Philip C. Kron ’60 T’61, Charles E. "Ed" Haldeman Jr. ’70, and Margaret N. Sommerfeld ’90 will receive the Dartmouth Alumni Award in honor of their long-standing and meritorious service to the College and their community, as well as achievements in their careers. Alumni are eligible for this award, established in 1954, after their 25th class reunion.
Maia Josebachvili '05 and Shounak Simlai ’05 Th’07 will be honored with the Dartmouth Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award. This award, established in 1990, recognizes breadth, depth, and length of volunteer involvement. Alumni are eligible the first 15 years after graduation.
The five honorees will be recognized at the annual Alumni Awards Gala, which will be held during the 213th meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council on October 21, 2016 in Hanover.
Dartmouth Alumni Award Recipients
Philip C. Kron ’60 T’61
Life and career: Phil majored in economics and completed a dual degree program to earn an MBA from Tuck. As an undergraduate, Phil participated in Zeta Psi, played freshman soccer, served as manager of the cross-country team, and honed his golf game at the Hanover Country Club. Phil married his wife Mary Lou when he was a student at Tuck, and she worked for the ROTC office at the College. Graduating during the Vietnam War era, Phil was commissioned in the U.S. Army’s Medical Service Corps and spent three years working at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He went on to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Citibank, where he eventually retired as head of the company’s global power industry, a role that took him around the world and to Capitol Hill to testify after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. In addition to his volunteer service for Dartmouth, Phil has taken on numerous roles in his community. An active member of the Chatham United Methodist Church, he organized the first YMCA Indian Princess tribe in Chatham, New Jersey, and coached girls' recreational sports teams. he has been involved in a variety of roles within his 700-unit Florida retirement community, Harbour Ridge, and is currently serving on the board and as chairman of the finance committee during a major construction and renovation project. Passionate travelers, Phil and Mary Lou took a trip around the world upon Phil’s retirement. The couple has two adult daughters and look forward to spending summers as a family at their cottage on Canandaigua Lake, one of New York’s Finger Lakes, and winters at Harbour Ridge in Palm City, Florida.
Memories from the Green: Phil remembers the Great Issues course – a lecture and discussion series required of all students from 1946-1967 – as a highlight. “It was an outstanding program,” he says. “Robert Frost was even one of the speakers.” Like many Dartmouth alumni, Phil also looks back fondly on his freshman trip. “It wasn’t clear that our leaders knew where they were going,” he says. “But, we finally made it on a hike from Holt’s Ledge all the way to the Harris Cabin on Moose Mountain south of Hanover. I found out where Moose Mountain actually was many years later.”
For Dartmouth: Phil became a class agent immediately after graduation, and went on to serve in roles for his class including head agent, treasurer, and president. As part of the class 50th Reunion Giving Committee, he helped his class set a Reunion fundraising record of $4.4 million. He has been his class gift-planning chair since 2010. As president of his class, Phil executed a classmate’s idea to celebrate all classmates’ 50th birthdays by planning a weekend celebration in New York, where 200 guests gathered for dinner at the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park. Today, the class has continued a birthday tradition every five years, and most recently celebrated 75th birthdays in Seattle.
Highlights of volunteer service: Phil has been an active volunteer fundraiser for Dartmouth since he graduated, dedicated both to the Dartmouth College Fund (DCF) and to gift planning. He has been an integral part of the Class of 1960’s 12 consecutive years of year-end giving records, and is a member of the Class “SWAT team,” a group of eight volunteers who focus on their class participation goal and who this year achieved 75 percent. In addition, Phil notes, “I’ve really had a lot of fun and a lot of success as gift planning chair for my class. I’ve almost tripled the number of Bartlett Tower Society (BTS) members in my class, and we are now the all-time leader of BTS members in any class, with 92. My new goal is to get to 100.”
You know you bleed Green when: “I bleed Green all the time, but especially when I get on the phone or attend an event and talk to people about making an annual gift to the DCF or getting them lined up for the Bartlett Tower Society.”
Charles E. Haldeman Jr. ’70
Life and career: Initially unsure of his career plans, Ed kept his options open by majoring in economics while fulfilling premedical requirements. An active member of Sig Ep, he still talks to several close fraternity brothers multiple times a week. After graduation, Ed earned an MBA and a JD from Harvard University. A summer job in Philadelphia led him to join the investment firm Cooke and Bieler, which he helped run for 25 years before moving on to progressively larger firms. His leadership as CEO of Putnam Investments in the wake of a 2003 scandal cemented his reputation as an effective crisis manager. That expertise was tested when he was tapped to lead Freddie Mac out of the financial crisis, an experience he calls the best part of his business career, despite the challenges and difficulties. Now retired, Ed is on the board of three companies; plays squash, tennis, and golf; and spends time with his three children – including two Dartmouth graduates – and “6.8 grandchildren – one is due in August.”
Memories from the Green: Ed attributes his decision to attend Dartmouth to the passion of Russell Dilks ’51, now deceased, who lived in Philadelphia and visited Ed’s high school every year to seek out promising Dartmouth applicants. Ed remembers Russell visiting his parents’ home with film strips and a projector in tow to present the merits of the Big Green. Russell even arranged for Ed and his parents to visit Hanover. While Ed was a student, Russell took him to lunch whenever he visited Hanover. “In the latter part of his life, he was living in a retirement facility,” Ed notes, “but when I became chair of the Board of Trustees I gave him a call to let him know that he was the reason it all started.”
For Dartmouth: Ed joined the Dartmouth Club of Philadelphia when he returned to the city after graduation, and served as the scholarship chairman for the club for many years. He has been an active participant in fundraising efforts, particularly in the Philadelphia area. During James Wright’s tenure as dean of the College, Ed joined the Dean’s Council, an advisory body that connected the dean to alumni. “That was a big step up in terms of my connection to the College,” says Ed, “and it also allowed me to get to know other alumni from around the country.” The group morphed into the President’s Leadership Council when Dean Wright became President Wright, and Ed’s involvement grew. Ed was appointed a charter trustee in 2004, and in 2007 was made chair of the board, a role he held for three years. During his tenure, Ed oversaw the expansion of the board from 16 trustees to 24, and led the College through a major reorganization of board governance.
Highlights of volunteer service: “I think what we did in terms of governance and selecting new trustees stands out. At one point we added five charter trustees at once, and that group of five finished its eight-year term this June. Those five are so extraordinary individually and collectively, and I think that went a long way to helping people accept the changes to the board. It was really one of our great achievements.”
You know you bleed Green when: “I think it is when every time you see a person wearing a Dartmouth sweatshirt, no matter where you are, you go up to them. When my kids were in middle school they used to be embarrassed because we’d be out getting ice cream at night and there would be someone serving the ice cream with a Dartmouth sweatshirt and I’d have to go up and ask them what year they were.”
Margaret N. Sommerfeld ’90
Life and career: Eager to start a career in journalism, Meg joined the reporting staff ofThe Dartmouth immediately upon arrival at the College. One of her first stories was about the opening of the boathouse, which “turned out to be prescient” because she eventually married a Dartmouth rower from the class of ’91, Jay Matson, though she did not meet him until six years after graduation. A member of Delta Gamma, Meg volunteered through the Tucker Foundation and studied in London on the History FSP led by then-professor James Wright and then-Dean Susan Wright. After graduation, Meg moved to Washington D.C., where she spent a year serving in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and more than five years writing for Education Week before earning a master's degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Afterwards she began working for The Chronicle of Philanthropy. For several years Meg focused on raising her two daughters, Maddi and Abby, and is now a freelance writer specializing in nonprofits and education.
Memories from the Green: “I took a great class called Ed 20, taught by three really dynamic professors: Ted Mitchell (who is now the Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education), Andrew Garrod, and the late Faith Dunne. "It was the most unconventional class I ever took. We were challenged in new ways by self-paced, open-ended deadlines, thought-provoking assignments that required rewrite after rewrite, and individual conversations about readings with TAs that could last an hour. It made us think deeply about the ways schools are structured, and how they can advance or impede learning. On the final day, we had this big, very emotional debrief, discussing how the 'hidden curriculum' of the class itself forced us to take apart everything we thought we knew about schools as well as our own education."
For Dartmouth: Meg served as mini-reunion coordinator for the Class of 1990 in the D.C. area after graduation, but her engagement with the College slowed after she had children. “At some point, I opened my mouth to someone and said ‘Why don’t you do more things that are family-friendly?’ They turned around and asked me to plan something,” and she agreed. An organized trip to the Big Apple Circus turned out to be Meg’s “gateway drug” to “the Big Green vortex,” and in short order she found herself the vice president and then president of the Dartmouth Club of Washington, D.C, and later president of the Club Officers Association. She later joined Alumni Council and chaired her class’s Reunion committee as it celebrated its 25th in 2015. After Reunion, she became a head agent for the Class of 1990 and is now co-chair of a new Women of Dartmouth community in D.C.
Highlights of volunteer service: “In 2009, about a week before President Barack Obama's inauguration, I got a call that the Dartmouth Gospel Choir had received a last-minute invitation to perform and choir director Walt Cunningham asked if the Dartmouth Club could help find the students housing. At this point every hotel within miles was booked, but our area alumni all stepped up to help. The choir was singing at an Inaugural breakfast that was not a public event, so our area alumni would not be able to see them perform. I asked Walt if they could do another show locally for the alums. As is very typical of Walt's generosity, he said if I could find a place, they would do it. We were calling every church, synagogue, university, community center, and public space that we could find for a couple of days. At the last minute, a Dartmouth parent found a church that was available, had a large enough space, and was also near a Metro stop. On about two days' notice, we publicized it to D.C.-area alumni and a neighborhood listserv, and between Dartmouth folk and church and neighborhood residents, we had a packed house.”
You know you bleed Green when: "When traveling to Dartmouth, you like to play the Dartmouth Alma Materor Dartmouth Undying on the car stereo just before you get to Hanover, so you are singing along out loud as you cross over the bridge, the anticipation filling your heart with a giddy joy. Then you make a ritual lap once around the Green, to take a moment to soak in being back 'home' before heading to your destination."
Dartmouth Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award Recipients
Maia Josebachvili '05
Life and career: An engineering major, Maia split her time between Thayer and outdoor adventures. She was a first-year trip leader, and started a skydiving club on campus. After Dartmouth, Maia became a derivatives trader on Wall Street, but found herself planning increasingly elaborate weekend trips for friends and friends of friends. Turning her passion into a business, Maia quit her Wall Street job and started Urban Escapes, a company based on what she describes as “DOC Trips for adults, with beer.” Maia says she “didn’t even know the word entrepreneur” when she started her company, and credits the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network with helping her get started and putting her in touch with other founders, lawyers, and marketers. The company quickly spread to other cities, and Living Social soon took notice. They purchased Urban Escapes in 2010, and Maia stayed on to expand the company to 30 cities and 250,000 attendees. Maia ultimately left the company when she and her husband decided it was time to make their own escape, and the couple spent a year and a half backpacking around six continents. During that time, she also started angel investing in other startups. She is now vice president of strategy and people at Greenhouse, a hypergrowth software company in the Bay Area.
Memories from the Green: The seeds of Urban Escapes were planted at Dartmouth during Maia’s first skydive. “I did my first jump with a bunch of friends, and thought it was just amazing, so I went back a few weeks later to do my first course. I quickly realized that as a broke college student I wasn’t going to get very far. I made a deal with the owner that if I brought tandem students I would get free skydives. I emailed the entire student Blitz list and took groups of students skydiving every weekend. I got to know hundreds of students through that experience – I would spend a whole day with them, including the two-hour drive there and back, which was really great.”
For Dartmouth: Maia has served on Alumni Council and the Council’s nominating and alumni trustee search committee – an opportunity she valued for the chance to “be involved with so many inspiring alumni and re-experience what makes Dartmouth so special.” She was the co-chair of her class's 10-year Reunion committee. Maia says the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network was “instrumental in shaping my company,” and is paying it forward by talking to students, speaking on panels, and helping other Dartmouth entrepreneurs. Under her leadership as vice president, the class of 2005 just endowed the Seed Fund for Social Good, which each year will provide a student funding for an entrepreneurial venture.
Highlights of volunteer service: “Through Alumni Council we launched a mentorship program for ’05s and ’15s – two summers ago when the ’05s were doing internships we paired those in major cities with a ’15 in their industry so they could meet a few times over the summer for coffee and to talk about their careers. This program continues this summer with the ’07s and ’17s.”
You know you bleed Green when: “When you’ll stop someone on the street just because they’re wearing a Dartmouth sweatshirt.”
Shounak Simlai ’05 Th’07
Life and career: Shounak grew up in India and came to Dartmouth sighte unseen. “I had a few places to choose from,” he explains, “and I had always lived in a city, so I thought it was a good opportunity to live outside of an urban environment for a few years.” Shounak majored in mechanical engineering, with a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern studies; played the didgeridoo in the marching band; was president of the South Asian student group; and led the student chapter of the Dartmouth Society of Engineers. He returned a year after graduation to complete a BE and MEM at Thayer. He has spent most of his career in management consulting, with a break to earn an MBA from the University of Chicago. Shounak currently works in marketing strategy for Wayfair in Boston. He enjoys showing dogs, volunteering at the zoo, and mentoring a middle school robotics team in his spare time.
Memories from the Green: “I had an experience like no other with my engineering capstone project – this is a class taken at the very end of the engineering major and is designed to function as a project to solve real-world challenges. All the projects are based on proposals submitted by external partners – usually various companies and organizations. Dartmouth alumnus (and past Trustee) Barry MacLean ’60 Th’61 asked if anyone wanted to design a bridge for him on his property in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Looking back now, I find it utterly remarkable that an alumnus would put so much trust in a team of undergraduates and give them such an incredible opportunity to put their classroom skills to practical use. Things like that are what continue to drive me to give back to the College now.”
For Dartmouth: Shounak started out as an alumni interviewer, and quickly joined the boards of the Dartmouth Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alumni/ae Association, the Dartmouth Asian Pacific American Alumni Association, and the Dartmouth Club of Chicago, followed by the Alumni Council. During his two terms on Alumni Council, he chaired the Young Alumni Committee and served on the Executive Committee, roles he says helped him to “understand how alumni can truly rally around the college and help to make the experience for students today as special as it was for us.” Shounak has served on the Thayer School Annual Fund board for nearly a decade, and has expanded Thayer’s efforts to reach out to international alumni. He also enjoys helping connect overseas alumni with students in search of internships.
Highlights of volunteer service: “In fundraising for Thayer, every week I try to call two or three alumni, just to chat and update them on Dartmouth. They really enjoy hearing what’s going on at the College. It’s a very fun and heartwarming way to spend 20 or 30 minutes of my time. Since we’re all engineering alumni, we can nerd out and talk about the classes we had in common. They always ask if students still build Stirling engines in ENGS 25 (Introduction to Thermodynamics), and I can report back that they do!”
"The opening of Triangle House was another very special moment. When I was an undergrad, the sole community space for LGBTQ students was a room in Robinson, and that was thanks to decades of alumni petitions. I teared up when I stepped into Triangle House for the first time; it was hard to believe that 10 years after my graduation, things had come such a long way.”
You know you bleed Green when: “You wear Dartmouth clothing whenever you’re traveling or vacationing. My family has now grown quite used to fellow alums sprinting up to us at airports to chat.”