Along the campus waterfront on Saturday April 30, sailboats littered the Sippican Harbor. From Front Street you could hear members of the Tabor community laughing and telling stories as they gathered under a large white tent in celebration of their peers. It was the perfect night for Tabor Academy’s second biennial Circle of Excellence award ceremony.
Select alumni, trustees, friends of Tabor, current students, faculty, and staff were invited from all over the world to recognize the achievements of four outstanding individuals. The Circle of Excellence award is Tabor’s highest level of recognition bestowed on alumni, honoring those who have distinguished themselves through professional, academic, artistic, and personal achievement, as well as leadership, service, and philanthropic impact.
The event commenced with remarks from Head of School Tony Jaccaci and Board Chair Regina Shakin, as well as a performance of the Alma Mater by the Madrigals singers. After, the four awardees were presented by current Tabor students who had interviewed them over the academic year.
The first recipient of the evening was Robin Dripps ’60, who was honored for her career in architecture and education and was introduced by Emma Zhou ’23. “Her talent, vision and commitment to architectural design and education is outstanding,” said Zhou. Since 1970, Dripps has served as a professor at University of Virginia Charlottesville, is a published author, and was featured in the Wall Street Journal. She also holds two world speed records from driving a land speed race car that she designed. Dripps’ work today centers around teaching, research, and design about the public realms, where she hopes to inspire a place where ideas can be openly and freely discussed.
The next honoree to receive an award was Retired Rear Admiral Archer Macy Jr. ’71, for his exceptional military service and distinguished work in safeguarding the security of our nation. RADM Macy was introduced by Brooke Ingemi ’22. Ingemi shared that through her conversations with Macy she learned, “Leadership is more than the title it awards you, or the ability to direct people, but rather it is about serving others.” Macy’s impressive career includes 39 years in the U.S. Navy, serving as a surface warfare officer, combat systems engineer, and acquisition professional.
Dede Nickerson ‘86 was the third Circle of Excellence recipient of the night, recognized for her achievements in international film and media strategy. Nickerson was introduced by Jayden Smith ‘22, who highlighted her resume of success and cross-continental accomplishments. Nickerson has overseen companies like Warner Brothers China, founded the Dandelion School and Infinity Pictures, and acted as the Head of Strategy and Production at Sony Pictures China, where she established their government relation program to work on education and healthcare in China.
The final alumnus to be awarded was Craig Robinson ‘91, who was introduced by Javar Williams ‘23. Robinson’s relentless effort and fearless advocacy in ensuring all students, regardless of their socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, are afforded the transformational experience of a quality education is what made him the perfect candidate for the Circle of Excellence. He is the CEO of College Possible, a national nonprofit committed to closing the degree divide and making college possible for low-income students. Robinson is also the newest member of Tabor’s Board of Trustees.
These four Tabor alums have all distinguished themselves through contributions in their areas of expertise and have shown the Tabor community and the greater world what it means to truly make an impact and lead a life of service. Their excellence in architecture and education, military service, international film and media strategy, and higher education for low-income students personify Tabor’s mission. Tabor Academy congratulates Robin Dripps, Archer Macy, Dede Nickerson, and Craig Robinson on their lifelong love of learning, passion for high achievement, committed citizenship, personal responsibility, and care for others.
Hear the entire speeches from the Circle of Excellence and learn more about the recipients in the video below. You can find more pictures from the evening here