By Jill Spotz

The Alumni Association recognized outstanding alumni, alumni groups, and students for their volunteerism and commitment to the College at the Volunteer Awards Ceremony held in Pfenning Alumni Center Nov. 13. Each year, the Alumni Association celebrates the treasured contributions volunteers make to Lafayette and more importantly, its students, at this annual event. Hardworking volunteers make all the difference in creating a culture of philanthropy and engagement at Lafayette.

“We’re all pulled in so many directions these days. So I’m especially grateful that you choose to give your time and talent to Lafayette,” said Alumni Association President Tracy Hagert Sutka ’82 P’17 during her remarks. “As you can see from the people in the room, there’s no perfect definition of a Lafayette volunteer. We represent all class years, all majors, all affinity groups and geographic regions. What connects us all is the love for Lafayette College and a deep commitment to impact the lives of all the members of our community.”

President Nicole Farmer Hurd congratulates James R. Fisher ’77, P ’07, ’10, ’11

President Nicole Farmer Hurd presents James R. Fisher ’77, P ’07, ’10, ’11 with the Joseph E. Bell ’28 Award.

Of the many highlights during the reception, President Nicole Farmer Hurd presented James R. Fisher ’77, P’07,’10,’11, trustee emeritus and chair of the Marquis Society, with the Joseph E. Bell ’28 Award for his distinguished service to the College.

“This morning, I’m looking at friends across the tables I’ve gotten to know over the last weeks and months, and I couldn’t be more excited to be here,” said President Hurd. “Thank you for the honor of serving at this amazing place….I will say, Jim, I have never seen a longer citation in my life! So get ready because I’m going to read about 10 pages about you. I find you to be compelling and loving, and full of so much greatness.”

David Albala ’78 was honored for his 25 years of providing early career experiences to students by the Gateway Career Center. Accompanied by Jodi Antonelli ’02 and Kevin Rice ’01, two former students who are now practicing physicians, as well as Sabrina Sicilia ’22, a current extern, Albala explained why supporting students through externships is important to the students and to him personally.

David Albala ’78 received the Distinguished Externship Commitment Award. He acknowledged his former externs (from left) Sabrina Sicilia ’22, Jodi Antonelli ’02, and Kevin Rice ’01 during the awards ceremony

David Albala ’78 received the Distinguished Externship Commitment Award for his 25 years of providing externships for students. Albala was joined by former and current externs (from left) Sabrina Sicilia ’22, Jodi Antonelli ’02, and Kevin Rice ’01.

“I really love training and working with younger people. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, but I get more satisfaction out of seeing younger people succeed,” said Albala. “Of all the things that I’ve done in my career, this is what I have enjoyed the most.”

For Mira van Roon Brand ’92, her award was especially meaningful. Brand received the Barry McCarty Alumni Admissions Representative of the Year Award from Admissions for her outstanding dedication to introducing prospective students to Lafayette. Brand was accompanied by Barry W. McCarty, former dean of enrollment for which the award is named, as well as her son Carter Brand, a member of the Lafayette Class of 2025.

Photo shared by Mira von Roon Brand taken during her Commencement in 1992 with Barry McCarty, former dean of enrollment.

Barry McCarty, former dean of enrollment, and Mira van Roon Brand ’92 at her graduation in 1992.

“This award is very special to me because Barry McCarty facilitated my coming to Lafayette many years ago,” explained Brand. “I met my husband at Lafayette, and we both loved our time there! Now our oldest son attends Lafayette College, and he loves it too. Lafayette College is like family to us, and I want to tell everyone about the great school it is, especially in the Rocky Mountain region where I live now. Cur Non!”

There are many ways alumni give back to Lafayette through serving as alumni admissions representatives, internship or welcome event hosts, participating in regional chapters and affinity groups, and more. Interested in becoming involved? Complete the Volunteer Interest Form and a member of the Lafayette staff will contact you.

View additional photos from the event.

Congratulations to the following honorees:

Alumni Association Award Winners

Kelly Cesare Coffey ’87, George Washington Kidd, Class of 1836 Award

James Fisher ’77 P’07,’10,’11, Joseph E. Bell ’28 Award

Ian Stone ’10, Clifton P. Mayfield, Class of 1909 Award

Mark Suffredini ’93, George T. Woodring ’19 Service Award

Renae Schneck Tesauro ’82, George T. Woodring ’19 Volunteer of the Year Award

Daniella Colon ’10,William E. Greenip ’44 Award

Bruce Pastorini ’75, Chapter Event Chairperson of the Year Award

Samantha Chavin ’16, Chapter Support Person of the Year Award

Sharon Tchon Gruet ’81, Wilson E. Hughes ’38 Correspondent Award

Jillian Ventresca ’04, Elmer E. Huhn ’24 Correspondent Award

Francis Julia Jr. ’72, Bernard S. Wildstein ’35 Correspondent Award

Alix Talkow ’22, Admissions Ambassador Student Volunteer Service Award

Gateway Career Center Award Winners

Christina Seckar ’96, Lois and Neil Gagnon Award

Rachel Fischer ’07, Externship Commitment Award

David Albala ’78, Distinguished Externship Commitment Award

Annual Fund Award Winners

Class of 1981—Sharon Tchon Gruet ’81, Joseph T. Losee ’94 Award

Class of 1979—Laurie Samet ’79 and Lisa Kassel ’79, Lafayette College Fund Award

Class of 1957—Glenn Grube ’57, Julius Naab ’19 Award

Class of 2011—Amanda Whitbred ’11 and Christina Hunt ’11, Robert Whitmer 1885 Award

Class of 1971—Paul Dimmick ’71, Ernest G. Smith ’94 Award

Alumni Admissions Representative Award Winners

Samantha DeMarse ’20, New Alumni Admissions Representative of the Year Award

Mira van Roon Brand ’92, Barry W. McCarty Alumni Admissions Representative of the Year Award

Karen Kennedy ’08 and Rebecca McIver ’15, Alumni Admissions Representative Geographic Outreach Award

Lisa Kassel ’79, William G. Wilson Distinguished Service Award





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Alumni Relations

Lafayette volunteers make a difference, no matter where they’re based. You can serve as a representative at a high school college fair, an internship host, a regional event host, or a class leader.

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Categorized in: Alumni, Alumni Profiles, Giving News, News and Features