Laurie Monnes AndersonLaurie Monnes Anderson

Bill LongBill Long

Gary Beck Gary Beck

Joan (Sherrill) McNamaraJoan (Sherrill) McNamara

James BoothJames Booth

Julie (Trott) KennedyJulie (Trott) Kennedy

    University Honors Six Alumni for Accomplishments

    Willamette honored six alumni during Reunion Weekend for their accomplishments and service to Willamette. The 2009 winners received their awards during a special event Saturday evening at the Salem Conference Center.

    Distinguished Alumni Citation

    This award honors graduates who, in professional achievement and service to their communities, reflect the highest ideals of Willamette. The winners are:

    • Laurie Monnes Anderson ’68: Anderson is currently the Oregon State Senator for District 25 and is the deputy majority leader in the senate. She has been a member of the state legislature since 2001, when she was elected as a state representative. After receiving a biology degree from Willamette, she went on to pursue a master’s degree in biology and a nursing degree from Radford. She worked for many years as a public health nurse and manager prior to joining the legislature.
    • Gary Beck ’64: After graduating with a chemistry degree from Willamette, Beck took a job with ATI Wah Chang, where he spent his entire career working in metals and held the position of chief spectrographer and analytical laboratory manager. Since his retirement in 2004, he has continued to work with Wah Chang part-time as a principal analytical chemist. His work has been honored by ASTM International, one of the largest standards development and delivery systems in the world.
    • Bill Long ’59: After graduating from Willamette with a degree in political science, Long spent three years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was introduced to computers and software, and went on to work for IBM for 11 years before setting out as an entrepreneur and building his own software company that grew to 150 employees and more than $18 million in revenue. He also has worked as a real estate developer and is founder and chairman for several technology-related companies, and he is on the Willamette Board of Trustees.

    Young Alumni Leadership Award

    This award is given to recent graduates who have already made noteworthy contributions to their communities, their industry or their causes. This year’s winner is:

    • Julie (Trott) Kennedy ’99: Kennedy majored in chemistry and went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is the founding principal of the Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., which offers a college preparatory program to students in grades five through eight. In 2007 the school ranked first out of more than 1,500 schools in New York City according to the city’s Department of Education progress reports.

    Lestle J. Sparks Medallion

    This award honors graduates whose lifetime loyalty and service to Willamette reflects the ideals of one of the university’s most devoted alumni, Lestle J. Sparks ’19. The winners are:

    • James Booth ’64: Booth earned degrees in math and economics and went on to obtain an MBA from the University of Oregon before starting a career with First National Bank and K/P Graphics. He served on the Willamette Board of Trustees from 1970–89, and during his tenure he became Willamette’s director of Alumni Relations. He served in that position for 20 years, and will retire Oct. 31. He has built durable relationships with numerous alumni and is universally acknowledged as “the face of alumni relations.”
    • Joan (Sherrill) McNamara ’59: McNamara graduated with honors in psychology and went on to a 20-year career with the Bonneville Power Administration. She has served on the Willamette Board of Trustees since 1975, and has been involved on two presidential search committees and numerous task forces and special panels. She also has helped plan class reunions, acquired gifts to the university, encouraged promising students to consider Willamette and participated in the university’s career network.

    To learn more about the award winners and watch videos of them discussing their accomplishments, visit