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Alumni Association Honors Key Volunteers

Members of the Oberlin Alumni Association took a break from committee meetings and planning sessions this fall to thank a dedicated group of Oberlin volunteers. Association President-elect Wendell Russell ’71 introduced the awardees during the Alumni Association’s annual meeting in September. Among them was Special Achievement Award recipient Bill Schulz ’71, executive director of Amnesty International USA (see story entitled Statutes of Liberty).

Distinguished Service Award:
Oberlin residents Don and Mary Louise Enigson VanDyke, both members of the Class of 1947, were described as the “poster boy and girl for sustained volunteer service to Oberlin.” A fitting description, considering that their 30-plus years of service includes everything from planning class reunions and hosting Conservatory recital receptions to cooking holiday meals for students. Mary Louise, a former music teacher, has led the Dictionary of American Hymnology Project at Oberlin for 20 years and served as a docent at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Don, a retired ophthalmologist, helped develop the landscape at the Lewis Center for Environmental Studies and researched the history of Oberlinians killed in World War II for the Memorial Garden. Both have been active Alumni Council members and fund-raisers over the years, as well as avid supporters of Conservatory students and Oberlin athletes.


Alumni Admissions Volunteer of the Year:
New York admissions recruiter Carol Levine ’84 was praised for her “tenacity, hard work, and coolness under fire” in leading recruitment efforts in the high-profile market of New York. For the past six years, in addition to interviewing students and attending college fairs, Carol has helped with fall preview events and hosted annual parties in New York for admitted students.

Regional Coordinator of the Year:
Co-coordinators Marybeth Hospador Bridegam ’57 and Harry Lavo ’61, other wise known as the “dynamic duo of Western Massachusetts,” were praised for revitalizing a region that had seen little alumni activity for several years. The club has since held two wildly successful summertime concerts at Tanglewood, as well as potluck dinners, a riverboat cruise, and a garden tour, and has published several newsletters for Western Mass alumni. 

Class Agent of the Year:
Amy Shub Rothstein ’68, agent for the Conservatory cluster classes of 1967, ’68, and ’69, was diligent in asking fellow classmates for financial support, in part through her popular class agent letters. Upon taking the position in 2002, Amy bought a subscription to The Oberlin Review to keep up with the student point of view. She was described as a “visible and vocal presence on campus during Alumni Council weekend, adding to the vibrancy of the Class Agent program and the community itself.”

Class President of the Year:
Lauren Thomas-Kincaid ’79 helped organize the 25th class reunion last May, which included a panel on environmental concerns, author readings, and a symposium on U.S. Middle East policy. Commended for her punctual class letters and work in implementing a reunion website, Lauren was praised for her “creativity and enthusiasm” in planning one of the largest 25th reunions in recent history.

Certificates of Appreciation:
Ben Ezinga ’01, Joshua Rosen ’01, and Naomi Sabel ’02 were described as the “passionate creative forces behind the East College Street Project,” a three-acre area near the Apollo Theater that is earmarked for retail development and mixed-income housing. As the core development team since before graduation, the trio will break ground this spring on the $12 million project, which has attracted top independent restaurants and stores, as well as a partnership of public, private, and philanthropic investors.

Also honored in September were retiring executive board members Richard Anderson ’54, Ted Gest ’68, Clyde Owan ’79, Christopher Pinelo ’94, Patricia Cobb Tarnow ’49, and Paul Treuhaft ’64.