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Oakwood Schools


Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Barbara Winston Blackmun ('45)

BFA, University of California at Los Angeles - 1949; MA - Art History, Arizona State University - 1971; PhD - African Art History, University of California at Los Angeles - 1984

Upon graduation from Oakwood High School, Barbara moved to California to study art at the University of California Los Angeles.  Immediately after graduating with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree, she toured post-war Europe on a bicycle with a group of strangers, an experience which stimulated her desire for world travel. Teaching art in Trona, California she met and married her husband Rupert, and soon she would get her chance to travel again.  In 1964 the Blackmun family uprooted and moved to Malawi.  Barbara volunteered teaching English, and soon became interested in local African art, building upon her interest until she was teaching at the University of Malawi, where she created the first student art and fashion show for the university. Blackmun returned to the United States and earned her Master’s Degree in Art History at Arizona State University and began her 30-year teaching career at San Diego Mesa College. It was during the pursuit of her PhD in African Art History at UCLA in 1984 when she became an expert on Nigerian Artwork and acted as a consultant for museums, universities and private collectors around the world. In 2010 she retired from San Diego Mesa College where she was Professor and Department Chair of the Department of Visual Arts.  

Williams family at DAA 2019

Don Williams ('48)
Don Williams worked in the Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and was the AF manager for the engines in the B-1B bomber, B-2 Stealth bomber, several F-15 and F-16 variants, Tomahawk cruise missile and many more. His interest in engines and sports car racing combined in 1968 when he joined the Howmet TX racing team for the first and only winning turbine-powered sports car.  In 2001, Don joined a team that built and Don drove a race car that set land speed records in 2006 and in 2007 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. As a marathon runner, Don ran Boston 6 times, also NYC, New Orleans, Bermuda and London.  Of 576 races he placed first in his age group in over 400.  Don restores and shows antique classic cars, and has won over 100 Concours trophies. 

Simms Family poses at the DAA 2019 event

Charles ('50) and Ann (Harlamert) Simms ('52)
After Charles’ service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot, during which he acquired the rank of 1st Lieutenant, the Simms' returned to the United States in 1958, and Charles founded Charles V. Simms Development Corporation, and the Simms Management Corporation in 1989.  Charles has served as President to both the Ohio and Dayton Ohio Home Builders Associations, as well as a Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders. Ann was a key player in the creation of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and has worked to improve the lives of many through World Vision, Doctors Without Borders and The Dayton Food Bank.

Doug Hatfield's family at DAA 2019

Dale Hatfield ('56)
Dale Hatfield has over 50 years of experience influencing public policy in telecommunications and regulation, spectrum management and related areas in the public and private sectors. An outstanding teacher of communications technology, Hatfield is an Executive Fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship and an Adjunct Professor in the Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy programs, both at the University of Colorado (CU). Hatfield has a stellar reputation for his commitment to public service, intellectual honesty, and fair-mindedness. His government service includes senior policy-making roles at the Office of Telecommunications Policy in the Executive Office of the President, the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Case Institute of Technology and an MS in Industrial Management from Purdue University. In 2008, Hatfield was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by CU for his commitment to the development of interdisciplinary telecommunications studies.

Dr. Douglas Payne ('58)
BS, Harvard University - 1962; MD, Harvard University - 1966

A graduate of Harvard College in 1962, Dr. Douglas Payne was a member of the first class of Harvard Medical School and received his MD in 1966. In his seven years at Strong Memorial-University of Rochester Medical Center, he completed his residency and fellowship training in cardiothoracic surgery.  After his training, Dr. Payne was drafted and served in the U.S. Army as a full Major in Southeast Asia for two years. In 1975 Dr. Payne became an assistant professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine, and while at Tufts, Dr. Payne rose to Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was the Chair of the Department of Surgery, and started the heart transplant program there. In 1999 he received the Distinguished Faculty Award at Tufts University School of Medicine. He retired from practice in 2011 and is an Emeritus member of the Board at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. 


Irv Bieser's family at DAA 2019

Irvin G. Bieser ('59)
BA, Harvard University - 1963; JD, Harvard University - 1966

Irvin G. Bieser, Jr. graduated from OHS in 1959 and received his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from Harvard University.  After graduation, he passed the bar exam and joined the Peace Corps which led him to Liberia, West Africa where he served as Instructor of Law at the University of Liberia Law School (1967-1969). There, he developed and oversaw a nationwide training program for lower court judges and magistrates and spent his free time traveling throughout West Africa learning to love the people and their culture. Returning to Dayton, he joined the law firm of Bieser, Greer and Landis where he practiced for over fifty years. His activities outside of the law practice are impressive. His desire to improve the Dayton community for the betterment of all is evident in his work as a Commissioner and President of Five Rivers MetroParks and as Chair of the City of Dayton Public Arts Commission, and Trustee for organizations including, but not limited to: The Frank M. Tait Foundation, the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, Montgomery County Public Defender Commission and The Nature Conservancy of Ohio.

Barbara Mokrzycki Sanderson (‘64)
BS, The Ohio State University - 1968

After graduation from Oakwood High School, Barbara Mokrzycki Sanderson attended The Ohio State University majoring in business and met and married fellow OSU student George Sanderson. Barbara moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s, working in diverse fields including behavioral research, counseling and banking. She cared for her brother, Roy S. Mokrzycki (OHS ‘61) until his death in September 2014.   Barbara returned to her 50th class reunion in October 2014, enjoying the opportunity to reconnect with Oakwood classmates. Shortly thereafter she contacted the Oakwood Schools Foundation to establish the Barbara Mokrzycki Sanderson Fund for Facilities. In 2015, OSF was notified by her estate of her passing and received a distribution of funds in May 2016. Barbara’s generous gift designated for the benefit and support of Oakwood Schools facilities is the second largest in the history of the Foundation. The Oakwood Schools are profoundly grateful for  Barbara’s generous gift, and her loving legacy will be remembered forever in Oakwood Schools.

DeDe Simpson's family at DAA 2019

Diane "DeeDee" Granzow Simpson ('73)
Diane “Dee Dee” Granzow Simpson began her career in international studies at Dartmouth College, and continued at the University of Virginia, earning a Master’s in International Affairs in 1982.  As a US Foreign Service Officer for the US Department of State from 1980-1990, she was special assistant to the Ambassador at the US Embassy in London, delegate to the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces negotiations in Geneva and the Department of Politico-Military Affairs with responsibility for verification protocols to the Threshold Test Ban and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaties. Dee Dee moved to London in 1990, and by 1995 took on the role as Managing Editor of Strategic Comments at the International Institute for Strategic Studies - a world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict.  She was a board member of the International Rescue Committee UK from 2007 to 2016. She is also the first woman chairman of The Pilgrims Society of Great Britain, a position she has held since 2017. 

Previous Award Winners
Irvin H. Harlamert ('48)
Douglas C. Lane ('63)
Edward J. Schneider ('47)
Carolyn "Toni" Tonini Winger ('53)
Alexander and Sue Seifert Williams ('61)

David C. Greer ('55)
Chris Gorog ('71)
Richard A. Lange ('64 - attended thru '62)

Edgar Herrman (‘39)
Ruth A. Herman (‘47)
Father Joseph Goetz (‘51)
Floyd Lanier Graham (‘58)
Bradley L. Williams ('68)

Charles W. Whalen, Jr. (‘38)
David L. Smith (‘39)
Dr. Robert W. Gaines, Jr. (‘60)
Kathy Fitchey Calvin ('67)

Charles A. Ford (`68)
Rowan A. Greer (`52)
Michael K. Kennedy (`68)
Robert M. Pool (`33)

Peter B. Armentrout (`71)
Kim Faris Weimer (`74)
Rick W. Schwartz (`67)

Petah E. Coyne (`71)
Edman L. Gray (`57)
Cyrus W. Spurlino (`53)

Harry G. Ebeling (`50)
Carl L. Henn (`41)
Eleanor Pickrel Peterson (`37)
Frederick N. Young (50)