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Alumni Newsmakers

In Memoriam

Mike M. Millan, BS '47
Dec. 25, 2012
Annapolis, Md.

Dorris Wells, AA '49
Jan. 5, 2012
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Lawrence Clipper, MA '58
Jan. 22, 2012
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Joseph J. Pessa, BA '61, MS '72
Jan. 6, 2012
Evans, Ga.

Beatrice S. Hummel, BA '64
Dec. 31, 2011
Pensacola, Fla.

Harry J. Leach, BA '65
Oct. 31, 2011
Gainesville, Va.

Col. Harold A. Hayes Jr., MS '67
Nov. 20, 2011
Fort Belvoir, Va.

Katherine L. Foti, MA '69
Jan. 2, 2012
Beckley, W.Va.

Kate Bailey, MVC '71
Feb. 23, 2011
Reston, Va.

Alfred J. Croft Jr., MS '73
Dec. 24, 2011
McLean, Va.

William S. Hahn, MA '79
Dec. 28, 2011
Gainesville, Va.

Carl A. Schoenberger, MFA '04
Dec. 27, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C.


Joan K. Ziemba, director of corporate and community relations for the George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus, died on May 17. She was 65.

She led a number of internal and external projects, including Science Technology and Engineering Day, the Foundation Center Cooperating Collection, and the Loudoun Academy of the Arts Foundation and Art Square Partnership: The Regional Artists Series. Ms. Ziemba also led efforts to support a number of local nonprofits, and nonprofit initiatives in Loudoun County and northern Virginia and routinely organized internal and external community events for the campus.

"Joan's efforts and creativity were instrumental in connecting the campus with the Loudoun community, winning new friends for GW, and nurturing relationships with very positive and lasting impact on our campus," says Ali Eskandarian, BS '79, PhD '87, dean of GW's Virginia Science and Technology Campus. "We shall forever remain grateful to Joan for her perseverance and her dedication to GW."


Dorothy Shapiro, who donated a total of $8.7 million to the George Washington University and established several professorships and fellowships at the university, died May 29. She was 91.

Ms. Shapiro, of Potomac, Md., had overseen the charitable trust of her late husband, Maurice Shapiro, and her late brother-in-law J.B. Shapiro, who both ran Shapiro Inc., a family-owned real estate and development firm. The J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Charitable Trust created endowed chairs in environmental and public interest law at the GW Law School and in media and public affairs at GW's School of Media and Public Affairs. The trust also funded a professorship of international affairs in the Elliott School of International Affairs.

The Shapiros also funded several public interest and congressional fellowships at the Law School as well as various awards for public service. Ms. Shapiro created the Dorothy M. and Maurice C. Shapiro Traveling Fellowship Program, which enables students to carry out original intellectual, cultural, artistic, or humanistic projects abroad.

"She pretended to be an ordinary little old lady. In fact she was sharp as a tack. She knew exactly what she wanted. And she negotiated until she got it," says Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, GW president emeritus and a university professor of public service. "She gave GW millions for scholarships, chairs, and other good things. Dorothy wanted her money to make Washington and GW better. She insisted that resources earned in D.C. stay in D.C."