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Alumni Awards

Oscar & Kevin Tang, recipients of Rectory's 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award, posing with their wives and Mr. Williams.

Each year Rectory recognizes the outstanding service and accomplishments of its alumni and community members. During our Alumni Reunion Weekend dinner, Rectory celebrates individuals who have distinguished themselves by achieving the high levels of professional and community accomplishments and who possess absolute standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance Rectory School and the world around them.

2020 Award Recipients

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rectory's Spring Alumni Awards ceremony was cancelled. These recipients will be presented with their awards at the Centennial Celebration Gala on April 24, 2021:

Distinguished Service Award: Carl L. Kempner Sr. & Michael C. Kempner ‘70 

Athletic Wall of Honor: Coach:  George Groom, Athlete: Norman Riker ‘85

Emerging Leader Award: Yeo Bi Choi ‘10

Distinguished Service Award

This award is presented annually to an alumnus, faculty or staff member (past or present), or friend of Rectory who has demonstrated outstanding characteristics and compassionate qualities in their communities, professions, and philanthropic endeavors. The person to receive this award lives the Rectory School Creed: Responsibility, Respect, Honesty, and Compassion.

Oscar Tang '53 and Kevin Tang '82

Kevin and Oscar Tang with Mr. Williams after receiving their Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Oscar Tang believed early on that the key to a successful life is to remain active. At the conclusion of Oscar’s time at Rectory, Headmaster John Bigelow referred to him as a “good man.” Oscar’s commitment to his peers, colleagues, and community since then reiterates that endorsement. Kevin Tang followed his father’s footsteps to Rectory and an active life. He was described as having “unlimited physical energy.” He used sports as an outlet back then, and now, Kevin puts his energy into his successful career and his passion for giving back. Oscar and Kevin Tang have transformed Rectory with their generosity, and their impact extends far beyond our Pomfret campus. It is hard to imagine more fitting recipients of the Rectory School Distinguished Service Award.

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Rectory School's Athletic Wall of Honor

This award is presented annually to people whose contributions and accomplishments have brought prestige and honor to Rectory School and its athletic program. Recipients are individuals of outstanding quality, high moral character, and fine leadership qualities and are held in high esteem by their colleagues, coaches, and athletes.

Lewis Smith '71

Lew Smith was already big when he arrived at Rectory--as tall or taller than most faculty. Trained early on by his father, by the time Lew arrived at Rectory, he had nearly all the tools he needed to dominate on the football field and on the wrestling mat. Dominate Lew did, to the point that his coaches and headmaster all but forbade him to return to Rectory for his ninth grade year because, in one of their words, “he has literally outgrown it.” Lew’s athletic career blossomed further at Avon Old Farms and culminated with a scholarship offer to play football and wrestle for the Michigan Wolverines. Lew’s posthumous induction to the Rectory Athletic Wall of Honor was received by his family.

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Genevieve Richardson '96

Genevieve Richardson '96 with Fred Williams. She is holding her award for induction into Rectory's Athletic Wall of Honor.

Genevieve Richardson made a name for herself at Rectory by excelling in every sport she played. She used her athleticism to earn team MVP honors in both soccer and ice hockey, and she exhibited leadership qualities that earned her captainship of both. She did all this as the only girl on each team. After Rectory, Genevieve was a two-sport Division I collegiate athlete, and her career accolades include being invited to work out for Team USA in ice hockey. At every level, teammates and coaches alike marveled at Genevieve’s skill and unmatched positive attitude. She is the first woman inducted to Rectory’s Athletic Wall of Honor.

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Rectory School's Emerging Leader Award

This award is presented annually to a Rectory alumnus who is in the first five years of his or her career and has demonstrated inspiring leadership qualities, entrepreneurship, innovation, and community involvement across their academic and professional lives.

Min Jae Yoo '09

Min Jae Yoo and Fred Williams

Min Jae Yoo arrived for his Admissions interview at Rectory with an impressive resumé. He built on his promising credentials by standing out in all facets of boarding school life. He was a model student and friend, and he remains engaged with our community to this day. Min Jae continued his education with dreams of becoming a doctor. His military service in South Korea and subsequent humanitarian work, however, changed his mindset. Instead of going to medical school, Min Jae now seeks to make global healthcare more affordable and accessible by connecting groups of people more effectively to the resources they need. Just as he brought people together at Rectory, Min Jae now works tirelessly to forge bonds that will strengthen communities. The future is bright for Rectory’s Emerging Leader, Min Jae Yoo.

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