Award for Service to Princeton: 2022 Recipients

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Award for Service to Princeton: 2022 Recipients

Itohowo E. Ekpoudom ’03

In retrospect, it seems a natural progression. Her family moved to the United States from Nigeria and Itohowo E. Ekpoudom attended grade school in Yorktown, Virginia, where the mascot was a tiger. At her high school, the mascot was a tiger. When she arrived at Princeton, the a capella group she joined was the Tigressions. Post-Princeton, she founded an advisory and consulting firm to help women advance their business and leadership skills. Its name? Tigress Ventures.

Over the years, Ita Ekpoudom has not changed her stripes. Always willing to step up and help, she offers positive, thoughtful energy and enthusiasm in her work and to every alumni activity in which she engages.

Ita advocates with a powerful voice for women and underrepresented founders of startup companies. Through Tigress Ventures and as a partner at GingerBread Capital, she works to engage, educate and elevate the next generation of women business leaders and investors.

On campus, online, and wherever entrepreneurial Princetonians gather, Ita brings her expertise, advice and enthusiasm. She leads workshops, sits on panels, and mentors student entrepreneurs. Ever in motion for her alma mater, she is a member of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council and was on the planning committee for Princeton’s successful Empower 2021 conference, which celebrated Black academic entrepreneurship.

With all these endeavors, she enthusiastically shares her story, her convictions, and her advice with Princeton students and others working to break through barriers.

She has continuously served the Great Class of 2003: as treasurer for the first five years after graduation, as financial chair for the 5-year Reunion and as co-chair for the 10-year Reunion. She was vice chair and chair of the Alumni Council Reunions Committee and served a year on the Alumni Council as a member at large. She attended both She Roars conferences celebrating women alumni in 2011 and 2018, and she was on the steering committee for the Thrive conference celebrating Black Princeton alumni.

Ita was a member of one of the first cohorts of Princeton students to achieve a certificate in finance. Her concentration was in social psychology and her senior thesis was on “Coping with Interpersonal Rejection.” When it comes to alumni activities, rejection isn’t in her vocabulary. In the words of one of her nominators, “She always says yes!”

Ita Ekpoudom, with gratitude and enthusiasm we present you with the Award for Service to Princeton. We expect to sing your praises for many years to come as you lead, serve, and inspire with the tenacity and grace of the Tiger you are.

Richard A. Just ’01 S*04

Starting his senior year, then-Daily Princetonian Editor-in-Chief Richard A. Just was inspired by a New York Times series examining race in America. The Daily Princetonian soon produced its own series on race on campus, concluding with an inward look at the paper itself. The staff resembled most American newsrooms: overwhelmingly white. Richard and fellow Daily Prince staffers from the Class of 2001 Rich Tucker, Greg Mancini and Michael Koike wanted that to change, so Richard pitched an idea: create a Princeton summer program to encourage and train underrepresented and low-income high school students for careers in journalism. President Harold Shapiro *64 told Just if he would organize the program, the University would supply room and board for attendees. Just and friends went to work raising money and finding candidates, and in the summer of 2002, what would become the Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) was born. As the co-founder and “beating heart” of the program, as one of his nominators said, Richard has spent the last 20 years refining and expanding PSJP. In the process, as another nominator wrote, he has “changed the lives of hundreds of first-generation, low-income students who have the ability to soar at Princeton and similar schools, yet never knew the path was open to them.”

Of the 537 students who have participated (40 are admitted each year), nearly one-third have matriculated at Ivy League and other prestigious colleges and universities, including 27 at Princeton. Richard, who continues to serve as PSJP executive director, notes proudly that several program graduates have gone on to work at “amazing places,” in journalism and beyond. Authors, doctors, lawyers, diplomats and members of Congress, including one of the first openly gay Black members of Congress, Representative Mondaire Jones of New York, are among those who experienced PSJP. While the initial focus was to diversify newsrooms, the bigger point, Richard recalls, was to use journalism as an entrée into the world of ideas. While advancing in his own career at prominent publications like The New Republic, National Journal and his current position at the Washington Post Magazine, Richard tapped colleagues from across the country and internationally to teach and mentor PSJP students. He arranged lectures and discussions with dynamic Princeton faculty members like Jeff Nunokawa, Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06, and President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83.

Many who teach and volunteer in the program return each summer, and many participants return in later years as counselors and instructors to share what they’ve learned in their careers. While the program was funded in its early years with a combination of individual donations and grants, the University recognized that it was aligned with its commitment to college access for all students. Princeton brought the program formally into the University system in 2017, and PSJP is now part of the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity. A chorus of nominators cite Richard's seemingly unlimited supply of energy to devote to the program, even as he tends to a busy career and a family with husband Adrian Alvarez *04 and two young daughters. Nominators describe him as a warm, thoughtful, humble, collaborative and committed leader and a tireless and consistent advocate for the program and its students. “He has a gift for working with young people,” wrote one nominator. “I have enjoyed watching him interact with students in ways that are both inspirational and attentive to them as individuals. It is rare to find someone both so visionary and so kind,” said another nominator. “That is Richard’s impact: making Princeton better, one student at a time, by telling them they belong there and devoting his entire being to helping them get there.”

Richard, you exemplify the mission of “Princeton in the Nation's Service and the Service of Humanity.” In your devotion to the Princeton Summer Journalism Program, you and the many others you have drawn into the program have transformed the lives of hundreds of students, opening them to a world of ideas and opportunity. Your impact will multiply for many years to come, and in this year, we are pleased to bestow upon you the Award for Service to Princeton.

Colleen P. Kelly ’77 S77 P10 P14

With a deep, enduring, thoughtful appreciation for the many ways Princeton has contributed to her own life, Colleen P. Kelly gives back accordingly and amply, quietly and unselfishly.

Her contributions to the Great Class of 1977 alone are worthy of note. She has served with distinction as president, vice president and regional vice president. She has continuously contributed and volunteered in support of Annual Giving, encouraging others to give and to volunteer as well. She was attendance chair for her class’s 30th Reunion, and for this year’s 45th Reunion, she is chair of the Special Gifts Committee.

Twice during her presidency, the Class of 1977 won event attendance awards, and it’s no wonder: Colleen is a master practitioner of inclusivity. Her inventive events attract alumni with widely varying interests, coaxing even those who have long been out of touch to take part. Fancy a cocktail party at the home of classmate Meg Whitman? Colleen set one up. She organized book receptions for classmate Carol Wallace in New York and California, as well as parties, hikes and a behind-the-scenes tour before a baseball game in Philadelphia.

Colleen extended her inclusivity efforts through leadership with the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. She was co-chair for the Northern New Jersey chapter for many years and served on the national committee, urging the board to expand its outreach to a wider pool of high school students. She set up a booth at a New Jersey educators’ meeting to appeal one-on-one to teachers for nominations. She encouraged the use of social media to reach schools directly, even persuading Senator Cory Booker to tweet about the prize to his 200,000 followers.

“Her network is vast, across class years and geographies,” as one of her nominators noted, “and she generously and kindly taps into them to help alumni, including any student or recent alumni who need help in career direction, older alumni who need health care contacts, housing opportunities and more.”

The innumerable hours of service Colleen has given to Princeton have often come atop the long days and nights she spent in a demanding career. She entered the New York law firm Rogers & Wells in an era when child-care considerations were daunting. She switched to New Jersey-based Lowenstein and Sandler, becoming its first female corporate partner and the first female partner to have a child. She moved on to corporate law at Prudential, had a second child, took time off to raise her children, then resumed work before retiring. She has been dedicated to supporting women, creating events for the Princeton Women’s Network of Northern New Jersey. One of those events was providing services to a safe house for victims of domestic violence and their children.

Colleen counts herself one of 12 in a “modern Princeton family.” It includes her husband and classmate, Bob Lack ’77, their two children, her two sisters, a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law, two nieces, and two nephews. Colleen considers Princeton a lifelong, family relationship, and she shows an all-encompassing devotion to Old Nassau. To this selfless champion of the Orange and Black, with deepest and enduring gratitude, we bestow the Award for Service to Princeton.

Robert B. Loveman ’69

Volunteering, planning, networking, fundraising, mentoring, innovating: for the past half century Robert B. Loveman has given himself fully to Princetonians in Chicago and beyond. This graduate of the Great Class of 1969 was brought to the Windy City by an internship that would lead to a stellar career in banking, commercial real estate and financial services. He is entering his 50th year of service on the Princeton Club of Chicago board and has volunteered in every role imaginable, including president. The club honored him in 1996 with its Arnold Berlin Distinguished Award for Service to Princeton, recognizing his passion for community service and his efforts to enhance “the scope and social relevance” of the club. When Bob joined the board, he recognized that most older alumni lived in the suburbs, but younger alumni lived in the city. To appeal to those younger alumni, he planned events in the city and, in the process, developed a new, more diverse club board, now called the Leadership Group.

The successes of Bob’s initiatives radiate out from the Loop to Nassau Hall and across the continent. He was among the members of the Class of 1969 who founded the PICS program — Princeton Internships in Civic Service — now supported by the University’s John H. Pace Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement. Bob led the effort to create an endowed Princeton Club of Chicago PICS Internship. Its income supports one or more Princeton undergraduates’ summer internships in the Chicago area. It is another PICS program — Princeton in Chicago Schools — that may best illustrate the remarkable devotion Bob has shown to his alma mater and to the citizens of Chicago. The program was a partnership between the Princeton Club of Chicago and Theodore Roosevelt High School, in a working-class neighborhood where, at PICS’ founding, more than 50 languages were spoken and few students went to college.

For many years, Bob chaired the program. He brought in Carolyn Kessler ’90 as executive director to run it day-to-day. The program was a model for community service, bringing Princeton alumni and other volunteers to the school to tutor students, mentor them, help with college preparation and career exploration, and more. Other Princeton alumni clubs emulated it in creating their own programs. Working tirelessly to raise funds on behalf of the Chicago club, for his class and for the University, Bob has taken on countless other roles, including serving on the Annual Giving National Committee. Throughout his career, Bob mentored and hired Princetonians who came his way. His wife, Gail, offered them advice from her own outstanding career. Intrepid travelers, they maintain an apartment in Chicago but make their home in Boulder, Colorado. Both actively volunteer in the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, and Bob is president and chair of the board of directors. He is also a life trustee of the Field Museum, one of several Chicagoland organizations he has supported.

Growing up in Indianapolis, Bob took cues on the importance of community service by observing his parents volunteer for charity events. He has shown a lifelong commitment to community service, to Princetonians, to Chicagoans and to others. As one of his nominators described him, he is “the paragon of what it means to be an unsung hero of the Princeton alumni community. He serves forcefully but quietly, never raising his hand for accolades but always willing to roll up his sleeves to get the work done for Princeton.” For serving Princetonians in the Second City, for devotedly advancing the lives and careers of young people, for lifelong support to Princeton, we are pleased to present you with the Award for Service to Princeton.

Previous Award Recipients

  • 2021 - Fritz Cammerzell ’72 P25, Susan Katzmann Horner ’86 S70 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