2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards

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Photo by Dan Loh.

Bestowed by the Alumni Council, the Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize outstanding Dickinson alumni who demonstrate exemplary service to the college, accomplishment in their professional and civic lives, and strength of character. This year, Dickinson recognizes the following alumni for their achievement and service.

THE WALTER E. BEACH DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD FOR SERVICE 

Mark I. Lehman '71 & Harriet M. Lehman ’72

Mark and Harriet Lehman

When they met as undergraduates, Mark ’71 and Harriet Marcus Lehman ’72 were first-generation college students from modest backgrounds, attending Dickinson with assistance from scholarships, grants and work study opportunities. This shared experience fostered a joint desire to build a life centered on giving back.

Mark was a history major, student-athlete and member of SAE who assisted the athletics and admissions departments. Harriet double-majored in History and Spanish, was a tour guide, a student-assistant for two administrators and an RA. They married soon after Harriet’s graduation.

Mark went on to earn an MBA from Rutgers University. With significant international and private-equity experience, he is now CEO of ADC Solutions Holdings, LLC, a family-owned private-equity firm specializing in consumer-products investments.

Harriet applied her double major to a teaching career. After completing additional studies in interior design and fine arts, she went on to launch her own successful business. After retirement in 2000, Harriet focused her efforts on philanthropy. Presently, Harriet serves as a wish-granter and board member for Make-a-Wish in southern California.

The Lehmans have long given back to Dickinson as members of the Old West Society, John Dickinson Society, and Mermaid Society and as volunteers who open their homes for various Dickinson events. Mark, a past member of the Alumni Council, has now served as aDickinson trustee for the past 16 years. He also regularly speaks in classes, meets with students and faculty, and attends Dickinson athletics events. Harriet has served on her reunion committee, has volunteered with admissions, has served as a decade representative, and has served on the scholarship task force and the FARM Lab Advisory Board.

They established the Mark ’71 and Harriet ’72 Lehman Scholarship Fund to help provide access to a Dickinson education to students who otherwise may not be able to afford to attend. The couple also supports the McAndrews Fund and Dickinson’s internship program. For the past seven consecutive years, one of Mark’s portfolio companies has guaranteed an internship opportunity for 1-2 Dickinson students, and given the high cost of temporary living in California, the Lehmans have opened their home and all aspects of their lives to those interns, providing a summer residency experience.

 “We were fortunate to attend Dickinson due to the generosity of those who came before us. We feel a responsibility to provide the same opportunities to future generations,” Mark says.

“Our association and commitment to Dickinson began in 1967 and continues to this day,” Harriet agrees. “Walter Beach was an exemplary Dickinsonian ,and we hope our devotion to Dickinson honors his legacy.”

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD FOR PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT 

Rachel Keen Hutchisson ’89

Rachel Keen Hutchisson '89.

Rachel Keen Hutchisson ’89 is a leader in corporate social responsibility and global communications, focused on channeling both data and narrative to help build to build a better world.

As a Dickinson student, Hutchisson majored in English, played varsity soccer and wrote for the college’s publications office. (During her junior year in London, England, she continued to publish in the alumni magazine and newsletter, submitting her articles by mail.)

Then she pursued a writing career, earning a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, publishing articles in newspapers and magazines and managing Spin magazine’s first college issue. Hutchisson enjoyed writing and research, but not the print industry’s shaky outlook. An opportunity to shift gears at a dynamic startup arrived, and she took the leap.

That startup was Blackbaud, now a global tech powerhouse. She rose up the ranks, eventually heading Blackbaud’s corporate communications and serving as vice president of social responsibility.

Partnering with organizations that directly advance worthy causes, Hutchisson led data-based, values-informed initiatives that shaped employee experiences, purchasing decisions and corporate actions in areas including diversity and inclusion and sustainability. Under this leadership, Blackbaud engaged in the U.N. Global Compact and the Generosity Commission and deepened its prosocial investments, programs and reporting. Accolades rolled in from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, among other entities.  Newsweek named Blackbaud one of America's Most Responsible Companies in 2022 and 2023.

Speaking to national and international audiences, including from the TedX stage and through The Huffington Post, Hutchisson explained that this approach strengthens the corporation and its culture. Which means it benefits not only employees and society, but also the bottom line.

Today, Hutchisson is a social-impact and communications consultant, working with and for organizations advancing prosocial aims. She and her husband, James, are longtime Mermaid Society and John Dickinson Society members. In partnership with her dad, Bill Keen ’57, P’89, they endowed the Marion Clay Keen Annual Scholarship, named in honor of her Great-Aunt Marion, a member of Dickinson’s class of 1924.

“We all have a choice about how we walk through life and what we support,” she says. “I believe in helping others, with a hope that they might also give back.”

OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI AWARDS

Ashley L. Morefield ’18

Ashley Morefield '18

As an undergrad, Ashley Morefield ’18 was eager to explore global cultures and effect positive change. Today, after earning several prestigious honors, she’s fulfilling that dream as a foreign service officer, working for the U.S. Department of State.

Morefield was a double major in international studies and French & francophone studies and spent a study-abroad year in Toulouse, France. She honed leadership skills as a yearbook co-editor, First-Year mentor and student-program coordinator for the Popel Shaw Center. Morefield also led communications efforts for a student-led human-rights organization and founded Dickinson’s chapter of Books Not Bombs.

After graduation, Morefield launched a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant year in Côte d'Ivoire, teaching at a secondary school and assisting at a U.S. Embassy American Corner. Then she joined the National Democratic Institute, working to strengthen democratic institutions in Guinea and Niger and managing projects in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Uganda. Morefield also supported the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Indo-Pacific programs to promote US-European coordination in the region.

In 2021, Morefield was named by the Department of State as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow. Through that prestigious fellowship, she interned in Washington, D.C., supporting foreign service officers within the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. She also supported public-diplomacy efforts as a U.S. embassy intern in London and earned an M.A. in security studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Morefield remains connected to Dickinson, supporting scholarship initiatives, attending alumni events and volunteering for the student-led Women of Color Summit.

“My time at Dickinson taught me that a person can have a global impact if they are driven by purpose, values and inclusion,” Morefield says. “I’m so proud to call myself a Dickinsonian because it’s an ever-changing, dynamic community that critically contributed to my personal and professional development. I take the lessons I learned there everywhere I go, and I feel lucky to have the support of fellow Dickinsonians.”

 

Nathaniel F. Mitchell ’09

Published March 20, 2024