2019 Alumni Award Recipients

Chuck MerryPresidential Award

Presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University or Milwaukee-Downer College whose exemplary leadership and notable actions have contributed to the betterment of the entire Lawrence University community.

Chuck Merry ’57
Chuck Merry, a Milwaukee native and a member of the class of 1957, has been a fixture at Lawrence events since he moved back to Appleton in 1962. Merry was a cross country and track athlete during his days at Lawrence and has been involved with the university during all his adult life.

Merry’s commitment to Lawrence has been exceptional, with service on the Legacy Circle National Council, the Athletics Advisory Committee and the Lawrence University Alumni Association Board of Directors. He chaired the LUAA Capital Campaign Liaison Group and served as a member of the LUAA Nominations and Awards Committee. His input on the working group for the More Light! campaign in 2009 was invaluable.

Merry, who was the president of the Letterman’s Club (the L Club) when he was a student, currently serves on the Lawrence Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. In 2015, Merry received the Bob Wurdinger Athletic Service Award. He also chaired his 50th reunion steering committee and served for multiple class reunions. Merry received The Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp M-D’18 Outstanding Service Award from the Lawrence Alumni Association at his 40th reunion in 1997. Additionally, he has served as an admissions volunteer, class secretary and class agent.

Merry, who is still a recreational runner, has been involved in multiple fundraising campaigns for the university. A retired, longtime employee of IBM, Chuck and his wife Barb are also generous and loyal donors to the university.

Elizabeth R. Benson ’69The Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award

Presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University or Milwaukee-Downer College of more than 20 years for outstanding contributions to and achievements in a career field. This award honors Lucia Russell Briggs, second president of Milwaukee-Downer College and one of the most beloved and influential figures in that college’s history.

Elizabeth R. Benson ’69
Betsy Benson ’69  is an expert in energy and international trade, with deep experience in issues ranging from the structure of electricity and natural gas markets to energy efficiency, renewable resources and climate change. She has operated a successful independent consulting practice since 2001, and has consulted internationally on energy policy and trade. Ms. Benson works directly with U.S. trade negotiators in Washington, D.C. She is a Cleared Advisor to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and is the elected Chairman of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services.

Momodu E. Maligi ’04

The Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award

Presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University celebrating his or her 20th cluster Reunion or younger for significant contributions and achievements in a career field. The award is named after Nathan M. Pusey, the 10th and one of the youngest presidents of Lawrence College, an exemplary figure in higher education in the 20th century.

Momodu E. Maligi ’04
Momodu Maligi ’04 has been Sierra Leone’s minister for water resources since 2014, making him the youngest member of President Koiroma’s cabinet. Since his appointment, Maligi has overseen the reorganization of Sierra Leone’s water sector, rehabilitating damaged water facilities, bringing in private sector investors and changing the legal framework for water policy. Prior to his time in government, Maligi earned a master’s degree and worked as a management consultant. As an established international expert on water issues, Maligi has worked with organizations like UNICEF and UKAid.

Todd A. Mahr ’79The George B. Walter ’36 Service to Society Award

Presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University or Milwaukee-Downer College who best exemplifies the ideals of a liberal education through its application to socially useful ends in the community, the nation or the world. This award honors George B. Walter ’36, faculty member, coach and dean of men, whose work at the college and beyond was guided by his conviction that every individual can and should make a positive difference in the world.

Todd A. Mahr ’79
Dr. Mahr ‘79 is the director of pediatric allergy and clinical immunology at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. He is also adjunct clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. Mahr received his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin Medical School, served his fellowship at Northwestern University Medical School, and completed his internship and residency at the Gunderson Medical Foundation. He was been recognized with numerous national recognitions from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Lung Association.


Zoe Ganos M-D’55 and Joe Patterson ’69The Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp M-D’18 Outstanding Service Award

Presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University or Milwaukee-Downer College after his or her 20th Cluster Reunion who has provided outstanding service to Lawrence University, this award honors Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp, voted Milwaukee-Downer alumna of the year in 1964 for her long-standing service to the college as president of the alumnae association board, class secretary and public-relations officer.

Zoe Ganos M-D’55
Zoe Ganos M-D’55 has been a teacher all her life. In 1960, Ganos received a Fulbright for two years to teach in the Greek cities of Larissa and Athens. After earning her master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from State University of New York in Albany, Ganos served as an English as a Second Language teacher for the Milwaukee Public Schools. In addition to using her language skills, Ganos has served on the LUAA Board of Directors and volunteered weekly at the Traveler’s Aid Desk at Mitchell Field Airport in Milwaukee, helping to alleviate the stress from passengers. More recently, Ganos volunteers at the Literary Services teaching adults who cannot read or who read poorly.

Joseph F. Patterson ’69
Joseph F. Patterson ’69
Joe Patterson ‘69 is a real estate management entrepreneur in greater New York City. While at Lawrence, Patterson earned 3 All-Midwest Conference Football Team selections from 1967-69 plus All-American honors in '69 as a co-captain in addition to gaining NFL recognition in 1970 as the contracted 13th round draft selection by Coach Vince Lombardi and the Washington Redskins. As a member of the undefeated Midwest Conference Championship 1967 Football Team, he was inducted into the Viking Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017 for a second time after his sole induction in 1999.  At graduation as a geology major at Lawrence in 1969, Patterson received the Inaugural MLKing Award. Afterwards, Patterson earned a master's degree in real estate finance from The Wharton Graduate School (University of Pennsylvania).  After becoming a Certified Property Manager early in his career, Patterson served as vice president, global corporate real estate of HSBC, earning the Inaugural Award for Excellence for a complex but highly profitable transaction. Later in his career, Patterson worked as senior director, real estate Investments for Guardian Life, co-managing the profitable operation of an income-producing Billion dollar commercial properties' portfolio. During the early 1990's, Patterson served one term on the LU Alumni Board of Trustees. Since 2000, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the School of Visual Arts of NYC. Throughout the years of his real estate career, Patterson has tirelessly promoted diversity of students on college campuses and public high schools, creating support programs to ensure successful experiences and achievement for all students.

Jaime Nodarse Barrera ’05

The Marshall B. Hulbert ’26 Young Alumni Outstanding Service Award

This award is presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University celebrating his or her 20th cluster reunion or younger, who has provided significant service to the college. This award honors Marshall Brandt Hulbert ’26, known as “Mr. Lawrence,” who made contributions to thousands of Lawrentian lives and served the university in many significant capacities for 54 years.

Jaime Nodarse Barrera ’05
Jaime Nodarse Barrera ’05 is currently the Assistant Vice President of Development at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and has been involved with many community service groups including the Kiwanis Club, Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill at-risk youth mentoring. During her tenure as the Assistant Vice President of Development, Jaime also served as the Interim Director of Marketing and Interim Director of Communications at the University, and acted as the University’s Public Information Officer, coordinating communications efforts and crisis management during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.