Distinguished UArizona graduates to be honored with Alumni of the Year Awards

wildcat statue

"Wildcat Family" statue on the University of Arizona Mall.

Chris Richards/University of Arizona

The University of Arizona will confer Alumni of the Year awards on 15 accomplished graduates at noon on Feb. 3 at the Tucson Marriott University Park, 880 E. Second Street.

The honorees were nominated by their home colleges and formally approved by the Alumni Advisory Council, a volunteer board of 23 members who advise on alumni engagement and outreach efforts.

This year's award recipients include one of the country's leading Indigenous rights attorneys; a nationally recognized agritourism and food education businessperson; the chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and a passionate advocate for health equity for underserved populations, among others. The honorees graduated as recently as 2005 and as long ago as 1963.

"This is an incredible group of professionals," said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation, which administers the awards. "I look forward to welcoming them back to campus and celebrating their accomplishments with their friends and family."

The Alumni of the Year Awards was established as a tradition in 1943. You can read about past honorees on the Arizona Alumni website.   

2023 winners

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Arnott Duncan III, Class of 1982, is a fourth-generation Arizona farmer, advocate, industry partner and philanthropist who owns Duncan Family Farms.

College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture: William Brown Jr., Class of 1966, was a licensed architect and philanthropist who launched The Brownstone Group. Brown passed away in July 2022.

Eller College of Management: Matthew Vining, Class of 2006, is an entrepreneur and the founder of several startups in the energy industry, including the carbon-capturing company Navigator CO2 Ventures.

College of Engineering: Michael Hummel, Class of 1982, is a volunteer, advocate, philanthropist and the general manager and chief executive officer of the Salt River Project.

College of Fine Arts: John Meyer, Class of 1982, is an award-winning creative director, marketer, strategist and image maker and is the chief creative officer of Absolut Meyer.

College of Humanities: Dolores Durán-Cerda, Class of 1993 and 1999, has dedicated her career to higher education and is provost and executive vice chancellor of Pima Community College.

James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences: John E. Greivenkamp, Class of 1979 and 1980, was a longtime member of the university's optical sciences faculty and founded the college's Museum of Optics. Greivenkamp passed away in January 2022.

James E. Rogers College of Law: Gabriel Galanda, Class of 2000, is a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of California and one of the country's leading Indigenous rights attorneys as the managing lawyer at Galanda Broadman.

College of Medicine – Tucson: Todd Vanderah, Class of 1991 and 1995, is a teacher, researcher and faculty member at the College of Medicine – Tucson. He has built his career on the study of opioids, looking for ways to manage pain without increasing the risk of addiction.

Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health: Dr. Julianna Reece, Class of 1996, is a visionary public health leader, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and a board-certified family medicine physician who has served Native communities for more than 20 years.

College of Nursing: Gerri Lamb, Class of 1987, is a scholar, researcher and teacher who is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in care coordination and interprofessional education.

R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy: Marion Slack, Class of 1989, is a philanthropist, lecturer, research scientist and emeritus professor. Slack's research focus was on the management of chronic pain as well as reducing bias in research design.

College of Science: Edgar McCullough Jr., Class of 1963, served the University of Arizona for more than 30 years as an educator in and dean of the College of Science. He later dedicated his attention to the deaths of migrants walking across the Arizona-Mexico border.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences: Kathryn Bertine, Class of 2000, is an author, filmmaker, athlete, CEO and champion for gender equity in sports through her Tucson-based Homestretch Foundation.

W.A. Franke Honors College: Shelly Lowe, Class of 1997 and 2005, is a passionate advocate for Native American students and families. She is a citizen of the Navajo Nation who grew up in Ganado, Arizona, was the first Native American Flinn Scholar, served as executive director of Harvard's Native American Program and today is chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read more about the winners on the Arizona Alumni website.

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