Skip To Main Content

Annual Meeting of the Society of Alumni 2019

Annual Meeting of the Society of Alumni 2019
Meredith Berry-Toon

On Saturday morning following Alumni Weekend’s Parade of Classes, alumni gathered in Maguire Auditorium for the Annual Meeting of the Society of Alumni (SOA). The SOA Executive Committee and Members at-large were in attendance at the event, which included representatives from over a dozen distinct class years. SOA President and Trustee Peter Tucker ’78 delivered introductory remarks to the gathered group, which impressively included a 74-year span, from Bill Morrison, class of 1945, to Brendan Omaña, class of 2019. Other feats included Anthony Simpson, class of 1969, who joined the crowd with the title of having traveled the farthest for the event—from the United Kingdom—while 26 classmates from the class of 1969 were in attendance on the occasion of their 50th reunion.

Central to the meeting’s program was the awarding of the Thomas J. Sheehy III Distinguished Alumni Award and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, presented to Paul J. Hanly Jr. ’69 and Nichol Whiteman ’94, respectively. 

The Thomas J. Sheehy III Distinguished Alumni Award, established in 2014 and named for the fifth Headmaster of the School, recognizes an alumnus of the School who, through their professional, community, or public service, has brought distinction to themselves, credit to Canterbury, and benefit to the communities they serve. As a named shareholder of Simmons Hanly Conroy, Paul has a demonstrated record of commitment to public service. He is an experienced trial lawyer and litigator who has litigated, managed, and tried numerous complex jury cases throughout the United States in virtually all areas of civil litigation for more than 30 years. For the first 20 years of his career, Mr. Hanly was lead national trial, coordinating and settlement counsel to the world’s largest asbestos company in its asbestos products liability cases. Over the last two decades, he has played a leading role in the settlement of thousands of pharmaceutical cases. He has also represented plaintiffs in financial class actions and mass sex abuse cases. Recently, Paul was named as Co-Lead counsel in the national opioid litigation that is pending in Cleveland, OH, involving claims on behalf of municipalities from across the nation against the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid pain medicines. 

Paul graduated from Cornell University, NY, in 1974 magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in analytic philosophy, where he was a three-year starter on Varsity Football as well as the recipient of the University Scholar–Athlete award for the highest GPA while playing a varsity sport. Paul continued his education at Cambridge University, UK, graduating with a master’s degree with honors in 1976. He then received his J.D. in 1979 from Georgetown University Law Center. Paul was the recipient of the 1969 Higgins Award for leadership and contributions in school life at Canterbury’s 1969 Commencement. He was presented the Thomas J. Sheehy III Distinguished Alumni Award by Trustee and SOA President Peter Tucker and former Headmaster Tom Sheehy. 

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award, established in 2018, honors an alumnus/a who graduated within the last 25 years, who has made significant contributions to civic organizations and/or chosen a profession, whose life is characterized by creativity, curiosity, and community service. The recipient reflects the highest ideals of Canterbury School. With a relentless dedication to improving the lives of others, Nichol Whiteman fully embodies and lives out Canterbury’s Five Values in her daily pursuants. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) where she leads the team’s official charity, an award-winning leader in sports-based youth development. Under her leadership, LADF launched Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), a youth development program serving over 10,000 youth today. As part of its commitment to Southern California communities, the Foundation completed its 50th Dodgers Dreamfield, created a benefit gala, and increased fundraising by 1,000%. 

Nichol earned a degree in economics from Spelman College, GA, following her graduation from Canterbury. In addition to her professional achievements, she mentors countless men and women who she meets in the community. She has been recognized throughout the sports industry and beyond for her exceptional contributions, including the 2018 Sports Business Journal Game Changers Award, Anti-Defamation League's 2018 Deborah Award, Ebony Magazine's 2017 Woman Up Award, and The Pink Tea Rose Foundation's 2017 Progressive Leadership Award. Nichol holds positions on the advisory and regional boards of Covington Capital Management, A Better Chance, Inc., New Teacher Center, Davinci Schools, the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the Positive Results Corporation. Additionally, she sits on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance. Nichol received The Edward F. Mack Award for Outstanding Contributions to the TABARD and The Hubert McDonnell Award for Excellence in the Study of Theology at Canterbury’s 1994 Commencement. She was presented the Outstanding Young Alumni Award by Trustee and SOA President Peter Tucker and Head of School Rachel Stone. 

Congratulations to those alumni who were honored and a thank you for all those who attended the annual meeting!

Photos of the SOA Meeting