Eastern recognized four people who have made exceptional contributions to the University, their local communities, the state of Connecticut and beyond, at the President's Leadership Awards Luncheon on April 4.
Anna (Stankewich) Alfiero '62 received the Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes the outstanding leadership and professional success of Eastern graduates. Alfiero had an exemplary 35-year career in the Waterford Public School system, and was named to the inaugural class of inductees into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 1992 by President Bill Clinton.
Alfiero also serves as the organizer of the Willimantic State Teachers College Class of '62. Last year, she chaired the committee to celebrate their 50th Reunion, and she is leading the effort to create a permanent, endowed scholarship that will honor the legacy of her classmates. "There were 60 in our graduating class," she said, "and we were the first class of schoolteachers who were required to take graduate credits and get our master's degree. We were supported and encouraged by our teachers and fellow students, and we were committed to leaving the world a better place than we had found it. I cherish those times."
The Hermann Beckert Friends of the University Award was presented to Professor Emeritus Stephen Kenton. Following a teaching career at Eastern of 38 years, during which time he became known for creating an ever-expanding network of math and computer science alumni, Kenton helped start an endowed scholarship in his honor. Through his enthusiasm and hard work, the scholarship has raised $51,000 to support math and computer science students.
Steve Watts received the ECSU Foundation's Distinguished Donor Award. In 2010, Watts established the LeClaire B. Watts Endowed Scholarship in memory of his wife, Lee, who taught Spanish at Eastern for many years before she passed away in 2009.
Also receiving recognition was Sandy Roth, who is the recipient of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award. In addition to receiving her master's degree at Eastern, Roth created a scholarship to support history majors in memory of her late husband, History Professor David Roth. She also serves on the ECSU Foundation Board of Directors as secretary.