Suffield Academy held its 15th annual Alumni Leadership Awards Program Day on May 15. The Alumni Association created the program to honor Suffield graduates who have displayed notable leadership in their professional careers or in a humanitarian endeavor.
The Alumni Leadership Award Selection Committee is comprised of alumni, students, and members of the faculty. The committee members this year were Ed Kaplan '77, David Rockwell '58, Phil Riegel '87, and six members of the Class of 2017: David Emerson, Chris Ennis, Morgan Islam, Zach Mooney, Chloe Rogalin, and Tyreek Scott-Grayson. The awards were presented to David R. Holmes ’60 and H. Janice Lee ’99.
An accomplished educator and nonprofit leader, David R. Holmes ’60 was Headmaster of Suffield Academy from 1991 to 2004. With degrees from Middlebury College (BS/BA), Columbia University (MA), and University of Denver (PhD), David served in the US Army from 1966 to 1968 and was a tenured professor at the University of Vermont. He helped found College for Every Student, a national project that helps disadvantaged youth on the path to college, and Escola SESC, a boarding school in Brazil serving low income students. He headed a $25 million grants program for innovation at the US Department of Education from 1987 to 1991. From 2011 to 2015 he directed a center for youth with learning differences and served as Head of the Community School in Sun Valley, Idaho. He now serves as Co-Director of the Institute on Character and Admission and plays a leadership role nationally in elevating character attributes in education and in college admissions.
Janice H. Lee ’99 is an intellectual property lawyer at Morgan Lewis in Washington, DC. Janice was born in Seoul, Korea, and attended Cornell University after graduating from Suffield. She earned a degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Magna Cum Laude. Janice also earned degrees from Johns Hopkins University (PhD) and Georgetown University (JD). She brings a background in science and engineering to her legal work and most frequently focuses on biotechnology, chemistry, and materials engineering matters. She guides clients through patent procurement and litigation matters. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Janice developed bio-synthetic hybrid polymer materials and stem cell coculture systems for musculoskeletal tissue engineering.
The recipients were honored and shared remarks in the Second Baptist Church. David and Janice spoke about their careers and the remarkable influence Suffield has had on their lives. “I want you to remember that Suffield was not inevitable; it didn’t just appear,” concluded Dr. Holmes. “If you want to make a difference you have to be in the game. You have to be involved. The strength of character shapes us and makes us who we are and what we will become. Character counts.”