2014 Alumni Award Recipients

Elizabeth Barnard Brooke '54

In their careers and in their community, Grinnellians strive to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Through her remarkable work in journalism and her extensive community service, this alumna has done both.

A biology major at Grinnell, this alumna had a busy extracurricular schedule, including orchestra, women’s intramurals, the S&B, and Mortar Board.

In the four years after graduation, she worked at both General Mills and the Minneapolis Star & Tribune, and in 1975, she took a job as a proofreader for U.S. News & World Report. She rose steadily through the ranks during her 34-year tenure at the publication, ultimately becoming chief of the news desk. Her colleagues praised her for her deep intellect, quick wit, and high journalistic standards.

This alumna has long been a committed volunteer for many organizations. While her children were young, she volunteered for the Boy Scouts and Little League, and served as PTA president. She is also an active volunteer for the League of Women Voters and former president of two chapters. She has long been supportive of Grinnell, hosting Grinnell students at the U.S. News office and participating in a Rosenfield symposium at the College. Currently, she serves as a co-class agent for Grinnell and as a class committee member.

For her contributions to Grinnell and her community, we are proud to honor Elizabeth Barnard Brooke '54.

John W. Copeland '59

It is an age-old maxim that we are defined by what we do. Through a lifetime of volunteer work, this alumnus has shown his commitment to supporting Grinnell and to helping high school athletes stay healthy.

At Grinnell, this alumnus was a zoology and chemistry major. He was an exceptional football, basketball, baseball, and tennis player. In 1998, he was inducted into Grinnell’s Athletics Hall of Fame. He earned an M.D. from the University of Iowa’s Medical School in 1963.

This alumnus spent two years in the U.S. Army, where he received a commendation medal for his service in Vietnam. He went on to become a family practice physician in Antioch, California. Nearly 50 years later, he still maintains a full-time practice.

His volunteer schedule is nearly as busy as his work life. He spends many weekends as a volunteer physician for local high school football teams and amateur boxers. This connection hasn’t just benefited the athletes: this alumnus encourages many athletes to apply to Grinnell. More than 30 of his recruits either currently attend or have graduated from the College. In addition, he has volunteered for Grinnell as an admissions representative and as a member of his class committee.

For his steadfast commitment to health, athletics, and Grinnell College, we are pleased to recognize John W. Copeland '59.

M. Anne Brineman Anderson '64

It is easy to profess a desire for a more peaceful and just world. But when it comes to taking action to help achieve this goal, few Grinnellians have done more powerful work than this alumna.

A history major at Grinnell, this alumna was involved in activities including women’s government and the international relations club.

For more than four decades, she has had a private practice as a psychotherapist. Her expertise in this area has led to many opportunities to spark real change. She has worked closely with the House of Ruth, an organization providing assistance and counseling to women and their children who have suffered from domestic violence. As a consultant for the Coordination of Women’s Advocacy, her work with the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and Rwanda was integral to a successful effort to declare rape as a war crime.

This alumnus spent more than two decades as the national coordinator for Psychologists for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit that applies psychological knowledge to build cultures of peace with justice, both at home and abroad. During her tenure with the organization, she developed an International Peace Practitioners Network, which supports peacebuilding and psychosocial work for those suffering from the stresses of war.

For a lifetime of work that has helped many find paths to peace, we are pleased to honor M. Anne Brineman Anderson '64.

Martha Grodzins Butt '64

For many young Grinnell alumni, traveling abroad can be a life changing experience. For this alumna, it sparked a career that continues to have an impact on Grinnellians today.

As a student, this alumna majored in sociology and anthropology, and was involved in many extra-curricular activities. While working two campus jobs, she was active in women’s government, service projects, sports and the Grinnell Education Association.

Thanks to a Fifth Year Travel Service Scholarship from Grinnell, she traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, after graduation to work as a teacher at The Prince Royal’s College. Upon returning to the United States in 1966, she gained knowledge and experience in higher education, philanthropy and administration through her work at Macalester College and the Northwest Area Foundation in Minnesota before returning to Chiang Mai in 1986.

Since 1987, she has worked for Payap University, where she served as Vice President for International Affairs. During her tenure at the University, she developed international programs, helped establish the International College, and boosted international fundraising.

She has also played a critical role in helping connect Grinnellians to Thailand. For years, she encouraged Grinnell to develop a Grinnell Corps program in Thailand, and in 2010, she helped make the program a reality. The past four years, she has played an instrumental role as the program’s liaison.

For her tireless work to connect cultures and countries as she embodies Grinnell’s values of service, internationalism, scholarship, and diversity, we are pleased to recognize Martha Grodzins Butt '64.

Peter Coyote '64

Grinnell has long encouraged its students to put their ideals into action. Few have done so with more thoughtfulness than this alumnus, who has succeeded on the highest levels as an activist, an actor, and an author.

At Grinnell, this alumnus was an English major. He was perhaps best known as an organizer of a group of Grinnell students who went to Washington during the Cuban missile crisis. President Kennedy invited the group to the White House, which made front-page news. Their meeting ultimately prompted a demonstration in Washington of 25,000 college students from around the country, and is credited for starting the modern student peace movement.

This alumnus went on to become a founding member of the Diggers, an anarchist group in San Francisco that supplied free food, housing, and medical aid in San Francisco.

He later went on to pursue acting, and has appeared in more than 90 films, including E.T. and Erin Brockovich. He also works as a voice-over artist. In 1992, he earned an Emmy Award for his narration in PBS’s American Experience series. His memoir Sleeping Where I Fall was published in 1998, and a chapter called “Carla’s Story,” from the memoir, earned the prestigious Pushcart Prize.

For his work as an artist and an activist, we are pleased to honor Peter Coyote '64.

Samuel Schuman '64

In an age of specialization, it is increasingly rare to find someone who succeeds in many areas. But this alumnus, a respected scholar and author, a charismatic professor, and a thoughtful administrator, has brought compassion and wisdom to all of his roles.

After majoring in English at Grinnell, this alumnus went on to earn a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

A much-loved English professor at colleges across the country, he was twice named a distinguished visiting professor at the University of New Mexico. He served as chancellor at the University of North Carolina Asheville and the University of Minnesota at Morris. He is the author of 10 books on English literature and on American higher education, often focusing upon the important role of small liberal arts colleges. His most recent book studies the influence of Shakespeare on Nabokov. This alumnus has served as president of the National Collegiate Honors Council and the International Vladimir Nabokov Society.

Outside of his work in academia, this alumnus has made community service a priority. He has served on the board of directors for more than a dozen organizations, including the North Carolina Arboretum, Minnesota Public Radio, and the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. He also actively supports many programs for young people with learning disabilities.

For his significant contributions to the field of higher education, we are pleased to recognize Samuel Schuman '64.

G. Peter “Pete” Ferrell III '74

Weaning the world from fossil fuels requires a blend of passion and pragmatism. Through his support of wind energy, both as a business pursuit and as a practical environmentalist, this alumnus is helping to lead the way to cleaner, more sustainable energy production.

At Grinnell, this alumnus majored in anthropology. After graduation, he returned to his family’s ranch in Beaumont, Kansas, where he served as a ranch hand. In 1980, he became the fourth generation of his family to serve as the ranch’s general manager.

In 1995, he began working to develop the state’s second-ever commercial-scale wind farm. He successfully navigated the rocky terrain between politicians tied to the coal industry and preservationists concerned about the landscape. These wind turbines now provide enough energy to power 42,000 homes.

This alumnus has also played an integral role in helping Grinnell College include wind energy in its sustainable energy plan. Through his practical and wide-ranging expertise, he has provided invaluable advice and nuanced perspectives on corporate responsibility.

In addition to this work, this alumnus currently serves on the board of directors for the Land Institute and the Beaumont Community Association. He has served on many other statewide boards linked to the environment and natural resources.

Most recently, Pete was awarded a “Water & Energy Progress” award for his stewardship of natural resources by the Climate and Energy Project in Kansas. He was also featured in a segment of the Showtime documentary Years of Living Dangerously, which he hopes will raise awareness of the climate crisis.

For pursuing sustainable energy projects with enthusiasm, while always thinking critically about the consequences, we are pleased to honor G. Peter "Pete" Ferrell III '74.

Anthony J. Hyatt ’85

From the moment that babies enter the world, they love music. And from the moment toddlers put their feet on the ground to walk, they love to dance. Through his work with music and aging, this alumnus ensures that people can always experience the joy of music and dance, no matter their age or ability.

At Grinnell, this alumnus was a music major who participated in both the Grinnell and Community Orchestra. His Grinnell violin teacher was Mr. Kenneth Goldsmith of the in-residence Mirecourt Trio.

For the past 16 years, he has worked as a violinist, speaker, and teaching artist who advocates for aging adults. As founder of Moving Beauty, he works with hospitals, nursing homes, and community centers around Washington D.C. Through music and humor, he leads energetic sessions that encourage those in this vulnerable population to sing, dance, and socialize with each other. His work crosses boundaries of language, physical ability, and cognitive ability.

This alumnus has been consistently recognized for his remarkable work. He is frequently asked to speak on Creative Aging, and he has presented at conferences around the world. He has twice been awarded an Arts for the Aging Teacher Award for Excellence. In 2013, his Quicksilver senior citizen dance company received the Maryland Governor’s Leadership in Aging Award for his exceptional work.

For his commitment to providing important services to a community that often gets ignored, we are pleased to honor Anthony J. Hyatt '85.

Sarah B. R. Labowitz '04

2014 Pioneer Award

As social media and smartphones connect the world as never before, navigating the rules of freedom of speech and human rights has become increasingly complex. Through her work, this alumna is helping shape the discussion and the policy in the direction of openness and freedom.

Hailing from a family of Grinnellians, including both of her parents, this alumna has been steeped in Grinnell traditions since she was three months old and attended her uncle’s Grinnell graduation. At Grinnell, she majored in history and was an athlete for the soccer and track and field teams. She earned a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher School in 2009.

In 2009, she became a policy advisor at the U.S. State Department focusing on democracy and human rights, internet freedom, and cyber policy. She played an instrumental role both defining and crafting a progressive position for the United States Government in this important area.

Now at the New York University Stern School of Business, she is co-director for the Center for Business and Human Rights and a research scholar. She writes and speaks frequently on internet freedom. In 2012, Forbes named her to its “30 under 30” list in law and policy.

For her nuanced and pioneering work in a complicated new area of foreign policy, we are proud to recognize Sarah B. R. Labowitz '04.