Distinguished Alumni Award

Poly alumni belong to a community filled with strong leaders and innovative minds that have contributed great success to many different professions and walks of life. Each year, the Distinguished Alumni Award is presented by the Alumni Association to an alumnus or alumna whose life and work embodies the school’s commitment to intellect, integrity, service to others, and respect for the world beyond. The award was established by former Head of School John Bergen.


The recipient of the award must be a former Poly student. Any member of the Poly community may nominate a candidate. The Nominating Committee of the Alumni Board reviews all submissions and selects a recipient based on the following criteria:
  • Significant accomplishment in career or field of interest;
  • Excellence in service to the community or to society in general;
  • Volunteerism that has inspired others;
  • The embodiment of Poly's values and traditions, including integrity, curiosity, compassion, courtesy, service to others, and respect for the world beyond.
We are always accepting nominations, and nominated alumni remain candidates for future years if not selected. To be considered for the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award, nominations must be received by Feb. 17, 2020.

Previous Honorees

List of 21 items.

  • 2019: Ini Archibong '01

    designer, artist
  • 2018: David Ebershoff '87

    Writer, editor, teacher
  • 2016: Anna Christy Stepp '94

    Opera singer, soprano
  • 2015: Sarah Hotchkis Ketterer '79

    CEO, Causeway Capital Management
  • 2014: Bruce Beutler '75

    Nobel laureate, medicine and physiology
  • 2013: Ken Frank ’74

    Chef-proprietor, La Toque
  • 2012: Rebecca Eaton ’65

    Executive producer, PBS Masterpiece
  • 2011: Josh Brody ’90

    Head of school, Sequoyah School
  • 2010: Margaret Taylor Cunningham ’55

    Retired Episcopal priest
  • 2009: James D. Fullerton ’32

    Former chairman, The Capital Group; philanthropist
  • 2008: Desaix “Terry” Myers ’63

    Professor, National Defense University; former director, USAID
  • 2007: Louis B. Fleming ’40

    One of The Los Angeles Times’ first foreign correspondents; established bureaus at the United Nations and in Rome
  • 2005: R. Stanton Hales ’57

    President emeritus, The College of Wooster; U.S. men’s singles badminton champion
  • 1985: Arthur E. Raymond ’12

    Aeronautical engineer best known for leading the team that designed the DC-3
  • 1984: Harriet Doerr ’24

    Author, whose first novel, "Stones for Ibarra," won a 1984 National Book Award
  • 1983: Richard Nevins ’36

    Politician and tax official; 28-year member of the California State Board of Equalization
  • 1982: A. Stevens Halsted Jr. ’22

    Former president of both the Los Angeles County and State Bar associations
  • 1981: Stephen J. Cannell ’56

    Television writer and producer who co-created "The Rockford Files" and "The A-Team" and later wrote novels, including the bestselling Shane Scully crime series
  • 1980: Ruth Dee Simpson ’34

    Archeologist, Southwest Museum in Highland Park and San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands
  • 1979: Hannah Griffith Bradley ’42

    Community volunteer
  • 1978: Alec Hixon ’30

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