This year, two Baldwin Medals, which honor the late Judge Raymond E. Baldwin ’16, were bestowed on William Wasch ’52 and Bruce Corwin ’62. The Baldwin Medal is the highest honor Wesleyan’s alumni body presents for extraordinary service to Wesleyan or for significant contributions to the public good.
Bruce Corwin is chairman and CEO of Metropolitan Theatres Corporation, a motion picture theater circuit of 125 viewing screens in California and Colorado. He has served on the executive committee of the National Association of Theatre Owners, as well as with other professional organizations. Devoted to educational issues, he has served as a board member of the Coro Foundation for more than 25 years, and he is currently working to improve the education of inner city children in Los Angeles. Mr. Corwin received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Wesleyan in 1987 and an Outstanding Service Award in 2002. He and his family have generously supported film studies, the Cinema Archives, athletics, Jewish student life, and more.
Bill Wasch ’52 has had two distinguished careers, and throughout both he and his wife, Susan, have been remarkable contributors to Wesleyan. In 1964 he joined the Wesleyan staff to direct the annual fund. From 1968 to 1984, he served as director of development and director of alumni programs.
After retiring from Wesleyan, he set up a consulting firm that specializes in customized housing options and personalized services for the 50-plus age group. His expertise in issues affecting older people led him to work with nonprofit organizations including Elderworks, serving as executive vice president for two years.
Always a dedicated Wesleyan citizen, he served as an alumni-elected trustee from 1997 to 2000. He and Susan are a constant presence at Wesleyan events, and they generously provided for the creation of the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty.
Robin Cook ’62, MD, received the James L. McConaughy [’36] Award, given to an graduate whose writing, or other creative achievement, conveys unusual insight and understanding of current and past events. Doctor and author, Robin Cook has been credited with introducing the word “medical” to the thriller genre. His best-sellers explore public policy conundrums such as organ transplantation in Coma, stem cells and egg donation in Shock, the collision of politics and bioscience regarding therapeutic cloning in Seizure, and bio-terrorism in Vector. Almost a dozen movies and mini-series have been adapted from his work.
Additionally, Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association to:
Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02: He is the Tony-winning composer-lyricist of Broadway’s In the Heights, an exuberant musical about life on a block in the Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights. The show received four 2008 Tony Awards, with Miranda receiving the award for Best Score, as well as a nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He is a co-founder of Freestyle Love Supreme, a popular hip-hop improv group that performs regularly in New York City and abroad.
James H. Gately ’62: The retired managing director of The Vanguard Group, he joined the investment management company in 1989 as a member of the senior leadership team, when it had 1,200 employees and managed roughly $50 billion. In 2007, when he retired, the company employed more than 12,000 people globally and managed more than $1.2 trillion. He has generously contributed his time and expertise to the boards of numerous nonprofits.
The Honorable Mark R. Kravitz ’72, P’00: A judge of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, he was appointed in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Prior to this, he was a partner at Wiggin & Dana, LLP, most recently chair of the appellate practice group. He is much admired by lawyers for his scholarly and scrupulous application of the law.
Joseph J. Fins ’82, MD, MACP: An internationally renowned medical ethicist and pioneer in the field of neuroethics and disorders of consciousness, he serves as chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and a tenured professor of medicine, with additional faculty appointments in public health and psychiatry, at Weill Cornell Medical College. He was recently named the inaugural E. William Davis Jr., [’47] MD Professor of Medical Ethics and served as chair of the Wesleyan Alumni Association.
Diana Farrell ’87: Joining President Barack Obama’s administration in January 2009 as deputy director of the National Economic Council and deputy assistant to the President on economic policy at the White House,she served for two years. She led the White House interagency-wide processes for a broad portfolio of economic initiatives, including financial regulatory reform, housing and housing finance policy, and innovation and competitiveness. She also was a member of the President’s Auto Task Force.
Emilie A. L. Marcus ’82 As CEO of Cell Press and editor of the flagship journal Cell, she is charged with leading one of the world’s most prestigious scientific publishing houses, managing a suite of 29 biomedical journals and identifying and promoting new scientific and technological trends that will shape the future of scientific research.
The Outstanding Service Award went to Richard P. Swanson ’77. A tireless and inspirational Wesleyan volunteer, he was awarded the Wesleyan University Service Award in 2002. In the 10 years since, he has only strengthened his commitment to his alma mater, continuing service as class agent, Reunion volunteer, member of the Campaign Council, and leader of the Class of 1977. Additionally, he served as chair of the Wesleyan Fund for two terms, during one of the toughest economic times in recent history.