“IN THE NATION’S SERVICE” AWARD

Each fall, the Princeton Club of Orange County gathers for our Annual Dinner and Tiger Tribute to recognize a Princeton alumnus for their commitment to service on a local, regional, national or global level. This is typically the year’s largest PCOC event, with local alumni, current students and Princeton parents attending. It is a great way to connect and reconnect with fellow alums.

2015 Award – Jay Famiglietti *92, S*93

famigliettiJay Famiglietti *92, S*93 was the recipient of the Princeton Club of Orange County’s seventh annual “In The Nation’s Service” award, presented at the club’s annual dinner on November 4, 2015 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Jay is a hydrologist, a professor of Earth System Science and of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. He was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California State Water Boards – Region 8, and he was the Founding Director of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling at UC Irvine.

Before joining UCI in 2001, Jay was on the faculty of the Geological Sciences Department at the University of Texas at Austin, where he helped launch the program in climate and the UT Environmental Science Institute.

Jay and his team have been researching and communicating about water and climate change — in academics, in business, in government and to the general public — for over 25 years.   He appeared as a featured expert in the water documentary Last Call at the Oasis and in CBS News 60 Minutes.  Jay is a frequent speaker, an avid writer and a regular contributor to National Geographic Water Currents and to Huffington Post.  His research and commentary are often featured in the international news media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Economist,  and in network, cable and public television news.  Jay is a regular guest on National Public Radio, BBC Radio and other public radio shows.

Jay earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University, followed by a Master of Science in Hydrology from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Water Resources Program) from Princeton University.

2013 Award – Amit Lal ’88

Amit Lal ’88 was the recipient of the Princeton Club of Orange County’s seventh annual “In The Nation’s Service” award, presented at the club’s annual dinner on October 30, 2013 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Amit has been volunteering for Princeton since 1998, when he began interviewing for the Alumni Schools Committee. In 2007, he became co-chair of the Orange County ASC along with Ashley Cook, and has helped coordinate over 400 interviews per year between Princeton alumni and the talented high school students of Orange County. During this time, he has personally interviewed over 100 students, and has even had a few get accepted! He also represents Princeton at several college fairs throughout Orange County.

Amit is actively involved in his community and school district, having worked as a Little League umpire and a scorekeeper for the National Junior Basketball program. Amit is currently the webmaster and statistician for the Tesoro Boys Basketball program, and also runs the program’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. He also works with the school’s Academic Decathlon and Quiz Bowl teams. Amit lives in Ladera Ranch with his wife, Rachna, and his son, Nikhil.

Our featured speaker for this year’s dinner was Princeton University Architect Ronald J. McCoy *80, who oversees the planning, architecture and landscape of the Princeton campus, preserving the university’s history while also creating buildings and facilities that are architecturally significant, enable cutting edge learning and research, and have a harmonious relationship with the old structures and the town. During the fall of 2013, Ron taught a freshman seminar titled Architecture and the American College Campus that explores the history of ideas and forces that have shaped the planning and architecture of college campuses.

2012 Award – Richard Riordan ’52

Richard Riordan ’52 was the recipient of the Princeton Club of Orange County’s sixth annual “In The Nation’s Service” award, presented at the club’s annual dinner on November 1, 2012 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. This year’s dinner was attended by more than 50 Princetonians and guests.

After graduating from Princeton in 1952 with a B.A. in Philosophy, Riordan served in Korea as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the University of Michigan law school in 1956 and joined the law firm of O’Melveny & Meyers in Los Angeles.

In 1975, he co-founded the law firm of Riordan & McKinzie, which grew to a firm of more than 90 attorneys with offices in Los Angeles, Westlake Village and Orange County. In 2003, Riordan & McKinzie merged with Bingham McCutchen, one of the 25 largest law firms in the nation.

In 1981, he created the Riordan Foundation to teach children to read and write at an early age. Through its “Rx for Reading” programs, the Foundation has distributed more than 23,000 computers to schools, as well as books for elementary classroom libraries.

In 1982, he co-founded the private equity capital firm of Riordan, Lewis & Haden. Of its current portfolio of eight companies, five are in Southern California, three are based in Orange County and two more have offices here. A notable former RLH Orange County company was Data Processing Resources Corp (DPRC), which was acquired in June 1999 by Compuware Corp.

In 1993, Riordan won a decisive victory, 54%-46%, becoming the first Republican mayor of Los Angeles in more than thirty years. A Republican in a predominately Democrat city, he made education reform a priority and succeeded in changing the face of the Board of Education. He termed out after eight years in 2001, and in 2002 ran for Governor of California. He was appointed California Secretary for Education from 2003–2005.

Riordan was a founding member of the nationally-acclaimed LEARN school reform effort, and a founding board member for L.A.’s BEST (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow), a nationally recognized after-school program serving thousands of children in Los Angeles’ underserved neighborhoods. Currently, Riordan is a board member of the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, the largest nonprofit charter organization in Los Angeles.

In his spare time, Riordan is also a restaurateur. Prior to becoming Mayor, he purchased the Original Pantry Cafe in Downtown Los Angeles and owns Riordan’s Tavern next door to The Pantry. In Pacific Palisades, he owns Gladstones and The Village Pantry.

2011 Award – Cindy Barnard ’85

Cindy Barnard ’85 was the recipient of the Princeton Club of Orange County’s fifth annual “In The Nation’s Service” award, presented at the club’s annual dinner on November 2, 2011 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Cindy’s service to Princeton is evident through her commitment to the Princeton Club of Orange County’s Alumni Schools Committee, for which she has volunteered since 1985. From 1993 through 2007, she served as the committee chair, arranging for thousands of Orange County high school students the opportunity to interview with Princeton alumni. For the last several years, she has served as the PCOC’s Treasurer.

Cindy has also given back to the community by serving as Treasurer for a number of organizations, including the Newport Harbor High School PTA Board, Girls Soccer Boosters and Wolfpack Soccer Club. She was a Board Member of the school’s Educational Foundation, and also serves as an AYSO Soccer referee.

This year’s dinner was attended by more than 50 Princetonians and guests. The PCOC was delighted to welcome Dean David Dobkin, Dean of Faculty at Princeton, and hear his description of the position and the fascinating stories that come with the role. He accurately asserted that most students never know the name, face, or role of the Dean of the Faculty. However, the group came to understand well how the Dean’s actions and judgments profoundly affect the student experience at Princeton. As both Dean and Phillip Y. Goldman ’86 Professor of Computer Science, Dobkin keeps a foot in both the faculty and the administration camps. The program was most fascinating in its description, often humorously so, of the inner workings of academia that mere outsiders seldom witness.


Dean David Dobkin, Cindy Barnard ’85 and Chris Looney ’95

Award Recipient Cindy Barnard ’85

Featured speaker Dean David Dobkin

Dean Dobkin and current Princeton students

2010 Award – Peter Ochs ’65

Peter Ochs ’65, one of Orange County’s most accomplished businessmen and philanthropists, was the recipient of the Princeton Club of Orange County’s fourth service award, presented at the club’s annual dinner on December 1, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Irvine, CA.Peter graduated with honors from Princeton in 1965, majoring in economics, and received his master’s degree in business from Stanford in 1967. He has served as a member of the Alumni Advisory Committee to Princeton’s Economics Department and on the Schools Committee, and has been very involved with the Class of 1965.

Peter currently serves as Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Fieldstone Group of Companies and the Fieldstone Foundation. Since its inception, Fieldstone has built nearly 26,000 homes in Southern California, Utah and Texas. Involved in homebuilding since 1968, Peter is a recognized leader in the industry, having been named the National Builder of the Year for 1989 by Professional Builder magazine, among many other industry honors.

His guiding principle of supporting the communities in which the corporation does business led to the creation of the Fieldstone Foundation in 1983 to provide grants, leadership development and service to nonprofit organizations working in the communities. Over the years, the Foundation’s Leadership Network has trained more than 1,300 non-profit executives.

A committed Christian, Peter sees his faith as an integral part of his business life. His Christian principles are reflected by his participatory management style and a value-driven approach to business. Today, Peter and his wife, Gail, spend much of their time on the work of First Fruit, Inc., which was founded on the simple premise of giving grants from a heart of generosity and with wisdom to Christian-led organizations in the developing world. The Ochses have traveled extensively all over the world for First Fruit to meet with the people they support and provide encouragement and mentoring.

The Tiger Tribute dinner is proving to be the PCOC’s premier event, with more than 60 alumni, Princeton parents and guests attending. The evening also included a presentation on the American democracy by UCI Politics Professor Shawn Rosenberg, who filled in for our scheduled speaker on a moment’s notice.


Award recipeint Peter Ochs ’65 and family

Peter Ochs ’65 and Chris Looney ’95

Jay Heffron ’74, UCI Professor Shawn Rosenberg, and Jodi and Martin Greenbaum P’12

Mary Ann Poladian P’12 P’14, Gail Ochs and Peter Ochs ’65

Armene Humber, Melissa Moffa and Duncan Moffat’69

Armene Humber, Roger Philips ’67 and Antoinette Philips

Michael Eidam ’96, Nazanin Saedi ’03 and Chris Porter ’98

Princeton Professor Fred Greenstein and Chris Looney ’95

Roger Philips ’67, Amit Lal ’88 and Chris Looney ’95

Stacy Thurber Whitelock ’96 and Sarah Metherell ’94

“In The Nation’s Service Award” recipeint Peter Ochs ’65

2009 Award – Peter Bastone ’80

Peter Bastone ’80 was the recipient of the Princeton Club of Orange County’s third service award, presented at the club’s annual dinner on November 5, 2009 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA.

Reflecting the university’s motto – “In the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations” – the award is presented each year to a deserving individual living in Orange County who has demonstrated a commitment to serving our country. That service can represent efforts on a local, regional, national or global level.

For the last 13 years, Peter has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mission Hospital, where he is directly responsible for providing leadership, accountability, coordination, and communication consistent with tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by continually improving the health and quality of life of people in the communities they serve. Under Peter’s leadership, Mission Hospital has received numerous awards for quality of care and service to the community.

Peter serves on the board of a number of local and state organizations, has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America, Summer Olympic Games Organizing Committee, and serves on the JSerra High School Board of Trustees. In service to Princeton, Peter has been a long-time member of the Alumni Schools Committee here in Orange County and Princeton’s National School Committee. Peter is a member of the Princeton Club of Orange County, and serves as Vice President of the Princeton Football Association.

The 2009 Tiger Tribute dinner was the club’s largest event in recent history, with more than 60 alumni, current students and Princeton parents attending. The evening also included a presentation on “Political Bubbles” by Professor Nolan McCarty, the associate dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


Karen Ketchum ’84, Ed Thurber ’62 and Ann Thurber

Carter Greenbaum ’12, Jodi Greenbaum P’12, Jennifer Sakioka ’08, Martin Greenbaum P’12 and Katlin Poladian ’12

Nazanin Saedi ’03, Joe Dolan ’07 and Michael Eidam ’96

Professor Nolan McCarty, Larry Van Pelt ’80 and Linda Van Pelt

Professor Nolan McCarty and Chris Looney ’95

Chris Looney ’95 and award recipient Peter Bastone ’80

Antoinette Philips and Roger Philips ’67

Amit Lal ’88, Rachna Lal, Mary Ann Poladian P’12 & P’14, Katlin Poladian ’12

Roger Philips ’67, Katlin Poladian ’12, Professor Nolan McCarty and Carter Greenbaum ’12

Chris Looney ’95 and Chris Porter ’98

2008 Award – Ellen Junn *84

Ellen Junn *84 was the recipient of the Princeton Club of Orange County’s second service award, presented at the club’s annual dinner on October 30, 2008 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA.

Reflecting the university’s motto – “In the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations” – the award is presented each year to a deserving individual living in Orange County who has demonstrated a commitment to serving our country. That service can represent efforts on a local, regional, national or global level.

Ellen was recognized for her tremendous contributions to the Club, including establishing the Princeton Book Award for Secondary Schools, her efforts as coordinator for the graduate school alumni and Princeton in Education series, and for her extensive interviewing of high school seniors for the Alumni Schools Council.

In 2008, largely due to Ellen’s efforts, the PCOC was a co-winner of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni Regional Association Award for increasing participation of Princeton graduate alumni in its regional activities and fostering the cause of graduate education.

The annual dinner, which was one of the best-attended events in the Club’s history, also featured an insightful and entertaining presentation by Professor Lawrence Rosen from Princeton’s Anthropology department on Arab culture and politics.

2007 Award – George Elsey ’39


At the first Princeton Club of Orange County Annual Dinner and Tiger Tribute in October 2007, the PCOC recognized George McKee Elsey ’39, former Senior White House Advisor and retired President of the American Red Cross as the 2007 “In the Nation’s Service” Award recipient.

The 2007 recipient, George Elsey, was a small-town kid from western Pennsylvania who graduated from Princeton in 1939 and received an A.M. from Harvard one year later. At the age of 24, Elsey was assigned to Franklin Roosevelt’s top-secret intelligence and communications center in the White House.

As an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Elsey helped brief the president and his senior associates on war events. He and his map room colleagues acted as the secretariat for Roosevelt’s cabled exchanges with Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Chiang Kai-shek; filed records of “summit conferences”; and stored in safes plans for future operations.

Elsey’s duties continued with Harry Truman’s succession to the presidency. In 1947, he shed his Naval Reserve uniform and joined the White House’s civilian staff as assistant to the special counsel to the president. In 1949, he became administrative assistant to the president, and, in 1952, he became a member of the Mutual Security Agency staff.

Elsey later became the Vice President of the American Red Cross and in 1970 became its President, a position he held for 12 years. During his tenure, Red Cross income increased more than four-fold, and Elsey re-directed the agency’s principal activities from service to the armed forces to community-based programs of health, disaster relief and blood donation.

His memoir, “An Unplanned Life,” is a fascinating and invaluable read for anyone with an interest in history.