Virtual Celebration for 2021 Alumni Honorees

On February 12, we gathered virtually from around the world to honor four remarkable members of our Lewis & Clark community. Chosen by the Board of Alumni, this year’s honorees represent the very best of Lewis & Clark. In addition to the awards presentation, the a cappella group B-Side Book Club provided music; faculty emeritus and Oregon’s ninth Poet Laureate Kim Stafford wrote a special poem for the occasion; and alumnus Ted Sawyer BA ’92 created beautiful glass awards for each honoree.

Outstanding Young Alumna Award

Kemiyondo Coutinho BA ’12

Coutinho is the founder of a production company, a music platform, and the #fivefor5 initiative, which will grant five Ugandan female filmmakers the chance to make a short film. Her own directorial debut film, Kyenvu, won multiple international awards; additional awards and honors include John Singleton’s Filmmaker’s Fellowship, Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Filmmaking Fellowship, a Shadow and Act Rising Star Award, Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 recipient, and OKAYAfrica’s 100 Women of Africa to Watch recipient. Coutinho can be seen in Apple TV’s Little America. Additional TV credits include MTV’s Undressed and Starz’s Step Up: High Water.

Distinguished Alumna Award

Judy Cockerton BA ’73

After her experience as a foster parent, Cockerton was moved to create the Treehouse Foundation. For 18 years, she has served as Treehouse’s executive director and has stayed true to the organization’s founding beliefs that every child deserves a permanent, loving family, and families need a supportive community to succeed. The foundation leads two major initiatives: 1) the award-winning Treehouse Community, a vibrant intergenerational neighborhood designed to support families adopting children and youth from foster care and older adults who act as “honorary grandparents,” and 2) the Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Movement, which works to inspire widespread investment in foster care innovation.

Donald G. Balmer Citation (for service to the college)

Roger Nelsen, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics

Nelsen has been involved with Lewis & Clark for 51 years. Many of his “fondest memories are of getting to know students outside of the classroom by leading five overseas programs and serving as faculty advisor to the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Nelsen served as Phi Beta Kappa chapter president twice and represented the college at its Triennial Council four times. After retiring in 2009, Roger served on the selection committee for the President’s Scholarship for Student Engagement for three years and is currently the faculty representative for the Albany Society.

Pioneer Alumni Leadership Award (for service to L&C alumni)

David Grube BA ’69

Grube’s experience on the L&C 1968–69 Austria overseas study program inspired him to stay connected with his cohort and the college. He has organized reunions every five years since returning home from the program, and in 2018, he led the group on a return to their homestays in Sankt Veit an der Glan and then back to Vienna. Grube has hosted biweekly virtual reunions for the group since the start of the pandemic. He was a member of his class’s 50th L&C reunion committee and he is currently the L&C Class of 1969 correspondent.