A globally recognized expert in international business, award-winning actors, an education visionary and a technology inventor whose company supports life science research are among the 13 alumni and faculty whom Carnegie Mellon University’s Alumni Association will honor for their professional achievements and service to the university on May 19, during Commencement Weekend.

Judith E. Light (A 1970), a Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk award-winning actress, and Raymond W. Smith (TPR 1959), pioneer in wireless technology and retired chairman of Verizon, will be recognized with Alumni Lifetime Achievement Awards, the university’s highest alumni honor, at the 67th annual Alumni Awards Ceremony.

Known for her extensive body of work on stage, television and film, Light stars in the award-winning Amazon series “Transparent.” She is a winner of two consecutive Tony and Drama Desk awards for “Other Desert Cities” and “The Assembled Parties and two Emmy Awards for “One Life To Live.” Light is a longtime advocate in the fight to end HIV/AIDS and a champion for LGBTQ and human rights. She is an active participant in a variety of organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Point Foundation.

Smith retired as chairman of Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic) in 1998, after transforming the company into the largest communications corporation in the world. In 1999, he founded Arlington Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and became chairman of the financial service firm Rothschild North America. Smith has been active in many civic, charitable and cultural organizations and served on numerous boards, including Carnegie Mellon, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Library of Congress.

“The Alumni Awards highlight the tremendous impact of the Carnegie Mellon global alumni community on the university and in virtually every field and industry,” said Alumni Association Board President Deborah W. Yue (DC 1989). “The 2017 honorees will inspire you with their accomplishments and passion to improve the world around us.” 

In addition to Light and Smith, 11 other Tartans join them as 2017 Alumni Award Honorees, including four for accomplishments in their professional fields.

The Alumni Achievement Award recipients are:

  • Glen de Vries (S 1994), president and co-founder of Medidata Solutions, the leading cloud platform for applications and data analytics to address operations throughout clinical trials;
  • William “Billy” Porter (A 1991), film and television actor recognized for his work in the Broadway show “Kinky Boots,” for which he won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical; and
  • Sachiko Takayasu (DC 1985), president and CEO of Asian/Pacific Islanders American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Those receiving Outstanding Recent Alumni Awards include:

  • Lee Hollin (HNZ/A 2007), vice president of current programming at CBS Network and CBS TV Studios; and
  • Elvin Ivan Yaw Uy (HNZ 2010), former assistant secretary for curriculum and instruction and K‑to‑12 program coordinator of the Department of Education, Republic of the Philippines.

Six will be honored for their service to the university, with two graduates receiving the Alumni Distinguished Service Award:

  • David M. Kirr (E 1959, 1960, TPR 1962), Emeritus Trustee of CMU and reunion and campaign volunteer; and
  • Jay E. Price (S 1966), CMU’s Alumni Relations director from 2009 to 2011 and former member and president of the Alumni Association Board.

The Alumni Service Awards recipients are:

  • Adam G. Pennington (CS 2001, E 2003) president and founder of the Activities Board Technical Committee Alumni Interest Group; and
  • Ruth Osborne Rouleau (DC 1952, DC 1953) and Wilfred T. Rouleau (E 1951, 1952, 1954), longtime members of the CMU community and class reunion volunteers.

Mark Stehlik, a teaching professor and assistant dean of outreach in the School of Computer Science at CMU, will receive the Faculty and Staff Impact Award. The Alumni Association bestows this award in recognition of the contributions of campus community members who have gone above their role as educators and administrators and have demonstrated extraordinary service and commitment to graduates of CMU.

“This year’s Alumni Award honorees, in particular, embody the diverse talents cultivated by a Carnegie Mellon education,” said Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Nancy M. Merritt. “The achievements and contributions of these individuals are truly inspiring, showing us the impact CMU alumni have not just on their alma mater, but also their influence across the country and around the globe.”

First presented in 1950, the Alumni Awards pay tribute to individuals distinguished by their service to the university and outstanding accomplishments in the arts, humanities, sciences, technology and business. To date, nearly 900 alumni, faculty and students have been honored with these awards.

For more information about the awards, honorees and the ceremony Commencement Weekend, visit www.alumni.cmu.edu/awards.