Award for Service to Princeton: 2024 Recipients

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Award for Service to Princeton: 2024 Recipients

Robert Gleason ’87

After feeling East Coast humidity for the first time, Robert Gleason ’87 almost reconsidered his decision to attend Princeton. While sitting in the balcony of McCosh 10 doing his writing sample, he remembers feeling sweat pour from every part of his body. He’d never experienced anything like it growing up in San Diego: “I thought I’d made a terrible mistake.” 

Despite the late summer heat and humidity, Robert fell in love with the University over the next four years, and in the decades since graduating, he’s channeled that love into volunteer work for the Princeton community. Focusing on inclusion and expanding what it means to be an active alum, Robert gives his time, creativity and intellect to help Princeton alumni feel welcome. While he had a rich and fulfilling student experience at Princeton, Robert was painfully aware of other queer students and members of traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups who did not. When the University announced its first “Every Voice” conference for LGBTQ alumni in 2013, Robert served as co-chair and helped make the event a landmark success by engaging with the people who felt left out and bringing them back into the conversation. 

From serving on the Alumni Council Executive Committee to leading key initiatives on volunteer engagement and the Committee to Nominate Alumni Trustees, Robert has conceived and championed new ways to enhance the sense of belonging for Princetonians of all ages and backgrounds. As the co-chair of the ad hoc Committee on Volunteer Pipeline from 2017 to 2019, Robert helped to create an inventory of best practices to empower other alumni to engage respectfully and intentionally with alumni from all backgrounds, leading the Alumni Council Executive Committee to create a diversity, equity and inclusion statement. 

Through his volunteer work, Robert has embodied the spirit of collaborative creation. It’s something he learned from his time working in Princeton student theater. Despite graduating with an economics degree and going on to earn a law degree, it was with Theater Intime, the Triangle Club and other Princeton student theatrical organizations that he found a home where he could explore, grow and be his authentic self. In many ways, he admits, all he really needed to know he learned from the theater — everything from strategic planning, project management and conflict resolution to time management, consensus building and creative problem-solving. 

Like a great director, Robert recognizes great talent and connects those alumni volunteers with projects that bring out the best in Princeton and each other. But he’s also the first person to serve as stagehand, rolling up his sleeves and doing the hard work that is essential to turning a promising idea into a fully formed project or policy. Luckily for the entire alumni community, Robert’s experience at the University didn’t end in that hot and humid classroom, because his perspiration and dedication have made an indelible impact on Princeton. Robert, we are honored to present this Award for Service to Princeton to an alumnus who has directed so much energy to ensuring that everyone is invited to play a major role in the Princeton community.

Erica McGibbon ’07

When Erica McGibbon ’07 was attending public high school in Long Island, New York, her first Princeton role models were Sondra Huxtable of “The Cosby Show” and Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The idea of attending their school felt like a sitcom fantasy, but with encouragement from her high school English teacher, Erica transformed that dream into reality. 

Once on campus, Erica revived the Black Arts Dance Company, taking it from just three members her first year to more than 30 her senior year. Her undergraduate research projects examined inequities in higher education access, spotlighting systemic barriers and the issues that remain prevalent today amid ongoing debates around affirmative action. 

A few days after graduating from Princeton with a degree in sociology and a certificate in African American studies, Erica flew to Thailand for a transformative Princeton in Asia (PiA) teaching fellowship that both launched her career in higher education and provided her first opportunities as an alumni volunteer. She interviewed prospective Princeton students in Thailand for the Alumni Schools Committee, a volunteer role she continues today for prospective students in New York City. 

The PiA experience helped Erica feel part of something bigger, and she quickly developed into one of its most thoughtful and enthusiastic leaders. In 2019, she became the first Black woman to serve as a PiA trustee, advocating for policies to make the organization more inclusive. In the aftermath of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, Erica co-chaired a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce that resulted in a formal inclusion statement and ultimately guided PiA’s strategic vision for expanding its board’s racial, gender and experiential diversity. 

Erica has been equally dedicated to the Association of Black Princeton Alumni (ABPA) community. A member of its leadership board since 2021, she has led the ABPA’s efforts to engage deeply with Princeton’s current students. She also helped stage the online ABPA Bookshop, which highlights the books of Black alumni, and helped launch the ABPA Swag Shop, which raised money to reduce ABPA dues for young and future Princetonians. 

When Erica was at Princeton, one of her mentors, Dean Monique Rinere *00, liked to say, “Smart people ask for help.” It’s advice Erica now passes on to her own students at New York University’s School of Professional Studies where she is director of academic affairs. Erica’s career in higher education is driven by her desire to “equip students with what they need to bet on themselves” — just as so many at Princeton did for her. While her dedication to uplifting student experiences has strategically positioned her to create environments for others’ success, she prefers to describe her work as saying “Yes, I’m here. How can I help?”

The same can be said for her willingness to serve the Princeton alumni community. Erica, your infectious energy and dedication to Princeton have transformed your TV-inspired dreams into real-world impact. We are honored to present this Award for Service to Princeton to an alumna who brightens the paths of untold numbers of alumni and students.

Beverly A. Randez ’94

When Beverly Randez ’94 of San Antonio, Texas, first arrived on Princeton’s campus, she wondered how she would find her place in the community. Inspired in part by her father — who had a 20-year career in the Army before going into civil service — she turned to service. She became a Big Sister through the Student Volunteers Council and, as a senior, mentored first-years as a resident adviser. 

In the years after graduation, she continued to give back. Living in New York and San Francisco before returning to Princeton to work for University communications, she interviewed prospective students for the Alumni Schools Committee (ASC) and continued her still-perfect record in Annual Giving. But it was in 2008, when she moved to San Diego, that her Tiger volunteer spirit began to roar. 

The Princeton Club of San Diego (PCSD) needed volunteers for leadership roles, and Beverly raised her hand. She helped transform the club into a more active regional association with digital upgrades, including a website redesign and a digital newsletter. More importantly, Beverly began creating a leadership pipeline, thinking about what the club needed and then matching needs with skills she identified in individuals. When she noticed an alumnus “liking” the club’s Facebook and Twitter posts, for example, she enlisted him to serve as social media chair. Beverly helped found San Diego’s Princeton Prize in Race Relations committee and Princeton Women’s Network chapter, recruiting strong leaders to take the reins. Fostering inclusivity, she invited those leaders and the head of the local ASC committee onto PCSD’s executive board. 

With creativity and persistence and a goal of reaching diverse groups of Tigers, Beverly sought unique opportunities for the club. When she learned the USS Princeton was homeported in San Diego, she contacted the Navy about arranging an outing but had trouble getting a response. Undeterred, she connected with the ship’s captain to organize an alumni gathering on the ship, which became an annual event. 

Fellow volunteers laud Beverly’s willingness to dig into details, even arranging the chairs for events, and applaud her openness, kindness and honesty. Her personal touches — like handwriting thank-you notes for annual dues — keep others engaged. 

Beverly is also a member of the Annual Giving Committee and chaired the Alumni Council’s committees on Regional Associations (CORA) and Service Awards. With CORA, she created innovative ways to engage regional leaders and worked with members of other committees to amplify the reach and impact of various alumni groups. 

Beverly returns to Princeton several times a year, often for volunteer service roles but also to reconnect with found family in a place she calls home. An RA for life, she came back in 2022 to celebrate the 25th Reunion of her former advisees who have become lifelong friends. 

Ever humble, Beverly will tell you that the positive impact she’s had “has taken a village.” Of her work for the San Diego club she said, “I just hope the seeds I planted continue to grow.” Indeed, they shall. As a fellow PCSD alum said, “The bridge between San Diego and Princeton is strong and well-traveled thanks to her.” 

Beverly, your care and compassion have helped Princeton and its Tigers to not only grow but blossom. We are proud to thank you with this Award for Service to Princeton.

 

Frederick G. Strobel ’74 P08 P11

There are countless reasons Frederick Strobel ’74 is affectionately known as “Princeton’s mayor in Nashville.” At the heart of them lie his deep affection for the University, his uncanny ability to connect Princetonians across generations and also, perhaps, his propensity to share vast quantities of Music City’s legendary Hattie B’s hot chicken. 

Known for decades as the cornerstone of the Princeton Alumni Association of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Frederick was instrumental in giving the club structure in 1979, helping to create a board and by-laws. Over the years, though, it’s been Frederick’s behind-the-scenes work that has elevated the group into a highly engaged alumni community. Frederick warmly welcomes new Tigers to the region, inviting them to events and gently nudging them toward leadership roles and other service opportunities. He makes sure every member of the club feels included, and his cheerful presence at events is the glue that binds the group. Frederick relied on his many personal connections both to help create Nashville’s network for the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program and to support the Princeton Prize in Race Relations committee; those relationships have been key to both groups’ success in his region. His passion for social justice and equity manifests in his diligent annual review of the PPRR applications. 

When Princetonians come to Nashville — singing groups, Triangle Club, professors and University presidents — Frederick weaves together events and programs that showcase the region’s charms. Last year, when the women’s basketball team played in Murfreesboro, 30 miles from the city, Frederick organized a Tiger-packed reception the night before the game at a soda shop near the team’s hotel. In the spirit of celebration, Coach Carla Berube okayed the quaffing of multiple milkshakes. 

Frederick served as chair of the Annual Giving Committee from 2004 to 2007, and he has been an AG volunteer for more than 25 years. The Nashville region is renowned for its high Annual Giving participation numbers, in large part because Frederick brings hot delicious chicken to gatherings of volunteers making calls. He’s also built a friendly competition with alumni in Alabama, with the two clubs trying to top each other in participation. He’ll say that “with a bunch of Princetonians, you’re always going to have good times,” but Frederick’s efforts make these experiences memorable. 

Frederick quietly goes the extra mile for Princeton. As a longtime Annual Giving class agent, he took a new co-agent under his wing, sharing insights, and his inspirational ideas like “Brilliant Moments” — Zoom-created videos of classmates talking about why they give back — rev the spirits of fellow ’74ers. A constant champion for the Class of 1974, in 2019, he helped arrange a memorable class trip to Music City. 

Known for his humility, Frederick deflects credit for the work he’s done bringing Princetonians together. “My mama blessed me with a memory like hers, so it’s been good keeping up with who’s who and what their connections are,” he said, adding, “I also have an inability to say no.” 

Frederick, as you celebrate your 50th Reunion, we thank you not only for always saying yes to Princeton but for the grace, kindness and inclusivity that are the hallmarks of your service. We are honored to present you with this Award for Service to Princeton.

Previous Award Recipients

  • 2023 - J. William “Bill” Charrier ’69; Douglas Jin Chin ’83 P21; Douglas Massick ’93 S93 P25
  • 2022 - Itohowo E. Ekpoudom ’03, Richard A. Just ’01 S*04, Colleen P. Kelly ’77 S77 P10 P14, Robert B. Loveman ’69
  • 2021 - Fritz Cammerzell ’72 P25, Susan Katzmann Horner ’86 S79 P20, Laurence Latimer *01, Nancy Lin ’77 S76 P10
  • 2020 - Alfred L. Bush^; Carol A. Obertubbesing ’73 W71, Sue Pierson h67 h74 h81 h83 h87 h88 h93, Bambi Tsui ’09
  • 2019 - Gwen L. Feder ’78 P21, Rose Li *92 P18, Lauren McKenna Surzyn ’07, Masakazu (Max) Tsumuraya *81
  • 2018 - Charles C. Freyer ’69, Jean S. Hendry *80, James M. McPherson h57 h64 h69 h70 h72 H14, Mika Provata-Carlone *02
  • 2017 - Susan Conger-Austin *83, Kendall L. Crolius ’76, Anthony M. Fittizzi, Jr. ’97, Judith McCartin Scheide W36 P84 h28 h31 h32 h34 h36 h37 h40 h43 h70^
  • 2016 - Charles J. Plohn Jr. ’66, William F. Landrigan ’76, Gary M. King ’79, Gary K. Pai ’99
  • 2015 - Thomas F. Fleming Jr. ’69 P00 P01, Patricia L. Irvin ’76, Shawn R. Cowls ’87, Kristin Alyea Epstein ’97
  • 2014 - Wesley Wright Jr. ’51 P83 P90 h83, Vsevolod A. Onyshkevych ’83, Debbie Scott Williams ’84, Anthony J. Fiori *03
  • 2013 - Rosalie Wedmid Norair ’76 S76 P04 P07, Charlene Huang Olson ’88, Lee L. Dudka *77, Jeffrey A. Vinikoor ’03
  • 2012 - David T. Fisher ’69, Isabel K. McGinty *82 P12, Catherine J. Toppin ’02, Robert D. Varrin ’56 *57 P78 P80 P81 g10
  • 2011 - George A. Brakeley III ’61 , George L. Bustin ’70 P08, Valerie Kelly ’84
  • 2010 - Jotham Johnson ’64^, Gregg A. Lange ’70, Jean M. Telljohann ’81
  • 2009 - J. Andrew Cowherd ’74 P07, Richard G. Williams *72 h78 h83 h02^, Elise P. Wright ’83
  • 2008 - Carol Barash *89, Melvin R. McCray Jr. ’74, Duncan W. Van Dusen ’58^
  • 2007 - April A. Chou ’96, John R. Emery ’52^, Robert B. Hollander ’55^, William K. Selden ’34^
  • 2006 - Kenneth M. Bruce ’83, Jon D. Hlafter ’61 *63 MFA, Paul G. Sittenfeld ’69^
  • 2005 - Don M. Betterton h60, Daniel P. Lopresti *83, *84, *87, Carl R. Yudell ’75
  • 2004 - John V. Fleming *63, Charles H. Rose ’50, Henry Von Kohorn ’66
  • 2003 - Mitsuya Goto *56, Herbert W. Hobler ’44^, Robert B. Rodgers ’56^
  • 2002 - Robert Gibby ’36^, Linda Knights ’77, Oren Pollock *51^
  • 2001 - John Fish ’55^, Norman Itzkowitz *59^, H. Kirk Unruh ’70
  • 2000 - Alfred Bates h45, Lisa & Donald Drakeman *88 S*88, Elizabeth Osborne S50 h36^, Jolanne Stanton '77
  • 1999 - Nicholas Allard ’74, Patricia Marks *03, Brian McDonald ’83
  • 1998 - Elizabeth Duffy ’88, James Floyd ’69, Leonard Milberg ’53
  • 1997 - Hannah P. Fox W39^, Peter T. Milano ’55^, Melinda W. Varian S63
  • 1996 - Carl Fields^, Robert S. Miner Jr. *56^, Kenneth C. Scasserra ’61^
  • 1995 - Dolores Chavez de Daigle ’76, Warren Elmer Jr. ’42^, Douglas Nadeau ’62^
  • 1994 - Marvin Bressler h68, 82^, Nancy and Larry Gutstein P87,90,96,96^, Peter G. Smith '46^
  • 1993 - Leroy R. Hill h86^, James D. MacWilliam Jr. ’54^, George Wallace Ruckert ’30^
  • 1992 - Linda Bell Blackburn ’71, George Kovatch ’55, Douglas E. Yeager ’69^
  • 1991 - Joseph L. Bolster Jr. ’52^, Virginia L. Corson ’74, Douglas H. Hahn ’34^
  • 1990 - John H. Bitner ’38^, Sally B. Frank ’80, Martin E. Robins ’64
  • 1989 - Austin M. Francis Jr. ’56, Robert H. Jiranek ’52, Hugh de N. Wynne ’39^
  • 1988 - Marjorie Corman Aaron ’78, Henry R. Martin ’48^, Arthur Northwood ’35^
  • 1987 - William H. Avery ’27^, William G. Bowen *58^, Milton Lyon^, Clyde E. Rankin III ’72
  • 1986 - James Q. Bensen ’36^, Alison R. Bryan, Class of 1913^, Howie B. Kiser P75 h55, 75, 84^
  • 1985 - Charles S. Dawson ’70, James R. Posner *70, Robert A. Winters ’35^
  • 1984 - William P. Clark ’59^, John G. Kellogg ’32^, Ralph K. Ritchie ’34^
  • 1983 - George R. Beetle *66, Erling Dorf h33^, John W. Kern ’49^
  • 1982 - Thomas P. Birmingham ’47^, David G. Rahr ’60^, H. Coleman Tily III ’40^
  • 1981 - Marvin H. Cheiten *71 h65, Frederick L. Redpath ’39^, Leslie L. Vivian Jr. ’42^
  • 1980 - Harper R. Dowell ’30^, Richard L. Herbruck ’55^, Arthur C. Holden ’12^
  • 1979 - Levering Cartwright, Class of 1926^, Jeremiah S. Finch h31^, Frederic E. Fox ’39^
  • 1978 - George C. Denniston, Class of 1927^, William M. Hassebrock ’68, Jerry Horton ’42^
  • 1977 - Arnold M. Berlin ’46, Julian T. Buxton Jr. ’50^, Robert W. Sinkler h78^
  • 1976 - John C. Bogle ’51^, Gordon G. Sikes, Class of  1916^, William C. Van Siclen ’43^
  • 1975 - James R. Carruthers, Class of 1925^, Alpheus T. Mason, Graduate Class of 1923^, James H. Rowbotham Jr. ’32^
  • 1974 - Lucy M. Caldwell W25^, Donald P. Dickson ’49^, Howard W. Stepp h39^
  • 1973 - Donald W. Griffin, Class of 1923^, Milton W. King, Class of 1912^, John H. Leh Class of 1921^, Robert B. Rinehart, Class of 1904^
  • 1972 - George J. Cooke, Jr. Class of 1922^, Walter F. Hollenbach, Class of 1903, GS 1907^, Theodore E. McAlister ’52^

^ Denotes deceased alumnus/a