Alumni Award Recipients 2019

During Alumni Weekend 2019, we are thrilled to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves with outstanding professional and personal achievements and those who have loyally dedicated their time and service to the School.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients


Katherine Benesch ’64

Katherine Benesch ’64’s career in law includes serving as a litigator, counselor, mediator and arbiter. With a Masters in Public Health from Yale and a law degree from Duquesne, she has developed an expertise in healthcare law. One such example – she was the sole arbitrator in the successful resolution of a $200,000,000 healthcare contract dispute. Never one to limit her sphere of interest, Katherine also mediated a copyright lawsuit in federal court over Grammy award-winning hip-hop music. In addition to her practice, Katherine has taken on leadership roles in countless professional organizations nationally and regionally, she is a fellow of the American Bar Association, and shares her expertise through teaching, lectures and publications. The recipient of many awards, she was most recently asked to join the Panel of Arbitrators of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the world’s leading provider of dispute resolution services to businesses in matters involving cross-border transactions.


COL David Saunders ’89, MD

Following his graduation from Earlham College in 1993, David served in the Peace Corps as an Assistant Epidemiologist for the Ministry of Health Fiji, earning a Master of Public Health from Tulane University. He then went on to graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2002 and was commissioned as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2005, graduating as Resident Teacher of the Year. His areas of work are wide-ranging, including clinical and preclinical studies of antimalarial drugs and vaccines in Thailand and Cambodia, to leading a research team that is exploring skin and limb regeneration as a solution for traumatic injuries. He has also received numerous military awards and decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. David currently serves as Medical Director for the Combat Trauma and Acute Rehabilitation Office with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, he is a visiting primary care physician at the Barquist Army Health Clinic and is an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. On a more personal note, Helena Saunders ’19, the daughter of David and his wife Anjali, is graduating from the Upper School in June 2019.


Honorary Alumni Award Recipients

Tony* and Lynn Deering P '89, '93, '99

Tony and Lynn Deering have given much to Friends School. Joining the community as Lower School parents in 1975, over the next four decades they indelibly shaped the School’s future through their generosity and deep commitment to its mission. Tony, who passed away in November 2017, was a former Friends School Trustee, served as a Board member for 14 years and chaired two capital campaigns. Lynn remained an active volunteer, balancing numerous School committees with her other charitable efforts during their remarkable 24-year run as Friends parents. Deering Field, the main turf field that hosts hundreds of student athletes on campus every day, is the most obvious manifestation of their stewardship of Friends School. This year Tony and Lynn will join their three children – Heather Deering Crosby ’89, Spencer S. Deering ’93 and Maron A. Deering ’99 as Friends School alumni. 

The awards will be presented on Saturday, May 4 at the 32nd Annual "Mr. Nick" Nicolls Lunch at 12:30 pm.
*Posthumous award
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