Burgie Howard ’82 Receives Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award honors an alum who has displayed outstanding leadership and/or service in their community or professional field.
Burgie Howard ’82 referees youth lacrosse. It connects him to the game he so deeply loves. But there’s more to it. It’s an opportunity for him to give back, to serve that game. He jokes that he referees to right the wrongs of so many bad referees that came before him.
Burgie doesn’t have to spend his evenings and weekends supporting youth lacrosse. As the Senior Associate Dean of Yale College, Associate Vice President of Student Life at Yale University, Burgie is responsible for more than 6,000 students and all of the activities, programming, and staff needed to support those students. And before Yale, Burgie worked at Northwestern, Dartmouth, Santa Clara University, Colgate, and Bowdoin - and let’s not forget that he studied at Dartmouth and Stanford. His resume would make for one of the most competitive college lists in independent schools.
Name recognition and status aside, Burgie has dedicated his life to supporting the student experience. It’s this same dedication that brings him to the sidelines of youth lacrosse games or to the board of trustees at Holderness. Simply, Burgie cares. He cares about learning and the people doing that learning. He cares about fairness and equity and making sure that every student feels a sense of belonging. The depths of Burgie’s care are so profound that he has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of students throughout the course of his career. Parents take note: Burgie is exactly the type of Dean of Students you want making decisions in support of your child.
Burgie’s laughter is often the first thing you’ll notice about him, but his thoughtfulness will make you think in ways you never have. Conversations with Burgie, regardless of circumstance, are resonant and meaningful and make you want to work toward progress and betterment.
We are a better school because of Burgie, but his contributions go so far beyond Holderness. Whether it’s Yale or youth lacrosse, it doesn’t matter -- it’s all about making the experience just a little bit better. For his outstanding leadership and service in both his community and higher education, it is my great honor to present the Distinguished Alumni Award to our Commencement speaker and my great friend Burgwell “Burgie” Howard.
It’s probably safe to assume that when Karen Penny decided to pursue a career in healthcare, she never imagined a scenario in which she would have to send hundreds of vials of saliva through the mail, every single week.
Whether they’re learning how to live in a dorm, enduring discomfort on Out Back, or just watching their teachers go about their lives on campus, students at a boarding school learn countless important lessons outside the classroom.
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