October 22, 2021

Three earn 2021 Alumni Award of Distinction

The annual award honors alumni for making “significant positive impact on their communities, society, or the world”

The Alumni Council of Phillips Academy has selected three individuals to receive the 2021 Andover Alumni Award of Distinction. First presented in 2012, the annual award honors individual members of the alumni body for making “significant positive impact on their communities, society, or the world.” The honorees received their awards on Friday, Oct. 29, during All-School Meeting. The 2021 recipients are:

Aren Egwuekwe ’22, William M. Lewis Jr. ’74, Head of School Raynard Kington, Sabby Clemmons ’22, Ming Tsai ’82, Lou Lou Sloss ’22

William M. Lewis Jr. ’74

With more than four decades of Wall Street experience, Bill Lewis will join Apollo Global Management Inc. on November 15 as a senior partner and member of Apollo’s executive committee. He is currently chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard Ltd., where he has worked for 17 years, and will join its board in April 2022.

Lewis graduated from Harvard College and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School before joining Morgan Stanley in 1982. In 1989, he became the firm’s first African American managing director. He focused on global finance, mergers, and banking and oversaw Morgan Stanley’s global industry practices. He joined Lazard Ltd in 2004.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Lewis came to Andover through A Better Chance (ABC), a program whose longtime mission has been to “increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.” Lewis went on to become ABC’s national chair, a leader in promoting advancement through educational opportunity, and a strong backer of institutions that support youth of color.

Philanthropy and fostering opportunity are touchstones for Lewis. He currently serves on the boards of several education and nonprofit institutions, including Uncommon Schools, the National Constitution Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the New York City Police Foundation, The Posse Foundation, City Fund, the Foundation for Child Development, and The Research Alliance for NYC Schools.

Benefactors of Lewis’s philanthropy include his alma maters and reflect his passion for music. He served twice as a Phillips Academy charter trustee and, in the early 2000s, he and wife Carol Sutton Lewis established the African American Art Acquisition Fund, which has enabled the Addison Gallery to broaden patrons’ understanding of American art through the acquisition of 30 works of art to date, including works by famed artist-photographers Carrie Mae Weems, Gordon Parks, and James Van Der Zee. Lewis currently resides in New York with Carol and their three children.

Dorothy Tod ’60

An award-winning film editor, producer, and director, Dorothy Tod is well known for her work on children’s television programs as well as compelling documentaries that shed light on timely social and environmental issues. Tod began her film career editing footage for CBS’s popular Captain Kangaroo and PBS’s groundbreaking Sesame Street. She is credited with creating the Sesame Street opening theme segment and has produced and edited more than 300 short nature films featuring animals in East Africa, SeaWorld, and the San Diego Zoo.

A pioneer in her field, Tod established Dorothy Tod Films in 1972. What if You Couldn’t Read?, her 1980 documentary that sensitively explores how a businessman at first hides his illiteracy and then learns to read, won the duPont–Columbia Citation in Broadcast Journalism. Her 1981 film Warriors’ Women, which provided a moving insight into the impact of the Vietnam War and its aftermath on families, aired nationally on PBS and earned Tod the Grand Prize at the New England Film Festival that year. In 2000, Tod produced and directed A Dyslexic Family Diary, which chronicles a mother’s 18-year struggle to get an education for her bright dyslexic son.

Tod also established and managed the Vermont Women’s Cable Network, which aired weekly programming across the state. And after a 1998 flash flood wreaked havoc on Vermont businesses and homes—including Tod’s—she began to focus on water problems and dams. Currently, Tod is a member of the Producer’s Committee for Freedom and Unity: the Vermont Movie, a documentary series that aims to understand Vermont’s iconoclastic spirit. Tod has also created campaign films for Vermont politicians Patrick Leahy and Richard Snelling.

After graduating from Abbot Academy, Tod earned a BA degree from Vassar College, where she studied art history, history, and English. She currently lives in Warren, Vermont.

Ming Tsai ’82, P’18

Working in his family’s restaurant sparked his initial fascination with food, but Ming Tsai’s career path to “top chef” was not a straight one. After graduating from Andover, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Yale—with several summers spent in Paris learning to cook. After studying at Le Cordon Bleu, cooking became Tsai’s sole passion. He went on to earn a master’s degree in hotel administration and hospitality from Cornell and trained under master chefs such as Pierre Hermé in Paris and Kei Kobayashi in Osaka, Japan.

In 1998, Ming opened Blue Ginger, an East-meets-West fusion restaurant in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Blue Ginger quickly impressed local diners, receiving 3 stars from the Boston Globe and earning Tsai Esquire Magazine’s “Chef of the Year.” Other accolades include the James Beard Foundation’s “2002 Best Chef in the Northeast” title, the “2007 Ivy Award,” and the “2009 IFMA’s Silver Plate Award.” In 2013, Tsai opened Blue Dragon in Boston, which features his signature East-West fusion with a twist on traditional pub classics.

In addition to managing his restaurants, Tsai is host and executive producer of Simply Ming, a public television cooking show now celebrating its 17th season. Simply Ming received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Culinary Program and Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Host and earned two Bronze Telly Awards for lighting and art direction.

Tsai lives in Natick, Massachusetts, with his wife, Polly. They have two sons, David ’18 and Henry. In 2017, after Polly was diagnosed with lung cancer, Ming focused on healthier vegan cooking to help fuel her recovery. His MingsBings, a high-protein, gluten-free patty packed with superfoods, debuted at Fenway Park in summer 2021. A portion of the proceeds will benefit two organizations deeply important to the Tsai family: The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Family Reach.

Categories: Alumni

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