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Gold Spike Award winners

President John Hennessy (center) congratulates Gold Spike Award winners Gretchen Hartnack Milligan, '73, MBA '75, and John H. Scully, MBA '68. PHOTO: Steve Castillo

Golden Achievement

In April, the university celebrated alumni volunteer leaders with the Gold Spike and Stanford Medal awards. 

Summer 2013

The Gold Spike Award, named for the original gold spike that Senator Leland Stanford used to complete the nation's first transcontinental railroad, is the university's highest annual honor for volunteer leadership. Presented by the Stanford Associates, an honorary organization of more than 2,200 Stanford alumni, this year the award went to Gretchen Hartnack Milligan, '73, MBA '75, and John H. Scully, MBA '68.

Gretchen Milligan, a treasured volunteer leader for more than 30 years, brings enthusiasm, clarity of purpose, and strategy to the projects she spearheads. Whether working with the Graduate School of Business, the Stanford Alumni Association, the Bing Overseas Studies Program, or the Office of Development, her involvement and dedication have made an enormous impact at the university.

As a longtime professional consultant to nonprofit boards, her sophisticated understanding of effective board governance has proved to be invaluable to Stanford. Milligan is the only alum to have served on all three of the senior boards and committees of the alumni association (the Board of Directors, the Stanford Associates Board of Governors, and the Alumni Committee on Trustee Nominations). She has also served on multiple boards for the business school and on the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara major gifts committees for The Campaign for Undergraduate Education and The Stanford Challenge.

"Stanford values its alumni and creates rewarding opportunities for us to continue to learn, to engage with talented people, and to make a positive impact on this incredible institution," she says.

Currently, Milligan is serving a four-year term on the Bing Overseas Studies Council, the Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences Advisory Council.

John Scully has left his mark on a number of Stanford institutions in the course of a volunteer record that spans three decades. The Board of Trustees, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, and the Graduate School of Business have all benefited greatly from his unparalleled business and financial acumen.

Education has been the main theme of Scully's far-reaching volunteer life, whether tutoring sixth graders as an undergraduate, founding a nonprofit that provides mentoring and college guidance to low-income youth, or sharing his expertise and leadership across the Stanford campus.

Scully, who is the vice chair of the board of directors of Stanford Hospital & Clinics, has served on the board for Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and on the Stanford Board of Trustees (2000–2010), including four years as vice chair. Currently, he is a member of the Dean's Executive Council for the Stanford Medical School development committee. In addition, Scully and his wife, Regina, have generously supported stem cell research at the School of Medicine and Stanford Hospitals & Clinics.

At the Graduate School of Business, Scully has served on the advisory board and as a trustee with the Graduate School of Business Trust. In 2002, the school gave Scully its highest honor, the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, which recognizes excellence in management leadership.

"My two years at the Stanford Graduate School of Business were transformative for me," says Scully. "Nothing pleases me more than giving back to this great university."

Stanford Medal winners

The Stanford Medal, also presented by the Stanford Associates, honors volunteer leaders who have given decades of distinguished service to the university. 

Woodrow A. Myers, Jr., has shared his time and talents in multiple leadership roles at the highest levels for the university, including the Board of Trustees. His extensive medical and management experience, combined with his ability to drive positive change, have been especially significant to the work of the Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

Kathryn Ko Chou is known for her irrepressible work ethic, unmatched efficiency, and enthusiasm. A volunteer for nearly 30 years, Kathy has applied these qualities to her roles with the Stanford Alumni Association, the Office of Development, and Cap and Gown.

Phil Satre has an impressive history of volunteer roles for Stanford, including service on the Board of Trustees. Known for his natural leadership abilities and vast corporate management experience, Phil is a valuable asset for many university boards and committees and an eloquent spokesperson regarding the merits of a Stanford education.

Stanford Associates also presented the Governors' Award to 10 alumni and the Award of Merit to 23 individual alumni and 7 alumni groups. See the Stanford Associates' website for this year's winners.