annual Assembly on Saturday, May 27, recognizing the following alumni for achievements in their professions.


DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD

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    David Pollard Derryck '93

    Chief Executive Officer, BuyBlack.org. He is a builder and fixer of mission-driven organizations and companies. In most cases, he has been engaged to either launch and scale a business or turn it around.

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    David Derryck has worked at the intersection of business and social impact for most of his career. A business polymath working in a range of sectors from Web3 to fintech to concessions to re-entry. He has launched, advised, led, and restructured numerous enterprises. Derryck has led revenue model development, operations, product development, talent management, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, and sales to accelerate performance and maximize impact for mission-driven organizations.

    Currently, Derryck is the founder and CEO of BuyBlack.org a digital platform that includes one of the largest directories of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. and its mission is to drive traffic and revenue to those businesses. He is also an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program (FSP) where he leads the Crypto, Distributed Ledger, and Household Financial Security project, designed to accelerate a more detailed understanding of the intersection between crypto and household financial security.

    Prior to this, Derryck was the Chief Impact Officer at SaverLife.org, a non-profit fintech that employs gamification and behavioral science to build savings habits for low- to moderate-income individuals. He led the product, marketing, and research teams and was responsible for defining and executing the overall strategy for the digital savings platform that now reaches over 600,000 people.

    After Wesleyan, he taught history as a New York Interschool Fellow at the Brearley School in New York City before switching gears and learning finance as a private equity analyst with Rosecliff, a private merchant bank, and then on to Columbia Business School.

    Derryck is happily married to his high school sweetheart Erica Terry Derryck ('95) and lives in Oakland, California with their two children Oscar and Nadia.

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    Peter B. Ganbarg '88

    President of A&R at Atlantic Records. Ganbarg has produced award-winning ensembles including Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen cast albums, Santana, and more.

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    President of A&R at Atlantic Records. Ganbarg has produced award-winning ensembles including Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen cast albums, Santana, and more.

    Ganbarg started his A&R career in 1989 working for SBK Records, followed by stints at Arista and Epic. Working under the legendary Clive Davis at Arista, Pete conceived and oversaw the recording of Santana’s nine-time Grammy Award-winning album, Supernatural, one of the best-selling albums of all time.

    At Atlantic, he’s shepherded the label’s foray into cast albums, working closely with fellow Wes alums Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tommy Kail, and Bill Sherman on the ten-time platinum Hamilton album. He also co-produced the five-time platinum soundtrack album to The Greatest Showman

    Prior to joining Atlantic, Ganbarg headed Pure Tone Music, an A&R consulting firm, whose success stories included Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, Chaka Khan, Train, Aaron Neville, and Donna Summer.

    As a music publisher, Ganbarg operates Songs With A Pure Tone and Margetts Road Music. Its writers have achieved multiple platinum certifications over the past several years. He also sits on the board of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

    Earlier this year, he was honored as International Music Person of the Year from MUSEXPO, a music industry organization.

    In 2013, he established the Ganbarg Internship Program, an endowed fund that provides grant funding to encourage and enable Wesleyan students to explore careers in the field of music.

    While at Wesleyan, he majored in English and Educational Studies while serving on the board of WESU-FM.

    Ganbarg and his wife Tracy are the parents of two daughters, Peri and Julia. They live in Manhattan.

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    Kathryn Dickson Haviland '98

    CEO, Blueprint Medicines. Blueprint Medicines aims to make real the promise of precision therapy to improve and extend life for as many people with cancer and hematologic disorders as possible.

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    Kate Haviland is a life sciences executive with more than 20 years of experience building emerging, high-growth companies and advancing the development of innovative therapies in oncology and rare diseases. She is passionate about building entrepreneurial organizations that work with urgency to integrate advancements in molecular science, clinical science, diagnostic technologies, global healthcare delivery systems, and the financial world with the goal of extending and improving patients’ lives. She often talks about the gift of time, and how nothing is more motivating than giving people more high-quality time to live their lives and to be there for the people that depend on them.

    Haviland currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Blueprint Medicines, a leading precision medicine company focused on bringing precision targeted therapies from Blueprint’s drug discovery labs to patients globally. Since joining Blueprint in 2016, the company has received five breakthrough therapy designations from the FDA, achieved global approvals for two innovative precision medicines commercializing them directly in both the U.S. and Europe, and has continued to drive innovation with five additional investigational medicines in clinical development targeting lung cancer, breast cancer, and rare diseases. In additional to driving highly productive research, development, and commercialization activities, Haviland has played a significant role in the company’s growth and value creation strategy, raising over $2.5 billion in capital through equity market financings, structured financings, and business development.

    At Wesleyan, Haviland was a double major in molecular biology/biochemistry and economics and served as the president of the Class of 1998. Kate also received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently serves as the chairman of the board at Fulcrum Therapeutics and on the board of the Museum of Science in Boston. She lives in Boston with her husband and two sons and continues to be an active supporter of Wesleyan.

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    Dana M. Peterson '98

    Chief Economist and Center Leader of Economy, Strategy, & Finance at The Conference Board. Previously, she was a North America Economist at Citi and later as Global Economist, and published a research paper on how racial bias cost the economy $16 trillion. She also worked at the Federal Reserve Board.

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    Dana M. Peterson is the global chief economist and EVP leader of the Economy, Strategy, & Finance Center at The Conference Board, a 107-year-old, international, business think-tank delivering insights for what’s ahead to C-suite executives of Fortune 500 companies. Prior to this, she worked for nearly 20 years as a North America Economist and later as a Global Economist at Citi, the world’s largest investment bank. Her wealth of experience extends to the public sector, having also worked at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.

    Peterson’s wide-ranging economics portfolio includes analyzing global themes having direct financial market implications, including monetary and fiscal policy; inflation; labor markets; trade policy; debt; taxation; environmental, social, and corporate governance; consumption; and demographics. Her work also examines myriad U.S. themes leveraging granular data. Notably, Peterson was a primary author of Citi GPS: Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps: The Economic Cost of Black Inequality in the U.S., which has been cited by business leaders, academics, and policymakers.

    Peterson's research has been featured by U.S. and international news outlets, both in print and broadcast. Publications and networks include CNBC, FOX Business, Bloomberg, Thomson-Reuters, CNN Finance, Yahoo Finance, TD Ameritrade, Barron’s, the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. She is a member of the Board of Directors of NBER, NABE, and the Global Interdependence Center; chair of the New York Association for Business Economics (NYABE); and a member of NBEIC, the Forecasters Club, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

    She received an undergraduate degree in economics from Wesleyan University and a Master of Science in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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    Claire E. Reade '73

    Senior counsel, Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., and senior associate in Chinese Business and Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Served as assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

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    Claire Reade is a widely-known expert in international trade law, with particular experience and expertise related to China.

    After graduating from Wesleyan, Ms. Reade received her law degree from Harvard and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, being the first graduate of their joint program. She also learned to speak Chinese and later solidified her mastery of the language spending a year in Taiwan on a Sheldon Fellowship from Harvard to study mediation as an alternative form of dispute settlement.

    Ms. Reade returned to the United States to pursue her interest in international trade at Arnold & Porter, a prestigious law firm in Washington, D.C., where she and her spouse raised two children. She became a partner at the firm, typically representing entities trying to maintain open international trade channels.

    After more than two decades at Arnold & Porter, Ms. Reade became the first chief counsel for China Trade Enforcement at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, in the Executive Office of the President. On behalf of the U.S., she sued China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for violations of their WTO legal commitments. After four years in that role, favorably resolving every case filed, she became the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for China, in charge of negotiating the full range of U.S.-China trade issues.

    After retiring from USTR, Ms. Reade returned to Arnold & Porter where she works on international trade matters, particularly those related to China, and is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She also lectures and serves as a public commentator on issues related to U.S.-China trade policy.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD

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    Peter G. D’Oench '73

    25 years serving as Class Secretary and multi-time member of Reunion Committees

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    Peter D’Oench is an American journalist. He was an award-winning member of the WPLG News team in Fort Lauderdale for many years and a producer for news, special projects, and the station’s Problem Solvers franchise before joining CBS4 News in Miami, where he has been for over fifteen years. For the last two years he has covered many COVID-related stories on the economy, education, and medicine, and most recently covered the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on the west coast of Florida. 

    Soon after graduating from Wesleyan, he began as a reporter for United Press International in Boston, Massachusetts and Birmingham, Alabama. He returned to Middletown as a copywriter for My Weekly Reader before beginning a long and distinguished career in TV news in Amarillo, Miami, New York City, New Haven, and Nashville.

    Mr. D’Oench is the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards, including a Silver Circle and five Sunshine State Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a pair of awards from the Sigma Delta Chi honor society, a special citation from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an Excellence in Reporting commendation from New York City Overseas Press Club, and a special commendation from former Florida Governor Bob Graham.

    It is not surprising that at Wesleyan he wrote stories for The Wesleyan Argus newspaper and has served as the class secretary for the last four decades, staying in touch with and keeping his classmates connected to each other and to alma mater. He was also a member of the Wesleyan Film Board, and captain and president of the Wesleyan Rugby Club, which had an undefeated season in 1973. He is the son of Ellen “Puffin” D’Oench ’73, P’73 ’77 a fellow classmate, former trustee, and long-time curator of the Davidson Arts Center.

    Mr. D’Oench is the proud father of three daughters Jennifer, Dana, and Holly and grandfather to Taylor and Zoe. He and his wife, Connie, live in Florida.

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    W. Michael McKenna '73

    Alumni-elected Trustee; member of the Alumni Association Executive Committee, Career Advisory Council, Wesleyan Fund General Committee, Athletic Advisory Council, and multiple Reunion Committees; and host for Wesleyan gatherings at the Middlebury Film Festival and athletic teams in Middlebury.

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    W. Michael McKenna leads James Farm Creative LLC, a strategic communications consultancy he founded in Vermont, serving both private and public sector clients. Before heading north, he enjoyed a career on Madison Avenue, as a creative director at Young & Rubicam and, later, President, CEO and chief creative officer of Marsteller, the global advertising agency within public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.

    Among highlights of his time in New York, Mr. McKenna created the first corporate social responsibility campaign for The Coca-Cola Company, rebranded The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, and wrote the 50th anniversary commercials featuring poet Maya Angelou for the United Negro College Fund’s “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste” campaign.

    He has served on the United States Rugby Association board; the sport’s national and Olympic governing body; the board at Emma Willard School, the nation’s oldest independent school for women; as a trustee of The Conversation, a non-profit news organization where journalists collaborate with academics; and on the Leadership Communications Council at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

    At Wesleyan, Mr. McKenna majored in English and later earned an MS in journalism from Boston University where he was an Abbott Scholar. He played varsity soccer and now chairs the group, planning the team’s 2024 centennial. He co-captained an undefeated rugby club and later founded the alumni side Old Methodist RFC. He was a member of Psi Upsilon and Mystical Seven, a Resident Advisor, and Argus sports editor. Since graduation he served as a class agent, an elected member of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, and on the Athletics Advisory Council, and won the Cardinal Award in 2012.

    He and wife Lynn, daughter of the late Alan Stevenson '42, live in Weybridge, Vermont and have two grown children and three grandchildren.

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    David G. Davenport '88

    Alumni-elected Trustee and a member of the Nominating Committee, Davenport has hosted Kwanzaa events since he was a student at Wesleyan. This annual tradition has now grown to over 100 guests. He has been instrumental in bringing the alumni BIPOC community together for years.

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    David Davenport is a Managing Director of the NY Green Bank where he leads financing for sustainability in real estate for New York State. Prior to joining NY Green Bank, Mr. Davenport served as Senior Vice President at Urban American Management and Managing Principal of its Urban Greenfit subsidiary, where he successfully led financing and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in over 6,000 units of multifamily affordable housing that have been recognized as best-in-class in performance. He was also recognized with the Novogradac Renewable Energy Power Award for financial innovation. Mr. Davenport previously led community development investments at Citigroup.

    As an undergraduate government major at Wesleyan, Mr. Davenport served on the Wesleyan Student Assembly for three years, co-founded The Ankh magazine and the Black Men’s Discussion Group, wrote for The Argus, and was a member of Psi Upsilon. Post-Wesleyan, he served on the Wesleyan Board of Trustees, the Trustee Nominating Committee, and the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association. He has hosted the Black Alumni Council Kwanzaa celebration in his New York City home for over ten years, spoken at alumni panels and events, and served on class reunion committees.

    Mr. Davenport is currently a member of the Board of the Incarnation Camp and has served on the boards of numerous affordable housing, business finance, and community development corporations. He and his wife Monica have a grown son Cole and reside in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood.

JAMES L. MCCONAUGHY JR. MEMORIAL AWARD

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    Steven S. Greenhouse '73, P'08

    American labor and workplace journalist and writer who covered labor for 31 years at The New York Times. Currently a senior fellow at The Century Foundation where he writes about wages and working conditions, labor organizing, and other workplace issues. Has written multiple books and articles.  Photo: Michael Lionstar

    Read Greenhouse's Remarks

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    It was during Steven Greenhouse’s year as editor-in-chief of The Wesleyan Argus that he set his sights on a career in journalism. He felt lucky to be able to land his dream job a decade after graduating from Wes: as a reporter at The New York Times, where he worked for 31 years. In his last 19 years there, he was The Times’ labor and workplace correspondent, earning the title “dean of American labor reporters.”

    While at The Times, Mr. Greenhouse served as Midwest business correspondent based in Chicago, European economics correspondent based in Paris (for five years!), and economics correspondent and then State Department correspondent based in Washington, D.C. As labor reporter, he covered everything from arduous conditions for the nation’s farmworkers to the Fight for $15 to factory disasters in Bangladesh. His most exciting time at The Times was covering the extraordinary Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989.

    He is author of two books, both published by Knopf, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker (2009) and Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor (2019).

    He retired from The Times in 2014 and is currently a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. He continues to do freelancing for the Guardian, Slate, The New Republic and The American Prospect as well as Op-Eds for The New York Times, Washington Post, and L.A. Times.

    At Wesleyan, he had a double major: College of Letters and Government, while also playing soccer and clarinet in the orchestra. He later went to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (1975) and N.Y.U. Law School (1982), where he was class valedictorian.

    Mr. Greenhouse has been married to Miriam Reinharth for 38 years. They have two children, Emily (Wesleyan ’08) and Jeremy, and also four beautiful grandchildren.

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    Emily Greenhouse '08

    An American journalist, Greenhouse has had an amazing career at a young age. She is currently the editor of The New York Review of Books. Photo: Annie Schlechter

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    Emily Greenhouse '08 is the editor of The New York Review of Books. She is the first woman to be sole editor of the magazine, and when she was appointed, was the youngest editor in its history.

    In her tenure at The New York Review, she has emphasized diversity and variousness of all kinds, bringing in an array of new writers, with a focus on younger writers, women writers, and writers of color. She led a redesign of the print magazine and the website and introduced The Review’s first-ever art editor position. The covers they have created together were used as inspiration for a recent fashion line by the designer Rachel Comey. This year, the magazine celebrates its 60th anniversary. In March, it won its first-ever National Magazine Award in the reviews and criticism category for a review-essay by Namwali Serpell on the figure of the whore in Émile Zola, the Janicza Bravo film Zola, and the medium of Twitter.

    Greenhouse has had occasion to edit President Michael Roth, Professor Merve Emre, and her former Wesleyan professors Andrew Curran and Magda Teter.

    Before returning to The New York Review, Greenhouse worked as managing editor of The New Yorker magazine. Previously, she worked as a reporter at Bloomberg, and published journalism and criticism on subjects including gender, politics, France, Judaism, and literature, in publications including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, Dissent, The Nation, and Vogue

    At Wesleyan, she doubled majored in the College of Letters and French Studies.

    In her time on campus, Greenhouse wrote a column for The Wesleyan Argus, worked with the Writing Department to teach writing classes and organize the writing workshop, and volunteered at Oddfellow Playhouse to teach theatre.

    She served on the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees from 2018 to 2021.

    Greenhouse lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with her husband, Martin Mulkeen, and their two children, Eli and Ida.

WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY SERVICE AWARD

  • Souleymane Ba '03
    Jaime Bachrach '93
    Daniel Max Baranovsky '98
    Wayne Barber '73, P'01
    Lisanne J. Misrok Biolos '88
    Jeffrey P. Burack '83, P'23
    Jessica Golden Cortes '98
    Justine Gubar '88
    Mark P. Helfat '73
    John B. Huttlinger Jr. '73
    Ronald Medley '73
    Audrey Shuman Nathanson '78
    Kate Elisabeth Nattrass '03
    Daniel Mark Poniatowski '08
    James S. Powers III '73
    Rashida Amina Richardson '08
    Jennifer Louise Roff '93, P'26
    Laura Davidson Ross '93
    Andrew Justin Smith '08
    Aaron Jakob Tell '98
    Ari Chaim Wolfe '03
    Donald E. Zilkha '73, P'22

GOLD WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY SERVICE AWARD

  • Syed Agmal Ali '13
    Rhea J. Drozdenko '18, MALS'22
    Sohil Khanna '18
    David Hideo Shimomura '13
    McKenzii Denise Webster '13

 

For more information on annual awards and to see past recipients, visit Alumni Association Awards.

 

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