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September 22, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Lindsay:(202) 994-0487;
Adela de la Torre: (202) 994-6424;


Inaugural Presidential Alumni Award, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, and Recent Alumni Achievement Awards to be Presented on Sept. 25

WASHINGTON - George Washington University President Steven Knapp and The George Washington Alumni Association have announced the 2008 recipients of the Distinguished and Recent Alumni Achievement Awards and the inaugural Presidential Alumni Award. The seven winners will be honored at a ceremony during Alumni Weekend on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Regis Hotel.

Alumni Achievement Award recipients are recognized for the lasting impact they have made on society though outstanding professional, voluntary, or philanthropic accomplishments. The Presidential Alumni Award, presented for the first time this year, is given in recognition of a graduate for his or her professional achievement, service to the University, and public leadership, all of which reflect honor on The George Washington University.

"The recipients of these awards have distinguished themselves and their alma mater. They have worked hard, achieved much, and are continuing to set standards of excellence in their respective fields of business, engineering, public health, public service, and the arts," said Dr. Knapp. "Through their dedication to their careers and communities, these alumni embody the spirit of The George Washington University."

The inaugural Presidential Alumni Award recipient is Clifford M. Kendall, M.B.A. '65.

Kendall, co-founder of Computer Data Systems, Inc., served as the company's chairman and CEO and later as director until his retirement in 2003. He is the former chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Montgomery County Community Foundation. Kendall currently serves as chairman of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland and recently established endowed scholarships for students attending the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Md. Kendall has been an outstanding leader in the GW community serving on the University's Board of Trustees as well as on the Dean's Board of Advisors for the School of Business. 

This year's recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award are W. Scott Amey, M.S. '75; Craig A. DeAtley, B.S. '75; and John Safer, A.A. '42, B.A. '47.

Amey is the president and chief executive officer of Amyx Inc. Prior to this position, he co-founded and served as executive vice president of RS Information Systems. For the past six years, Amey has served on the School of Engineering and Applied Science's National Advisory Council and is a leading voice in the council.

DeAtley is the director of the Institute for Public Health Emergency Readiness at Washington Hospital Center. A leader in emergency preparedness and first responder training, DeAtley served as founding director of the GW Emergency Health Services Program and provided expertise following the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina.

Safer is an internationally renowned sculptor and a successful real estate and banking entrepreneur. Safer's works stand in more than 1,000 private collections and public sites, including "Ascent," a 75-foot high work at the entrance of the Smithsonian Institution's Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport and "The Golden Quill" on display at GW's Gelman Library.

This year's recipients of the Recent Alumni Achievement Award are Julie S. Lee, M.S. '05; Rodolfo Perecin Mareno, B.A. '05, and Kerry Washington, B.A. '98.

Lee is the president and chief executive officer of Access Systems, Inc. The company was recognized as one of Virginia's fastest growing companies by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and 2005, selected as one of the best places to work in Virginia by Inside Business magazine, and named among Washington Technology's "Fast 50" from 2002 to 2004.

Mareno is the founder and chief executive officer of the Inter-American Development Fund (Fondo Interamericano de Desarrollo). The fund is an international nonprofit organization focused on the creation of strategic infrastructure projects, such as schools, libraries, and health establishments in impoverished and under-funded areas in Latin America.

Washington is a multi-award winning actress and performing arts professional who has been cast in numerous major motion pictures including Ray, Save the Last Dance, I Think I Love My Wife, The Last King of Scotland, and 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, among others. She received a 2005 Image Award for her performance in Ray and a 2001 Teen Choice Award for her performance in Save the Last Dance.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is the highest form of recognition given by the University and the GW Alumni Association to alumni on an annual basis. This is the 72nd annual presentation of the award. Each recipient has made a lasting impact on society through outstanding professional, voluntary, or philanthropic accomplishments. Prior recipients include Julius Axelrod, Ph.D. '55, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine; Abby Joseph Cohen, M.A. '76, Goldman Sachs senior investment strategist and president of Goldman's Global Markets Institute; Michael B. Enzi, B.B.A. '66, U.S. Senator from Wyoming; Zelda D. Fichandler, A.A. '43, M.A. '50, founder of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; Diana B. Henriques, B.A. '69, The New York Times financial investigative reporter; J. Edgar Hoover, L.L.B. '16, L.L.M. '17, former FBI director; Daniel K. Inouye, J.D. '52, U.S. Senator from Hawaii; Allyn E. Kilsheimer, B.S. '63, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers; Abraham Pollin, B.A. '44, owner of the NBA's Washington Wizards; Colin Powell, M.B.A. '71, former U.S. Secretary of State; and Syngman Rhee, B.A. 1907, first president of South Korea.

In 2007, The George Washington Alumni Association implemented the Recent Alumni Achievement Award. This award is presented to alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and who have made a lasting impact on society though outstanding professional, voluntary, or philanthropic accomplishments, proving potential for future influence and leadership in their field.

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