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Slideshow | Photography by Tommy Leonardi

2008 Award of Merit Recipients

Allison Weiss Brady, C’93 
Young Alumni Award

Your motto is “if you can make someone’s life better, do it.” Following your own maxim, you are improving lives in countless ways through your service and philanthropy at Penn and in the broader community.

When you joined the Board of Overseers of the Graduate School of Education (GSE) in 2003, you were the youngest Overseer in Penn history, going on to become the School’s Campaign Vice-Chair just four years later. Leading the way, you and your Penn alumnus husband, Chip, C’94, W’94, established a 9th Semester Scholarship for students with minors in Urban Education. With your signature energy and enthusiasm, you have hosted and chaired many events for GSE and Penn, drawing on your professional contacts in the entertainment industry to make them a success. 

After being inspired by the stories of children with a rare and devastating bone disease called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), you joined your mother Diane’s determined efforts to raise funds and awareness for FOP research at Penn, which helped lead researchers to a major genetic breakthrough: identifying the gene that causes the disease. Additionally, you are an active member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women and are involved with Weiss Tech House. Away from campus, you are Vice- Chair of Marketing for the Penn Club of Miami and serve on the Class of 1993 Gift Committee. Other members of your Penn family include your Penn Trustee father, George, W’65, and your alumna sister Debbie, C’89, with whom you support an undergraduate scholarship.

A community leader dedicated to improving lives, especially those of children, you serve on the board of Say Yes to Educationa non-profit organization founded by your family, and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. You also serve as Junior Co-Chair of the Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families, which recently recognized your commitment in an awards ceremony. 

All of this you do in addition to pursuing several careers, including marketing guru, features writer, and TV host. For your outstanding service to Penn and your care and compassion for others, Penn Alumni is delighted to present you with the 2008 Young Alumni Award.

Carol Ware Gates, NU’73 
Alumni Award of Merit

The School of Nursing has produced many graduates who have gone on to enhance the nursing profession, but there has never been another graduate like you who has so dramatically enhanced the School itself. An advocate for the School and the profession, you have embraced every aspect of Penn Nursing’s mission. 

You pursued your Penn Nursing education avidly and went on to practice as a nurse in roles that served as a direct expression of both your critical thinking and your compassion. While working at a distance from your alma mater, you never lost sight of the School of Nursing and its need for leadership and support. 

A Penn Nursing Overseer since 1992, you have served in myriad volunteer roles which have fundamentally shaped the School, its vision and its outreach. You have given generously in support of every aspect of the School’s mission. From creating the Marian S. Ware Chair to your ongoing scholarship support to leading the effort to renovate the Nursing Building and name it in Claire Fagin’s honor, you have inspired others with your generosity and enthusiastic commitment. 

Building on your family’s legacy of involvement and support, you have served the broader University as a member of the Committee for Undergraduate Student Aid, the Undergraduate Committee for Minority Students, and the Agenda for Excellence Committee. You have also continued your parents’ legacy here at Penn with your ongoing support of the Ware College House.

Beyond the University, you are well known as a community leader, drawing on your lifelong interest in health, human services, education, historic preservation, and arts and culture. Through the Oxford Foundation and your own 1675 Foundation, you have been a passionate advocate for your hometown of Oxford and all of Chester County. For your outstanding service, you received an Honorary Doctorate from West Chester University in 2007.  And just this year, you were awarded the prestigious Dr. Henry A. and Barbara M. Jordan Award by the Chester County Community Foundation for your leadership and philanthropy throughout the region. 

Described as a strategic thinker, a connector, a doer, and a motivator, you bring a unique sense of joy to your role as a volunteer and philanthropist. For the many ways you have brought your Penn education to bear on improving the lives of others, Penn Alumni is proud to present you with the 2008 Alumni Award of Merit.

Margy Ellin Meyerson, G’93
Alumni Award of Merit

One of Penn’s most admired and cherished First Ladies, you are also one of Penn’s most distinguished graduates. Steadfastly putting your intellectual attainments to use for society, you have focused on both preserving and enhancing the great repositories of humanity: cities and books. 
A passionate urbanist and noted scholar, you graduated from the University of Chicago, earned Masters degrees from both Penn and Bryn Mawr, and completed postgraduate studies at Harvard and Penn. In the course of your professional life, you served as Research Director of the American Society of Planning Officials and taught at the University of California at Berkeley and Drexel University. Dedicated to improving your environment, you served on the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and the Lewis Stevens Trust for Community Improvement. 

Remarkably, it is in addition to all of this, and while fulfilling the duties of mother and, more recently, as grandmother, that you have served our University with such dignity, grace, and forethought. For over a decade, you have been an Overseer of the Penn Library, where you currently serve on two committees, and were formerly Co-President of the Friends of Penn Library and Co-Chair of the Committee for the Library’s 250th Celebration. Now, as Honorary Chair of the new Orrery Society, you help raise funds for scholarly collections. Meanwhile, at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, where you are a long-time Trustee and former Chair, you make the world safer for thousands of manuscripts, rare books, and artifacts. 

Your and Martin’s legacy includes the Laura Jan Meyerson Poetry Fund at the Library, in memory of your daughter, the Martin and Margy Meyerson Endowment Fund for Special Collections, and the Martin and Margy Meyerson Endowment Fund for the Built Environment. Most recently, you added to gifts given in Martin’s memory to establish the Martin Meyerson Memorial Fund in support of acquisitions in international and area studies. 

With a cultured mind and caring heart, you have made cities more humane places for all our citizens and you continue to devote yourself to preserving our precious troves of history, literature, and art. Penn Alumni is proud to present you with the 2008 Alumni Award of Merit.

David S. Pottruck, C’70, WG’72
Alumni Award of Merit

You have spoken often and eloquently of your love for Penn—an attachment that is reciprocated many times over because of your devoted service. Indeed, your selection to the Sphinx Honor Society as a student was merely the beginning of a lifetime of service to your alma mater.

A star athlete during your undergraduate days, you have maintained your interest in Penn athletics throughout your life. Believing that all Penn students deserve the best athletic facilities, you gave generously to create the David S. Pottruck Health and Fitness Center. You highly value the academic side of your Penn experience as well, an appreciation you have made tangible through the David Pottruck Endowed Professorship Fund and the naming of a lecture hall in Wharton’s newest home, Jon M. Huntsman Hall. It is no wonder that members of Penn’s wrestling team look to you as a role model and mentor. 

In recognition of your generosity and commitment to Penn, you were elected as an Alumni Trustee of the University, a position that you held with such distinction that you were subsequently elected as a Term Trustee. You have been a member of the Wharton Board of Overseers and the Wharton Leadership Board, and Chair of the Wharton West Advisory Board. You have also served as a member of the Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid and the Athletics Board of Overseers. Currently, you serve as a Senior Fellow of Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management where you help guide the School’s leadership development agenda. 

In no way are your contributions limited to the Penn community. Your career in the financial services industry has made you a much sought-after speaker and board member, and your commitment to societal improvement through the Pottruck Family Foundation has brought you continuing recognition, including the Torch of Liberty Award from the Anti-Defamation League. 

Many years ago, one of your Penn professors referred to your remarkable combination of “mastery and humanity.” It is with pride and admiration for those lasting traits, and with appreciation for their profound impact on this University, that Penn Alumni presents you with the 2008 Alumni Award of Merit.

Keith L. Sachs, W’67
Alumni Award of Merit

It is a truism that the best way to get a job done is to ask a busy person to do it. At Penn, we have discovered that the best way to get a job done superlatively—and expeditiously—is to ask you to lead the effort. From serving as a member of the Making History Campaign to leading your class in continually setting new records as Class Gift Chair, your example inspires those around you to do more than they ever thought possible.

In recent years you have become known as one of the strongest advocates for the arts at Penn. With an abiding belief in the importance of arts experiences for all undergraduates, you and your wife, Kathy, CW’69, have led the effort to enrich the University’s arts environment. Your innovative gifts have brought together the Institute of Contemporary Art, PennDesign, and the Art History department in the School of Arts and Sciences. As a result, our students are developing an understanding and appreciation of art and design that will influence their lives long after they have left Penn.

As Chair of the Board of Overseers of PennDesign, you not only served on the consultative committee to identify a new dean, but you have been instrumental in attracting a new group of energetic Overseers to the Board. You have built strong relationships with the PennDesign Dean and staff members in order to advance the School’s mission and you share in the pride we all feel in PennDesign’s increased recognition world-wide.

Your interest in art has led you to serve as a Trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and as a general member of the Guggenheim Museum’s International Director’s Council. You have also been Chairman, President, and Treasurer of the American Friends of Hebrew University, which presented you with the Scopus Award in recognition of humanitarian achievement.

Through your leadership and commitment, you are a true alumni ambassador with a vision for the future. For your boundless energy, dedication, and generosity, which embody the true spirit of this University, past, present, and future, Penn Alumni is proud to present you with the 2008 Alumni Award of Merit.

Tama L. Smith, WG’90
Alumni Award of Merit

A graduate of the Wharton Business School, you are a Penn ambassador in the truest sense. Indeed, after obtaining an undergraduate degree from Berkeley and a Master’s from Wharton, you carried your Penn spirit back with you to the West Coast, where you began a successful career in finance. It wasn’t long before you were mobilizing Penn alumni in Southern California and, as a global strategist, internationally.

Now Chairwoman and formerly President of the Wharton Alumni Association Board of Directors, you have traveled around the world to help mobilize alumni involvement in the Global Alumni Forum in Mumbai, Istanbul, and Rio de Janeiro, while also overseeing the School’s network of 80 clubs and over 82,000 alumni worldwide. Your dedication to Wharton is further evidenced by your work for the Wharton Club of Southern California, where you served as President; as a founding member of the Wharton Women’s Global Task Force; and as a member of Wharton’s 125th Anniversary Planning Committee. You are known by your friends and colleagues for your highly collaborative approach to any problem and for your talent for running exceptionally productive meetings.

As a true coast-to-coast Penn leader, you serve on both the Executive Committee of the Southern California Regional Advisory Board and the Penn Club of New York Board of Governors. Your leadership extends to your service on the Executive Committee of the Penn Alumni Board of Directors, and your membership in the James Brister Society and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women, where you served on the 125th Anniversary Celebration of Women at Penn Committee.  

You do all of this in addition to your real job—running your own management consulting firm, to which you bring a vast array of diverse experience—and also your work as a community leader, including serving on the board of the national non-profit children’s organization Colored Girls Productions and the San Francisco Urban Community Housing Corporation.

Warm, cheerful, dynamic, versatile, and adventurous, you put your can-do attitude to work for Penn, inspiring us all through your energy and unwavering support. Penn Alumni is proud to present you with the 2008 Alumni Award of Merit.

Alumni Club Award of Merit
Penn Club of Northern California

Class Award of Merit 
Class of 1998

David N. Tyre Award for Excellence in Class Communications 
Class of 1993

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