2019 Alumni Awards Presented by Alumni Association


The Vanderbilt Alumni Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce its 2019 alumni award recipients. They will be honored Oct. 17 at a special ceremony during Reunion and Homecoming weekend.

“These honorees shine through their professional accomplishments and leadership service to their communities and Vanderbilt,” says Jodie Leeka Kim, BE’10, ME’11, awards committee chair for the Alumni Association Board. “They are a source of pride to Commodores everywhere.”

Celebrated author, columnist and humorist Roy Blount Jr., BA’63, will receive the Alumni Professional Achievement Award. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, and the Vanderbilt University Student Media Hall of Fame.

Josué Gomes da Silva, MBA’89, chairman and CEO of COTEMINAS, founder and chairman of the board of Cantagalo General Grains, and a business and economic adviser to the last three presidents of Brazil, will receive the International Professional Achievement Award.

John Hindle, BA’68, PhD’81, will receive the Alumni Volunteer Award. He has served Vanderbilt through many volunteer roles, including president of the London Vanderbilt Chapter, president of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association Board, and as an alumni trustee member of the Board of Trust.

The Young Alumni Professional Achievement Award will be presented to Justin Miller, BS’09, founder and executive director of CARE for AIDS, a nonprofit organization that has provided holistic health care solutions for more than 14,000 families living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya.

Dr. Milton Ochieng’, MD’08, will receive the Alumni Public Service Award. He and his brother Fred founded the Lwala Community Alliance, a community-led health model to improve the well-being of Kenya’s rural populations, and the Lwala Community Hospital.

The Young Alumni Volunteer Award will be presented to Matthew Wright, MEd’14, one of the founding members of the Japan Vanderbilt Chapter and a Commodore Recruitment Programs (CoRPs) volunteer who promotes Vanderbilt to prospective undergraduate students in Japan.
Nominations for the 2020 alumni awards are open until Nov. 30, 2019, at vu.edu/aa-awards.