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The Alumni Association Awards

One of the most important functions of the Board is to recognize the contributions of distinguished alumni, faculty members, and members of the CC community to the betterment of society and to the enhancement of the college and its mission. The Alumni Association Board acknowledges these alumni and staff members through four awards given at Homecoming. 

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2013 Recipients

The Benezet Award medallionThe Louis T. Benezet Award recognizes outstanding achievement in one's chosen field, excellence through unusual success or contribution, innovation or research that has advanced a profession or a cause, and/or extraordinary contributions and achievements that have improved people's lives and exemplify the values of a liberal arts education. These attributes characterized the important contributions of Louis T. Benezet, president of Colorado College, 1955-1963.

The recipients of the Louis T. Benezet Award for career achievement are Jeffrey C. Bauer ’69 and Max S. Power ’63.

Jeffrey C. Bauer '69
Education: B.A. in economics, Colorado College, 1969, with a certificate in political studies at the University of Paris 

(France); PhD in economics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1975.

Occupation: Health futurist and medical economist; speaker and author (“Upgrading the Crystal Ball: Five Reasons Why Forecasting Must Replace Predicting and How to Make the Strategic Change” is his newest book).

Jeffrey Bauer has spent much of his career as a health futurist and medical economist, forecasting the evolution of health care. As a futurist, he says he looks into his crystal ball (he really does have one on his desk in his Chicago office – just for fun) and assigns possibilities for the future of health care. As an economist, he describes changes he would like to see, and offers recommendations for ways to accomplish them. 

But he believes the future of health care is cloudy, and he has been gradually transitioning his professional life, “from a 100-percent focus on health care to speaking and writing about the realm of possibilities.” His newest book, published this fall, covers his approach to futurism.

But that doesn’t mean he has given up on playing a role in the creation of a good health care delivery system. “After 40 plus years of hoping I could personally make a difference through teaching, writing, speaking and consulting, I have decided to shift my focus to preparing others to take over the reins,” he says. “I’ve transformed my professional self-image from being a change agent to being a catalyst for others to make the changes.”

Throughout his life, Jeff has had the ability to transform himself and his career. He grew up in Wyoming and his family moved to Boulder when he was in high school. He came from a school of scientists and engineers who wanted him to attend the University of Colorado, but a Boettcher Scholarship allowed him to choose CC.

The college and its Ford Independent Study Program - which preceded the Block Plan - were made for Jeff. He was one of 25 students in the class of ’69 who were given the freedom to design their own educational plans. “FISP turned out to be a failure for the majority of students in the program, but it was perfect for me,” he says.

Jeff and his first wife, Chris (’70), raised their three children on a farm in northeast Colorado, where he became a dedicated runner on the country roads. He was a full-time teacher and administrator at the University of Colorado, and served as health policy advisor to Colorado Gov. Richard D. Lamm.

Today, he lives with his wife, Beth, in Chicago, where they attend Chicago Symphony concerts more than 20 times a year and visit art museums. They take frequent trips to France, and Jeff, an accomplished painter, is pursuing art as a second career, with a commission for a large work.

Max S. Power ’63
Education: B.A., political science as a National Merit Scholar, Colorado College, 1963; B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics as a Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University; M.A., Phil., and Ph.D. in philosophy, Yale University, 1967-71.

Occupation: Chairman, Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board as a governor-appointed citizen member; neutral member of the Hanford Concerns Council; author of “America’s Nuclear Wastelands: Politics, Accountability and Cleanup” (2008); author of a series of articles on nuclear waste cleanup for the Miller-McCune (now Pacific Standard) online newsletter.

Max Power spent the last two decades of his working life focused on the disposal of nuclear waste and cleanup of the Hanford site in southeastern Washington, a major producer of plutonium which fueled the Trinity test and the Nagasaki bomb.  

It has been a quest for him professionally as well as personally. Max’s background in politics and science helped fuel his interest; so did his love of the Northwest.  “I am most at home ranging from the volcanic Oregon Coast through the wide, verdant Willamette Valley to the Cascades and the dry desert country of eastern Oregon and Washington,” he says.

Max started out in Colorado, where he lived with his family in Denver. His father sold auto parts and his mother worked during his high school days as a mail-order shopper at a department store.

He chose Colorado College after a visit with admission director Tom Ross and some Denver-based alumni. And he calls his year at CC “formative…such an awakening.”  At CC, Max says he learned that he could have a positive impact on the world around him, and he says he was inspired “by the openness to diverse ideas and backgrounds.

I never felt put down because I came from a relatively modest background or because I was an avowed Republican (of a stripe that disappeared by 1980).”  

Max started his professional life teaching at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and served for more than a decade as an intergovernmental relations specialist, regional-development project manager, land-use planning director and policy analyst for local governments in the Puget Sound area. In 1984, he was staff director for the Washington legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Science and Technology and before he started focusing on the Hanford site, he was principal investigator for the Washington State Institute for Public Policy at The Evergreen State College.

Max and his wife, Marjorie, a widely published poet, live in Corvallis, Ore. Their son, Stephen, lives in New Hampshire, and their youngest, Erik, lives near Detroit. They have six grandchildren, and the Powers visit them often. They also enjoy ballroom dancing, theater, hiking and cross-country skiing.  

The Worner Award medallionThe Lloyd E. Worner Award recognizes outstanding loyalty, service and generosity to the college as evidenced by continuing concern and support for students and the quality of teaching and learning, as well as the general well-being and future excellence of the institution. These attributes characterized the many years of service and effective contributions of Lloyd E. Worner, Class of 1942, who served as a faculty member, dean and ultimately president of Colorado College (1964-1981).

The Lloyd E. Worner Award for remarkable efforts on behalf of the college will be presented to Gregory James Smith ’69.

Gregory James Smith ’69
Education: B.A., history, Colorado College, 1969; Doctor of Law, Cornell University, 1972; Master of Humanities, University of Colorado, Denver, 2009; Master of Arts (Bioethics and Health Policy), Loyola University Chicago, 2012; Doctor of Bioethics Candidate (2015), Loyola University.

Occupation: Health care business lawyer, Denver; adjunct/affiliate faculty member, University of Denver, Regis University and University of Colorado, Denver.

Greg Smith describes his work as being divided into rewarding halves. His business law practice for the health professions consumes one half, and teaching and learning the other. His practice takes most of his time, but he says he is rewarded “by helping people and organizations that have healing as their mission.”

He says the teaching and learning part of his life is “always exciting and challenging,” as well, taking him out of his comfort zone and keeping him in contact with young, energetic students in the health professions.

As a lawyer, Greg helps younger health professionals start or acquire a practice or care agency, and older ones realize their dreams of retirement by selling their practice or agency to another, passing along a legacy of care.

Greg grew up in Grand Junction Colo., and attended CC with several of his high school classmates. He participated in the Selected Student Program, which set him up for his professional life. Greg says his life as a teacher and a lawyer suits him perfectly and is a direct result of his years at CC. “The CC experience definitely helped to frame my interest in critical thinking and learning as a lifelong

With the encouragement of Bill Hochman and others on campus, he started graduate school in 2006, earned two master’s degrees in the last six years, and is now working on a doctorate in bioethics and health policy.

The "third half' of Greg's life has been as an active CC alumnus, serving as president of the Alumni Association from 1997-99. He created the Student Leader Scholarship Fund, and has established a scholarship in memory of his parents. He also led Alumni Association efforts to promote and participate in the college’s 125th anniversary celebration and the beginning of a new fundraising campaign.

He and his wife, Marcia, live in Denver. They’ve been married 44 years, and have one son, Patrick. When Greg isn’t working or studying, he and Marcia travel, play golf, and follow CC and Denver teams.

The Riley Award medallionThe Gresham Riley Award recognizes faculty and staff who have made a significant difference to the Colorado College community through outstanding service, commitment and accomplishment. The continuing concern for and support of students and alumni demonstrated by such individuals ensure the general well-being and future excellence of the college. These accomplishments exemplify the important contributions made by Gresham Riley, the tenth president of Colorado College, 1981-1992.

The Gresham Riley Award recognizing faculty, administrators, and staff who have made a significant difference to the college will be presented to Marcia Dobson and John Riker.

Marcia Dobson
Education: B. A., literature, Bennington College, 1963; M. A. in classics, Tufts University, 1964 ; Ph.D. in classical philology, Harvard University, 1976; and received a second Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis on depth psychology, 1998. 

Occupation: Professor of classics, including myth and meaning, and psychoanalysis at CC and Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute; associate editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology.

Marcia Dobson’s path to the classics might have been predictable. Her father was a famous professor of economics who used to quote Homer to her in a booming voice at the dinner table, and who taught her to write her name in ancient Greek.

“I believe it was due to my father’s influence that I learned a love of writing, classics, and that I am something of a naturalist at heart,” she says. She grew up in New York City, but says she “could not wait to leave the concrete pavement, the noise of taxi horns and traffic, to retreat to our country home in S. Kent, Conn.”  

Marcia says she dreamed in her early teens that she would build herself a cabin, “like Thoreau, where I could engage in nature and think profoundly transcendental thoughts.”
Marcia went to Bennington College, where she studied literature, creative writing, music and dance. And she has been teaching the classics at CC since 1977.

But at the age of 52, she says she had an awakening, recognizing “that only half of my life was being lived, and that my constant and sometimes unbearable attentiveness not just to the intellectual, but to the emotional and psychic life of the students I was teaching, lured me into getting a second Ph.D.”  This time, she took on clinical psychology with an emphasis on depth psychology, following the example of her equally famous mother, a psychoanalyst.

Colleagues were skeptical, she says. “I do recall everyone I talked to at that time thinking I was insane to garner a second Ph.D. when I was already a successful and tenured classics professor.”

But Marcia knew it was the right path for her. She brought what she learned back to CC, and started a new program in psychoanalysis. She began teaching a course called “Discovering the Unconscious” and built a minor on that. Last year, she and her husband, philosophy professor John Riker (also a Riley Award winner this year) defined and described a new independent major entitled “Structures of Subjectivity.”

Marcia and John teach at both CC and at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute where they have welcomed CC alumni for special events. Marcia as well as John are among the faculty who travel willingly to meet with alumni anywhere in the country. Marcia’s presentations on
the power of myth at the legendary Books on the Beach in the Bay area is still talked about by alumni there. They are accomplished ballroom dancers and spend as much time as possible at their cabin in southwest Colorado with their four Shetland sheepdogs.

John Riker
Education: B. A. philosophy (high honors), Middlebury College, 1965; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1967; Ph.D., Vanderbilt, 1968.

Occupation: Professor of Philosophy at Colorado College since 1968; Kohut Professor at the University of Chicago in 2003. Chaired the philosophy department from 1978-1993. Author of four books, including “Why It Is Good to Be Good: Ethics, Kohut’s Self Psychology, and Modern Society.”

Electric typewriters had just been invented when John Riker began teaching at Colorado College. He had to make do with a manual machine, and he shared a party telephone line with the rest of his department. It might not have been a technologically advanced time, but it was an exciting, energizing time.

“It was during my first year here that the college intensely talked about changing the way we did education,” he says. “It was thrilling and liberating to think that we did not have to follow old patterns, but could choose how we wanted to educate CC students.” 

John grew up in Chatham, N.J., and graduated from another liberal arts college – Middlebury, in Vermont. For the first 23 years of his teaching career, he worked at establishing himself as a teacher, reading widely in theories of human nature. In the past two decades, he has written four books and given talks at professional conferences throughout the world. 

He was the first recipient of the Victor Nelson-Cisneros Award for his work in founding bridge groups to help minority students adjust to life at CC, and for his work as chairman of the Diversity Task Force.

For the past seven years, he has joined with his wife, Marcia Dobson (also a Riley Award winner this year), in taking CC students to Chicago to learn about contemporary psychoanalysis from analysts at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.

“There is no doubt that the best thing about my long career at CC has been the students,” John says. “They have been so intelligent, so receptive to philosophical thinking, so willing to venture into new and different ways of seeing the world and themselves that they have kept me young and vitalized. I love them! ”His affection for and support of his students does not end at graduation. John continues to stay in touch with alumni in important ways – and is always among the faculty alumni want to be sure to see when they return to campus. He is much in demand by alumni groups and has hosted events for alumni at his condominium while in Chicago to teach. 

John and his wife have four Shetland sheepdogs. They often hike in the San Juan Mountains, play with their grandchildren, go to the opera, symphony or theater, and they are accomplished ballroom dancers. 

John attributes his rich life to his work, saying “I have been able to have a wonderful, deeply satisfying life because I have been able to live it as a professor at CC.”

The Spirit of Adventure Award medallionThe Spirit of Adventure Award recognizes an alumnus/a, who exemplifies the unique CC experience through a life of intellectual, social or physical adventure. These attributes are characterized by Robert M. Ormes ’26, English Professor, Colorado College, 1952-1973 who was the inaugural award recipient.  He was an adventurer of the mind, body and the spirit which exemplifies much of what is special about Colorado College.

In its fourth year, the Spirit of Adventure Award will be presented to Brian Grossman ’88. This award is intended to acknowledge those alumni whose lives are examples of the great adventurous spirit unique to Colorado College.

 Brian "Groz" Grossman ’88
Education: B. A. economics, Colorado College, 1988; Juris Doctorate, Willamette University College of Law, 1993.

Occupation: Co-founder of KIDS in the GAME, a nonprofit organization that provides underprivileged kids access to sports program. Co-founder of ElectricXP, a passion data company. 

Brian Grossman biked across the country with his brother, George, in 1990. He worked and lived in China for a decade and learned to speak Mandarin. He has spent more than 20 years working to develop businesses with innovative technologies.

His life has been anything but ordinary, but there was one adventure on his bucket list that had been beyond his reach for 15 years – a monumental foot race called the Marathon des Sables. The “marathon” is a seven-day, six-stage race that covers 250 kilometers (about 155 miles) across the Sahara Desert, where temperatures on the sand dunes can reach 120 degrees. Racers are required to be totally self-sufficient, carrying their own clothes, sleeping bag, food, gear, and safety equipment.

Brian signed up for the race lottery, and when he found out he was chosen to compete, he started training near his home in Bend, Ore.  His goal: to lose more than 30 pounds, complete the race, and raise money for his nonprofit organization, KIDS in the GAME. Brian is co-founder of the group which provides kids access to sports programs that might be beyond their financial reach.

Last April, Brian not only finished the brutal race in 41 hours and 39 minutes; he came in 317th out of 850, raised more than $60,000 for the sports program, and got to check the race off his bucket list.

Brian founded KIDS in the GAME because, he says, “I felt that as I approached middle age, rather than have a mid-life crisis, I want to have a mid-life ascension.” “Part of that was realizing it was time to give back in a major way with my time and leverage up on my previous entrepreneurial experience in the nonprofit space.”

Brian wanted to focus on young people, “with sports being the most obvious conduit for kids to be active and learn life’s lessons.”  His organization offers financial assistance to a variety of young potential athletes - kids from low-income families, kids who are physically or developmentally challenged, and at-risk kids. “Every kid deserves a chance to play,” Brian says.

Today, he divides his time between KIDS in the GAME and ElectricXP, a start-up company he cofounded that is building a platform called “Buckitdream,”that will help people dream, plan and realize their lifetime “bucket list” dream experiences.

He lives in Bend, Ore., with his life partner, Carrie Scatterday Allan ’89, stepchildren Ryan, 13, and Cayley, 16, and two dogs, Inka and Bandit.