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May 9, 2005

CONTACT: Jennifer Rosenthal
(202) 994-6424;


Eight Alumni will be Honored During Commencement Weekend

 WASHINGTON - The George Washington University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and The George Washington Alumni Association announce the recipients of the 69th annual GW Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards.  The eight winners will be honored at a ceremony and brunch May 21 at 11:30 a.m. at The Madison Hotel and will be recognized during the GW Commencement ceremony on the Ellipse Sunday, May 22.  Winners of the award have distinguished themselves within society through outstanding professional, voluntary, or philanthropic accomplishments. 

"Alumni are the University's ambassadors and testimony to the reputation of a GW degree," said President Trachtenberg.  "I am humbly reminded by their achievements of how personal tenacity and excellence reflects positively on the University community."

This year's recipients are:

Robert Ames Alden, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, B.A.'65, M.A. '68, was the first GW alumnus elected president of the National Press Club in 1976.  He wrote for The Washington Post for 48 years, and was the longest-serving editor in the newspaper's history until his retirement in 2000.  Alden is one of only two writers to win the Front Page Award for two consecutive years in 1957 and 1958. 

Walter M. Bortz III, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Ed.D. '98, is president of Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Va.  He previously served as vice president for administrative and information services at The George Washington University and as vice president for institutional advancement and acting vice president for student services at the University of Hartford.  Bortz is a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, trustee of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges, and chair of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Presidents Council. 

Diana B. Henriques, Elliott School of International Affairs, B.A. '69, is a reporter with The New York Times, Barron's National Business, and Financial Weekly, specializing in financial fraud, white-collar crime, and corporate governance issues.  She serves on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and is a frequent lecturer for the American Press Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.  Henriques is a recipient of the 2005 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, 2005 George Polk Award, 2004 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Reporting, and a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

James F. Humphreys, Law School, J.D. '78, is a West Virginia state senator.  He is a member of the West Virginia Bar's Law and Medicine Committee, the Law Institute of West Virginia University Law School, the West Virginia Water Quality Committee, the Governor's Special Commission on Water Standards, and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeal's Commission on Family and Domestic Law.  Humphreys also served as a member of the GW Law Board of Advisors and the GW Alumni Association Board of Directors. 

Pradman Kaul, School of Engineering and Applied Science, B.S. '67, is an inventor of the Very Small Aperture Terminal, a device critical to the commercialization of satellite technology.  He currently serves as CEO and chairman of Hughes Network Systems and previously served as COO, executive vice president, and director of engineering at Hughes.  Kaul also is a member of the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science National Advisory Council. 

Floyd D. Loop, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, M.D. '62, was CEO and chairman of the Board of Governors of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1989 to 2004.  He previously chaired the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.  Loop is the former president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and has received honorary degrees from Cleveland State University and St. Louis University. 

Christine E. Seidman, School of Medicine and Health Sciences , M.D. '78, is a professor in the departments of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Service at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.  Seidman was awarded the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research in 2002, Gill Heart Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cardiovascular Research in 2000, American Heart Association Basic Research Prize in 1999, American Heart Association Edgar Haber Cardiovascular Award in 1997, and the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award in Cardiovascular Research in 1992. 

George W. Wellde Jr., School of Business, M.B.A. '76, is managing director and head of North America sales for fixed income, currency, and commodities at Goldman, Sachs, and Co.  He previously was the branch manager and head of the fixed income department at the Goldman Sachs Tokyo office.  Wellde serves as a trustee at the University of Richmond and the Westminster School, on the board of the Vaccine Fund, and on the board of advisors for The George Washington University School of Business. 

 The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is the highest form of recognition given by the University and The George Washington Alumni Association to alumni on an annual basis.  Each recipient has made a lasting impact on society through outstanding professional, voluntary or philanthropic accomplishments.  Prior recipients include Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State; J. Edgar Hoover, former FBI director; Allyn E. Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers; Zelda D. Fichandler, founder of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; and Joseph Prueher, former U.S. Ambassador to China. 

For more information on the GW Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, please visit the GW Alumni web site at
For more news about GW, visit the GW News Center at

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