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Young Alumni Volunteer Award Winners

2019 - Matthew Wright, MEd'14

matthew wright

Matthew Wright’s advocacy and passion for Vanderbilt has been instrumental to connecting alumni in Japan and recruiting international students.

As a founding member of the Vanderbilt Japan Chapter, Wright has actively worked to create a vibrant regional network of university alumni and parents. He identified the need for the chapter and generated enthusiasm through communications, meetings and organizing events. He has served as deputy president since February 2015.

He is also a volunteer for Commodore Recruitment Programs, representing Vanderbilt to high school students at college fairs hosted by the United States Embassy in Japan. As an Oak Leaf Society member, he is also a loyal philanthropic supporter of the university.

Wright is the academic director at Alpha Frontiers, a Tokyo-based company that helps guide students through the university application process.

2016 - Sara Tabor Simonds, BS'08, MAcc'09

sara simonds
Sara Tabor Simonds, BS'08, MAcc'09, is the recipient of the 2016 Vanderbilt Alumni Association Board of Director's Young Alumni Volunteer Award.

Sara Simonds is a passionate supporter of Vanderbilt as an Oak Leaf Society member and by serving multiple volunteer roles. She is co-president of the Atlanta Vanderbilt Chapter, weekend chair for the Class of 2008’s fifth Reunion and helped organize her fifth Owen Reunion. Simonds keeps young alumni connected with the university as the G.O.L.D. Council president and a G.O.L.D. class agent. As a Giving Day Ambassador, she encouraged alumni to make the inaugural event a great success.


2015 - Hiram "Hi" Lewis, BS'99, MEd'01

doug parker

Hiriam "Hi" Lewis, BS'99, MEd'01, is the recipient of the 2015 Vanderbilt Alumni Association Board of Director’s Young Alumni Volunteer Award.

Many will remember Lewis as a quarterback and, later, graduate assistant coach for the Vanderbilt football team. He was a valuable member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, is an avid supporter for both the Commodore football and baseball programs, and is a great ambassador for the university. As a volunteer for the student-alumni series Opening Dores, he has shared his experience in commercial real estate and life after Vanderbilt with undergraduate students. He has also offered professional advice as a VUconnect career adviser. View Lewis’ award presentation from the 2015 Alumni Association Awards Ceremony.




To learn more, and to nominate a deserving alumnus/na, visit our Awards Page