Since 1965, the Alumni Association has paid tribute to inspiring alumni who represent the values and spirit at the core of the Oxy experience. Seal Awards are given annually in the categories of service to the community, professional achievement, service to the College, young alumni achievement, emeriti faculty and alumna/us of the year. The Alumni Seal Awards are presented to honorees during Reunion Weekend, June 22-24, 2018.
Call for 2018 Alumni Seal Award Nominations
The Alumni Board of Governors invites your nominations for the 2018 Alumni Seal Awards. If you know of a worthy candidate in any of the nomination categories who is in a reunion year (classes ending in 3 or 8), please fill out a nomination form.
Below, you can read all about the past year's honorees.You can view all past honorees here.
2017 Alumni Seal Award Honorees
Sally Ann Parsons ’62
ALUMNA OF THE YEAR
In 1980 Sally Ann, along with her husband James Meares, founded a costume shop that went from squatting in an abandoned school building to becoming one of the premier shops in New York City. Parsons-Meares has produced costumes for more than 100 Broadway shows, including Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Sunset Boulevard, Guys and Dolls, Wicked, Aladdin and the blockbuster hit Hamilton. Since her husband’s death in 2008, Sally Ann has been the sole owner of Parsons-Meares, running a shop that often has more than 50 dressmakers, craftspeople and artists working on a single project. She has been the recipient of innumerable honors over the years including, most recently, a 2016 Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater, which honors members of the Broadway community whose work wouldn’t be recognized in the competitive awards categories.
In recognition of a lifetime of contributions and achievements in the field of costume technology, the Occidental College Alumni Board of Governors is honored to name Sally Ann Parsons ’62 our 2017 Alumna of the Year.
A member of the Oxy faculty since 1977, Roger Boesche was the Arthur G. Coons Distinguished Professor of the History of Ideas emeritus and taught the history of European and American political thought. A recipient of Oxy’s most prestigious teaching awards, including the Sterling Award, the Linda and Tod White ’59 Teaching Prize and the Loftsgordon Award, Boesche was selected for his first faculty job at Oxy out of a field of 250 applicants. In the words of Emeritus Professor Larry Caldwell P’90 P’14, “It was clear that he was going to be one of our top teachers, and he never let us down on that since.”
Professor Boesche passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 23, two days after the College celebrated his 40 years of distinguished service at its 135th Commencement ceremony. In honor of his continuing legacy and the impact he had on generations of Oxy students, the Board of Governors recognizes Professor Boesche with the 2017 Honorary Seal Award for Emeriti Faculty.
Mark Garcia ’87
SERVICE TO THE COLLEGE
A baseball and football player at Oxy, Mark has answered the call for nearly every volunteer opportunity that exists at the College. He has served on a reunion committee; mentored students in partnership with the Hameetman Career Center; advised the Alumni Office as a member of the Board of Governors; and represented his fellow Tigers to College leadership as an Alumni Trustee. Mark has also continued his involvement with Oxy Athletics by serving on the Tiger Club Board of Directors, worked with affinity groups and been a dedicated donor, with membership in both the William Stewart Young and McMenamin societies. Professionally, Mark is the project manager of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
With gratitude for his 30 years of dedication to Oxy and in the hope of many more to come, the Board of Governors is honored to name Mark Garcia ’87 a 2017 Alumni Seal Award recipient for Service to the College.
Judy Lam ’87
SERVICE TO THE COLLEGE
As a student at Oxy, Judy participated in Dance Production and was a member of the Asian PacificIslander Alliance. Since her graduation, she has been a leader of the Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group and the scholarship that they fund. Judy has also served on the Alumni Board of Governors and continues to shape the leadership of the Association asa member of the Alumni Council.She has been both a reunion planning and giving volunteer, and has shown herself to be a dedicated supporter of the College as a member of the McMenamin and William Stewart Young societies. Judy is currently a litigation partner with Kumagai Law Group.
With continued appreciation and acknowledgment of her time and support, the Board of Governors thanks Judy Lam ’87 with a 2017 Alumni Seal Award for Service to the College.
Kylie Schuyler ’82
SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
As a volunteer with NGOs overseas, Kylie participated in efforts to incentivize parents to enroll girls in newly built schools, as opposed to just boys. When she returned to the States, Kylie used this revelatory experience when founding GLOW House in Santa Ana. GLOW House served girls in grades 5-12 through daily after-school programming, which included research-based mentoring, literacy and art activities.From there, the organization grew and evolved into Global GLOW, which operates throughout theU.S. and in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
In tribute to her awareness of issues challenging our society and her dedication to supporting the global community of girls, the Board of Governors bestows upon Kylie Schuyler ’82 the 2017 Alumni Seal Award for Service to the Community.
Esau Berumen ’97
Since becoming principal of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy (HMSA) in 2010, Esau Berumen has led his school to become the12th most “college ready” school in California, and one of the top 30 overall schools in the state. In 2015, HMSA was named a CaliforniaGold Ribbon School, one of the highest accolades given to schools in the state. Additionally, Berumen was named one of the top 30 principals in California. He was previously honored with Oxy’s Erica J. Murray ’01 Young Alumnus Seal Award and has continued to advance HMSA in the time since that honor was given.
In recognition of his commitment to excellence in education, especially in traditionally underserved communities, the Board of Governors is pleased to name Esau Berumen ’97 the 2017 Seal Award honoree for Professional Achievement.
Sara El-Amine ’07
ERICA J. MURRAY ’01 YOUNG ALUMNA AWARD
Although she has only been out of Oxy for a decade, Sara is already a nine-year veteran of politics. As the Obama reelection campaign’s national director of training, Sara was responsible for establishing the curriculum and programs that trained over 50,000 staff, volunteers, fellows and interns who powered the president’s 2012 election win. Later, as executive director of the president’s grassroots effort Organizing for America, Sara led winning progressive issue battles at the state and national level including healthcare reform, marriage equality, gun-violence prevention and comprehensive immigration reform. Now a senior advisor and strategist and founder of Sara El-Amine Consulting, Sara works with such progressive organizations as Moveon.org, Safe Hands for Girls and Take on Hate.
In honor of her early achievement, and with the certainty that she has laid the groundwork fora distinguished future career, the Board of Governors presents the Erica J. Murray ’01 Young Alumna Award for Early Achievement to Sara El-Amine ’07.