Pete Reid Award for Young Alumni

The Pete Reid Award for Young Alumni is given by the Alumni Association to someone whose youthful exuberance is demonstrated daily toward his or her career, community, and Whitman College as exemplified by Pete Reid '49, in his service to the College. This award is limited to graduates of the last fifteen years. Standards for recognition include outstanding recognition in his or her career or field of work or outstanding commitment in service to others, and a demonstrated commitment to Whitman College.

Recipient for 2014 is Katie Wilson McBreen ’02

Katie Wilson McBreen ’02 spent time as a student in Washington, D.C., working two summer internships. Her contacts there, in particular one from her home state of Idaho, led to a position as Associate Deputy Director of Advance for Vice President Dick Cheney, straight out of Whitman. She credits her time as a student employee in the admissions office for her professionalism, the ability to network successfully and the value of a hand-written thank-you note.

2014 Pete Reid Award for Young Alumni, Katie Wilson McBreen '02Since leaving the White House, Katie worked as a lobbyist for the Gallatin Group, and returned to the capital as Director of Communication and Strategy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is currently Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for the National Retail Federation, and was recently named one of 40 Under 40 by PRWeek magazine. She characterizes her work as finding ways to tell a compelling story, clearly and persuasively--a skill she honed as a politics major at Whitman.

One of the key criteria considered in making this award is the element of service to Whitman, and Katie has served continuously for the past 12 years, including class representative for annual giving, co-chairing her 5th reunion committee and co-chairing her 10th reunion fund committee. She has also volunteered for admissions and assisted with DC-area events, and is currently serving on the Southeastern Seaboard committee for the Now Is the Time campaign. Katie epitomizes the spirit, drive and service of this award’s namesake, Pete Reid.