Distributed October 12, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

2001 William Rogers Award

Founder of U.S. hospice organizations receives top alumni award

The Brown Alumni Association presented its highest honor, the William Rogers Award, to Zachary Morfogen ’50, the founding chairman emeritus of the National Hospice Foundation and the National Hospice Organization, during the 18th annual Alumni Recognition Ceremony Friday, Oct. 12, 2001.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Zachary Morfogen, a member of the Class of 1950 and the founding chairman of two national hospice organizations, received the Brown Alumni Association’s highest honor – the William Rogers Award – during the 18th Annual Alumni Recognition Ceremony Friday, Oct. 12, 2001.

The annual Brown Bear and Alumni Service Awards, as well as several other honors, were also presented during the ceremony, which was hosted by actor/writer/director Tim Blake Nelson ’86. The evening’s program, attended by some 500 alumni leaders and members of the Brown University Corporation, began with a moment of silence and a memorial reading for the six Brown alumni who perished in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks: Donald Greene ’71, Charles Margiotta ’79, David Laychak ’83, Joanne Weil ’84, Raymond Rocha ’95 and Paul Sloan ’97.

The William Rogers Award

The William Rogers Award, established in 1984, is named for the first student and graduate of Brown. Following his graduation in 1769, William Rogers served as vice president of the Society for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery and of the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons. The Rogers Award honors an alumnus or alumna whose professional work and service to humanity exemplifies the charge of the Brown Charter to live a life of “usefulness and reputation.” Past recipients include Ambassador and Bosnian peace negotiator Richard C. Holbrooke ’62, legendary football coach Joe Paterno ’50, co-founder of Landmine Survivors Network Gerard B. White ’86 and NBC news correspondent Irving R. Levine ’44.

Zachary Morfogen ’50

Zachary Morfogen is the founding chairman emeritus of the National Hospice Foundation and the National Hospice Organization. Since the early 1970s, he has played a defining role in the development of the U.S. hospice movement, which provides caretakers and facilities for the terminally ill and their families. As then-president of Riverside Hospital in his hometown of Boonton, N.J., Morfogen watched patients die in pain and with little dignity. In 1976, after paying a visit to St. Christopher's Hospice in London and meeting Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement, he committed himself to what he has termed “celebrating life to the very end.”

Returning to the United States, Morfogen appointed a study group that pioneered one of the first freestanding hospices in this country. In 1978, he became chairman of the National Hospice Organization, an organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for the dying. In 1992 he was instrumental in establishing the National Hospice Foundation (NHF), dedicated to broadening national understanding of hospice through education and research. A recent national study of end-of-life compassionate care estimates that one in four Americans who died in 1999 – 600,000 out of 2.4 million – received hospice care.

Merging his own passions for art and end-of-life care, Morfogen also developed the concept for the national touring exhibit Hospice: A Photographic Inquiry and a related television documentary, Letting Go: A Hospice Journey. When he retired as NHF chair in 1997, he established the foundation’s first named endowment, the Zachary P. Morfogen Fund for Arts and Education in Hospice. Morfogen lives in Boonton Township, N.J., with his wife, Marilyn, who is his partner in Morfogen Associates, an international arts-consulting firm.

The Brown Bear Awards

The Brown Alumni Association annually presents the Brown Bear Awards to alumni who have given outstanding personal service to the University over a period of years. (Neither financial aid to the University nor professional achievement are considered.) Each year an anonymous committee reviews nominations from alumni and staff and selects one to three recipients. Those selected this year are:

  • Neil B. Donavan ’51, Laguna Beach, Calif., is a senior presence in the Brown community in Southern California. A key volunteer during the Campaign for the Rising Generation, he has hosted visits by Brown presidents to the growing Brown community in Orange County. Donavan is also an advocate for talented students and supports the Brown University libraries, the Maddock Alumni Walkway and Brown Alumni Magazine. His recent leadership for his 50th reunion campaign was instrumental in bringing the class to a record high in both contributions and reunion attendance. He is president of Pacific Coast Brands, Inc.

  • Nancy Gidwitz ’70, Chicago, Ill., has been a board member of the Alumni Association, the Brown Alumni Schools Committee and the Brown Sports Foundation. As a member of Brown’s Board of Trustees, she has served on the Student Life Committee and the Corporation Committee on Athletics. Known for her quiet efficiency and stalwart encouragement, Gidwitz has worked to increase the number of outstanding students from Chicago and has hosted Brown events in the Windy City. She is the owner of Nancy Gidwitz Communications.

The H. Anthony Ittleson ’60 Award

This award is given by the Brown Annual Fund to a volunteer or group of volunteers who best exemplify the extraordinary leadership of H. Anthony Ittleson ’60, national chair of the Brown Annual Fund from 1986 to 1990. This year’s recipients are Nancy R. Kail ’84, of Riverside, Conn., and James D. Kallman ’84, of New York City, who have demonstrated exemplary leadership within their class and on behalf of the Brown Annual Fund, managing their class gift committee and sponsoring an annual event for graduates of the early 1980s in New York.

The John Hope Award

Created by the Brown Alumni Association as part of its efforts to encourage public service, the John Hope Award is named for a 1894 African-American alumnus who dedicated his life to education and community service. With this award, the BAA honors a graduate whose career is dedicated to public service or a volunteer devoted to public service or social action. This year’s recipient is Jeffrey Swartz ’82, of Newton, Mass., the president and chief executive officer of Timberland Company; he was recognized for initiating its “Path of Service” program, which gives each of Timberland’s full-time employees 40 hours of paid time each year to perform community service.

The Alumni Service Awards

The Alumni Service Awards are given annually for distinguished, continuing volunteer service to Brown. The committee considers volunteers’ spirit of cooperation and selflessness as the key criteria for these awards. This year’s recipients are:

  • Suzanne M. Rivera ’91, of Irvine, Calif.;
  • Milena Gomez-Gaviria ’79, of Bogotá, Colombia and New York City;
  • Philindo J. Marsosudiro ’89, of Durham, N.C.;
  • John W. Kaufmann ’63, of Boston, Mass.;
  • Winthrop B. Wilson ’51, of West Greenwich, R.I.;
  • Jane F. Donovan ’50, P’85, P’87, of Greenwich, Conn.

The Young Alumni Service Award

The Young Alumni Service Award, established in 1999, recognizes alumni graduating in the past ten years whose early volunteer service for Brown sets an example for their peers, helps to keep other young alumni involved with Brown, and shows promise for continued service and leadership in the future. The 2001 Young Alumni Service Award was presented to Brickson E. Diamond ’93 of Santa Monica, Calif., where he leads alumni efforts to assist in multicultural recruiting for the admission office.

The Spotlight Awards

Originally created within the Brown Alumni Schools Committees program as a way to highlight just a few of the thousands of BASC members who work hard for Brown every year, this award has been expanded over time to highlight exemplary projects or service in any area in support of Brown. Both individuals and organizations may be recognized through this award. The 2001 Spotlight Award recipients are:

  • Bernard E. Bell ’42, P’71, ’72, ’78, Providence, R.I.;
  • Julia Potts Grehan ’52, New Orleans, La.;
  • Robert F. Lowe Jr. ’61, Englewood, N.J.;
  • Jane Golin Strom ’67, P’94, Laurel Hollow, N.Y.;
  • BASC Region 5 Committee – Upper Midwest (Richard Campagna ’72, Carolville Station, Iowa, regional director);
  • Marc C. Foster ’84, Brookline, Mass.;
  • Scott M. Zahler ’85, Atlanta, Ga.;
  • David T. Morris ’88, San Francisco, Calif.;
  • David Hammarstrom ’89, Providence, R.I.;
  • Peter A. Lees ’91, San Francisco, Calif.

The Brown Alumni Association (BAA) is the official, independent organization of Brown alumni, encompassing alumni of the undergraduate College, the Graduate School, and the Brown Medical School. The BAA’s mission is to keep alumni connected to the richness of Brown so that they will always be a part of the life of the University.