Alumni honored for volunteer service with Gold Spike Awards

Alumni MARIANN BYERWALTER, AB ’82, and JOHN P. LEVIN, MA ’70, JD ’73, each recently received a 2015 Gold Spike Award, the university’s highest honor for volunteer service.

The award is presented annually by Stanford Associates, an honorary organization of more than 2,600 Stanford alumni who have demonstrated significant and long-standing volunteer service to the university.

Mariann Byerwalter
Mariann Byerwalter

Mariann Byerwalter

“Faculty, administrators and fellow alumni respect Mariann’s clear vision, seriousness of purpose, energy and keen focus,” Stanford Associates said in an announcement.

“Just as readily, they value the kind of person that she is – warm and gracious and genuinely interested in the lives of those around her. She is famous for her heartfelt thank you notes and goes to great lengths to recognize individuals that contribute to a project at every level of the organization.”

Byerwalter launched her volunteer service shortly after graduating from Stanford. Since then she has held key roles for the Office of Development, including leadership positions for the Campaign for Undergraduate Education, The Stanford Challenge and, most notably, the Campaign for Stanford Medicine, which she currently co-chairs with John P. Levin.

Since 2001, she has been a board member of Stanford Health Care, formerly known as Stanford Hospital & Clinics. As chair of its board of directors from 2006 to 2013, Byerwalter played a pivotal role in creating a plan to sustain the Medical Center’s financial integrity and future. She helped facilitate the leap from “modest annual fundraising” to $700 million in philanthropic support that was needed to complete the new hospital. In 2015, Stanford Medicine gave her a Dean’s Medal, one of the highest honors bestowed by the School of Medicine.

Stanford Associates described the breadth of Byerwalter’s volunteer service as “exceptional.” She has served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees, and has been the chair of the board of directors of the Stanford Alumni Association. Her service on the boards of Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has spanned more than 20 years, and she remains a member of both boards today. She has served on the boards of the Stanford Management Company and the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation Athletic Fund.

“Over the past 30 years, Mariann has united numerous alumni and staff in a vision for what lies ahead for Stanford, what’s possible and how it can be accomplished,” Stanford Associates said. “Mariann is truly a force that has made a deep, broad and enduring impact on this university.”

Head shot of John Levin
John Levin

John P. Levin

“In all of his work for Stanford, John is known for his thoughtful, innovative and analytical approach,” Stanford Associates said in an announcement.

“A member of the National Advisory Board for the Haas Center for Public Service, John is committed to ensuring that Stanford students have the foundation to become productive and leading citizens. It is clear that John has made service a top priority in his own life and that Stanford has been a beneficiary of his time and talents.”

The association said Levin has rendered superlative service to Stanford for more than 30 years and has greatly influenced the culture of volunteerism. His commitment to service has traversed the university, from the Board of Trustees to the Law School, Graduate School of Education and, now, Stanford Medicine.

As a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2009, Levin was instrumental in shaping an improved process to identify potential trustees. At Stanford Law School, he served on the board of visitors, led reunions and served as co-chair of the transformative Campaign for Stanford Law School. He also served on the steering committee of The Stanford Challenge and the advisory boards of the Graduate School of Education and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities.

In 2009, Levin worked alongside Byerwalter, who was then chair of the board of directors of Stanford Hospital & Clinics (now Stanford Health Care), to transform the strategy for a major fundraising campaign to build a new hospital. The outcome was the successful launch of the Campaign for Stanford Medicine in May 2012. He continues to serve as the convening co-chair of the campaign. In 2014, he succeeded Byerwalter as chair of the board of Stanford Health Care.

“John is a paragon of the ‘foresight, perseverance and accomplishment’ symbolized by the Gold Spike,” Stanford Associates’ announcement said. “His passion, intelligence and vision exemplify the power of volunteer leadership, and Stanford is better today because of it.”