2014 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Alumni Awards! Be sure to check out the spring/summer issue of Haverford magazine for full coverage of the Awards ceremony.

Select an award below to read more about this year's winners.

The Kannerstein Award

Stephen Sachs '54

After Haverford Stephen attended Oxford University as a Fulbright scholar, and then served in the U.S. Army as a Specialist 3rd Class, U.S. Army Communications Zone, Europe in Orleans, France. Thereafter he attended Yale Law School.

Stephen served as a law clerk to Judge Henry W. Edgerton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1960–1961), and then as assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland (1961–1964). After achieving partner status at Tydings, Rosenberg & Gallagher, he served as U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland (1967–1970) and subsequently as a partner in Sachs & Baron and (commencing in 1972) Frank, Bernstein, Conaway & Goldman. He served as attorney General of Maryland (1979–1987) and then as partner in Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), through 2000.  

Stephen was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to conduct a review of the Maryland State Police covert surveillance of anti-death penalty and antiwar groups. He was appointed by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld to an Independent Review Board to examine a 2011 police-involved shooting. Stephen was also appointed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Court of Appeals of Maryland to serve as co-chair of the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee in 2005 and in 2008 to serve on the Maryland Access to Justice Commission.

Stephen served on an advisory committee to American Bar Association President Michael Greco concerning right to court appointed counsel in certain civil cases. In 2006, the ABA House of Delegates unanimously approved a groundbreaking resolution supporting the right to counsel for low-income persons in civil bases impacting basic needs. Stephen has served as a consultant since 2000 to the Public Justice Center (PJC) on legal matters relating to poverty law. On occasion he has partnered with the PJC on pending legal cases. He is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in the op-ed sections of the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post , and the New York Times .

Richard Cooper '64

After Oxford University and Harvard Law School, Richard clerked for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. He spent 1970–71 in Uganda working at its Law  Development Centre. He then joined the law firm that is now Williams & Connolly LLP (W&C) and became a partner in 1976. He was chief counsel of the Credentials Committee of the 1976 Democratic National Convention. In1977, he joined James Schlesinger’s White House Energy Office, which prepared President Carter’s National Energy Plan. After that office terminated later in 1977, he served as chief counsel of the Food and Drug Administration. In 1980, he rejoined W&C, where he was a partner through 2012 and now is of counsel.

Richard has litigated in various tribunals, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been an expert witness, arbitrator, and lobbyist, and worked with boards of directors, scientific committees, new-drug and energy-project developers, marketers, journalists, and people in professional sports. He has represented witnesses at grand juries and congressional hearings, presented to federal agencies, and testified at congressional hearings. He has served on W&C’s executive committee, National Research Council committees, and an editorial board. He has edited and co-edited books, written chapters and journal articles, been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center (GULC), and been a National Law Journal columnist.

In addition to serving on Haverford’s Board of Managers, Richard has served on the boards of an organization that helped at-risk children, Jelleff Boys and Girls Club, and a theater company. He is married to Judy Areen, formerly professor and dean at GULC, now executive director of the Association of American Law Schools. He has two sons and a daughter, all with advanced degrees and married, and four grandchildren. After their son, Ben, was killed at age 17 by a truck that ran a red light, Richard and Judy sued, and have contributed the proceeds to causes Ben cared about, including his school, their synagogue, the Center for Talented Youth, Jelleff (where Ben played basketball), and an organization for the homeless (where Ben volunteered). Richard particularly enjoyed coaching his three sons’ basketball teams and applying lessons from Ernie Prudente.

The Haverford Award

John Heller '89

John is a senior director at the Synergos Institute, a global non-profit that addresses issues of poverty and social justice. Over the past 14 years there, John has developed a portfolio of initiatives to bring together communities, governments, companies, and civil society to address complex societal challenges. Examples include the African Public Health Leadership & Systems Innovation Initiative in Namibia, the

Partnership for Child Nutrition in India, the Aboriginal Multi-Stakeholder Leadership Initiative in Canada (Ahp-Cii-Uk), and the State-Level Agricultural Transformation Program in Nigeria. John created and now leads an innovative mission-driven consulting practice within Synergos that advises global companies on how to build sustainable businesses and achieve social impact in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Prior to joining Synergos, John worked with the Council on International Educational Exchange, the Open Society Institute, and the Population and Community Development Association. He served for two years as a

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Thailand working on village-level income generation, nutrition, and sanitation projects. John has also worked with the Heller group, a family-owned commercial real estate firm. He is currently a board member of WaterAid America and the Rudolf Steiner School. John speaks Thai and Spanish and holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University.

The Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award

Dave Barry '69

Dave has been a professional humorist since he discovered that professional humor was a lot easier than working. For years he wrote a column that appeared in more than 500 newspapers (and generated thousands of letters from readers who thought he should be fired). Dave won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary (although he misplaced it for several years, which is why his wife now keeps it in a secure location that he does not know about). One of Dave’s columns was largely responsible for the movement to observe International Talk Like a Pirate Day every year on September 19. He feels this is probably his most enduring achievement.

Dave has written more than 30 books, including the novels Big Trouble, Lunatics, Tricky Business , and, most recently, Insane City . He has also written a number of books with titles like I’ll Mature When I’m Dead , which are classified as nonfiction, although (he says) they contain numerous lies. Two of Dave’s books were the basis for the CBS sitcom Dave’s World , which he believes can probably still be seen on cable TV in certain underdeveloped nations. His latest book, You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty , will be released in early March. Dave lives in Miami with his family and a dog that he reports is, apparently, determined to urinate on every square inch of North America.

Norman Pearlstine '64

Norm is chief content officer and executive vice president at Time, Inc. In this newly created position, Norm is responsible for editorial policies and works closely with Time Inc.’s editors. In addition, he is charged with seeking new growth opportunities for Time Inc. brands across all platforms.

Norm served as Time Inc.’s editor-in-chief from 1994 through 2005. After leaving Time Inc., he served as a senior advisor to Time Warner Inc. and then to the Carlyle Group’s telecom and media team, before joining Bloomberg L.P. in 2008 as its chief content officer. In that position, which he held until returning to Time Inc., he played an active role in the expansion of Bloomberg’s television, radio, magazine, and digital products. He also served as chair of Bloomberg Businessweek and  Bloomberg Government.

Norm began his career at the Wall Street Journal , where he worked from 1968 to 1992, except for a two-year period, 1978 –80, when he was an executive editor of Forbes magazine. At the Journal , he served as a staff reporter in Dallas, Detroit, and Los Angeles (1968–73); Tokyo bureau chief (1973–76); founding managing editor of the Asian Wall Street Journa l (1976–78); national editor (1980–81); founding editor and publisher of the Wall Street Journal/Europe (1982–83); managing editor (1983–91); and executive editor (1991–92). After resigning from the Journal in June 1992, Norm launched Smart Money magazine for the Journal’s parent, Dow Jones & Company, and for Hearst.

In November 2013, the Deadline Club of New York inducted Norm into its Hall of Fame. In 2005, the American Society of Magazine Editors presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted him into the Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame. Norm was honored with the Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism in 2000. He received the National Press Foundation’s Editor of the Year Award in 1989.

Norm serves on the boards of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the Watson Institute for International Relations. He is co-chair of the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy at the USC Annenberg School of Communications. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was president and CEO of the American Academy in Berlin from 2006 to 2011 and a member of the board of the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 2006 to 2013. Norm received his L.L.B. from the University of Pennsylvania, and he did postgraduate work at the law school of Southern Methodist University. He is a member of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Norm is the author of Off the Record: The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in June 2007. He is married to Jane Boon Pearlstine, Ph.D., a writer and researcher on technology and policy.


The Young Alumni Award for Excellence in Leadership

Jason Polykoff '06

Jason recently completed his first season as an assistant coach with the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball program. He joined Penn after five years as the head coach at Friends’ Central School (FCS) in Wynnewood, Pa., where he is an alumnus. In that time he accumulated an 113-28 record, winning four consecutive Pennsylvania Independent Schools State Championships (2009–12). FCS played in four straight Friends Schools League finals, from 2008 to 2011, winning the title in 2010 and 2011. Jason’s 2011 team was ranked as high as no. 21 nationally as well as no. 1 in Pennsylvania by MaxPreps and no. 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the PhiladelphiaInquirer. Prior to his hiring at Penn, Polykoff was selected to coach the Derby Classic All-American Game in Louisville, Ky.

Jason was the Main Line Life Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year in 2008 and the “Best High School Coach” for Main Line Magazine ’s “2012 Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs” edition. More than 10 of Jason’s former players at FCS have moved on to play college basketball, and he coached four McDonald’s All-America nominees. In addition to his coaching duties at FCS, Jason was a middle school math teacher at the school as well as its sports and information director since 2006. When Jason played college basketball at Haverford, he was team captain in 2005–6 and the Fords’ MVP that year, as well as a Philadelphia Area Small College All-Star. He graduated with six top-10 individual career statistical records.

The Kaye Award

Erik Muther '94

Erik is executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance (PHCQA), a multi-stakeholder organization promoting transparency and public reporting of health data. Prior to joining PHCQA, Erik was an executive in the health care practice of Accenture, a large global consulting company where he had worked since graduating from Haverford.

Erik has served as the Haverford and Bryn Mawr career development representative for the Philadelphia region since 1995. Over the last 18 years he has advised and counseled many students and alumni, organized annual local networking events, and helped to make the Haverford network more personal to students. He has been a sponsor for the Whitehead Internship Program, having hosted six students since 2007 and has been a speaker, panelist, and mock interviewer at events hosted by Haverford’s Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA). Erik also serves as a regional Haverford admissions volunteer, class co-chair, and member of the Alumni Association Executive Committee (from 2005 to 2011).

Erik serves as the treasurer and clerk of the finance committee at Lansdowne Friends School and is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Swedish Historical Museum in South Philadelphia. He lives in Lansdowne, Pa. with his wife Nicole, (Lehman) Muther '95, and their two young boys.

The Perry Award

Monroe (Monty) Sonnenborn '64

Following graduation, Monty attended Cambridge University (Trinity College), where he received a certificate in historical studies, and then earned a J. D. from Yale Law School. He practiced at the New York City firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson before joining the Legal Department of Morgan Stanley, from which he retired as General Counsel for Litigation and Regulatory Affairs. Living in

Manhattan with his wife, Beverly, Monty continues to consult and write about securities law issues. An avid theater, movie, and museumgoer, Monty collects photographs, primarily gelatin silver prints.

Monty has been a consistent and strong supporter of the College and has led the effort to raise a substantial contribution to the Annual Fund in connection with his 50th class reunion. Feeling that he was privileged to have received a classic, humanistic education at Haverford, Monty believes that it contributed greatly to his later professional success and that its core and community values have continued to play a major role in his life. Given that a first-rate liberal arts education is becoming increasingly rare, he believes that it is more important than ever to assure Haverford’s vibrant and robust future. Because the cost of his education was heavily subsidized by the College’s endowment, Monty thinks it is only fair for past graduates to participate in affording similar opportunities to current and future generations of students.

The Sheppard Award

Kyle Danish '89

Kyle is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Van Ness Feldman, LLP, in the firm’s environmental practice. He is a nationally recognized expert on climate change law and policy. While at Haverford, Kyle served as a Customsperson, co-chair of the Customs Committee, and a captain of the men’s lacrosse team. As a senior, he won the John G. Wallace Award for best actor in Class Night. Kyle also met his wife, Jennifer Spafford Danish BMC ’90, during his tenure in the Bi-College Community. He lives in Bethesda, Md., with Jennifer and his children, Sam and Sophie.

As a graduate, Kyle has volunteered as Class of ’89 class chair and has participated on the planning committee for each major reunion for his class. He is a member of the Haverford College Lawyers Network, and is on the newly formed Haverford College Lacrosse Alumni Board. Kyle was elected to two terms on the Alumni Association Executive Committee (AAEC), was the athletics liaison for the AAEC, and served on the Reunion Committee. In 2005, Kyle played an instrumental role in having the Douglas B. Gardner ’83 Integrated Athletic Center recognized as a model “green building” by former President Bill Clinton at the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative.

The MacIntosh Award

Abby Colbert '99

Abby received a J.D. and an M.A. in international relations from Boston University. She was the managing attorney of the non-profit Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston before relocating with her family to Western Mass., where she worked at Community Legal Aid, and then to Sewanee, Tenn., where she has worked in the Dean’s Office at the University of the South and is a volunteer with the Legal Aid Society of the Cumberlands and Eastern Tennessee. Abby has interviewed prospective Haverford students as an admissions volunteer for more than a decade.

The Friend of Haverford College Award

Not Awarded in 2014

The Forman Award

Alex Buxbaum '09

During his time at Haverford, Alex worked as a classroom aide at Cook-Wissahickon and Overbrook elementary schools. Alex went on “Dean’s Leave” during the spring semester of his junior year to become the first “Squash Coordinator” of the then-new North Philadelphia branch of SquashSmarts, Inc., an after-school sports and education organization for at-risk urban youth. For eight months he created curricula and instructed daily lessons for over 45 teenage student-athletes. While coaching there, he also coached Tempest Bowden and Sakora Miller to 1st- and 3rd-place finishes in the U-19 National Urban Squash Individual Championships in 2008. He also coached the U-19 Girls team and the U-19 Boys team to 2nd- and 4th-place finishes in that same year.

Alex was a senior co-captain of the Haverford tennis team as a senior and played #1 doubles for his entire Haverford career. He became the #1 singles player on the team his sophomore year, and was All-Centennial Conference in doubles his sophomore and senior years and in singles his senior year as well, when he earned the distinction as an ITA Scholar-Athlete. In doubles he and his partner earned a finals appearance at the ITA Southeast regional tournament as sophomores and won the entire thing as juniors. That win earned him All-American status, and the pair ended the fall as the 6th-ranked division III doubles team in the nation. Before graduation in 1999, Alex was one of 22 intercollegiate student-athletes in the country awarded an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.

After Haverford, Alex was accepted into Teach for America, began the TFA Summer Institute at Frankford High School teaching English II, and taught for two years full-time at Horace H. Furness High School in South Philadelphia. During that time, he instructed a multitude of courses, founded an award-winning newsletter, and produced a successful end-of-the-year poetry slam. Alex was transferred to Parkway Center City, a college-preparatory high school in the same district, in 2011. He has been there for three years, primarily teaching sophomore English and Theater. While teaching a full roster of classes, he produces an annual theatrical production that involves over 135 students. Alex has also coordinated and directed a 50-person 3x3 basketball after-school league, as well as hosted/produced a 40-person poetry slam. Last year, he was runner up for the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and he has been nominated for the same award again this year. As the Teacher Technology Leader at his school, he successfully led an effort to open a school library this year. Alex completed his master’s in education at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. He hopes to return to school to obtain a master’s in school leadership.

2013-2014 Nominating Committee

  • Peter Anderson '92
  • Bennett Berson '81, Chairperson
  • Iris Colon '06
  • Elliot Gordon '78, President of the Alumni Association Executive Committee, emeritus
  • Lisa Sharf Green '84
  • Rachel Oliner '11
  • Celine Tobal '06

About the Awards

Each year, the Haverford Alumni Association recognizes outstanding alumni who have provided sustained support to the College in a variety of areas. These awards are presented at a special convocation during Alumni Weekend.

Our volunteers give back to the College so much during the year—the Alumni Awards are just one of the ways in which we publicly acknowledge our alumni for all they do for us.

For more information about Haverford's Alumni Awards program, please email Sandra Johnson or call 610-896-1143.