On Thursday, May 27, President Sean Decatur and President of Alumni Council Kamille Harless ’99 awarded the 2021 Gregg Cup to Richard Alper ’71 and the 2021 Humanitarian Service Award to Dr. Brigitte Kerpsack Olsen ’91 during a virtual reunion alumni town hall. 

In addition, they recognized the full list of 2021 alumni award recipients, which is below. These awards are typically announced at Reunion Weekend in recognition of outstanding commitment to the College by specific members of the alumni community. Awardees are nominated by their peers or friends of the College, with final selections made by Alumni Council.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Jump to an award: Gregg Cup | Humanitarian Service Award | Greenslade Award | Anne J. Robinson Award | Kenyon-to-Career Ambassador Award | Distinguished Service Awards

2021 Alumni Award Recipients

Gregg Cup: Richard Alper ’71

Alper lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife Kate. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University in 1974, then practiced real estate and land use law. Over the last 40 years, he has served the College in multiple volunteer capacities, including  the Kenyon Fund Executive Committee, the Alumni Council, the Board of Trustees and currently on the board of directors for the Philander Chase Conservancy. In his free time he enjoys hiking, biking, cooking and cinema. He is also actively involved in collaborative conservation in the Rocky Mountain region.

“Rich has served in almost every volunteer role that we have. We couldn’t have a more qualified candidate,” said Kenyon staff members in their nomination form.

The Gregg Cup was donated to Kenyon College by Henry Sellers Gregg of the Class of 1881, a longtime Kenyon volunteer who served as a trustee of the College from 1917 until a year before his death in 1938. Originally intended to acknowledge the alumnus (or, since the advent of coeducation, alumna) who, in the opinion of the Alumni Council, had made the most significant contribution to the welfare of Kenyon in a given year, the Gregg Cup is now awarded in recognition of a history of service to the College.

Humanitarian Service Award: Dr. Brigitte Kerpsack Olsen '91

Kerpsack Olsen lives in New York City with her husband David, also a member of the Class of 1991. She attended Yale School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at Columbia University Babies and Children’s Hospital. After a time in private practice, she pursued a Masters in Public Health at Columbia’s Mailman School. Following a role as the pediatrician in a secure detention facility for youth in the Bronx, she now works in a New York City safety-net primary care center, treating children and families in need, including the homeless, the neglected, and the undocumented. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she served the city and provided assistance to children and adults alike.

“She is the true definition of a humanitarian. Someone with the skills and training to do anything, but who chooses to help others in the best way they know how,” said her husband David Olsen ’91 in his nomination form.

The Humanitarian Service Award, which is not necessarily conferred on an annual basis, is given at the discretion of the Alumni Council to members of the Kenyon family who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to humanitarian service.

Greenslade Award: Rachel Hall '15 and Emily Torrey '14

In June 2020, Hall and Torrey  authored a letter to the College, signed by more than 600 alumni, encouraging Kenyon to do more to support students and faculty members of color. They also rallied support for the Black Student Union and the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion through the first-ever Kenyon Together giving challenge, which generated a large number of gifts for those causes.

Hall lives in Venice, California, and works in marketing operations at Netflix. She’s been in Boston for the past several months, and has enjoyed reuniting with Kenyon alumni on the east coast.

Torrey lives in New Orleans and is a rising 2L J.D. Candidate at the Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law. She is grateful for her dog Fred and the ability to work on civil litigation projects at both the Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans and a small Baltimore-based firm this summer.

The Greenslade Award, which is not necessarily conferred on an annual basis, is given at the discretion of the Alumni Council to members of the Kenyon family including alumni, parents, employees and friends of the College who demonstrate the qualities of affection for and loyalty to Kenyon exhibited by the Greenslades in their many years of volunteer service to the College and its constituents, both on campus and off. The award honors the memory of Thomas Boardman Greenslade ’31, Kenyon archivist from 1967 until his death in 1990, and Mary MacWilliam Greenslade, an unofficial ambassador for the College both before and after her husband’s death until her own in 1994.

Anne J. Robinson Award: Taylor Hazan '19 and Grant Carney '15

Hazan and Carney have been working to reestablish a Charlotte regional alumni association for Kenyon. During the pandemic, they were one of the few regional associations to plan a virtual event when they helped organize, “Southern Response to Social Injustice,” in September 2020 which was attended by 69 members of the Kenyon community. 

Hazan lives in Matthews, North Carolina, and works as a program officer at RefugePoint. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, running, and three-hour video calls with Kenyon classmates.

Carney lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a data scientist for Old Well Partners. In his free time he enjoys soccer, running and hanging out at the park with his dog.

The Anne J. Robinson Award is awarded annually to the outstanding regional alumni association president recommended by the Alumni and Parent Engagement staff and endorsed by members of the Alumni Council.

Kenyon-to-Career Ambassador Award: Emma Hood '19

Hood has hosted eight students through the Kenyon Career Development Office’s Professional Extension Projects program, which outnumbers any other alumni volunteer to date. She was also one of the first alumni to design a project and offer it to Kenyon staff as an example that could be used to recruit other alumni to the program. She lives in New York City and works as a fixed income portfolio analyst at AllianceBernstein. In her free time she enjoys going to movies and museums and taking photos around the city.

The Kenyon-to-Career Ambassador Award is given in recognition of the individual who has significantly contributed to the professional development, career exploration, and post-graduate success of Kenyon students and alumni. The recipient has provided exceptional career-related support which may include multiple modes of network building, opportunity sourcing, and professional mentoring; and/or has demonstrated leadership toward enhancing innovative career resources and programming for students and alumni. It is conferred annually by the Career Development Office.

Distinguished Service Awards

Mary Abbajay '86
Abbajay lives with her husband Christopher Marlow in Washington, DC, where she is the president of Careerstone Group LLC. In her free time she enjoys — like most former English Majors, reading great books. She is also the co-host of a new podcast, called Cubicle Confidential which offers weekly advice for workplace success. She is being recognized with this award for her participation on four reunion committees over the last 20 years, as well as her service as a class agent and as a Women In Philanthropy advisor.

Susan Apel '83 P’16
Suzy Apel lives in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, where she is currently working as a senior deputy attorney general with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, after having spent 30 years as a partner at K&L Gates LLP and as general counsel of Ellwood Group, Inc. She and her husband Adrian Roe have three children, including Phoebe Roe, a 2016 Kenyon alumna who was awarded the E. Malcolm Anderson Cup during her time at Kenyon. Apel is being recognized with this award for her decade plus of service as a regional volunteer — organizing virtual events like the Pittsburgh Book Club, in-person events like her regular summer picnics for alumni, incoming students and their families, as well as most other Pittsburgh regional events for Kenyon. She has also served the College as a member of the inaugural Fifty Under 50 program during the We are Kenyon campaign, as a member of the Parents Advisory Council, through creation of the Pittsburgh Scholarship Fund and as a class agent and reunion committee member.

Belinda Bremner '71
Bremner, the first woman to graduate from Kenyon College, lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with her husband, Jake. She has retired from teaching at the Theatre Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, but not from acting and directing. She is an artistic associate at Oak Park Festival Theatre, the Midwest's oldest, professional, outdoor, classical theatre where she will appear this summer in “The Tempest.” Her free time is devoted to writing and volunteering. She is being recognized with this award for her participation on reunion committees, service as a class agent, assistance dedicating the Harlene Marley Theater as part of the 50th anniversary of coeducation and her role on the 50th Reunion Steering Committee, helping to form a more robust effort for that milestone reunion.

James Greenwood '02
Greenwood lives and works in Hudson, Ohio, where he is the dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at Western Reserve Academy. A skilled facilitator and diversity advocate, he is a frequent presenter at regional and national education conferences. In his free time he enjoys reading, writing and spending time with friends and family in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. He is being recognized with this award for his service as president of Alumni Council in 2018-19, vice-president in 2017-18, as well as his long history of service that includes reunion committees, the Boston regional association, mentoring Kenyon students and alumni of color, as well as service to the Career Development Office.

Jack Killen '71
Killen lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his husband Fred. He is a physician, retired from a career in research at the NIH. He enjoys exploring the intersections of neuroscience and spirituality, genealogy and playing French horn. He is being recognized with this award for his service as a member of Alumni Council, presiding over the council in 2016-17, and his service as chair of the Alumni Volunteer Engagement Task Force.

David Lynn '76 P’14 
Lynn lives in Gambier, Ohio, where he continues as a professor of English and a special assistant to the president of Kenyon. He and his wife Wendy have two grown children, including a 2014 Kenyon alumnus. In his free time he enjoys bike rides, yoga and writing. He is being recognized with this award for his service managing the Kenyon Review from 1994 to 2020, during which he greatly improved the Review's financial standing, established the Kenyon Review Board of Trustees and created the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. In addition, Lynn served on four reunion committees during that time frame.

Distinguished service awards are presented to those alumni who, in the opinion of Alumni Council, have made a significant contribution to Kenyon in past years as volunteers for admissions, fundraising, career development, and regional association steering committees. .