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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. 

Submit a nomination. 

2014 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
David C. Phillips ’78.

When some of the most challenging marine mammal conservation dilemmas arise, David C. Phillips ’78 responds with expert-based, innovative solutions. His organization, Earth Island Institute, has taken on 65 national and international conservation action projects. David led a decadelong campaign that resulted in the adoption of dolphin-safe tuna fishing policies, reducing international dolphin mortality by more than 95 percent. Time magazine cited the campaign as one of the most significant environmental victories of the decade and David was recognized for these efforts with the Leadership Award by the United Nations Environment Programme. In 1995, David founded the Free Willy-Keiko Foundation, successfully overseeing a four-nation, $15 million international campaign to attempt the first-ever rescue, rehabilitation, and return of a captive orca whale to its home. David was awarded the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal by the Humane Society in 1995. His work is the subject of “The Cove,” a 2009 documentary that won an Academy Award. David credits Professor Emeritus of Biology Richard Beidleman, Professor Emeritus of Physics Val Veirs, and Professor Emeritus of Physics and former Dean Richard Bradley as critical mentors at CC and inspirations for his career path.


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 Jack T. Pottle ’77.

Throughout his nearly 30-year career in telecommunications and cable television, Jack T. Pottle ’77 has exhibited the innovative and entrepreneurial acumen for which Colorado College alumni are well known. Most notably, Jack served as president/COO of Fanch Communications, a top-10 U.S. cable television company, and as CEO of FiberNet, LLC, a startup that grew to become one of the most successful competitive telephone companies within the mid-Atlantic region. He presently serves as a managing director of Viridian Investment Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm focusing on the telecommunications sector, and serves on the boards of three Viridian portfolio companies —Central States Tower, Spyderlynk, and Boulder Imaging. He has also served on the boards of Young Americans Bank, C-SPAN, and Escuela de Guadalupe, among others. Jack and his family have sponsored development projects in Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, and Malawi. Jack was a member of CC’s varsity cross country and track team and recently won his age group at the 2013 Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. His ongoing dedication to CC is equally impressive.

Jack has consistently supported the college philanthropically, serving on the Board of Trustees, his class reunion committee, as a City Champion, and on the Denver Business and Community Alliance.

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 D. Daniel Crossey ’74 and Marianne L. Stoller.

Daniel Crossey ’74 enrolled at Colorado College in 1970, and although he did not complete his undergraduate studies, he reclaimed CC by joining the facilities staff as a carpenter and cabinetmaker in 1995. Then-president Kathryn Mohrman told Dan that contributions he made to the CC community were as important as his job duties, an approach Dan has taken to heart during his career. He is one of the volleyball team’s greatest fans. He has worked with student climbers to help them find funding for the Ritt Kellogg Climbing Gym and for the past decade he has been involved with the Kellogg Memorial Fund. Dan recently worked with the Native American Student Union, setting up their Lakota Ti-pi. He serves as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and is a respondent advisor on the Sexual Misconduct Committee. Dan is a master at his craft, restoring and adapting the college’s historic buildings for the needs of a modern campus and serving as their protector when extreme weather threatens their integrity. Dan says he is very lucky to be at CC because of the terrific colleagues and students who make up its community.

A fascination with the intercultural processes that occur when different cultures interact has inspired Marianne L. Stoller’s prolific career and remarkable life. A Colorado College professor emerita of anthropology and a former director of the Southwest Studies summer institutes, Marianne also had two stints as chair of the Anthropology Department. The Block Plan allowed Marianne to teach interdisciplinary courses and engage students through field courses. In 1990, Marianne expanded offerings to alumni and their families when she invited them to participate in an archaeological project on an early 17th century Spanish Colonial estancia located southwest of Santa Fe, N.M. The alumni team accomplished significant work on the site and returned in subsequent years to continue these efforts. After retiring in 1998, Marianne served on the Board of Managers for the college’s Woman’s Educational Society (WES) where she led 19 tours of the Southwest and other regions, raising more than $50,000 for WES scholarships. Following a landmark legal case that resulted in the return of “usufruct rights” to the villagers of San Luis, Colo., Marianne’s hometown, she received an award from the Colorado Lawyers Commission for her work as an expert witness for the case.

The Spirit of Adventure Award medallion

The 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 fifth year, the Spirit of Adventure Award will be presented to Jane McAtee Sanborn ’70. This award is intended to acknowledge those alumni whose lives are examples of the great adventurous spirit unique to Colorado College.

An adventurer’s spirit has guided Jane McAtee Sanborn ’70 throughout her career at Sanborn Western Camps/Colorado Outdoor Education Center, a nonprofit that focuses on teaching and practicing teamwork, perseverance, responsibility, independence, and critical thinking. As executive director, Jane leads Sanborn Western Camps, which involves 700 young people each summer in an active outdoor program. She oversees the High Trails Outdoor Education Center, which provides residential outdoor education programs for sixth graders. Through the Nature Conference Center, Colorado Outdoor Education offers programs for adults and families, in addition to providing outstanding team and leadership development programs for MBA students, educators, and corporate groups. Jane served two terms as president of the American Camp Association (ACA)-Rocky Mountain Region, and as a member of the ACA National Public Policy Committee. She currently serves as chair of the ACA National Conference and chair of the ACA National Children, Nature, and Camps Committee. She is a recipient of the Rocky Mountain ACA’s Distinguished Service Award, and the ACA’s National Service, and National Honor awards. Jane, who was a Boettcher Scholar at CC, served two terms on the Colorado Governor’s Advisory Committee for Child Care Licensing. Prior to serving as executive director of COEC, she was director of the High Trails Ranch for Girls Summer Camp for 30 years.