Professional Achievement Award
Given to alumni whose professional career and work exemplify the intellectual curiosity, active inquiry, and reasoned independence that a Puget Sound education develops. Recipients have gained national or international recognition in their careers in a manner that reflects positively on the university.
Freda Herseth ’77 graduated cum laude from Puget Sound. As a student, she was active in the Adelphians and was back on campus in October to help mark the group’s 75th anniversary. She received a Master of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music from Puget Sound in 2001.
Heralded by the Munich Abendzeitung as a “mezzo-soprano discovery,” Freda has sung many operatic roles, receiving critical acclaim for her performances in La Cenerentola, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Der Rosenkavalier and Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
She has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout Europe, Russia, and Israel, including La Scala Opera Orchestra, the Israel Sinfonietta, the Stuttgart State Theater Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, the Bratislava Radio Orchestra, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, and The Folger Consort of Washington, D.C. Freda has recorded for South German Radio/Television, Hessen Radio, Bavarian Radio, ORF Austrian Radio/Television, RAI Italian Radio, and Northeastern Records.
Freda is chair of the voice department and the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan, where she also works as a voice training specialist with the Vocal Health Center of the University Health System. She has given master classes here at the University of Puget Sound and several other leading institutions.
Service to Community Award
This award is presented to alumni whose commitment, skill, and dedication have had a significant impact in their community. Through voluntary service in artistic, recreational, educational, human service or other worthy organizations, recipients of this award better the quality of life around them.
It is impossible to imagine Tacoma without Griselda “Babe” Lehrer ’42. With only $350 she founded her own apparel company in downtown Tacoma, immediately after attending the College of Puget Sound. Babe owned and ran Lyons Apparel until she and her husband Herman sold it in 1985. Since her “retirement” Babe has been working nonstop to help reinvigorate Tacoma’s downtown, as well as numerous points of artistic, educational, and cultural richness in the city. Last year a News Tribune article titled “No One Can Say No to Babe” credited her with raising almost $15 million for the City of Tacoma in her 20 years of volunteer leadership.
At this very moment, Babe is involved in four capital campaigns and serves on the boards of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts and Tacoma Community College. Not easily surprised, Babe recently was rendered speechless upon learning that the new Japanese Garden at Tacoma Community College (which she of course helped raise the funds to create) was named in her honor.
Service to the University Award
This award takes many forms of service into consideration: volunteer involvement with the alumni and parent relations office, with the annual fund, in academic or other departments on campus, in the regions where alumni live and work, or in public relations.
As a student, Ann Stevens ’85 exhibited the same commitment to serving that we see in our Puget Sound students today. She was on the rowing team, a student government leader, an admission volunteer, and a member of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
After graduation, Ann moved to Seattle and was active in the Seattle Regional Alumni Club. In 1997 she became chair of the Seattle club, a position she held until moving to Tucson in 1999. Although there is no established club in her hometown, Ann has been representing the university there with her characteristic enthusiasm, hosting events for current and prospective students and their parents.
In 1999 she became a member of the former National Alumni Board, which she later chaired. Ann continued as past president of the National Alumni Board and helped transition the group to the new Alumni Council Executive Committee structure. She has been an active member of the ASK Network and a consistent annual donor since graduation.
Always a loyal and consistent Logger, Ann remains active as part of the crew alumni network and has helped encourage support for the Al Lawrence Memorial Fund, named for the former rowing coach.
Ann recently began work in the development and alumni office of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.