“Dartmouth, there is no music for our singing, no words to bear the burden of our praise, yet how can we be silent and remember the splendor and fullness of her days?”
It may be difficult to find words that can do justice to the Dartmouth experience, but each year, alumni who demonstrate their devotion to the College through exceptional service are honored with Dartmouth Alumni and Young Alumni Distinguished Service Awards. The 2008-2009 recipients of the Alumni Award are Raymond D. Builter '36; Donald B. Davidoff '56; James R. Adler '60, '61Tu; Barry J. Alperin '62, '63Tu; Samuel D. Ostrow '67, Nancy Kepes Jeton '76, Susan Dentzer '77, and Karen McKeel Calby '81. The recipient of the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award is Lisa Koestner Mortell '95.
Established in 1954, the Dartmouth Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through long-standing and meritorious service to the College, career achievement, and other community service. Recipients of the Young Alumni Award, which was established in 1990, are chosen by virtue of the breadth, depth, and length of their volunteer involvement. Each year's honorees are selected by Alumni Council committees made up of past honorees. Alumni are eligible for the Alumni Award after their 25th class reunion and for the Young Alumni Award during the first fifteen years after graduation.
Named this fall, the 2008-2009 award recipients accept their awards at various College-related functions throughout the academic year. Here's quick look at their achievements and their extraordinary service to Dartmouth.
Raymond D. Builter '36 – Venice, Florida
“I so much appreciated my years at Dartmouth that I wanted to give back as a way of saying thank you.”
After graduating cum laude with a degree in history, Raymond Builter returned to his hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he worked first for the Connecticut Railway and Lighting Company and then for Remington Arms. During World War II, he served as a US Army captain stationed in the Philippines. He subsequently launched a financial career, working as a controller for Columbia Records, the Schaefer Brewing Company, and the University of Bridgeport.
Raymond Builter has demonstrated his dedication to Dartmouth by serving in an impressive array of roles. Not only has he supported his class as project officer, reunion treasurer, class agent, president, and reunion committee chair; he has also served as the secretary, book award chair, treasurer, and president of his local alumni club. He was recognized as Class President of the Year in 1974. In 1986, he accepted the position of class treasurer on an “interim” basis, and he has served in that capacity ever since.
Donald Davidoff '56 – Albany, New York
“It gives me a great deal of pleasure to know that the College has continued to adhere to old traditions, yet strives to evolve where necessary.”
After Donald Davidoff graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in English – a choice that he attributes to the tea and cookies served in Sanborn – he earned a degree in law from the Albany Law School. He then embarked on a 32-year career in public administration for the State of New York. In 1969, the Capital District Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration presented him with the Nathan Award in recognition of his “Outstanding Performance in Public Administration.” He retired in 1991 as Deputy Commissioner for Field Operations in the New York State Health Department. He then served as Executive Director of the Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, New York.
In his hometown of Albany, Donald Davidoff is known as “Mr. Dartmouth” – and with good reason. He has contributed to his local alumni club as treasurer, public information chair, secretary, book award chair, and president. In addition, he has been an enrollment interviewer since 1961 and the district enrollment director for the Albany region since 1972. He was recognized as District Enrollment Director of the Year in 1997. He has also served as the president of the Club Officers Association and as a member of his class reunion giving committee, the Alumni Council, and the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee. He is currently head agent of his class.
James R. Adler '60, '61Tu – Norwich, Vermont
“To be truly happy, people must commit themselves emotionally and intellectually to something they truly believe in. For me, it is Dartmouth. Schools have the capacity to really impact the world we live in. Just look at the types of citizens Dartmouth produces.”
Upon completing the 3/2 program with the Tuck School, James Adler served in the US Army before launching a career in advertising. Having begun in account management at Campton Advertising, he later managed the Puerto Rico office of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Affiliates and traveled the world as their President of International Operations. He retired as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Affiliates.
James Adler has dedicated his energy to Dartmouth by serving in a number of capacities, including editor of his class newsletter, class agent, and vice president and president of his class. In 1997, he was recognized as “Class President of the Year.” In addition, he has served as vice president and president of the Dartmouth Club of the Upper Valley, as vice president and chair of corporate friends for the Friends of the Hopkins Center and the Hood Museum of Art, and as a member of the Association of Alumni Executive Committee, the Alumni Council, the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine Editorial Board, and the Alumni Governance Task Force. He is a founding member of “Dartmouth Undying,” and he is currently co-chair of his class's 50th reunion giving committee.
Barry J. Alperin '62, '63Tu – New York, New York
"Dartmouth showed me, as a result of extensive independent work with several professors, that I probably could succeed in whatever I tried, largely by dint of hard, thoughtful work. This sense of confidence, new to me, came about over my five years in Hanover and I have been and will always be grateful to the College for this important transformation."
An economics and government major and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Barry J. Alperin received his MBA with distinction from the Tuck School before studying law at Harvard University. For the next twenty years, he worked in New York as an attorney specializing in securities, finance, mergers, and acquisitions. He then steered his career in a new direction, accepting a position at Hasbro, Inc., as a senior executive officer and a director. He became president of the Toy Manufacturers' Association and retired as vice chairman of Hasbro. He currently works as a consultant and corporate director for a variety of organizations.
Barry J. Alperin has expressed his gratitude to Dartmouth through his exceptional service to this institution. He has served as class agent, head agent, major gift committee member, co-chair of his class reunion giving committee, and leadership agent. In addition, he has been a member of the Tuck Initiative Steering Committee and the Alumni Advisory Council for Jewish Life, and he has served as chair of the Tucker Foundation Board of Visitors.
Samuel D. Ostrow '67 – Pound Ridge, NY
“In the Spring of 1963, Dartmouth put together a class of 800 men who have become my friends for life, my partners and my inspiration. There is not enough I can do to repay the College for creating the Great Class of 1967.”
After earning a degree in religion from Dartmouth, Samuel Ostrow graduated with honors from the John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of the law review. He embarked on a career in public relations, and after 25 years with major public relations consultancies, he founded Ostrow & Partners, Inc., a public relations consulting firm. He is the President and CEO of Ostrow & Partners, as well as a frequent writer and speaker on public relations topics.
Samuel Ostrow has energetically supported the college in many capacities, including class agent, reunion committee member, member of the Alumni Council, member of the Alumni Magazine Editorial Board, and vice president and president of the Class President Association. An active member of his community, Ostrow is the president of the Pound Ridge Association, a founding member of the Citizens' Committee for the Hiram Halle Library, and a director of the Stamford Boys & Girls Club. He is currently an Alumni Fund leadership agent and the president of his class.
Nancy Kepes Jeton '76 – Andover, Massachusetts
After receiving a degree in geography, Nancy Kepes Jeton earned a M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of North Carolina. As an urban planner with a practice including subspecialties in growth management and regulatory reform, she has worked in locales as far-flung as Nigeria and Salem, Massachusetts. She is currently special assistant to the Head of School at Phillips Academy.
Nancy Kepes Jeton has served her class – the first co-educational class at Dartmouth – as newsletter editor, reunion giving committee member, and class agent for the Alumni Fund. In addition, she has served the College as a trustee, as chair of the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee, and as a member of the Alumni Council, the Tucker Foundation Board of Visitors, and the Public Affairs Advisory Committee. Jeton is currently an Alumni Fund participation agent and a member of her class's executive committee. She has received a Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award an honorary degree from Dartmouth.
I love coming back to Hanover to work with friends of all ages, from all walks of life, across a variety of
political philosophies, working together towards the common goal of helping Dartmouth be the absolute best that it can be. I continue to learn so much from my Dartmouth friends in our lives way beyond the classroom.
Traditions intact, the College is a place that welcomes innovation and high aspirations. It's been gratifying to have had the opportunity to work on a number of initiatives that have brought positive change to the College. From that undergraduate time on the Alumni Council when I helped convey the undergraduates' urgent point of view that the 4:1 men:women student ratio needed to move to equal access in admission right on through to my years serving as the chair of the Board of Trustees Facilities Committee, guiding $1.5 billion of campus improvements, I have been fortunate to have a seat at the table with people who had open minds and were willing to listen to various points of view with respect.
Susan Dentzer '77 – Chevy Chase, Maryland
“I fell in love with Dartmouth as a young woman, and I love it all the more now that I understand – and have helped to shape – its unique role in U.S. higher education.”
After receiving a degree in English from Dartmouth, Susan Dentzer has gone on to earn many more awards and accolades. From 1998 until 2008, she served as on-air health correspondent and head of the health unit for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Her unit's coverage of healthcare and health policy issues won a number of awards, including the Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Robinson Electronic Media Award from the American Psychiatric Association. In addition, Dentzer holds an honorary M.A. from Dartmouth and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Muskingum College. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, the nation's top journal of health policy, and she serves as a vice president at Project Hope, which owns and publishes Health Affairs.
Susan Dentzer has also earned recognition for her service to Dartmouth: she received the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and an Alumni Award in 2007-2008. She has dedicated herself to the College as a member of the Alumni Council, the Alumni Magazine Editorial Board, and the Public Affairs Advisory Committee as well as her class's reunion committee and reunion giving committee. In addition, she served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1993-2004 and was the first woman to serve as chair of the Board. She is currently a leadership agent for the Alumni Fund and an overseer of the Medical School.
Karen McKeel Calby '81 – Darien, Connecticut
"I know now that the special draw of Dartmouth is not because of my experience as a student, or yours, but rather because of the cumulative experience of students for the past 240 years and the way the College's extended community--her alumni, faculty, and administration--strives to ensure that Dartmouth will remain that same special experience for generations to come."
Having graduated from Dartmouth with a government degree modified with history, Karen McKeel Calby worked as a consultant before earning her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She then pursued a career in strategy consulting, fixed income management, and real estate investments. She is currently the managing director of Guggenheim Real Estate, LLC, a real estate investment fund designed for institutional investors.
Karen McKeel Calby's service record testifies to her impressive dedication to Dartmouth. She has supported her class as an executive committee member, secretary, class agent, leadership agent, and reunion giving committee member. In addition, she was a member of the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee, the College Relations Group, and the Dartmouth College Fund Committee. She served on the Alumni Council for two terms and was selected as president of the Council during her final year.
Lisa Koestner Mortell '95 – Denver, Colorado
“I never visited the College before I arrived for my freshman fall, but from the moment that I set foot on campus, I felt as if I'd found my home. I immediately took to Dartmouth, and it was a tremendously exciting and wonderful place to go to college. As a student there, I felt that I was surrounded by the most extraordinary people I'd ever be surrounded by.”
After graduating from Dartmouth with a degree in English, Lisa Koestner Mortell set out on a career in development and fundraising for non-profit organizations, drawing on her experience as a student intern for the Alumni Fund. She worked at Community Counselling Service Co., a non-profit fundraising consultancy, before accepting a position at the Kent Denver School in Englewood, Colorado, where she worked first as Associate Director of Development and later as Director of Development.
Lisa Koestner Mortell has been an active and enthusiastic member of the Dartmouth alumni community from graduation onward. She has supported her local alumni club, the Dartmouth Association of the Rocky Mountains, as book award chair, public information chair, district enrollment director, vice president, and president. She is currently a member of her class's executive committee and a head agent of the Alumni Fund.