Alumnus/a of the Year Award

The Alumnus/a of the Year is presented annually at the the Alumni Association Annual Meeting, which takes place during Reunion Weekend. This award recognizes those alumni who have displayed steadfast loyalty, dedication, and service to the Academy over the past year, and have shown an unwavering commitment to the place that meant so much to him or her. Candidates for this award are nominated by the Office of Advancement, and are presented to the Head of School and President of the Alumni Council for review.

Award Recipients

2018-2019: Robert C. DeLena '87, P'21

The Alumnus of the Year award is presented annually to a graduate who has been steadfast in his or her loyalty to the Academy and shown an unwavering commitment to the place that meant so much to them. The inscription on the award itself reads: For Loyalty, Dedication and Service to The Governor’s Academy.

As a student, this graduate was a leader on campus serving as the Academy president his senior year. The recipient of a Special Prize at commencement, his head of school noted that "his quiet courage and unassailable integrity guided him, as he guided the Academy." On the ball field he was a two year captain, MVP, and ISL All League in baseball. Long after jumping the wall, his leadership, loyalty, spirit, and commitment to the Academy continue to inspire.

In addition to his long-term tenure as Class Agent, this year’s recipient continues to lead as a member of the Alumni Council. During his tenure on the Council he gained the respect and friendship of alumni across all classes and generations, so much so that in 2018 he was elected to lead that body as its president. During his first year in this role, he has successfully led the charge to restructure the Alumni Council committees and sub committees to better meet the interests of its members, and to better align its priorities with those of the Academy. He has championed programming that connects alumni and students, and young alumni with professional alumni mentors. He was the voice and face of The Governor's Fund appeal this fall, and this winter he engaged alumni of all ages with his charismatic storytelling at the Boston Holiday Gathering. In each of the last two years, he has welcomed our youngest alumni into the fold at the Alumni Association Welcome Dinner for the senior class, telling them this year that as graduates of the Academy they were members of a proud family, and that if any of them were to call on him for assistance in the future he would do whatever he could to help because that is what family members do for each other. What a powerful message for our youngest graduates to hear from the President of their Alumni Council.

In his capacity as Alumni Council President he also sits on the Academy’s Board of Trustees where he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow board members for his insights, common-sense approach to issues, and boundless passion for the Academy. Over the past two years he has been able to add yet another dimension to his relationship with the Academy as a parent to his daughter Abigail, a member of the Class of 2021.

In recognition of his devotion to the Academy, it is my great pleasure to present the 2019 Alumnus of the Year award to a friend and loyal member of the Class of 1987, Robert C. DeLena.

2017-2018: Isaiah Suggs, Jr. '78, P'97, '02

The Alumnus of the Year award is presented annually to a graduate who has been steadfast in his or her loyalty to the school, and has shown an unwavering commitment to the place that meant so much to them. The inscription on the award itself reads: For Loyalty, Dedication and Service to The Governor’s Academy.

This year's recipient is a graduate of the class of 1978. He is a connector for those in his class, and surrounding classes, and from the day he jumped the wall, he has been a steadfast champion of the Academy, its alumni, and students. With his quiet and unassuming demeanor, it might be easy to just pass by him and not understand the breadth and depth of his connection to our community and his commitment to helping others.

Shortly after graduating, he returned to campus to serve as a part-time faculty adviser for the Academy’s multicultural students group. In 1993 he joined the faculty full-time and served the Academy as a member of the math department for three years before assuming the role of Associate Director of Admissions in 1996. As an Admissions Officer, he strengthened relationships with programs such as A Better Chance that helped to place children from urban communities in private schools. He endeavored to provide support to our students of color and offered them a safe environment to share their diverse experiences. He recognized their particular challenges, and offered heartfelt words of encouragement when they needed it most. He played a pivotal role in coordinating the Inter-cultural Orientation program, which assists our young students of color and international students when they first arrive on campus. He opened his home to our students of color and continues to serve as a mentor and connector for these graduates well after they have jumped the wall. Most recently, he has played an invaluable role in assisting with the development of our Alumni of Color Network.

An alumnus, former faculty member, championship girls varsity basketball coach (with two NE Championships to his name!), dorm parent to countless students, parent of two alumnae, a member of The Governor’s Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, and life-long champion of Govs, it was with great pleasure that we presented the 2017-2018 Alumnus of the Year award to Isaiah Suggs, Jr. '78, P'97, '02.

2016-2017: Francesca DeMeo '02

2015-2016: Paul Nardone '86, P'19

2014-2015: Spencer Purinton '75

2012-2013: Steve A. Kasnet '62

2011-2012: James M. Pierce '72

2010-2011: Gretchen Forsyth '95

2009-2010: Franklin E. Huntress '52

2004-2005: William S. Friend '55 

2000-2001: Reynolds E. Moulton '56

1999-2000: David W. Yesair '50

1997-1998: Arthur H. Veasey '68

1996-1997: John W. Deering '47

1995-1996: Putnam P. Flint '37

1994-1995: Richard A. Cousins '45

1993-1994: Jeffrey L. Gordon '69

1992-1993: Barry Burlingham '71

1991-1992: John S. Mercer '64

1990-19991: Timothy G. Greene '50

1989-1990: Dana H. Babcock '40 

1988-1989: Peter M. Sherin '59

1987-1988: Harvey L. Hayden '58

1986-1987: Bennett H. Beach '67

1985-1986: Mirick Friend '59

1984-1985: John P. English '28

1983-1984: Richard D. Phippen '38

1982-1983: David T. Goodhart '41

1981-1982: Donald G. Palais '45

Unknown: Barry Gately '52

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