With over 37,000 active alumni, there is always a reason to applaud and celebrate the accomplishments of our remarkable alumni and friends. Take pride as you glance at the accomplishments of this year’s recipients. Congratulations to all of our nominees and to this year’s list of awardees.
Distinguished Alumna Award: Nancy Pedot
Distinguished Alumnus Award: Alan Krause
Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award: Troy Andrade
Alumni Service Award: Tricia Hasbrook
Special Recognition Award: Deborah Oakman
Heritage Award: Marilyn Knutson
The Brian C. Olson Student Leadership Award: Andrew Larsen
Did You Know?
The Alumni Recognition Awards are awarded based on peer nominations and are awarded during Homecoming every year.
Nancy Pedot ‘73
For her distinguished career building strong brands and dynamic retail concepts, Nancy Pedot ‘73 receives the Distinguished Alumna Award.
Nancy Pedot is best known for her leadership of Gymboree, a children’s apparel brand. She joined Gymboree as Senior Vice President of Merchandising in 1989, two years after the company opened its first retail store. From 1994 through 1997, Pedot was President and CEO of Gymboree Corporation, a leading retailer of children’s apparel and play programs based in California. Under her leadership as CEO, Gymboree grew from approximately $14 million in sales to more than $430 million and expanded from 33 to more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe. For her achievements at Gymboree, Pedot was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. magazine and was featured on the cover of Business Week as CEO of one of America’s fastest growing companies.
In 2000, Pedot joined the Board of Directors for Party City Corporation, the nation’s largest chain of party supply stores, with more than 500 franchise and company locations and annual chain-wide sales of $1 billion. In response to the need for merchandising, operational and financial improvements, she was named Acting Chief Executive Officer in April, 2003. She became permanent CEO in January, 2004 and held that position for 2 years.
After a short break, she became managing director of Golden Seeds Fund LP for four years. Most recently she spent a year living in France as CEO of the brands Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse tam.tam and Executive Officer of Fast Retailing Group.
Alan Krause ‘76
As an accomplished businessman, engineer and global leader in water issues, Alan Krause ‘76 receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Alan Krause is chairman and chief executive officer of MWH Global, the world leading consultancy in water. The firm employees 8,000 staff working in 170 offices in 35 countries around the world. Committed to protecting and developing the world’s natural resources in a responsible and appropriate way, he embraces the vision that technology offers to provide better solutions.
Krause’s leadership acuity extends to the successful completion of major global initiatives, such as the Tekeze Hydropower Project in Ethiopia that increased power stability and provided reliable access to light, heat and water for 80 million people. Noteworthy projects currently designed or constructed by his firm include the new Panama Canal (documented in April, 2015 on the History Channel) and the water system for Thames Water serving greater London, England that is considered the largest water utility in the world today.
He is a member of the Advisory Board for the University of Colorado – Denver Business School, was also recently appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the U.S. Environmental Technology Trade Advisory Committee and is a standing member of the Pan American Academy of Engineering.
Alan resides with his wife in Denver, Colorado and has two grown children Justin (Wharton, 2009) and Melissa (Colby, 2012).
Troy Andrade ‘07
For his accomplishments as an attorney and his work forwarding civic education, Troy Andrade ‘07 receives the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award.
Troy J.H. Andrade is a Native Hawaiian attorney whose passion for social justice was ignited as a student at PLU, where as a Rieke Scholar he was provided a forum to organize events to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and to bring to the fore the Native Hawaiian struggle for justice.
Following his graduation from PLU, Andrade received his law degree from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law. While in law school, he tutored law students, substantially drafted a chapter of a legal textbook on Native Hawaiian reconciliation issues, and authored an award-winning law journal article on the harsh effects of the bar examination on minority applicants. After law school, Andrade clerked for Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court. During his clerkship, Andrade assisted in organizing the Judiciary’s efforts to promote access to justice to those most vulnerable in society.
In 2013, Andrade joined one of Hawaii’s premier law firms, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP. His practice has focused primarily on complex commercial litigation matters, administrative law, and appeals. Andrade is in the final stages of completing a PhD in American Studies.
Tricia Hasbrook ‘93
For her outstanding service to the autism community, Tricia Hasbrook ’93 receives the Alumni Service Award.
Tricia Hasbrook graduated from PLU in 1993. The following fall she began Law School but soon realized her true passion was in the field of education. Tricia taught in the Portland area public schools for several years.
Her first child, a son named A.J., was diagnosed with Autism. After watching the difficulty A.J. was having with traditional schooling, Hasbrook began to research specific educational opportunities for children with Autism. She did not find any regional options so she started a grassroots effort and became the founder and director of Victory Academy which opened its doors in 2009.
Victory is the first school of its kind in the Greater Portland Metro Area to offer an integrated academic and therapeutic program to children affected by Autism. Victory continues to stand alone as Oregon’s only accredited year-round school dedicated to students with Autism. In September 2015, Victory will open its doors at a new campus, specially designed for this unique population of learners. The new Victory Campus will allow the school to act as a resource for their student population, families, and educators throughout the region. Victory will expand its programs and offer preschool-high school.
Hasbrook saw a need in her community and used her skills gained from her education (as well as a lot of courage and dedication) to create something that did not exist before.
For uniquely serving the university as Sacristan for over 20 years, Deborah Oakman receives the Special Recognition Award.
For over 20 years Deborah Oakman has served The University Congregation of Pacific Lutheran University as Sacristan. Oakman makes the bread for the weekly observance of Holy Communion donating the ingredients. She has worked tirelessly each year on the major worship celebrations on campus: Orientation Sunday, Homecoming Worship and until last year Commencement Worship. These services require a great deal of special set up, and for communion at least four times the bread preparation of a regular Sunday.
Over the years Oakman has been a mentor to students who assist her in setting up the worship space, giving them an education as to what each element of worship is named and what it means to the worshipping community.
One of the long standing traditions of The University Congregation is the Ritual of Blessing and Sending of senior students before commencement, which involves singing “The Servant Song” as the University Pastors place around each student’s shoulders a towel that says “UCong”. Oakman has kept account of the towels, making sure they are pressed and ready to be given. Each student then keeps the towel as a remembrance of their time at PLU and their calling to vocations in the world. Not finding suitable towels for the Ritual of Sending and Blessing (Toweling Service), Oakman bought material and made towels for Commencement 2015.
Marilyn Knutson ‘59
In recognition of her many years of exceptional service to the university, Marilyn Knutson ‘59 receives the Heritage Award.
Marilyn Knutson has been an ambassador of PLU since the late 50s. She is a loyal advocate for PLU and frequently talks about her PLU home and how much she loves the University. She can be seen at almost all University events.
Every morning Knutson walks the perimeter of campus to pick up litter, usually collecting several grocery sacks! She often offers to host guest speakers, organists and other University guests in her “bed and breakfast” apartment. She offers great hospitality to University guests.
After her husband, former religion professor, David Knutson ’58, passed away she established the David and Marilyn Knutson Religion Lecture and she hosts a reception in her home after the lecture. It is important to her to provide this opportunity to PLU students, faculty, staff, and the local community. Her dedication to the lecture has made it one of the best attended lectures on campus.
She is a Heritage Society Member, and longtime generous Q Club/PLU Annual Fund donor. In addition, she was the PLU Women’s Club President for several terms and member since its inception. She advocates for the club and was an instrumental member of the team of women who established the $350k+ endowment for student scholarships through Yule Boutique proceeds and other donations.
Andrew Larsen ‘15
For his potential for a lifelong commitment to the university and alumni association, Andrew Larsen ‘15 receives the Brian C. Olson Student Leadership Award
Andrew Larsen was an Anthropology and Religion double major and Political Science minor from Helena, Mont. Larsen was accomplished in and out of the classroom during his time at PLU.
During his time on campus Larsen participated in a wide range of activities including Athletics, Associated Students of PLU, Student Involvement and Leadership, Residential Life, Campus Ministry, Office of Admission, Wild Hope Center for Vocation, Office of the President and the Academic Assistance Center. For all of these activities he served in a leadership role and showed his propensity to mentor and support the next generation of Lutes.
His accomplishments do not end with his co-curricular leadership roles. Larsen also received the Peace Scholarship in 2014 and studied away in the Balkans, Italy and Norway.
Everything Larsen does, he does with passion and dedication, including his passion and dedication to being a Lute. His dedication to being a Lute goes so deep he served as one of the Lancelute Mascots.