Profiles in Achievement: CAS Alumni Fellows 2010-11
For the past 16 years, the College of Arts and Sciences has been recognizing outstanding alumni with the CAS Alumni Fellow Awards. These awards honor CAS alumni who have helped transform our society through their career achievements, and who have used their university experiences as springboards to greater success. Each of our honorees is a testament to the degree to which a liberal education can shape the futures of innovative individuals.
The 2010-2011 honorees are Jeff Whitty, Kurt Widmer and Mary (Donnelly) Meyers (see bios below)
They will be honored at the annual “Profiles in Achievement” award banquet this spring.
Jeff Whitty was born and raised in Coos Bay, Oregon, and is a proud graduate of the University of Oregon. He won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Avenue Q,which started Off-Broadway, moved to Broadway for seven years, then moved back Off-Broadway where it still runs happily. International productions include countries as diverse as the U.K., Australia, Israel, Sweden, Brazil, Finland, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Hungary and five runs in the Philippines.
Jeff’s new musical Bring It On recently premiered at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta in preparation for a New York-bound national tour in the Fall. Plays include: The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, The Hiding Place, The Plank Project, Suicide Weather and Balls. Theaters presenting his work include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Atlantic Theater Company, South Coast Repertory, the Vineyard Theater, the New Group, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Upcoming: Tales of the City: The Musical premieres at Actors Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco in May. Jeff currently divides his time between New York City and upstate New York with his long-term partner Steve. As an actor, Jeff has appeared regionally, off-Broadway, and in film and TV.
Kurt Widmer is a Portland native and a Duck. Before graduating from the UO in 1978 with a B.A. in Psychology, he spent the mid-‘70’s living and working in Germany. During this time he also carefully honed his beer drinking skills. Upon his return to the U.S., he was dismayed to discover that the German beers he had come to love arrived in Oregon somewhat stale and travel weary. Inspired to replicate the delicious beers he had enjoyed in Germany, Kurt, along with his brother Rob, opened one of America’s first Craft Breweries, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. Today, nearly 27 years later, Kurt serves as Board Chairman and Brewmaster—the title he most cherishes.
Mary (Donnelly) Meyers graduated from the UO in 1963 with a degree in General Social Science. Following graduation, she began working for a mortgage loan company and continued her commitment to the UO and Eugene by serving as volunteer and Officer of the Junior League; Director of the Town Club of Eugene; and Officer and Director of the Alumni Association; and serving on the Foundation’s Investment Council.
In 1986, Mary moved to Vancouver, Washington where she became a Registered Representative in the securities industry. She established her own firm, Threshold, Inc., one of the first woman owned financial services companies in Southwest Washington. Mary has received recognition for her outstanding achievement in the securities industry for four out of five years since 2006. Mary continues to operate her financial company with a strong focus on helping women in their quest for financial security. She lives with her husband, Larry Meyers, in Gearhart where they frequently host game viewing parties for area Duck fans. They have three daughters and five grandchildren who enjoy visiting the beach.
2009-2010: Gerald Ohlsen, Richard Sorenson, Connie (Ohlsen) Vandament
2008-2009: Rosanna Bowles, Ann Bancroft, Dave Petrone
2006-2007: Margie Lehrman, Luis Derbez, Gurdeep Pall
2005-2006: Bill Drozdiak, Patrick Gray, Jan Eliot
2004-2005: Pam Coats, Robert Miller, Jack Borsting
2003-2004: Brian G. Booth
2002-2003: Joel Schneider, Yoko McClain, Victor L. Tomseth
2001-2002: Gail J. Fullerton, Lyle Hohnke, William Sullivan
2000-2001: Paula Gunn Allen, George N. Fugelsang, Barclay Slocum
1999-2000: Ollie Chambers, Frederick Fraunfelder, Nora Terwilliger
1998-1999: Larry Ferguson, Marcia Smith,Prapon Wilairat
1997-1998: Helen J. Frye, Douglas R. Hofstadter, Luther “Lute” Jerstad
1996-1997: Beatrice Aitchison, Kenny Moore, Kathleen Weaver
1995-1996: Emery O. Barnes, Vicki Hanson, John Mitchell