Alumni honored for outstanding service to GW at awards ceremony

University President Steven Knapp welcomed six alumni who were honored for outstanding service to the University. Camille Sheets | Hatchet Staff Photographer
University President Steven Knapp welcomed six alumni who were honored for outstanding service to the University. Camille Sheets | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Six alumni were honored by the GW Alumni Association Wednesday for their efforts to support programming across the University.

University President Steven Knapp welcomed the honorees and their guests, noting that the ceremony honoring their service was in the spirit of the University’s namesake.

“Tonight we’re precisely celebrating our culture of service. I often say what we give to the world, above all, is the body of alumni,” Knapp said. “They carry with them what our namesake spelled out when George Washington called for the creation of a university in the heart of our nation’s capital.”

This year’s recipients of the Alumni Outstanding Service Award have served on various committees, as well as donated time and money to the University. All six recipients delivered short speeches highlighting their experiences as GW students, how the University shaped their careers and why they continue to give back through volunteering and donating.

Kenneth Chaletzky serves on the Dean’s Board of Advisors for the School of Business and on the board of Hatchet Publications Inc. Laura Taddeucci Downs is currently the chair of GW’s Council of Chairs, and also worked at the University and served as president of the Alumni Association.

Allan From, who is now a member of the Board of Trustees, also served on the GW Alumni Association Board of Directors and on the University’s athletic advisory council.

“This school gave me the chance to explore. And with my association with the Board of Trustees I am still able to interact with students and faculty, which makes it like I still go to school here without an exam,” said From, who chairs the student affairs committee of the Board of Trustees.

Howard Tischler has served on the School of Engineering and Applied Science National Advisory Council since 2001. Frank Wong is the chair of the Hong Kong Alumni Club.

Sylven Beck, an alumna and professor in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, received the Jane Lingo Alumni Outstanding Service Award, which honors a faculty or staff member who is also a University alumnus.

Beck, who has worked at the University for more than 30 years, accepted her award from Michael Feuer, the dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She started the Sylven Seid Beck Endowment, which funds scholarships for GSEHD masters students.

“My tapestry is, indeed, rich. My legacy is in tact, and my love for teaching in this place hasn’t diminished one iota,” Beck said of her passion for GW when she accepted her award.

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