Over 150 Beaver alumni returned to campus on May 11 for Reunion 2012. The official celebration kicked off with a luncheon honoring the 50th reunion class of 1962 as well as Joan Rosen Marks ’47, this year’s Distinguished Alumna Award recipient. Following photos and school tours, alumni then gathered in the Rogers Room for a conversation with current Beaver faculty. They learned how their alma mater approaches teaching and learning today.
The evening was highlighted by a cocktail party, alumni awards presentation, and recognition of Beaver faculty milestones, including Head of School Peter Hutton’s 20th year at the helm. Later that evening, several classes gathered in various areas on campus for their individual class dinners.
Each year Beaver selects several alumni to receive special recognition for their work. This year’s alumni award recipients are:
- Distinguished Alumna/us: Joan Rosen Marks ’47
- Joan Rosen Marks ’47 was the director of Sarah Lawrence College’s Human Genetics Program for 26 years. She defined the role of the genetic counselor and shaped it into the essential force that it is today in the field of medical genetics. In 2006 Sarah Lawrence named the program the “Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics” in recognition of Joan’s contribution to the field. There are now nearly 3000 masters level Certified Genetic Counselors in the US as well as 43 graduate programs in this country based on the Sarah Lawrence model. In 2003, Joan was the first woman and first non-M.D. to receive the Excellence in Human Genetics Education Award given by the American Society of Human Genetics.
- Service Award: Sonja Rudder Spears ’82
- Sonja Rudder Spears ’82 is a member of Beaver’s Board of Trustees and an active parent in the Beaver community. As a trustee, Sonja serves on the Executive Committee, the Governance and Leadership Committee, which she has chaired for the past two years, and is also a member of the Nuvu Committee. For Beaver’s Parents’ Association she has served as a liaison with the Admissions Office. We are very grateful for the wise counsel, balanced approach and ability to gracefully reach consensus with any group that she has brought to the many and varied volunteer activities she is involved with at Beaver.
- Outstanding Young Alumna/us: Will Van Dyke ’02
- Will Van Dyke ’02 is a New York City based composer, lyricist and musical director. Will currently serves as the musical director/conductor for the critically acclaimed 2011 revival of RENT. Other Broadway/Tours include The Addams Family, Wicked, Grease, 9 to 5, and The Book Of Mormon. As a composer Will has written songs for Pages, Winnie The Pooh KIDS!, The Girls I’ve Like Liked, That Pageant Show, We Three Kings, The Grass Is Always Greener, as well as the forthcoming The Lion King KIDS!/JR., The Gospel According To Stevie B, and Magnificent Climb (with Rick Elice). Will has been heard on television on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The CBS Early Show, as well as the final broadcast of LIVE! with Regis and Kelly. Recordings include Chasing The Day: The Songs Of Will Van Dyke and Daylight(with Matt Doyle) which debuted on iTunes Pop Charts in the top 40.
- Driscoll Award for Social Responsibility: Jacob Mnookin ’97
- Jacob Mnookin ’97 is lead founder and executive director of Coney Island Prep Charter School in Brooklyn, NY. Upon graduating from Middlebury College in 2002, Jacob joined Teach For America and taught for three years. Following graduation from Princeton with a Masters in Public Affairs and a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning, Jacob received a fellowship from Building Excellent Schools, a full-time, comprehensive training program in charter school leadership that trains individuals to design, found and operate high-performing urban charter schools. With this fellowship, he founded Coney Island Prep which opened its doors in 2009 to 90 fifth graders.
To see photos from Reunion 2012, visit Beaver’s SmugMug gallery.