The Shane Award: Fred Kyle ’54 and Elena Kyle ’54
Fred and Elena are a matchbox couple extraordinaire. They are quick to tell you that their relationship began long before they arrived on campus in the fall of 1950. Regardless of when the relationship began, Swarthmore continues to benefit from this dynamic duo. Their service, dedication, and thoughtful generosity continues to have a profound impact on Swarthmore.
Fred’s successful career in the pharmaceutical industry fueled a passion for travel and provided them with an opportunity to raise their three children - David, Steven ’77, and Janet - in various parts of the world. However, a family and busy career didn’t prevent Fred and Elena from staying connected with Swarthmore, serving as class agents for the great class of 1964, offering their time to mentor students through Career Services, and serving as Lax Conference speakers.
In 1996, Fred joined the Board of Managers and served in a multitude of leadership roles over the next 17 years including chairing the successful “Meaning of Swarthmore Campaign.”
Now based in Philadelphia, we have the good fortune of seeing Fred and Elena quite often. They remain active members of the Council on Presidential Initiatives, supporting the Changing Lives Changing the World campaign and attending the annual Donor-Scholar Luncheon surrounded by the multitude of students supported by The Kyle Endowed Scholarship and The Kyle Scholarship for Latin America. Kyle House, on the corner of Elm and Whittier, bears their name in recognition of their investment in the house and other spaces on campus.
Arabella Carter Community Service Award: Archer Dodson Heinzen '64
Archer Dodson Heinzen ’64 is being presented the Arabella Carter Community Service Award. In addition to her years of service in the Peace Corps and working for USAID in Washington, D.C., Archer’s been making a difference in Guatemala and El Salvador since 1994 when she and a group of friends in Alexandria, VA formed Co-Partners of Campesinas to raise money for and work directly with women, youth, and children, providing instruction and funding to help them improve their lives.
The motto of Co-Partners is “Learn, Earn, Lead.” The organization’s volunteers visit Central America annually to provide leadership training on topics requested by members and evaluate program results. Members of partner organizations now serve on local community and school boards.
Through Red de Mujeres (Women's Network) in Guatemala, Co-Partners conducts training for rural women in space provided by a local NGO. They give $10 school supply scholarships to 250 elementary school children every year and subsequently monitor attendance. In 2018, they gave 11 scholarships for training in community health nursing to ten young women and one young man.
Co-Partners works with three partner organizations of rural women in El Salvador. Two have training centers in borrowed space; the third has a center that Co-Partners substantially funded.
The three training centers provide courses for approximately 500 people each year: in sewing, cosmetology, computers, large-scale cooking, electrical wiring, other subjects as needed. Two centers have computer labs and industrial sewing equipment. Co-Partners is now working to help another organization build its own center.
Transportation scholarships are awarded to fifteen youths every year; enabling them to commute to towns with schooling beyond the six grades available in rural communities.
The Salvadoran Ministry of Education contracts with small workshops for production of school uniforms. Last year, a team of four Co-partners graduates applied for and was awarded one of these contracts.
The Eugene Lang ’38 Impact Award: Christiana Figueres '79
Christiana Figueres '79 received the Euge Lang '38 Impact Award, but was not in attendance at Alumni Weekend. Figueres was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016. She was named one of its 100 most influential people for 2016 by TIME Magazine and is also the founder of the non-profit Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas. Figueres also received the Hero for the Planet award from National Geographic in 2001.
The Eugene M. Lang ’38, H’81 Impact Award was established in 2010 by the Alumni Council. It is named for its first recipient, Eugene Lang, a longtime supporter of Swarthmore College who has been described as “a father of innovation.” In naming this award for Eugene Lang, Alumni Council recognized his impact in both his business career and his philanthropy. The award is given to alumni who have made an impact on society at large.