Meet Our Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA)  Honorees


Pictured Above

New DAA honoree Robert Lane ESB 73 (center) is pictured here with classmate Dr. David Hovsepian ESB 73 (left) and Head of School Jeremy Gregersen.

During our Reunion 2023 festivities, we honored two alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA): Donald I. Baker ESB ’53 and Robert Lane ESB ’73. They were introduced by Steve Abrams ESB ’70 and Dr. David Hovsepian ESB ’73 respectively.

DONALD I. BAKER ESB ’53, Former Head of Antitrust Division of US Department of Justice, Lawyer, Author, and Former Professor at Cornell University

Donald I. Baker has had an extraordinary career in law. Specializing in antitrust, competition policy, and international law issues, Donald Baker is a former Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a founding partner of the Washington DC independent law firm, Baker & Miller PLLC. Steve Abrams ESB ’70 noted that President Gerald Ford sought Donald’s advice on legislation. Unbeknownst to Donald, his boss, the Attorney General, at the time had given President Ford the exact opposite advice. However, President Ford took Donald’s advice seriously. President Ford would later enact the Hart-Scott Rodino Act which requires certain businesses planning mergers and acquisitions to notify the antitrust agencies before consummating the transaction. Without a doubt, Donald I. Baker has had a lasting impact on American politics and law.
Via a prerecorded video, Donald sincerely thanked Dwight-Englewood for the distinguished honor. He also paid special tribute to his 5th and 6th Grade Teacher, Mr. Oliver Drake, for inspiring his love for history. He said, “For Mr. Drake, history wasn’t just a static report of what had actually happened. Rather, history is a dynamic process in which there are a lot of interactions and uncertainty. Nothing is inevitable. And I admire individuals who have had the courage, energy, and foresight to lead. I really wish by magic Mr. Drake could be with us tonight.”

Congratulations to Mr. Donald I. Baker for his award and his lifelong achievements!

ROBERT LANE ESB ’73, Architect, Community-based Designer, Planner, Researcher, and Educator

Dr. David Hovsepian ESB ’73 began his introduction for Robert Lane ESB ’73, describing themselves as “nerds of a feather,” recalling six years of Latin classes, nicknames from Mr. Malcolm Duffy, and their love of science. After graduating from the Englewood School for Boys, Robert Lane became an architect,  devoted to building local capacity through community-based design, planning, research, and education. As Senior Fellow for Community Design and Development at Regional Plan Association (RPA), he authored numerous adopted vision plans, zoning ordinances, and design guidelines, and was responsible for the design content of RPA’s 4th Regional Plan. His independent research projects, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, focused on industrial district urban design and development.

Beginning his speech, Robert Lane expressed his humility and shyness on receiving the DAA honor. Robert reminisced on his high school career, learning from teachers like Adolf Amend, Malcolm Duffy, and Albert Greco. He recalled the excitement when he and his classmates were able to take classes at the Dwight School for Girls for their senior year, sitting in with Ms. Frimi Sagan. He praised the education he received, noting that by the time he arrived at Cornell, much of the freshman year curriculum had been covered during his time. Finally, Robert reflected on the passing of time and how “you’re not immediately aware of each five-year increment and how things have changed, but It’s like a timelapse-photography moment.” 

Congratulations to the Class of 1973 for their 50th Reunion and cheers to our Distinguished Alumni Award Honorees.

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