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Award Winner Profiles

2013 Alumni Award Winners

 
 

Michael Smith, BA '01
ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Michael graduated from Marymount in 2001 with a BA in Communications. Following graduation, Michael served as a senior staff member at a Massachusetts Boys and Girls Club, was an aide to U.S. Congressman Richard E. Neal, and managed youth symposiums for the National Crime Prevention Council. Then, as a program officer at the Beaumont Foundation of America and a regional program manager at PowerUP, he helped build national initiatives aimed at bridging the “digital divide” – programs that provided young people across the nation with access to the technology resources and training needed for success in today’s world. Michael also served for many years on the boards of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), Idealist.org, and Public Allies.

More recently, Michael was the Senior Vice President of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation, where he oversaw the Foundation's giving and program strategy. In this role, Michael guided the design and management of numerous sector-building initiatives, such as America’s Giving Challenge, Be Fearless, and the Make It Your Own Awards, which the New York Times called “the first time a major foundation is offering the public a direct role in deciding who should receive some of its money.” He also played a key leadership role in the design and support of several highly regarded public-private partnerships including the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership, A Billion + Change, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and most recently, the Startup America Partnership, a private-sector call to action which has led to more than 30 state affiliates, 13,000 member firms and billions of dollars in resources aimed at making it easier for entrepreneurs to scale companies and strengthen communities.

Michael is currently director of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a key Obama Administration initiative that mobilizes federal and private investment to support and scale innovative, evidence-based, community-driven solutions focusing on economic opportunity, youth development and healthy futures. To date, the SIF has invested approximately $137 million in more than 200 pioneering organizations, and secured more than $300 million in non-federal match commitments.
 

 

Bill Harris '04
ALUMNI CLUB LEADERSHIP AWARD

William (Bill) Harris ’04 has been the President of the Marymount Lacrosse Alumni Network (MLAN) since 2010. The focus of the MLAN is to unite both the men’s and women’s lacrosse programs at Marymount and build a long lasting community for its players, alumni, and their supporters. Since Bill has taken leadership of the MLAN, it has grown to Marymount’s largest and most active alumni group. Amongst a number of lacrosse focus initiatives and gatherings, the MLAN has also founded and fully funded The James Shelton Endowed Scholarship, in honor of James Shelton a long time employee and supporter of Marymount Athletics. In addition, the annual Friday evening happy hour during Homecoming weekend has grown to one of the best-attended alumni events, and raises over $1,500 annually to support the MU lacrosse programs.

While at Marymount, Bill was a three year letterman and one year captain of the Marymount Men’s Lacrosse Team, and also served as senior vice president for the Class of 2004. Bill now lives in Chicago, IL, and works as a client service manager for Randstad Pharma. There he leads a team of nearly 200 hundred employees who focus on serving the business needs of Randstad’s larger pharmaceutical clients. Bill has also remained active in the lacrosse world by coaching high school lacrosse and founding both an outdoor men’s lacrosse team and a semi-pro men’s indoor lacrosse team.
 

 

Jeb Butler, BA '03
OUTSTANDING RECENT GRADUATE AWARD

Jeb graduated from Marymount in 2003 with a B.A. summa cum laude in English Literature and Language. A Presidential Scholarship recipient, Jeb was selected to the Delta Epsilon Sigma honor society and Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He was also the founding president of Marymount’s chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma, the international English Honor Society, and earned departmental honors for his senior thesis through his nomination for the Evelyn Ludlow Award. He studied abroad in London in spring 2002.

Jeb was extensively involved as a student, serving as class president his freshman and senior years, and as executive board secretary and vice president for the Student Government Association. He spent three years as a Resident Assistant and an Admissions Ambassador. Jeb additionally acted in Theatre One2One, sang in Blue Harmony, and wrote for The Banner. His fellow classmates selected him as the recipient of the Bishop Ireton Medal at Commencement.

He went on to complete an M.A. in English Literature at Boston College, where he distinguished himself as a teaching fellow, participated in the Women’s Studies consortium at Harvard University, and earned the Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award in 2005. He taught in the English departments at Boston College and Wheelock College until 2007, when a move to New York City coincided with a transition to higher education administration.

After spending four years in admissions at New York University, Jeb was named director of Admissions at Columbia Law School in 2011, where he reviews over 6,000 applicants each year for admission to one of the top programs in the nation. He attributes his approach to admissions and many of his professional methodologies to his years at Marymount and the values instilled while he was a student.

Jeb has remained dedicated to Marymount and to English majors in particular, returning as an alumni speaker and helping motivate those who have come after him toward academic success.