The Alumni Council and Board of Trustees are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Alumni Awards: Christian Holmes '64, Jim Hall '59 and Stephanie Ho '04. Webb's alumni awards program aims to recognize alumni who represent the best of Webb through their exemplary achievements.
Christian Holmes '64
Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award
Christian Holmes '64 is the USAID Global Water Coordinator, the senior executive within the organization responsible for developing and implementing the first global water strategy in the history of USAID. This strategy guides in some 40 countries water programs reaching approximately 4 million people a year.
His work with USAID touches a broad spectrum of sectors linked to water: food, health, education, conflict and climate change. Over the last year, he has worked in the field supporting USAID missions in Haiti, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Liberia and Kenya.
For almost 25 years he has served in a number of leadership positions with the Department of State and USAID, including as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs, the Acting Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Director of the US Trade and Development Agency.
Other US Government assignments have included serving as the third ranking officer at the US Environmental Protection Agency, as its Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Administrator for Management.
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Holmes served as a Second Lieutenant for Civil Affairs in the US Army. He received the US Army Soldier's Medal for Heroism. In addition to his extraordinary service record here in the United States and around the world, he has served Webb for many years as a trustee (1998-2009) and a class agent since 2000.
Holmes resides in Washington, DC with his wife Noel. They have two children: Elizabeth and Christian (a graduate of WSC's class of '05).
This award recognizes an alumnus/a for their significant success and prominence in their professional career or vocation, bringing honor to themselves and to Webb. They also have demonstrated exemplary service to the local, national or global community.
James E. Hall '59, PhD
Colborn Distinguished Service Award
Named in honor of Ken Colborn '47, this award recognizes distinguished and significant volunteer service to The Webb Schools or Alf Museum. James "Jim" E. Hall '59 is a professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of California Irvine. He has served Webb enthusiastically and tirelessly in multiple roles for many years: class agent, reunion chair, Alumni Council member, guest speaker and mentor.
Jim received his A.B. from Pomona College and PhD from the University of California, Riverside. Before joining the faculty at UC Irvine, he was a postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology and an Assistant Professor of Physiology at Duke University Medical Center. Jim's research work focuses on two areas: learning how cataracts are formed and investigating Amyloid beta protein, a major suspect as a causative agent for Alzheimer's disease.
In 2012, in appreciation for the scholarship that Thompson Webb gave the Hall family, Jim and his wife Jean established the Hall Family Scholarship Fund. In the early 1950s, Dr. Webb frequently invited Jim's father, a pastor, to give Sunday chapel talks. As a pre-high school student, Jim came along to listen, and during these visits, he became enthralled with the campus and knew it was the only school he wanted to attend. He is forever grateful for the opportunity given to him by Dr. Webb.
On the Alumni Council, Jim has served for 10 years and his most recent work involves the Teachers of Webb project. We are grateful for his contributions of time and treasure to his alma mater.
Stephanie Ho '04
Young Alumni Rising Star Award
This award honors an alumnus/a of the last 15 years who demonstrates exceptional achievements in their chosen field or who has used their success to bring good to the world.
Stephanie Ho '04 has already achieved a high level of professional success and proven to be a dedicated volunteer to Webb. Stephanie joined MGM Studios in 2011 and worked with the Chief Operating Officer on projects related to the company’s restructuring. Today she is a Manager of Corporate Development at MGM, involved with operations strategy and implementation, mergers and acquisitions, and financial oversight for new business departments and ventures. Prior to MGM, she worked in finance and international sales at OddLot and Sierra/Affinity.
Outside the office, Stephanie has been teaching for various Equinox clubs throughout the Los Angeles area since 2009. She helped open the company's downtown LA location in 2013 and is currently teaching four classes a week at Equinox in downtown LA and Westwood. She was also a volunteer instructor for Cycle for Survival, an official Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center event hosted by Equinox, which raises funds to support research for rare forms of cancer.
Stephanie has a BS in Business Management from Boston College. She was a member of BC’s track and field team, which competes at the Division 1 level, and she is the current VWS record holder for shotput.
In her first year as the VWS class agent for the Class of 2004, Stephanie has demonstrated her strong leadership as a volunteer. She helped lead the Class of 2004s Webb Fund push to win the March Madness Challenge, and she is a co-chair for the 10-year reunion. She was also a guest speaker at Sophomore Career Evening in April 2014. Through her actions this young alumna has proven to be a wonderful example of the Vivian Webb School's motto: wisdom, friendship and honor.
About the Alumni Awards Program
The 2014 awards were presented on Saturday, October 25 during Alumni Weekend. The Alumni Council's Awards Committee received many impressive and worthy nominations, making the selection process a challenge. The Committee reviewed all of the nominations and the final selection was made by the Chairman of the Board, President of the Alumni Council and Head of Schools. Nominees who were not selected are considered in the nominations pool for the next four consecutive years.