Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished Alumni from 1978 through 2013.

he Distinguished Alumna / Alumnus Award was established in 1978 to honor a graduate of PDS/USN who has made outstanding professional or civic achievements on a local, national, or international level. Recipients have included authors, educators, researchers, musicians, and volunteer leaders. In addition to honoring these individuals, the award brings them to the attention of the PDS/USN community and the city at large. Their accomplishments serve as an inspiration to students and graduates and as a reminder to the citizens of Nashville of the high quality education that has long been a tradition at our school.

Nominations for future recognition are encouraged and should be addressed to Tom Bailey, 2000 Edgehill Avenue, Nashville, TN 37122 or tbailey@usn.org.

Recipients of the PDS/USN Distinguished Alumni Award:
1979 - Stanford Moore '31 Scientist and recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. (deceased)
1980 - Ethel Walker '27 Pediatrician from 1943-1993. Vanderbilt School of Medicine's first woman Founder's Medalist, 1936. (deceased)
1981 - Merrimon Cuninggim '27 Educator and former President of the Danforth Foundation. Former President of Salem College. Rhodes Scholar. (deceased)
1982 - Louis Rosenfeld '29 Surgeon. Clinical Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt University. (deceased)
1983 - Robert K. Massie '46 Author. Recipient of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Biography of Peter the Great. Author of Nicholas & Alexandra. Rhodes Scholar.
1984 - Lucius Burch '30 Attorney. Civil rights activist and conservationist. (deceased)
1985 - Bruce Henderson '32 Business leader. Retired Founder and Chairman of the Board, Boston Consulting Group.(deceased)
1986 - J. Andrew Brown '31 Rear Admiral (Ret.), United States Navy.
1986 - Mary Phillips Edmonds Gray '31 Medical Educator. Experimental Pathologist, Vanderbilt School of Medicine. (deceased)
1987 - Willis D. Weatherford '33 Educator. Former Dean of Carleton College. Former President of Berea College. (deceased)
1988 - Peggy Weil Steine '37 Civic leader. Dedicated to community service and volunteerism. (deceased)
1989 - Vernon H. Sharp '24 Business leader, naturalist, and conservationist. (deceased)
1990 - John W. Taylor '24 Educator. Former President of the University of Louisville, and former Deputy Director General of UNESCO. (deceased)
1991 - Kay George Roberts '68 Violinist and conductor. First woman to receive a doctorate in orchestral conducting from Yale University.
1992 - David A. Vise '78 Journalist and author. Recipient of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for excellence in business journalism.
1993 - Olaf Grobel '52 Senior Foreign Service Officer dedicated to European affairs and arms control, US Department of State. Rhodes Scholar.
1994 - Elden Gatwood, Jr. '44 Musician. First oboist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Developed degree program in Bagpipe at Carnegie Mellon University.
1994 - Ann Festerwald Eisenstein '37 Volunteer. Dedicated to public education, children's health and welfare issues.(deceased)
1995 - Russ Freeman '78 Musician, songwriter, and producer. Founder and leader of contemporary jazz group, The Rippingtons, started his own record label, Peak Records.
1996 - Margaret Gooch Duffy '30 Retired. Red Cross volunteer. (deceased)
1997 - May Werthan Shayne '52 Research Associate for Public Policy Studies. Co-author of two books. Chairman of the Board of WPLN Educational Foundation. (deceased)
1998 - Henry S. Nelson '39 Global Physician, Missionary, Author who dedicated his life to humanitarian contributions to his community, both local and international.
1999 - Ned Davis '63 Technical stock market analyst. Founder of Ned Davis Research, Inc.; author of several investment guides.
2000 - MacRae Fort Linton '74 Physician and researcher.
2001 - Heather Anne Warren '77 Nashville's first female Rhodes Scholar and Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia
2002 - Huell Howser '63 Producer/Host of the Public Broadcasting System's California's Gold, featuring travel and local interest programming and shown nationwide on local PBS stations.
2003 - James Coddington '70 Agnes Gund Chief Conservator, Metropolitan Musuem of Modern Art, NY, NY.
2004 - Mary Lee McCharen DiSpirito '56 Lifelong Community Volunteer.
2005 - Amy Kurland '73 Owner of the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, pioneering contributor to the vitality of music in Nashville.
2006 - John Trice Nixon '51 Judge, US District Court since 1980, Chief Judge from 1991-1998, Senior Judge 1998-Present
2007- John Medwedeff '80 Sculptor and metalsmith, Murphysboro, Illinois
2008 - Kate Ransom '75, president of the Wilmington Music School/Delaware Music School and violinist with the Serafin String Quartet, and William Ransom '76, Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory University and Artistic Director of the Emory Chamber Music Society
2009 - Luther Harrell '68, Chief Physician for the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Neighborhood Services Division
2010 - Greg Downs '89, award-winning fiction writer and historian
2011- Gideon Yu '89, former CFO of Facebook and YouTube
2012 - Michael Puett
'82, Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University
2013 - Jenny Boucek '92, WNBA pioneer and coach


More USN News

List of 5 news stories.

  • Curtain Falls, Curtain Rises

    by Vince Durnan

    The lively stretch that started with ribbon cutting last August as we entered a new year in a new way concludes with graduation on the Peabody green this Sunday. How did it happen and what comes next?
    Read More
  • Distinguished Alumna Counsels Gratitude

    Kimberly Steadman '93, co-director of the successful Brooke Schools in Boston, told the seniors to tell one of their teachers something specific that they are grateful for.
    Read More
  • Funniest Senior Writer Chosen

    by Freya Sachs, English department chair

    This year, many seniors rose to the challenge of our sixth annual Leaky Pen essay contest, rewarding one essayist for just being funny.
    Read More
  • HS Awards

    The high school assembled on May 13 as the academic awards were handed out. (The recipients listed are seniors unless indicated.)
    Read More
  • "This is That School" Captures USN Essence

    Everything on the screen at the Belcourt at USN's Movie Night helped to answer the question "What's so special about that school, anyway?"
    Read More

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