Graduates Who Know Themselves and Shape the Future
The Distinguished Alumnus/a Award honors an alumnus/a who has demonstrated excellence in personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service OR has sustained significant contributions to the school, whose efforts have built community and whose dedication has enhanced the lives of our students, faculty, and staff.
Upon graduating with general and departmental honors, Clare attended Boston University where she earned her Ph.D. in Experimental High-Energy Physics. Much of her research for her doctorate was done at CERN in Switzerland, home of the Hadron Supercollider. Clare wrote software for the detector and collected and analyzed the resulting data to learn more about the fundamental particles that make up the universe. She shared her research at the International Conference for New Frontiers in Physics, the International Conference on Advanced Technology and Particle Physics, and the American Physics Society annual conference.CRS science teacher, Pam Moor, recalls “the tenacity that Clare approached projects in my classroom, that determination to do her best, was only outdone by that beautiful smile in her achievements. I’m not surprised by her accomplishments as an adult. She was always outstanding!”
As an early employee at Tamr, a successful tech start-up, Clare rose to the role of Head of Product and Engineering in just over three years. Currently, she serves as Senior Director and Head of the Data Sciences Platform at the Broad Institute. The Broad, a collaboration between MIT and Harvard, was launched in 2004 to improve human health by using genomics to understand the disease and develop new therapies. It has been instrumental in COVID testing in colleges and schools, like CRS. Clare has continued her volunteerism in science and education, tutoring Boston high school students for Minds Matter.
As Mary Walsh relayed in her graduation remarks, “Clare, some describe you as smart and unusual, and others call you unusually smart; each of these conveys respect for your fresh ideas and the fact that you have a mind of your own. You are a caring, forgiving person who is generous in sharing her abundant talent with others. In short, you are an awesome friend who is sure to succeed in everything you do.”
Gavin graduated phi beta kappa from Wesleyan University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was recognized for completing more than 1,000 hours of pro bono or public service work while still in law school. Gavin clerked for Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and then joined Ropes & Gray LLP as an associate the firm’s corporate department.
Lisa spent her elementary school years at CRS. She commuted to CRS from Millis each day with her older brothers, Paul ’55 and Mark ’59. Following CRS, Lisa attended the Windsor School and then Boston University. After college, Lisa worked as an investigative reporter for Channel 12 in Providence, RI, traveled to the Easter Islands in New Guinea to work on a documentary, and returned to work at WGBH and at WCVB Channel 5, where she was a producer for Chronicle.
In 1984, Lisa produced several films on education, including the Peabody Award-winning documentary “Somerville High.” This documentary took an honest look at the school and its problems and exposed Lisa to the significant challenges both students and educators face in the US educational system. In 1992, she won an Emmy Award for an ABC After School Special called “In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story.”
In the early 1990s, Lisa joined forces with CRS alums Kippy Dewey ’60 and her brother Toby ’62, to address the escalating violence facing inner-city youth in Boston. Together, they founded an innovative organization called Urban Improv, which uses improvisational theater to teach violence prevention, conflict resolution, and decision-making skills. Under Lisa’s leadership, Urban Improv partnered with Boston Public Schools to develop a social and emotional learning program for students. Since 1992, it has served more than 70,000 children in the greater Boston area, helping them explore challenging issues such as peer pressure, teen pregnancy, gangs, bullying, or racism. In 2002, Lisa and her Urban Improv team won a New England Emmy for “RE: Action!” – a two-part special showcasing the organization’s methodology (directed by CRS alum Peter Temple ’62).
Spending summers in Westport, MA Lisa has a strong connection to the Massachusetts Southcoast. Lisa recognized an opportunity to change the lives of young girls in the New Bedford area through education. According to the Boston Globe, “The city is home to many low-wage workers whose daughters battle poverty and the pull of traditional roles.” Working with a coalition of community leaders, educators, financiers, fundraisers, nonprofit executives, parents, and a Board of Directors, Lisa opened Our Sisters’ School in 2008, an independent, tuition-free, non-sectarian middle school whose mission is to educate and inspire economically disadvantaged girls from the New Bedford area and empower them to step into the future with valuable life skills and a mindset of achievement and excellence by providing a safe, supportive, and academically challenging environment. Many OSS graduates go on to receive full academic scholarships at independent schools such as Andover, Milton Academy, St. George’s, Loomis Chafee, and others.
“The school’s faculty and staff work closely with students’ families and other volunteers, building ties between school and community, and developing the kinds of personal and institutional support that will ensure the continuing success of the students in high school, college, and in later life,” said Lisa. “There are over 150 volunteers involved in the daily operations of the school, reflecting a deep commitment from the local community to its faculty and students.”
Jeff is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Harry’s Inc., a company that manufactures and sells razor blades and grooming products to brands and consumers all over the world. Harry’s Inc. is headquartered in both New York City and Eisfeld, Germany. Its New York offices are home to Harry’s, the direct-to-consumer men’s grooming brand founded in 2013 that was created to provide men with a return to the essential shaving experience – simple, well-designed products offered at a fair price. The German team oversees blade manufacturing at the century-old razor factory that Harry’s merged within 2014.
Prior to Harry’s, Jeff co-founded Warby Parker, the transformative lifestyle brand that offers designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses. Before starting his own companies, Jeff was a Senior Associate at private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners and also worked at Bain & Company. Jeff graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with a BA in International Studies, earned a Masters in International Affairs from The Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and also earned an MBA from Wharton Business School. Jeff currently lives in lower Manhattan with his wife and three young children.
Distinguished Alumni Award Nomination
The Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded each year to that Alumnus/a who has demonstrated excellence in personal accomplishment, professional achievement, humanitarian service or made significant contributions toward Charles River School, enhancing the lives of our students, faculty and staff.