NAU Alumni Association announces 2015 award winners

Every year during Homecoming, the NAU Alumni Association bestows awards on distinguished alumni who have led successful careers, demonstrated a commitment to community service and promoted the spirit of the university. This year’s award recipients will participate in the Homecoming parade Saturday, Oct. 24, and will be recognized at the football game during a halftime ceremony.

Henry Peck

Joseph Cardone

Blaise Caudill

Pieter Dorrestein

Robin Braun







Henry “Hank” Peck will receive the Joe and Marie Rolle Spirt of NAU Award for decades of volunteer service on behalf of his alma mater. Peck, who received a bachelor of science in sociology in 1975, is a certified financial planner and wealth advisor and shareholder with TCI Wealth Advisors, Inc. in Tucson, Ariz.

The recipient of the Jeff Ferris Volunteer of the Year Award is Joseph Cardone, who earned a bachelor of science in political science in 1969. He is recognized for his mentorship and support for NAU students through a film production course he funds and instructs. Cardone is a motion picture writer, director, producer and screenwriter in Los Angeles.

Blaise Caudill will receive the Excellence in Achievement by a Recent Graduate Award for his rapid career achievement as well as community service. Caudill, who received dual bachelor’s degrees in French and international affairs in 2013, is a program coordinator for Arizona Deliberates, a policy deliberation forum, and is an Arizona State University Marvin Andrews Fellow.

The Dwight Patterson Alumnus of the Year Award recipient is Pieter Dorrestein, who earned a bachelor of science in chemistry in 1998. As a professor of pharmacology at the University of California San Diego and director of the Collaborative Mass Spectrometry Innovation Center, Dorrestein is recognized for his career accomplishments as a nationally-renowned chemist.

Vice Admiral Robin Braun will receive the Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award. Braun graduated in 1976 with a bachelor of arts in interior design. She also received an honorary doctorate degree from NAU in 2012. Braun is recognized for her 36-year career in government service. She is chief of the Navy Reserve and commander of the Navy Reserve Force in Washington, D.C.

Read the full profiles of the 2015 NAU Alumni Association award winners at