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Alumni News

Six Alumni Honored With Achievement Awards

(Left to right) Raúl Yzaguirre, Bobby Burchfield, Simon Lee, President Steven Knapp, GW Alumni Association President Jim Core, Kathleen Dumais, Paul Miller, and Matthew Tosiello at the annual Alumni Achievement Awards

Six alumni received the university's highest annual recognition for graduates at the 76th annual Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards ceremony during Alumni Weekend.

The award honors graduates who have made a significant impact on society through professional, voluntary, or philanthropic accomplishments.

The 2012 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award recipients are:

Bobby R. Burchfield, JD '79, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery and co-head of the firm's Washington, D.C., office. He is a nationally prominent trial and appellate lawyer who defends major corporations against antitrust, class action, securities fraud, and other commercial cases. Mr. Burchfield has argued before the United States Supreme Court and has never lost a jury trial.

Kathleen M. Dumais, MVC BA '80, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 15 and serving as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee. She also is senior counsel at Ethridge, Quinn, Kemp, McAuliffe, Rowan & Hartinger, where she specializes in family law. She was named as one of the top 50 divorce lawyers in the Washington Metropolitan area by The Washingtonian and was named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women by the Daily Record.

Simon S. Lee, MS '05, founder, chairman, and CEO of STG Inc., a premier information technology company headquartered in Reston, Va. STG specializes in enterprise network operations, cybersecurity, financial services, systems engineering and integration, software engineering, and linguistics and intelligence solutions. Mr. Lee emigrated from South Korea to the U.S. in 1979 and founded STG in 1986.

Paul D. Miller, MS '66, MD '70, a distinguished clinical professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Medical School and medical director of the Colorado Center for Bone Research. His research has focused on the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Dr. Miller has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, and he serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Densitometry.

Raúl H. Yzaguirre, BS '70, U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic since 2010. Previously, Ambassador Yzaguirre was a presidential professor of practice and executive director of the Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at Arizona State University. Ambassador Yzaguirre also served as president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza and was named to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

This year's Recent Alumni Achievement Award recipient is Matthew J. Tosiello, MEd '08, a teacher at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, Va., and specialist in English for speakers of other languages. He was named 2011 Teacher of the Year by Arlington County Public Schools and was one of 21 metropolitan D.C. area teachers honored by the Washington Post as part of the annual Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards.

GW Families Host Summer Send-offs

Hundreds of students and their families attended George Washington's 2012 Summer Send-Offs in locations nationally and internationally, including Boston, Dallas, Beijing, and Mexico City.

GW's Office of Alumni Relations organized more than 35 send-offs with the help of alumni and parents.

"The send-offs provide us with a smaller atmosphere in which incoming students and their families can meet other members of their community," says Associate Director of Student and Young Alumni Programs Molly Kastendieck, MEd '08. "Parents especially enjoy bonding with other parents in their area."

This year, Charlotte, N.C., and Houston were added to the list, while other locations, like Los Angeles and Philadelphia, have been sites for the last 20 years.

The number of international send-offs—in Asia, Latin America, and Europe—tripled this summer to include more events in China and India, says Liza Boffen-Yordanov, director of international alumni programs and development.

GW President Steven Knapp attended the London send-off and alumni reception, along with GW Board of Trustees members George Coelho, MBA '77, and Michael Hoffman.

"The international send-offs serve a dual purpose: They welcome students and allow alumni the opportunity to network and meet with students," Ms. Boffen-Yordanov says. "All of our summer send-offs this year were fabulous. The students have been really receptive and very excited about the opportunity to come to the United States."

To learn more or get involved, visit

From The GWAA President

Jim Core, MA '96

Dear Fellow Colonials,

This past summer, the George Washington Alumni Association welcomed 19 new volunteer leaders to the 70-member Board of Directors. We met in July for our Annual Retreat, which was truly an exciting and inspiring session. This strong group of alumni volunteers is honored to be representing the GW alumni network—all 250,000 of you—across the U.S. and the world. They will be working hard this year to ensure the GW alumni network benefits from their volunteer efforts. You can read about the board at

We want all alumni to value the GW connection. Your GW alumni network can be an integral part of your professional and personal life, providing career resources, volunteer opportunities, and connections around the world and back to campus, as well as with current students.

Alumni Weekend 2012

This year, more than 2,800 alumni returned to campus for Alumni Weekend. The campus was electric, and every event that I attended deepened my pride in GW.

The GWAA hosted the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, a program that was started in 1937 to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves through notable achievements in their professional and personal lives. You can read more about this on page 46. My sincerest thanks go to Wes Burnett, JD '75, LLM '83, for his leadership on the Awards Committee, which works hard all year long to ensure the evening is a tremendous success.

I'd also like to congratulate Kyle Farmbry, BA '92, MPA '94, PhD '99, the GWAA's vice president for communications, for being recognized by the Black Alumni Association with a 2012 Impact Award at an inspiring ceremony during Alumni Weekend.

Moving forward with the GWAA

I'd also like to take this opportunity to introduce Steven Frenkil, BA '84, the new president-elect of the GWAA and a former GW parent. Steve will take the helm and lead the GWAA into continued success when my term ends in June 2013. He hails from Baltimore and is a partner at the law offices of Miles & Stockbridge.

Steve has successfully led the Student-Alumni Initiatives Committee of the GWAA for the past several years and played an integral role in launching many of our most successful programs, like the "Dinner with Alumni" program, which will be expanding beyond D.C. this year, and the popular "How Do I Became A…" career development seminars. Our alumni community will benefit greatly from Steve's leadership and commitment to GW.


Jim Core, MA '96
President, GW Alumni Association, 2011-13

Alumni Weekend 2012

A record crowd of more than 2,800 alumni returned to campus the last weekend in September for Alumni Weekend 2012.

The annual celebration, which also drew nearly 800 current students, faculty, and staff members, featured more than 60 events over four days. Iconic American soul-funk-fusion group Earth, Wind & Fire helped start the weekend during the All-Alumni Kickoff at the Charles E. Smith Center.

A record 18 area restaurants and catering companies owned or operated by GW alumni, including Founding Farmers, Luke's Lobster, Pork Barrel BBQ, and Cake Love, participated in the Taste of GW festival, which featured food, drink, music, and entertainment in University Yard for the fourth year.

Alumni in the undergraduate classes of 2007, 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1982, and 1962 joined classmates for reunion celebrations. Other prominent events included receptions for former student leaders, former Student Association presidents, and alumni affinity groups such as the LGBT and Latino alumni associations.

For more photos, visit

President Knapp joined Earth, Wind & Fire on stage to play the congas during the All-Alumni Kickoff concert.

Members of the undergraduate class of 1962 celebrated their 50th reunion during a luncheon, which included their induction into the Alumni Emeriti Society.

Alumni sampled a variety of foods, desserts, and beverages from GW Alumni owned and/or operated businesses at Taste of GW.

GW's Black Alumni Association handed out its annual IMPACT awards with President Knapp (center) and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, BA '64 (second from right). The recipients are (from left) Kyle Farmbry, BA '92, MPA '94, PhD '99; Tyrone Aiken, MS '02; and Tina Arrington, BA '93.

Former Student Association presidents got together for a special reception on campus.

Photos by Dave Scavone

GW memorabilia from throughout the years was on display during the reception for former student leaders.

The Taste of GW festival also featured music and family-friendly entertainment.

Members of the class of 2007 gathered at Circle Bistro for their five-year reunion.

Class yearbooks were available for guests at the 25th and 30th reunions for the classes of 1987 and 1982 to look through.

The Latino (above) and LGBT (below) alumni associations were two of many affinity groups that hosted receptions during Alumni Weekend.


Travel Program Takes Alumni Around the World

Linda Blair, PhD '95, and her husband visit Cuba with the 2012 Alumni Travel Program.

Linda Blair, PhD '95, who studied American literature at GW, was thrilled to visit Ernest Hemingway sites in Cuba, including Finca Vigia—his home outside Havana—and the bars he frequented. She traveled there with her husband last February on a GW Alumni Travel Program trip.

"Cuba clearly reveres its connection with Hemingway," she says, adding that she was also fascinated with the architecture and the restoration process that is under way. 

George Lucas, MD '61, and his wife have traveled many places, but had never been to the Adriatic Sea. So when they saw that GW's 2012 Alumni Travel Program offered a trip there, they jumped on board.

"We had never been to that part of the world and thought it was about time to go," Mr. Lucas says.

"It's a good value for your money," Mr. Lucas says. "I think the highlight was seeing the cities from the ship, and the pre-tour visit to Venice was fun," he says, before recalling their stop in Mostar, Bosnia. "That city suffered a lot during the war, and it was sobering to see buildings full of bullet holes."

In 2013, there are the 13 featured destinations—including the Galápagos Islands, St. Petersburg, Africa, and Cuba—through GW's alumni travel tour operators, AHI Travel and Thomas P. Gohagan & Company. Trips blend excursions, cultural immersion, and educational programs with guides and personal attention.

New trips are being added for 2013! For more information visit