Alumni Association Honors Exceptional Students and Distinguished Young Alumnus

Fifteen members of the Class of 2020 were recognized with the Alumni Association’s highest honor for students: the Skookum Award. Surrounded by friends and family, each honoree was presented with his or her award, a miniature replica of “The Rock,” as assembled guests learned of their accomplishments in academics, cocurricular activities, athletics, volunteer work, and community service. Laura Sawyer, an Electrical Engineering major, was presented with this year’s Grand Skookum Award, the highest honor. Erin Butts and Donna Montgomery received Royal Skookum Awards, the second-highest accolade.


(L-R) Bottom row: Laura Cafaro, Kaytlin Nelson, Eve Carciofi, Julia Garvey, Lyubov Kodreanu. Middle row: Dimitrios Tartsinis, Laura Sawyer, Erin Butts, Sarah Waterhouse, Emily McGuinness, Tyler Brault. Top row: Donna Montgomery, Sarah O’Hazo, President Anthony S. Caprio, Kimberly Pocwierz, Madison Pezze.

Need to Program Alt text

The ceremony, held in Rivers Memorial Hall on September 22, also featured the presentation of the Association’s Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award to Brandon O’Brien ’15/G’16. O’Brien is a senior associate at PwC and has been a long-time volunteer for Western New England University, including currently serving as Chairman of the Young Alumni Accounting Advisory Board. Brenda Garton-Sjoberg, Brandon’s mentor and friend, presented the award on behalf of the University, speaking of the many ways in which Brandon has continued to serve his alma mater while excelling professionally. “We are excited to watch as you make all of us at Western New England University proud of your story of success.”

Read about the honorees at