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As a fitting culmination to a year celebrating Chapman University’s 150th anniversary, supporters and faculty gathered on November 22nd to honor individuals responsible for the school’s ranking as a top western regional university.

Just two days before Thanksgiving at a reception and awards ceremony, the university recognized and thanked 150 individuals and families for their varied contributions to the school. The “150 Faces of Chapman University” celebration honored an impressive mix of individuals who have in some way touched the university and contributed to its success, including faculty, students, philanthropists, business leaders, policy makers and clergy.

“It takes many incredible people to build an organization such as Chapman,” said Sheryl Bourgeois, executive vice president for University Advancement. “The vision and passionate commitment of countless people over the past 150 years directed the course of the university’s history.”

Likening the award ceremony to Chapman’s own “mini Oscars,” Bourgeois shared how selection committee members worked tirelessly to choose 150 recipients from 400 entries of worthy nominees.

Individuals honored at the ceremony included Dr. Marvin Meyer, Chapman’s Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. “I am deeply honored and humbled by the recognition,” said Meyer. “This was a wonderful pause in our schedules to celebrate the excellence among us and remember the generations of people who have contributed to the betterment of Chapman.”

Honoree Bob Bassett, professor and dean of Chapman’s renowned Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, enjoyed the memories initiated by the event.

“I got a kick out of seeing trustees I met when I first started here 30 years ago and former students with children now graduating from the school,” he said. “Back then people compared the Chapman community to a small town in Iowa with its 1,300 students. That comparison is still valid today, even though there are 1,500 students in the film school alone.”

What became apparent as the various honorees took the stage was how many people it takes to build a village.

“We just happen to be here now, but a lot of influential people along the way made Chapman strong,” said honoree Doy Henley, a local philanthropist and businessman.

Others recognized at the ceremony included present day members of Chapman, such as Nobel Prize recipient Vernon Smith, Ph.D.; Yakir Aharonov, Ph.D., winner of the Presidential Medal of Science; Donald Booth, Ph.D., a Wall Street expert and the longest–serving professor on campus; Marilyn Harran, Ph.D., the driving force behind the internationally renowned Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education Studies; Dr. Paul Apodaca, Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Studies At Chapman; Dr. William Hall, Dean of Chapman University’s College of Performing Arts, President James Doti and Esmael Adibi, Ph.D., director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research. Together Doti and Adibi founded the Chapman Economic Forecast.

Alumni honored included educator Donna Ford Attallah ‘61, George Argyros ‘59, former U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez ‘82. Community leaders and supporters include C.C. Chapman and the Crean, Knott, Leatherby, Musco, Pankey, Schmid and Sodaro families.

Aware that there are and will be many more individuals leaving their mark on the university, Chapman plans to hold an annual “Faces of Chapman” recognition program.

View list of the “150 Faces of Chapman University”

View reception photos from the “150 Faces of Chapman University

OrangeReview.com article posted on Nov 23, 2011
Written by Julie Bawden-Davis, Photographed by Jeanine Hill

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