Every year during Reunion Weekend, the college honors graduates by bestowing upon them the Alumni Citation—the highest award given by Denison to its alumni. The citation honors those who have achieved the highest levels of leadership in their fields through contributions to the professional, civic, or religious life of the nation or to the advancement of Denison itself. Here’s a look at this year’s recipients. (For more information on each honoree, visit DenisonEverywhere.com.)
Donald L. Bryant Jr. ’64
Bryant Group International
St. Louis, Mo.
J.D., Washington University, 1967
Master of Foreign Service, American College of Higher Study
As a professional, Bryant addressed a need in the marketplace for a business that designed and funded employee benefits, through Bryant Group International. Named annually by Art News magazine as one of the “Top 200 Collectors in the World,” Bryant has served as a trustee at the St. Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the St. Louis Boys and Girls Club, among others. As a Denisonian and philanthropist, Bryant has so impacted the college’s physical and academic landscape that for current students—and for generations of students to come—his name has become synonymous with the study of studio art and art history as they head into the Bryant Arts Center, a renovated and reimagined Cleveland Hall.
N. Lynn Eckhert ’64
Lebanese American University and Professor of Family Medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School Southborough, Mass.
M.D., State University of New York, 1970
M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University, 1973
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1981
Eckert is a renowned public health and family medicine educator and administrator. Her career-long fascination with global health has impacted the lives of adults, children, and medical students in Liberia, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and closer to home in Massachusetts and in Arizona, in the Indian Health Service. On a long list of accomplishments, she has been chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges, a Fulbright Specialist, and, in true liberal arts style, the author of the highly successful one-woman play, “A Lady Alone,” about Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman physician in the U.S.
Michael D. Eisner ’64
CEO and Founder
The Tornante Company
Beverly Hills, Calif.
As a renowned leader in the entertainment industry, Eisner has transformed such companies as ABC, Paramount Pictures, and The Walt Disney Company. In 2005, he founded The Tornante Company, a privately held company that invests in and incubates companies and opportunities in media and entertainment. Through Tornante, Eisner also founded Vuguru, an independent studio that develops and finances story-driven content with multiproject licensing and distribution deals with AOL, Hulu, YouTube and Yahoo! He is also the author of three books. With his wife Jane, Eisner pursues philanthropic work that provides access and opportunities to children and the aging. His support for his alma mater, highlighted by his service as a member of the board of trustees, has included the founding of the Dominick Consolo Professorship at Denison, lovingly named for one of Eisner’s favorite professors.
Ambassador Tony P. Hall ’64
U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture
Hall is a dedicated civil servant, a retired ambassador to the U.N., a former United States representative from Ohio’s 3rd District, a three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, and one of the world’s leading advocates for hunger relief programs and the improvement of human rights.
Hall served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy, from 2002 to 2005. As a representative from Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District, he authored legislation that supported food aid, child survival, basic education, primary health care, microenterprise, and development assistance in the world’s poorest countries. A founding member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Hunger, Hall served as its chairman from 1989 to 1993. In response to the abolishment of the Hunger Committee in April 1993, he fasted for 22 days to draw attention to the needs of hungry people around the world. Hall founded and chaired the Congressional Hunger Center, a nongovernmental organization committed to ending hunger through training and educational programs for emerging leaders.
John D. Lowenberg Sr. ’64
Anvil Management Company
Vero Beach, Fla.
Prior to the formation of Anvil Management, for which he serves as principal, Lowenberg had been with the Robinson-Humphrey Company LLC, an Atlanta-based investment banking firm since 1970. In 1997, he retired as managing director and director. He served on the Long Range Planning, Capital Commitment, and Best Buys committees and was a director of several public and private companies.
An investment banker, Lowenberg has brought his skills and talents to several nonprofit boards of trustees, most notably, Denison’s. His engagement with his alma mater runs wide, from DART, to Careers, to Alumni Clubs. He also helped lead the effort to establish the Julian H. Robertson Jr. Endowed Professorship in 2008. The donors honored Julian H. Robertson Jr. as a leader in the investment world who has been instrumental in the growth and management of the college’s endowment. But Lowenberg may have made his biggest mark on the college during his 19-year tenure as chair of the board’s Investment Committee, during which time Denison’s endowment increased more than tenfold.
Arnold M. Engelman ’74
New York, N.Y.
Engelman melds the vision of creative people in the performing arts with financial and production savvy. The result is WestBeth Entertainment, which has produced, presented, promoted, and managed diverse productions all over North America in such venues as Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl, Radio City Music Hall, Toronto’s Massey Hall, the Chicago Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Broadway, and Lincoln Center for the past 35 years. Among the many performers on WestBeth’s roster are Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Eric Idle (Monty Python), John Leguizamo, Margaret Cho, Lewis Black, and The Jim Henson Company. And together with Bill Hoffman ’72, Engelman founded Westbeth Theatre Center, producing works for the likes of Stephen Colbert, John Cassavetes, Daryl Hannah, and John Turturro.
Robert C. Knuepfer Jr. ’74
Baker & McKenzie
M.B.A., Northwestern University, 1978
J.D., Northwestern University, 1978
Knuepfer is a senior partner in the global law firm Baker & McKenzie, a professor at Northwestern University, and a former federal prosecutor who is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. His work in Central Europe earned him the Order of Merit with Officer’s Cross from the Republic of Hungary, that country’s highest honor. He is the Foreign Economic Counsel for the Republic of Hungary and currently its Honorary Consul General designate. He was highly active as a Denison student and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity president, and since his graduation, he has offered Denison students internships at Baker & McKenzie, served as a guest lecturer in the Organizational Studies Program, and participated in DART and similar programs. He is a founder of LeaderShape, a national program for teaching leadership skills, and he organized the first campus Institute at Denison in 1992.
Wendy J. Wolf ’74
President and CEO
Maine Health Access Foundation Inc.
West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
M.D., The Ohio State University, 1977
M.P.H., Harvard University, 1998
As founding president and CEO of Maine Health Access Foundation, Wolf has improved care delivery and helped to ensure the voices of the uninsured and underserved are heard. Under her leadership, the foundation has become a nationally recognized leader in health philanthropy through its work to advance the strategic and sustainable transformation of our health care system through public policy and programs, such as spearheading the development of one of the most comprehensive statewide electronic health information exchanges in the country; improving care delivery through the integration of primary care with behavioral health services; and ensuring that the voices of vulnerable people are guiding every initiative to improve health and health care. She has been a professor of pediatrics, an author, and an award-winning senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Suni Pedersen Harford ’84
Managing Director and Head of Markets for North America
New York, N.Y.
In addition to her current responsibilities for Citigroup overseeing North American sales, trading, and origination businesses for Citi’s securities and banking franchise, Harford is a member of Citi’s Pension Plan Investment Committee and a director on the Board of Citibank Canada. She is also the co-head of Citigroup’s global women’s initiative, Citi Women.
Harford also finds significant ways to give back. In fact, she works on behalf of initiatives that support veterans, particularly as a founding member of Veterans on Wall Street and as the senior business sponsor for CitiSalutes. She also works with the Forte Foundation on increasing the number of women leaders in business; for The Friends of Hudson River Park; and with the Taproot Foundation on the promotion of skills-based volunteerism and pro bono philanthropy.
Lucas E. Ebbin ’89
Luke Ebbin Productions
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Ebbin is a twelve-time platinum and five-time Grammy-nominated record producer, songwriter, composer, and new media entrepreneur. He is considered the architect behind the makeover and comeback of Bon Jovi with his production of their international hit record, “Crush,” featuring the worldwide No. 1 single “It’s My Life.” Since then, Ebbin has gone on to produce and/or write songs for Melissa Etheridge, Plain White T’s, Richie Sambora, Rival Schools, La Ley, The All-American Rejects, will.i.am, Alicia Keys, and Zedd. Additionally, Ebbin has produced and/or composed television themes for Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, CBS News 50th Anniversary, and The CBS 1998 Winter Olympics, among others.
He broke down barriers between aspiring artists and the record industry as a founder of the online venture Music180. com. Ebbin is on the national board of directors of The Dream Foundation, granting wishes to those with life-limiting illnesses, and the advisory board of Notes for Notes, providing musical instruments and studios for the use of underprivileged children around the country.
Jonathan T. Silverstein ’89
General Partner and Co-Head
Global Venture Capital
New York, N.Y.
Silverstein is general partner and co-head of Global Private Equity at OrbiMed, the world’s largest healthcare fund manager, and Forbes magazine has named him to its “Midas List” as one of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world for the last three years. Working with entrepreneurs and scientists, Silverstein has been a founding investor, director, or chairman of numerous companies that have developed lifesaving therapies and diagnostics, including an ingestible pill with a microscopic diagnostic camera, and the world’s first disposable insulin pump. Silverstein has particular interest in companies specializing in drugs that treat rare and often incurable diseases, and he was chairman of Enobia, which discovered a lifesaving drug for hypophosphatasia, a rare and fatal bone disease. He is currently the chairman of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, which has developed drugs to treat rare liver diseases. In addition to his work, Silverstein has hired a Denison intern every year for a decade, mentoring and assisting with successful job placement on Wall Street.