2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards

On March 24, 2011, Arts & Sciences honored graduates who exemplify the ideals of a liberal arts education, and in so doing, bring honor to the University through their lives, work, and service.

Meet The 2011 Recipients

Robert C. Adler, AB ’72, DMD ’76

Robert Adler is a compassionate man whose lively intellectual curiosity inspires him to action. As an undergraduate student in anthropology, Dr. Adler learned to apply rigorous critical thinking doing research on cell membrane changes during severe blood loss (hypovolemia) and he conducted research and practiced dentistry in St. Louis until 1983. Dr. Adler founded the Pain Management Associates, one of the first multidisciplinary pain-management practices in Southern California and then went on to work with Palestine's Ministry of Health to implement state-of-the-art health care there. Dr. Adler and his wife, Alexis Deutsch Adler, also strongly support children, youth and families through many organizations including Phoenix House, Every Child and International Medical Corps — and extensive service to Washington University.

Michael R. Cannon, AB ’73

As executive vice chancellor and general counsel of Washington University, Michael Cannon is chief legal officer to the Board of Trustees and immersed in a variety of challenges and opportunities presented by a great research university. A Phi Beta Kappa student his junior and senior years, Mr. Cannon was a highly analytical economics major (with meaningful excursions into English literature and political science) and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He took his law degree at Yale, joining Washington University in 1993. Mr. Cannon created and continues to teach a course at the law school in insurance law and is developing an undergraduate political science course about American legal institutions and processes. Founding chair of the university’s committee on postgraduate fellowships and scholarships, Mr. Cannon also mentors students competing for these prestigious major awards.

Deborah A. Freund, AB ’73

A classics major in Arts & Sciences during her three college years, Claremont Graduate University President Deborah Freund mastered Greek and Latin and assisted in the development of what became the nation’s first university-based HMO, under the guidance of Gerald Perkoff, MD.Dr. Freund went on to the University of Michigan for an MA in applied economics, a PhD in economics and an MPH in medical care administration. Dr. Freund’s internationally recognized, strongly clinical research has produced significant findings in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health insurance and economics and Medicaid. She has a raft of awards, has served on myriad professional boards and has held numerous academic executive position. She became the first woman president of Claremont Graduate University, in California, in fall 2010.

Earle H. Harbison, Jr., AB ’48

Earle Harbison has excelled in a series of memorable endeavors, including serving as a deputy director of a major component of the CIA during the time surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis and leading Monsanto Company as president and chief operating officer. Today he chairs Harbison Corporation, a family financial holding company that invests in manufacturing. As an undergraduate, he studied political science and his many campus activities ranged from co-chairing the Student Senate to membership in major honorary societies. After graduating he was recruited to the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency and completed his LLD at George Washington University, later attending the Harvard Business School.  Former chairman of Fisher Controls, G.D. Searle and NutraSweet companies, a director of a number of commercial companies including Merrill Lynch, Mr. Harbison is devoted to his alma mater. Among innumerable acts of service, he is Trustee Emeritus of Washington University and past chair of the Arts & Sciences National Council.

Stephanie L. Riven, AB ’69, MS ’71

Stephanie Riven developed a treasure for St. Louis and for the country: COCA – Center of Creative Arts. During her 23 years as executive director (1987-2010), she created a nationally recognized multidisciplinary community arts center serving 50,000 people a year with over 500 offerings in dance, theatre, vocal music and visual art at its primary location in University City and throughout St. Louis City and County.  Last year, the Arts & Education Council recognized Ms. Riven with a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award. Ms. Riven’s bachelor’s degree in political science and her master’s degree from Central Institute for the Deaf provided the foundation for her accomplishments.  Ms. Riven is currently serving as a Visiting Practitioner at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and is a consultant with the New York based firm, David Bury & Associates, where she works with nonprofit organizations throughout the country.