Reunion 2017 Alumni Awards

The following awards were presented at Alumni Convocation during Reunion Weekend 2017.
Eigenbrodt Cup - Thomas L. Safran ’67
Alumni Achievement Award - Nicole Moretti Hockley ’92
Gary McQuaid Award - Elizabeth Elting ’87
Kathleen O’Connor Boelhouwer Alumnae Initiative Award - The Hon. Jane M. Swift ’87
Alumni Medal for Excellence - Eric R. Fossum ’79, H’14
Alumni Medal for Excellence - Francesca Borges Gordon ’82
Alumni Medal for Excellence -
Cynthia Mohr Wolcott ’77, P’15
Alumni Medal for Excellence - Bryant S. Zanko ’87, P’17

Citations for the 2017 Alumni Awards

The Eigenbrodt Cup

Thomas L. Safran ’67
This award, presented by Miss Sallie Eigenbrodt to the College in memory of her brother, David L. Eigenbrodt, Class of 1831, is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on a Trinity alumnus/a. A recipient of this honor must be an alumnus/a of national or international prominence, who has rendered unusual and significant service to the College. Each recipient receives a medallion symbolizing the honor; the cup itself, inscribed with his or her name, remains at the College. The cup has been awarded annually since 1935 except in 1939, 1944, and 1963.

You once said your motto is “If not now, when? If not us, who?” This deeply held belief that we should give back to our communities is embodied in your career and personal life.

For more than 40 years, you have headed Thomas Safran & Associates, which develops affordable housing for families and seniors in the Los Angeles area. More than a traditional development company, TSA provides many services for its residents, including educational and creative programs, referrals to social agencies, and even financial assistance for students.

In 2008, inspired by the reality show “Oprah’s Big Give,” your company launched TSA’s Big Give program. This annual, monthlong challenge engages all employees and the mostly low-income residents in raising funds and needed items to benefit local nonprofits, including senior centers and camps for children.

Your company has received numerous awards over the years, including the 2014 Preservation Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy and a 2015 Business Advancement of Gerontology Award from the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics. Last year, you were inducted into the Housing Hall of Fame of the California Housing Consortium for your efforts to create affordable housing throughout the state.

In 2015, you received the Community Recognition Award from the Brentwood Community Council for your dedication to your home city. In addition, you have been active in Los Angeles nonprofit housing organizations, including serving as president of Alternative Living for the Aging and as vice president of the Menorah Housing Foundation. You also are a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and served on the board of the Music Center of Los Angeles County.

A psychology major at Trinity, you also hold an M.B.A. from UCLA, where you are very active serving on several boards, including those of the Ziman Center at the Anderson School of Management and the Williams Institute at the law school. Before starting your company in 1974, you spent five years in various positions with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Despite your many commitments, you also give richly to your alma mater, including serving on the Board of Fellows. For years, you led the Trinity alumni community in Los Angeles and hosted numerous events at your welcoming home, including receptions for the last four presidents of the College. You also have encouraged numerous high school students to consider Trinity and counseled countless current students and young alumni as they embark on their careers. It is no wonder you are known as Mr. Trinity in the Greater Los Angeles area!

Madam President, on the occasion of his 50th Reunion, I am honored to present for The Eigenbrodt Cup, a most distinguished alumnus, Thomas L. Safran, Class of 1967.

Alumni Achievement Award

Nicole Moretti Hockley ’92
This award is given each year by the Trinity College Alumni Association to a member of the alumni body who has, preferably recently, distinguished himself or herself either in his or her line of endeavor or beyond the call of normal pursuits. As an award given by the Alumni Association to one of its own members, it is of a singular purpose, and intended to be clearly distinct from the Eigenbrodt Trophy and the Alumni Medal for Excellence.

In 2012, you experienced unimaginable loss when your 6-year-old son, Dylan, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. In the wake of this horrific tragedy, you co-founded Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent gun-related deaths.

You want the public to know that tragedies like Sandy Hook are preventable and encourage others to join you in “making the promise” to build a safer future. Traveling the country, you teach children and adults how to identify and get help for those who are at risk of harming themselves or others through gun violence. Last November, your activism was recognized by People magazine when it named you one of 2016’s “25 Women Changing the World.”

You came to Trinity from your home state of Rhode Island. An English and theater major, you were active on the staff of The Trinity Tripod, serving as the newspaper’s editor during your senior year. A member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, you participated in drama productions at Trinity and served as a resident assistant and an undergraduate coordinator.

During your junior year, you studied at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, where you met your husband, Ian. After your graduation, you moved back to the U.K., where you worked in marketing and communications. You and Ian married in 1993, and, in 2011, you moved with your young sons, Dylan and Jake, to the United States.

To honor Dylan’s life, you have committed yours to building a safer future. Since its beginning in the months following December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Promise has trained more than 2 million educators, parents, community members, and students to help prevent gun violence. Your courage, hard work, and selflessness made this possible. You are, indeed, changing the world.

Madam President, on her 25th Reunion, I am honored to present for the Alumni Achievement Award Nicole Moretti Hockley, Class of 1992.

Gary McQuaid Award

Elizabeth Elting ’87

The Gary McQuaid Award was established by family and friends in memory of Gary W. McQuaid ’64 and in recognition of his leadership as a Trinity undergraduate and his subsequent success in the business world. The award is presented annually by the National Alumni Association to the alumnus/a who has demonstrated leadership as an undergraduate and success in the business world.

At the age of 26, having just earned your M.B.A. from New York University, you walked away from a prestigious brokerage job when your male co-workers expected you to fetch their coffee. Instead, you launched a translation firm out of an NYU dorm room with zero outside funding. Now the world’s largest privately held provider of language and technology services, TransPerfect has offices in 90 cities on six continents.

As TransPerfect’s co-founder and co-CEO, you have received numerous awards for your talented entrepreneurship and your focus on mentoring women business leaders. These include the National Organization for Women’s Women of Power & Influence Award, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, the American Express-Entrepreneur Magazine Woman of the Year Award, and the Women Worth Watching Award from Diversity Journal.

You came to Trinity from your home in Toronto, Canada. A lover of languages and words, you majored in modern languages — French and Spanish. You were a member of the College’s Spanish Club and spent your junior year studying in Córdoba, Spain.

Trinity is a special place for you and your family. Both your father, Everett Elting Jr., Class of ’58, and your sister, Lynn Elting Siegel, Class of ’85, are alumni. You have served on the Founders Council of the Women’s Leadership Council, and in 2007, you were awarded the College’s Alumni Medal for Excellence. Last year, you were named to Trinity’s Board of Trustees, where you have served on the Audit and Risk Committee and the Comprehensive Campaign Subcommittee.

In addition, you are a regular speaker at both NYU and Columbia Business School, and you serve on the Executive Leadership Committee of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red.

Liz Elting, you are the definition of a self-made woman. You are not only an innovative entrepreneur but also a role model for all women who aim to push back against tradition and remain true to their visions.

Madam President, on the occasion of her 30th Reunion, I am honored to recommend for the Gary McQuaid Award Elizabeth Elting, Class of 1987.

The Boelhouwer Award

The Hon. Jane M. Swift ’87
This award, presented by the National Alumni Association Executive Committee, in memory of Kathleen O’Connor Boelhouwer ’85, a Trinity leader, both as a volunteer and as a senior professional, annually honors that alumna or alumnus whose leadership, persuasion, and activities advance the engagement of Trinity’s alumnae in the College’s excellence and reputation. The Boelhouwer Award will recognize that person each year who helps expand the number of women in leadership volunteer roles at Trinity, and/or who helps connect successful alumnae to one another and the College, and/or who helps educate alumnae about their philanthropic power in support of Trinity, and/or who increases alumnae mentoring on and off-campus, and/or helps recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Trinity women, as graduates or as undergraduates.

Your political career has been called “wonderfully precocious.” In your 15 years in the Massachusetts government, you have served as governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of consumer affairs and business regulation, and a state senator.

Over the years, you achieved many “firsts.” You became the first woman to serve as a Massachusetts governor and the nation’s youngest governor when you were sworn in following the resignation of Governor Paul Cellucci in April 2001. At age 25, you were the youngest woman elected to the Massachusetts State Senate and quickly became the youngest woman to hold a leadership position, rising to assistant minority leader.

Your commitment to improving public education has been at the forefront of your career. As lieutenant governor, you called for higher standards and accountability for schools, teachers, and students. As governor, you instituted meaningful remediation programs for underperforming students and helped parents gain more information about their children’s schools. You have been a highly visible working mother throughout your career in the public and private sector, and you continue to speak publicly and privately on the importance of policies to support working families.

Since leaving politics in 2003, you have directed organizations focused on education and the advancement of girls, including Sally Ride Science and the School of Leadership Afghanistan. Most recently, you served as CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages, a Vermont-based company that delivers digital language courses and summer academies to more than 180,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12.

A native of North Adams, you showed your trademark grit and drive at Trinity, where you excelled as an American studies major. Here, your interest in politics grew, specifically in Professor Clyde McKee’s course titled “Administration and Public Policy.” During your junior year, you studied at the Trinity College Rome Campus, and that following summer you interned at the Massachusetts Statehouse with Senator Peter Webber. You were also a member of the rugby team and a member and social chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

You have served your alma mater as a career adviser and alumni interviewer. And this past April, you addressed Trinity students about the importance of diversity of thought. In 2001, Trinity awarded you an honorary doctor of laws degree, and in 2002, you received the Alumni Medal for Excellence. In recent years, you have led the charge to rally sorority alumnae in support of students and the College.

Governor Swift, your determination and drive are an inspiration and a model to women. You have shattered glass ceilings and pursued your career on your own terms. Trinity College is extremely fortunate to have you among its alumni body.

Madam President, on her 30th Reunion, I am honored to present for the Boelhouwer Award, Jane Swift Class of 1987.

Alumni Medal for Excellence

Eric R. Fossum ’79, H’14

This medal is awarded annually to alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions, to their communities, and to Trinity College.

In 1992, while working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, you invented an image sensor to miniaturize cameras in space. Twenty-five years later, that sensor is ubiquitous, used in cell-phone cameras, webcams, digital cameras, medical equipment, and even automobiles. It is the technology that allows doctors a view inside the body and lets us take selfies with our cellphones.

For this invention, you recently received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the largest engineering prize in the world, given to engineers whose inventions are of global benefit to humanity.

A physics and engineering major at Trinity, you were a President’s Fellow in physics and received the Senior Physics Prize. After earning your Ph.D. in engineering and applied science from Yale University, you joined the electrical engineering faculty at Columbia University.

Described as a “serial entrepreneur,” you have headed several high-tech companies, including Photobit, which you founded in 1995 to bring your invention to the public sector.

Currently a professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, you were recently named associate provost for Dartmouth’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer. You also lead the Thayer School’s Ph.D. Innovation Program — the first of its kind, which addresses the nation’s need for engineers with both technical and entrepreneurial expertise.

Your body of work is impressive, with more than 290 technical papers and 160 U.S. patents to your name. You are co-founder and past president of the International Image Sensor Society and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and The Optical Society. You also hold membership in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

In addition to the Queen Elizabeth Prize, you were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, selected as a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and were elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

With all of your accomplishments, you have never forgotten your Trinity roots. A member of the College’s Board of Trustees since 2014, you are chair of the Academic Affairs Subcommittee and a member of the Student Life Subcommittee. You also have served on Trinity’s Board of Fellows, STEM Advisory Board, and Engineering Advisory Council. Trinity awarded you an Alumni Achievement Award in 1997 and an honorary doctor of science degree in 2014.

Madam President, I am honored to recommend for the Alumni Medal for Excellence a most distinguished alumnus, Eric R. Fossum, Class of 1979.

Alumni Medal for Excellence

Francesca Borges Gordon ’82
This medal is awarded annually to alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions, to their communities, and to Trinity College.

Albert Schweitzer said, “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” You have taken these words to heart and put service to others at the center of your professional and personal life.

Since your graduation from Trinity with a degree in political science, you have embarked on a distinguished career in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds. Currently, you are a senior development officer for the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, where you manage a portfolio of donor-advised funds and cultivate major gifts.

After graduating from Trinity, you began your career in banking with Connecticut Bank and Trust, where you held positions in private and municipal banking. In 1991, your alma mater came calling, and you shared your considerable talents with Trinity as a senior capital programs officer in the Development Office. In 1996, you continued your work in higher education by serving as the area director of the United Negro College Fund New York City. In 1999, MasterCard International recognized your keen ability to understand the importance of corporate social responsibility and the development of partnerships with nonprofit organizations and offered you an opportunity to manage and shape its corporate giving program headquartered in Purchase, New York.

Since returning to Hartford more than 10 years ago, you have worked with a number of nonprofit and health care organizations, including Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and the Saint Francis Foundation, where you focused on major gifts to support the Men’s Health Institute and the Women’s Health Center at Saint Francis Hospital.

You have contributed richly to the College as a volunteer. As an officer of the Black Alumni Organization, you worked tirelessly to ensure that a new generation of leaders will carry the organization forward. You also have brought new ideas and energy to the Trinity Club of Hartford as a member of its board.

Trinity runs deep in your family. Your sister, Maria, Class of 1985; your brother, Frank, Class of 1974; and your brother, Peter, Class of 1980, are all alumni.

In the Greater Hartford community, you have been involved with several nonprofit organizations, including The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Renbrook School, Miss Porter’s School, and the YMCA Minority Achievers Advisory Committee.

Madam President, on the occasion of her 35th Reunion, I am honored to recommend for the Alumni Medal for Excellence a most accomplished and dedicated alumna, Francesca Borges Gordon, Class of 1982.

Alumni Medal for Excellence

Cynthia Mohr Wolcott ’77, P’15
This medal is awarded annually to alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions, to their communities, and to Trinity College.

Though you left Hartford after you earned your degree in 1977, your heart has never been far from your alma mater. Since graduation, you have immersed yourself in the life of the College, working on the Annual Fund and serving your class Reunion Committee. Over the years, you have conducted alumni admission interviews and led alumni activities in your home city of Wilmington, Delaware, and in nearby Philadelphia.

For the past seven years, you have been a devoted and enthusiastic member of the National Alumni Association Executive Committee, serving on the NAA Area Club Committee and the Bantam Life Committee to help create opportunities for alumni to support student experiences outside the classroom. You also are president of the Class of 1977.
You came to Trinity from the Philadelphia area. An American studies major, you spent the fall semester of your junior year studying at the Institute of European Studies in London. The summer before your senior year, you interned at the International Conference of the American Studies Association, held at the University of Pennsylvania. You also were a member of the varsity women’s lacrosse team in the formative years of women’s athletics at the College.

After graduation, you pursued a career in finance, focusing on marketing and product promotion. Now a dedicated community volunteer, you have been a longtime member of the Junior League of Wilmington and have served on several local boards. In addition, you have participated in fundraising efforts for schools and nonprofits.

You and your husband, Dan, are the proud parents of Sarah, who graduated from Trinity in 2015 and serves as a member of the College’s admissions staff.

Madam President, on the occasion of her 40th Reunion, I am honored to recommend for the Alumni Medal for Excellence a most dedicated alumna, Cynthia Mohr Wolcott, Class of 1977.

Alumni Medal for Excellence

Bryant S. Zanko ’87, P’17
This medal is awarded annually to alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions, to their communities, and to Trinity College.

Since your graduation in 1987, you have been a tireless advocate and volunteer for your alma mater. So much so, in your home city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, you are known as “Mr. Trinity.”

You have hosted alumni events in Grand Rapids and at your summer home in Cape Cod and have shared your advice and support with Trinity students and athletes on campus. You are a member of Trinity’s Board of Fellows and a leader in your class and Reunion committees. Previously, you served on the National Alumni Association Executive Committee.

At Trinity, you distinguished yourself in the classroom as an economics major and on the field as a member of the Bantam football team. You were a member of Psi Upsilon, holding positions as the fraternity’s treasurer and vice president. As a sophomore, you served as a representative and treasurer for the Interfraternity Council.

After graduation, you embarked on an impressive career in corporate finance. You were director of investment banking for PricewaterhouseCoopers and held positions at Van Kampen Merritt and the Advest Group. At PepsiCo, you directed corporate expansion opportunities and restructurings for the company’s food businesses in the Americas. Currently, you serve as vice president of corporate business development for Stryker Corporation, an $11 billion medical technologies company. You hold an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Perhaps your proudest Trinity moment was watching your daughter, Rachel, follow in your and her grandfather’s footsteps last month, when she graduated from the College with a degree in economics.

Madam President, on the occasion of his 30th Reunion, I am honored to recommend for the Alumni Medal for Excellence a most dedicated alumnus, Bryant S. Zanko, Class of 1987.