College to recognize four with Distinguished Alumni Citations

Four alumni will be honored with Ripon College’s Distinguished Alumni Citation during the annual 1851 Awards Dinner at 5 p.m. Friday, June 22. The dinner will be held in Great Hall, Harwood Memorial Union. Those to be awarded are José M. Alemán ’78 of Panama City, Panama; Erika L. Doss ’78 of South Bend, Indiana; Guy R. Henshaw ’68 of Danville, California; and Jean Kirkpatrick Lederer ’73 of Bonita Springs, Florida.

The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes those alumni who, in thought and deed, embody the highest ideals and aspirations of a Ripon College education. Candidates may be selected on any one of the following criteria: distinction in his/her chosen field or profession (distinctive achievement); rendering outstanding service to his/her country, state or community (outstanding service); or rendering outstanding service to, and demonstrating a loyal and active interest in, Ripon College (meritorious service). Nominations may be made by members of the faculty, administration, individual alumni, and groups or alumni clubs through the Office of Constituent Engagement for presentation to the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

  • Alemán is a founder and partner at Arias, Alemán & Mora Law Firm. He is a founding director at Multibank Inc. and is also the chairman of Multibank Seguros S.A. He received his J.D. degree from Tulane University in 1981.

    Alemán also has a strong history in Panamanian politics, having joined the movement to return democracy to Panama in 1981. He has served the government in various capacities; he was the undersecretary of government and justice in 1991, secretary of state from 1999-2003, and a member of the Foreign Relations Council from 2009-11 and 2014-present. In 2004, he ran unsuccessfully as government candidate for the presidency of Panama, receiving 16 percent of the vote in a multiple-candidate election.

  • Doss is a professor in the department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She received a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Minnesota and is a respected author with a variety of publications. She has received several Fulbright awards and held fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

    Her most recent book, American Art of the 20th-21st Centuries, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017 and has been lauded as both accessible and informative. Doss’ work has been published in multiple media. Memorial Mapping: Transnational 9/11 Memorials is “a digital humanities scholarship venture dedicated to geographically locating memorials around the world.”

    At Ripon College, Doss was a member of the College Days newspaper, the External Affairs Committee and Phi Beta Kappa. She is the daughter of Professor of Philosophy Emeritus Seale Doss.

  • Henshaw is a founder and managing partner of Henshaw/Vierra Management Counsel LLC. He received his master’s of business administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to establish an extensive history of excellence in consulting and financial work. He also served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

    Throughout his life, Henshaw has founded, led and improved a variety of businesses. In the beginning of his career, he was a banker in San Francisco and London, working in retail banking, capital markets, bank investment portfolios, and mergers and acquisitions. In the 1980s, he founded and became president of a bank holding company.

    He has been a member of the board at Neomorphic, a privately held computational genomics company, as well as at Fair Isaac and Co., a data analytics company based in California. Henshaw helped found Henshaw/Vierra Management Counsel LLC and iSystems LLC, a human resources application service provider.

    At Ripon, Henshaw participated in forensics, College Days, ROTC and Sigma Chi. He served on the Ripon College Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2015, participating in the investment, audit and trusteeship committees, and in 2016 was named an Honorary Life Trustee. He and his wife, Susan Siegel Henshaw ’68 are charter members of Partners in the Legacy and have served as Ripon College regional event hosts and volunteered on the Class of 1968 reunion committee for decades.

  • Lederer is dedicated to the advancement of nonprofit causes. Although she is retired from a career as a loan counselor, she still serves as guardian ad litem for foster children in the 20th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She acts as the voice of children in the dependency court system, helping each child to have as normal a life as possible. She has long supported and advocated for programs serving children with special needs and was named “Friend of the Year” by Marklund, the nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities that cares for her oldest son.

    Lederer has an extensive list of past community involvement, including with the Fox Valley Girl Scout Council and Baker United Methodist Church. While working with preschoolers in Swaziland, she subsequently raised funds to educate 12 students so they could attend a private Christian school.

    She also has served Ripon College in a wide variety of volunteer capacities, having been the Class of 1973 Class Agent for more than two decades and organizing reunion celebrations since 1997. Lederer is instrumental in keeping alumni engaged with the College. She and her husband, Gary Lederer ’72, have supported Ripon College annually for 45 years and hosted several Ripon events at their home.


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