Distinguished Alumnus Award
Through years of dedication and service, this alumnus has achieved professional or vocational distinction. For his outstanding contributions to television, technology and higher education, and for his continued dedication to the university, Ray Heacox '76 receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Heacox has served as president and general manager of King Broadcasting (Belo Corp, Seattle) since 2005. Prior to joining Belo Seattle, Heacox was the first director of the Paul F. Harron Graduate Program in Television Management at Drexel University in Philadelphia where he was charged with creating the two-year, full time, dual-degree (MS/MBA) curriculum. During the 1990s Heacox held several prominent management positions with NBC including president and general manager of KNBC in Los Angeles and executive vice president of sales for the NBC-owned and operated station group. He left NBC in 2000 to become president, and later CEO, of Media Ocean Inc., a business-to-business technology company.
Heacox is also chair of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society/Greater Northwest Chapter, trustee and vice chair of the Arts Fund Board, a member of the Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation Board, a member of the Benaroya Research Institute Board of Directors and a past member of the NBC Affiliates Board.
Heacox wears his black and gold with pride and has served the PLU community several times by engaging faculty, staff and students in his office in Seattle and on campus.
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Through years of dedication and service, this alumnus has achieved professional or vocational distinction.
For outstanding achievement as an attorney and in community service, Robert Gomulkiewicz '83 receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
In 1991, Gomulkiewicz joined the Microsoft Corporation as associate general counsel where he led a group of lawyers providing legal counsel for development of Microsoft's major systems software, desktop applications, and developer tools software, including Windows and Office.
Gomulkiewicz joined the University of Washington School of Law faculty in 2002 to direct the graduate program in Intellectual Property Law and Policy. He currently serves as the University of Washington Law Foundation Professor of Law and as the school's chair and director for Academics, Law, Technology and Arts Group.
Gomulkiewicz is also active in several community organizations, having served on the boards of Rural Development Institute, Independent Colleges of Washington, and Camp Fire USA. He has also performed pro bono work for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, representing refugees.
Elected to PLU's Board of Regents in 2001, Gomulkiewicz proudly served his alma mater in this capacity for nine years and was chair of the board from 2006 to 2010. He was also the chair of the Xavier Hall Restoration Committee and led the effort to name the Philip Nordquist Lecture Hall in honor of his beloved PLU history professor.
Mary Beth Leeper
Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award
Award to an alumnus, within 15 years of graduation, who has excelled in a special area of life.
For her outstanding achievements as an attorney and for her service to immigrant communities, Mary Beth Leeper '00 receives the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award.
Upon graduation from PLU, where she double-majored in Spanish and global studies, Leeper began a volunteer commitment with the Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia, serving as a Working Children's Program educator with the non-profit organization PRONATs. After completing her three-year commitment to MCC in Bolivia, Leeper returned to the UnitedStates and became the volunteer liaison for the MCC in the Seattle area.
Fully bilingual and with outstanding intercultural and interpersonal skills, she secured a part-time job in an after-school program for Latino youth through the Auburn School District.
For the next three years, she worked for the City of Auburn. As Cultural Diversity Liaison, she helped policy makers understand the changing needs of Auburn and helped develop a program in which new immigrants would have leadership opportunities.
In 2010 Leeper graduated from Seattle University's School of Law with honors. She was awarded the CALI Excellence for Future Award in Advanced Immigration Law. She was hired as the Children's Coordinating Attorney for the American Bar Association's Volunteer Advocated for Immigrant Justice in Seattle. She is now associate attorney with Hanis, Irvine, Prothero in Kent, Wash., where she continues to represent immigrant adults in removal proceedings.
Special Recognition Award
Awarded to an alumnus for years of distinguished service to the university.
As a friend of PLU who has uniquely served the university, Bob Robertson receives the Special Recognition Award.
Robertson ranks among the Northwest's greatest sportscasters. After college, Robertson passed on a chance to play minor-league baseball for the Portland Beavers to broadcast games for the Wenatchee Chiefs, a minor-league baseball team in the Class B Western International League. He spent 1955-56 at the University of Notre Dame broadcasting sports and moved to Fresno, Calif., in 1956 to call baseball games. In 1964, he was hired to be the voice of Washington State University.
Robertson has announced WSU football for the past 45 years, and early in the 2011 season, logged his 500th game with the Cougars. In 1999, he began broadcasting games for the minor-league Spokane Indians baseball team. Robertson has also provided play-by-play for the Tacoma Rainiers, Sounders, Seattle Totems, Seattle University men's basketball, boxing, wrestling, hydroplanes, table tennis, roller derby and the Mariners. For the past 12 years Robertson has called men's and women's basketball conference games for Pacific Lutheran University.
In recognition to his distinguished service to PLU, Ed Larson '57 receives the Heritage Award.
Larson has worked at PLU since 1970 and currently serves as the executive director for Charitable Estate Planning in the Office of Development. He was a part of the group that established the Heritage Society at PLU, which honors individuals who have made estate-planning provisions on behalf of the university. These estate plans for PLU include bequests, charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts. Now more than 40 years later, Larson has been an integral part of the creation of PLU's endowment and long-term financial success. The Heritage Society now includes more than 400 families with documented gifts totaling approximately $100 million.
Ed Larson and his wife, Betty, also established the Per and Anna Johnson and Ed and Hildur Larson Scholarship. It is awarded to a student majoring in Scandinavian Studies at PLU, in support of Scandinavian culture and heritage at PLU. Larson is a Scandinavian Cultural Council (SCC) Executive Board member. He helped create the SCC Endowment Fund to preserve and expand Scandinavian heritage and traditions at PLU and throughout the greater Puget Sound region.
The Brian C. Olson Award
Presented to a student who has demonstrated commitment to the university and the alumni association. By recognizing the importance of connecting students and alumni, this student has shown a potential for lifelong service to the university. For her leadership on campus and commitment to a lifelong relationship with the university, Abigail Pishaw '12 receives the Brian C. Olson Student Leadership Award.
Pishaw, from Forest Grove, Ore., double-majored in communication and theater. She was a student intern in the PLU Office of Development, where she provided support to her colleagues and PLU constituents. She was administrative student lead last summer and served as a mentor to her fellow student employees. She looked for every opportunity to get to know alumni, parents and friends of PLU. Pishaw was the volunteer chair for the 2012 Graduation Gift Committee, and was very involved with many PLU theater productions.
The Brian C. Olson Award
Presented to a student who has demonstrated commitment to the university and the alumni association. By recognizing the importance of connecting students and alumni, this student has shown a potential for lifelong service to the university. For his leadership on campus and commitment to a lifelong relationship to the university, Kelvin Adams '12 receives the Brian C. Olson Student Leadership Award.
Adams majored in physics and is from Portland, Ore. He was enrolled in the 3-2 Engineering program. However, instead of transferring after three years, Kelvin chose to finish his degree at PLU and then enroll at Oregon State University to earn his engineering degree. One of the major factors in this decision was that he was a distinguished member of the Choir of the West. Adams maintained a 3.9 GPA while participating in the Student and Alumni Association and working as student intern in the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations. Adams is a Class Representative for the class of 2012.