Alumni Awards

Outstanding Alumni Award

An honor for alumni who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement and influence in their field and/or in their community activities. Nomination form.

Jenifer Neils '68: Outstanding Alumna of the Year 2020

Jenifer Neils ‘68

Archaeologist, art historian and academic Jenifer Neils '68 has spent half a century deciphering the past, making discoveries that have changed the way we understand the ancient world. Now as director of the American School for Classical Studies at Athens, she’s leading the next generation of scholars in the place that inspired her career.  

Jenifer is the first female director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) in the institution’s 135-year history. Formerly she was the Elsie B. Smith Professor in the Liberal Arts and the Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at CWRU. She taught for 37 years and served as Chair of American School’s managing committee from 2012-17.  Jenifer also served for four years as Vice-President for Publications of the Archaeological Institute of America. She was awarded the 2017 Baker-Nord Center Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Humanities.

“She’s brilliant. Prolific. Her mastery of the field is mind boggling. Her knowledge is encyclopedic,” said Rachel Sternberg, an associate professor in the Department of Classics. “This is not just her reputation (at Case Western Reserve), but all over the world.”

Young Alumni Award

An honor for graduates of Blake from the last 25 years who have made significant contributions to civic or professional organizations, who are driven by a bold sense of curiosity and openness to differences, and who constantly strive to be an engaged, courageous, and intelligent world citizens. Nomination form.

Rolf Haas '04: Young Alumnus of the Year 2020

Rolf Neils ‘04

Violinist Rolf Haas '04 combines virtuosity and an expansive sound palette playing concerts all over the world as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Rolf primarily studied in Graz, Austria, and at the University of Minnesota and has worked with and performed music by world renowned composer Kaija Saariaho in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rolf plays in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and has performed as second violin leader of Kammerakademie Potsdam (Germany) as well as concertmaster of the Mozaic Festival Orchestra. He has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” 

Rolf is also a respected hip-hop artist (emcee/producer). With his former group, Nocturnal Unit, he released three full length albums and an E.P. He is working with the former drummer of Nocturnal Unit on music for a new project titled "Midnight Armada," which combines compositional techniques of conversational chamber music with the sonic palette of hip-hop and hardcore punk.