Mercersburg Academy’s Alumni Council has announced its 2022 award recipients, which are presented annually to members of the Mercersburg alumni community for their service, leadership, and distinction. This year's honorees are: Margaretta “Peggy” Northrop ’72 (Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Achievement), Peter Lebovitz ’72 (Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Service), Carla Lopez ’97 (Alumni Council Prize for Achievement), Clint Lawler ’97 (Alumni Council Prize for Service), and Vanessa Anyanso ’12 (Young Alumni Leadership Award).
Together with this year’s Class of ’32 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Tom Hadzor, all five Alumni Council Award recipients will be honored during Reunion Weekend 2022 on Thursday, June 9 during a special dinner to kick-off the reunion celebrations.
The Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Achievement was established in 1997 to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professional or personal lives and, in doing so, have brought honor to Mercersburg.
Throughout her career, Peggy Northrop ’72 has worked as a media consultant, communications expert, adviser and entrepreneur. She currently serves as chief executive officer emeritus and adviser for Watermark and UPWARD — a global network for accelerating the advancement of executive women.
Peggy began her career as an award-winning editor in New York City, holding senior editorial positions at some of the most iconic names in women's media, including Vogue, Glamour, and Real Simple, before becoming editor-in-chief of More and global editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest. She relocated to the Bay Area to serve as editor-in-chief of Sunset Publishing. Peggy also co-founded Shebooks, an e-book company devoted to publishing stories by and for women.
Peggy graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. In 2003, she was named one of the 21 Most Intriguing People in MinOnline magazine. She received the Women Who Get It Right Award in 2006 from the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Peggy has been a contributor to NBC’s Today, CBS’s The Early Show, PBS’s To the Contrary, SiriusXM Radio’s radiomoretime, and has served on the board of directors at the Observer Publishing Company.
Peggy is a communications adviser and investor with Portfolia, which creates investment funds designed for women to invest in companies with missions they support. She is also a mentor with SHE-CAN, an educational organization that trains the next generation of female leaders in post-genocide countries. Peggy serves on the board of directors of Washington & Jefferson College.
Peggy lives in Mill Valley, CA, with her husband, Sean Elder.
The Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Service was established in 1957 to recognize alumni who have made outstanding contributions toward Mercersburg’s mission and continued excellence at the school, as reflected in its faculty, student body, facilities, and financial strength.
Peter Lebovitz ’72 is managing partner for Harkness Partners LLC. Prior to founding Harkness Partners, he was a managing partner with Managers Investment Group LLC, where he helped grow the firm from $750 million to $10 billion under management and coordinated several mergers and acquisitions. He also served as a trustee of The Managers Funds and Managers AMG Funds.
Peter graduated from Trinity College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He also earned a master of business administration degree from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.
Peter has held leadership positions at many organizations, including serving on the boards of The Artisan Funds and Hoffberger Holdings. He was chair of the board for the ALTX Trust and a family office investment committee. He was also an advisory board member for 361 Capital and China Bridge Ventures and Overseers, and was a board member for Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and chair of the Tuck Annual Giving Committee. In addition, Peter was an Investment Committee member of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County and served as an adviser to private equity firms.
Throughout the years, Peter has also provided leadership and volunteered for Mercersburg. From 2010 to 2020, he was a member of the Board of Regents; he is currently a special member of the Board’s Investment Committee. He was also a reunion committee member for his 40th, 45th, and 50th reunions, volunteered for Mercersburg’s Daring to Lead campaign, which surpassed its fundraising goal of $300 million, and has been a Springboard volunteer.
Peter is a member of the William Mann Irvine Society and Via Lucis Society, and is a Torchbearer with 16 consecutive years of giving. He is also a benefactor of the Head of School's Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Peter and his wife, Janet, have raised two sons and live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The Alumni Council Prize for Achievement was established in 2016 to recognize alumni within 25 years after graduation who have distinguished themselves in their professional or personal lives and, in doing so, have brought honor to Mercersburg.
Carla Lopez ’97 is associate director for health innovation at the International Rescue Committee. She is a global health practitioner focusing on the issues that keep poor people in poverty by applying problem-solving approaches from human-centered design, behavioral insights, and the private sector to the development and humanitarian sector.
Carla has held leadership roles ranging from country director of a team of 154 staff members during an Ebola outbreak to serving as a regional technical adviser for human-centered design and social marketing in southern Africa. She has worked on products such as HIV self-testing kits and micronutrient-enriched porridge, and services like male circumcision and community warehouses for smallholder families.
Carla graduated from Pomona College with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She also earned a master’s degree in public health and health behavior/health education from the University of North Carolina.
Carla served as the human-centered design adviser to the Population Services International Zimbabwe platform with a focus on applying design thinking to improve uptake of voluntary medical male circumcision. She was marketing adviser to the HIV Self-Test Africa (STAR) Regional Project in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. She led design research to position HIV self-testing among youth and men, and prototyped HIV self-testing models at clinics. She also participated in the regional qualitative research working group.
Carla has also served Mercersburg Academy as a podcast volunteer and a contributor to the Annual Fund. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The Alumni Council Prize for Service was established in 2016 to recognize alumni within 25 years after graduation who have made outstanding contributions toward Mercersburg’s mission and continued excellence at the school, as reflected in its faculty, student body, facilities, and financial strength.
Clinton Lawler ’97 is the director for surface combatants under the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for ship programs. He holds a professional engineer certification and has completed several naval assignments, including serving as a reconstruction engineer in Afghanistan and an assistant officer in charge for the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Sasebo, Japan.
Clint graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering. He also earned a master's degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Clint has served Mercersburg as a fundraising volunteer, a member of his senior class Annual Fund Committee, a video volunteer, and a speaker. He is the chair of his 25th Reunion Committee and is also a member of the White Key parent organization.
Clint is a leadership donor and a member of the William Mann Irvine Society and a Torchbearer with 17 years of consecutive giving to the Annual Fund.
He and his wife, Maija, have three daughters and live in Arlington, Virginia. Their daughter Margaret “Greta” Lawler ’23 is in her third year at Mercersburg Academy.
The Young Alumni Leadership Award was established in 2016 to recognize alumni within 15 years after graduation whose achievements have demonstrated excellence in their profession and service to their community, the public, humanity, or Mercersburg, embodying the values, spirit, and pride of the school.
Vanessa Anyanso ’12 is a counseling psychology doctoral student at the University of Minnesota. She spent the two years prior to her current position working as a clinical research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. She is broadly interested in Black mental health with a focus on Black women and other Black people with intersecting marginalized identities.
Vanessa earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, where she was a Kluge Scholar. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at her position at the University of Minnesota.
She is a co-author on a published research paper, “Diversity in Mindfulness Research on Health: A Narrative Review Using the ADDRESSING Framework,” in the Cooper Rowan Medical Journal. Her research has been recognized by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Student Poster Award Runner-Up (2017) and with Honorable Mention by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (2019).
Vanessa has volunteered at many organizations including as a crisis counselor, helpline volunteer, and tutor. She has served the National Eating Disorders Association and America Reads.
She has also served Mercersburg Academy as a podcast volunteer, an academic volunteer, and is a contributor to the Annual Fund. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.