Alumni Awards

Gettysburg College Honors Ten Outstanding Alumni

Each year, on Commencement and Reunion weekends, Gettysburg College and its Alumni Association recognizes exemplary graduates for their personal and professional accomplishments. Brief details are provided for each of the awardees below; you can read their full bios on the Alumni Association awards page.

Gettysburg College’s Distinguished Alumni Award is given to those who have achieved outstanding professional or civic accomplishments as Gettysburg alumni. Notable awardees include Nobel Laureate Michael Bishop ’57 and UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy ’63. The 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award was given to the following individuals.

David Hamilton

David L. Hamilton ’63

  • B.A. in psychology, Ph.D. from University of Illinois
  • Research Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Has made significant contributions in the study of social perception by demonstrating how stereotypes result from the biased intake of information.
  • Scholarly awards include the National Institute of Mental Health’s MERIT Award (1987), the Thomas M. Ostram Award from the Person Memory Interest Group (2000), and the European Association of Social Psychology’s Jean-Claude Codol Award (2008).
  • Served on Gettysburg’s Task Force on Excellence in the Sciences and Psychology and the College’s National Committee for the Sciences.


Frank Martin

Frank S. Martin ’63

  • B.A. in political science, M.P.A. from Northern Colorado
  • President Emeritus and Founder of Kids Sports Network of San Antonio
  • Served in the United States Air Force for 20 years before retiring as a Major in 1983
  • Partnered with the San Antonio Spurs to create the Spurs Drug-Free Youth Basketball League—an inner-city youth basketball league whose participation has grown from 1,100 to 25,000 in 23 seasons.
  • Accolades include the Point of Light award from President George H.W. Bush (1992), a San Antonio Hometown Hero Award (1998), and San Antonio Sportsman of the Year award (2006).


John L Esterhai Jr

John L. Esterhai, Jr. M.D. ’68 P’95

  • B.A. in biology, M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine
  • Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Academic publications include a textbook, 35 book chapters, and 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.
  • Has been awarded Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (2009), the Jesse T. Nelson Teaching Award (1986, 1995, 2001), and has been named among the Best Doctors in America (2003-2012).
  • Founding member of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society.


Steven G. Littleson

Steven G. Littleson ’83

  • B.A. in business administration, M.A. George Washington University
  • Executive Vice President of Meridian Health, where he oversees multiple facilities, 12,000 team members, and a $1.7 billion annual revenue.
  • Previously served for 17 years as President of Jersey Shore University Medical Center—where he oversaw a five-year, $300 million project that transformed the center into one of the first three LEED Gold healthcare facilities in the country.
  • Has been named a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and serves on the boards of directors for the New Jersey Hospital Association and the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals.


Two Meritorious Service awardees are chosen each year in recognition of longstanding volunteer contributions to the College. The 2014 Meritorious Service awardees are Robert Joseph ’69 and James Weaver ’64 P’04.

Robert H. Joseph, Jr. ’69

Bob Joseph

  • B.A. in business administration
  • Retired Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AllianceBernstein L.P.
  • Chaired Gettysburg’s Task Force on Supporting Student Success and the 2005 Career Distinction Task Force.
  • Service to the College includes a 14-year tenure on the Board of Trustees (two years as vice chair), and roles on the Greek Life Advisory Council, the Athletics and Recreation Committee, the New York Leadership Group, and several reunion committees.
  • Has helped to lead three of the College’s campaigns (serving as chair of the College’s current Campaign Steering Committee), and has given generously to Gettysburg since 1986.


James M. Weaver ’64 P’04

Jim Weaver

  • B.A. in business administration, M.B.A. from Temple University, M.A. from Temple University
  • Financial Consultant at Weaver Consulting and Asset Management, LLC
  • Lifetime Cupola member with gifts such as the James M. Weaver ’64 Fund for Creative Teaching.
  • College service includes the Board of Fellows, the Sunderman Conservatory Oversight Board, the Greek Life Advisory Council, the Philadelphia Leadership Group, the Campaign Steering Committee, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (co-chaired in 2005), and the Board of Trustees (named Trustee Emeritus in 2010).


The Young Alumni Achievement Award is given to alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years for either Professional Achievement or Service to the College.

2014 Young Alumni Achievement Awardees for Professional Achievement

Brendan N. Ripp ’99

Brendan Ripp

  • B.A. management and economics
  • Vice President and Publisher at Sports Illustrated,, and Sports Illustrated for Kids
  • Career has included positions at Time, Fortune, and Money—and in 2010 he became Time’s youngest publisher since its founder, Henry Luce.
  • Integral in the launch of Time Warner’s first and highly successful iPad app in 2010.
  • Service to the College includes roles on Gettysburg’s Communications and Marketing Advisory Council and the New York Leadership Group, and a wealth of mentorship, job shadowing, externship, and career opportunities for Gettysburgians through the Center for Career Development.


Jennifer M. Gillette, Ph.D. ’99

Jennifer Gillette

  • B.S. in biology, Ph.D. from University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center
  • Scholarly honors include the National Osteoporosis Foundation Mazee’s Student Research Award (2002), the American Society for Cell Biology Novel and Newsworthy Research Award (2006), and the NASA Graduate Student Research Award (2002-2004).
  • Held a six-year post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
  • Scholarly publications include 14 co-authored articles and chapters.
  • Received a Women of Distinction award from the College in 2002.


2014 Young Alumni Achievement Awardees for Service to the College

Douglas P. Stuart ’04

Doug Stuart

  • B.S. in biology, M.S. from University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
  • Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Haverford College
  • Distinguished service through the ‘Burgians of the Last Decade (BOLD) Council since the Council’s inception in 2009. Stuart has served as BOLD’s Chair, Communications Committee Chair, and Liaison to the Alumni Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees.
  • Other service roles include Class Agent, 5th Reunion Committee Chair, 10th Reunion Committee, the Cupola Society Development Committee, and the Philadelphia Planning Committee.
  • As a student, he won both the Linnean Award and the Franklin Moore Award.

Erin Hardy Burns ’99

Erin Hardy Burns

  • B.A. in Sociology
  • Sales Associate at Gloria Nilson and Company Real Estate, following a 13 year career in nonprofit fundraising
  • Alumni service roles include Class Agent, Alumni Club President, 5th and 10th Reunion Committee member, 15th Reunion Committee Co-Chair, Central New Jersey Planning Committee (previous chair), and the Key Alumni Resource Effort.
  • Is one of eleven individuals in her family to attend Gettysburg College.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Christine Shanaberger, associate director of communications/coordinator of presidential communications 717.337.6806

Posted: Tue, 3 Jun 2014

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